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Hello, New YorkOctober 12, 2010

I'm in New York. If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you're . . . well, you're aware of that. I find it impossible not to tweet when I'm alone on an adventure, and this, although it's only begun, is that.

I started the trip by downloading Sophie Littlefield's BANISHED, released today. Now, y'all know Sophie's a friend of mine, blah blah blah, but I was blown away by how hard I fell in love with it. I read it in one fell cross-country swoop, and it allowed me to ignore the elbow of the tall man sitting next to me. Her characters are stunningly real, the action at times shocking (Hailey can not only heal but bring the dead back to life -- if she dares), and the emotion (a Sophie-specialty) is visceral. I loved the story, and I can't recommend it highly enough (even if YA isn't normally your thing, this probably IS).

Then I got off the plane and dove into the nearest cab. I know there are other ways of getting to the city, but I was in a hurry. I only had a couple of hours before the sun went down, and I had to do some wandering.

I'm staying in the West Village at the Jane Hotel. And I do think it's the coolest place I've ever stayed. While a large part of the thrill is being here by myself, I regret that Lala isn't here to see this (though we'd need a larger room). I regret that Bethany and Christy aren't here (especially Bethany -- this is HER kind of place to the teeth -- check her blog to see proof). I regret that the whole hotel isn't full of everyone I care about.

Check it out: It's a pod hotel. What that means is that the rooms are small, cabin-style (shared bathrooms, which are very nice and clean -- they even provide you a robe and slippers so you can walk down there!). I have the smallest (and I swear that this is if not my room, then my room is EXACTLY like this one) and most inexpensive cabin:

(Katie Sokoler/Gothamist)

I've decided, after much consideration, that this room is the size of a King bed. If you include the 6inch deep shelf at the end, perhaps a California King. I can touch both walls with my arms outstretched (and did, several times, just for fun). But IT IS NINETY FIVE DOLLARS. In New York, that's practically free. There is room under the bed for one suitcase (you could NOT have two very skinny people in here if they both had a suitcase). You'd be hard-pressed to have one person fit in here if she brought two suitcases.

But it is AWESOME. And did I mention the price? And in the West Village (bordering Greenwich Village)? Dude.

I walked around a while after I checked in (not in the room, that wouldn't take long) in the area, down Jane to Greenwich, then wandered Hudson and Bleecker.... I had the best cheap burger at the Corner Bistro and sat watching the world go by outside, in the warm wind as leaves struggled to fall, while everyone and her brother walked their dogs.

After a drink and an accidental trip-and-fall into Magnolia Bakery, I wandered back to the Jane, where I found the bar.

Oh. Oh, oh, oh.

The whole hotel is like this (survivors of the Titanic stayed here -- they even had a memorial service here), but the bar is the MOST like this -- it's as if I'm staying in the Haunted Mansion. Or the Tower of Terror. Only SO MUCH BETTER because it's not Disney, it's real. (Okay, it's fake-ish real. Redone real. But I don't care. I'll buy it.)


I'm right now sitting in this room, above. Only it's dark, only lit by candles and wall-sconces. And I'm the only one in it, at almost 8pm. And strangely, they're playing Tina Turner and Michael Jackson. (Really, no problem with that.)

More photos HERE. (The desk help really dresses like that. I can only imagine the maids do, too. Should I be ashamed for loving it so much? Probably. But the martinis are good, as is the music, and I'm going to bed early in a cheap awesome hotel in a great location, and I'm stoked.)

And when I go to bed (actually, as soon as I finish this post and get out my Kindle and relax in front of the fire with my dirty martini), I'll be reading ASH, which is breathtaking (Cinderella with a fairy-tale GLBT twist). I didn't mean to go on a young-adult kick -- I just seem to be there. And I'm loving it. Tomorrow will be a work day, and then more fun. I'll keep you posted.


Wow! That is fabulous. I live in NYC and I realize now that I don't know The Village all that well.

That hotel sounds fantastic! What a deal. Glad to know about it just in case I ever need a hotel.

It's great that you had so much fun tonight, and that the weather improved. Last night, you would not have had a very good time. Although you would have had an adventure. ;-)

Very cool that you're at Jane! My friend Lara just got back from NYC this morning, and she told me all about it... :-) Safe (and fun) travels, my dear!

Oh! I gave your book to my mom and she's really enjoying it! :-)

If you weren't already planning on visiting the High Line park, you must do so. Tomorrow is supposed to be beautiful.

Also, it makes the most sense to take the C on Thursday.

OMG! Very fun. Have a martini for me.

How neat! When you said a "pod hotel," I assumed one of those things like they have in Japan, where it's literally a pod.

Your room is pretty ritzy by comparison to what I had imagined! And at only $95/night - WOW! I think that's cheap for just about everywhere, not to mention NYC!

I agree with Michelle - definitely go to the High Line. When you named the hotel I thought I'd heard of it, but now that I see the pictures I know I have. Great to hear its as nice as its supposed to be!

PS - start a sock, or I'll give you some yarn for a pair.

If you can still have a little choclate without migraines, be sure to hit Lilac Chocolates before you leave. They used to be on Christopher St. but moved a while back, I think still near the Village. The best chocolate I've ever had, and really interesting assortment. Mmmm... they do mail order too...

Hah- I got Sophie's Banished via amazon today... excited to take it on our trip.

Enjoy your highlight... enjoy the luxury, and tells us all about it when you get home...

What fun! It does look like the haunted mansion.

Hello, Amazing Woman! I'm back on the computer and THRILLED to learn you are in New York! More anon...tis c. ll:30 p.m. & WAY past my bedtime! Pleasant pod dreams! Lotsa, lotsa love!

You had me at "Kindle and dirty martini." Ahhh... now that's a combination I can warm up to.

Hi Rachel,

Well based on your blog post about the Jane, I made my reservations to stay there in Dec. with my sis to celebrate our b-day! It looks like such a fun place and what a deal! 125.00 for a bunk room. Perfect, we'll be out and about most of the time anyway. Thanks!

So glad you enjoyed my home town!

I just finished How to Knit a Love Song, which I bought from you at Rhinebeck (thanks again for signing it). What a fun read! I LOVED the romance and all the knitting details, and I think my own cowboy needs a Love Song sweater. I look forward to another Cypress Hollow yarn!

YA is, indeed, my thing, so I'll have to check out Sophie's latest. I just love staying at hotels. Except for a couple of dungeony ones I accidentally ended up in.

Oh my god, I live literally 20 minutes north of NYC and I so want to go stay in this hotel. I love the picture of the maid on their homepage. She reminds me of the little girls in the shing.

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Rachael loves it when book clubs read her work! She's happy to attend book clubs that read her books either in person or via Skype. Contact her at rachael@rachaelherron.com to make arrangements.


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