NYC: Days 6, 7

Finally getting arond to finishing up my recap of our New York trip.

As I wrote in my last post, we went back into the city the day before we flew out. We left my parents’ right after lunch so we had almost the whole day to meander through the city.

We stayed again at the Inn at Irving Place.  Our room this time was regular sized and not enormous, like last time. While it was still nice, I have to say our first room was much better. In our second room, there was gritty stuff on the rug (maybe stuff had been moved around), and the TV was very small and far away. The furniture overall was set up strangely, and I kept imagining a different set-up. Anyway, I’m glad we got the bigger, better room for our first two nights.

The weather was gorgeous. Sunny and cool. The first thing we did was walk down to Zucco: Le French Diner, our very favorite restaurant. It was one of the first places MB and I went to when we first started dating, and it reminds me of those mornings we spent together, feasting on le pain purdue and mochas. That day we had the pate and cornichon sandwiches, and they were as tasty as ever.

The cook was the same cook, but we didn’t recognize the guy behind the counter. MB asked about Zucco, the owner, and the guy said he had “disappeared” a couple of years ago and that now his son was running the place. However, I just discovered that Zucco actually passed away in February 2010. I don’t know why the guy said “disappeared.” I can only guess that English wasn’t his first language, and he meant to say “passed away” or was “gone.”

This makes me sad. Zucco didn’t seem to know much English, but he was the sweetest, you could just tell. He always recognized us and said bonjour, and made sure we had what we needed.

Anyway, after we ate, we made our way over to the Muji store, but didn’t buy anything. I was feeling fat and didn’t want to try on any clothes, and the salesgirl was snotty. We walked around some more, and eventually made our way up to Central Park. We strolled around, stopping at Bethesda Fountain and what used to be Tavern on the Green, but which is now a visitor center with a few food trucks.

Then we tried to make our way back to Lexington Avenue. I say “tried” because that happened to be the night that President Obama was attending a fund raiser on Park Avenue. All of Park Avenue was closed off, and tons of people in suits were marching uptown from I’m guessing Grand Central. I’m not sure where they were going or were hoping to cross. But they all looked very determined.

MB and I made our way down to 59th Street and cut across. We tried to catch the A/C/E down to Brooklyn (our original plan was to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge and eat in Dumbo), but those trains weren’t running. Needless to say, it was a complete madhouse. We assumed it had something to do with Obama, but I guess there was some water main break. What luck.

We ended up eating at an Indian place we like in the area. The food was tasty but way overpriced. After dinner, we walked around the Time Warner Center, then hopped a cab back downtown. It was a relief to get back on quiet Irving Place.

I was very tired, but I couldn’t sleep. I had a glass of wine at dinner, and while was sleepy at first, was soon wired. I slept for maybe one hour the entire night. Then we had to get up early to catch our flight. I was not a happy trooper. Zombie-like, I downed coffee and a croissant at our last free breakfast, and almost barfed on the cab ride to the airport.

Getting through security took much longer on our way out. I don’t know if the TSA was being more meticulous because Obama was in town, but that doesn’t make any sense because we were all leaving New York. By the time we got through, we had not too long before boarding, which I love. I hate getting there so early.

Middle seats again! But not too bad. No dumb lady with her coffee cup this time. I started reading this book which MB has been trying to get me to read for ages. It breaks a story down into concrete parts and steps. It’s been awesome so far in helping me restructure my novel, of which I wrote 30 pages and got stuck. The author, John Truby, says that’s one of the main mistakes writers make: they have a vague idea, and then just start writing with barely any planning. I was so glad to read that. I just thought my idea was bad or that I didn’t really know how to write a novel – which I guess I don’t! Writing short pieces is one thing, but a novel is a whole other undertaking. I want to go into more detail about what I’ve learned so far from the book, but that will be another post.

I was so tired, I also slept for a good chunk of the flight. We landed in the early afternoon, grabbed a cab (normally we take the BART but we had so much stuff and were EXHAUSTED), and we were home! YAAAY!!!

I was really glad to be back in my own apartment. While I love New York and seeing my friends and parents, there’s something to be said about the routine of everyday life, especially a life you love. Also, after two years away, I’ve become accustomed to far fewer people out and about. I guess things really are a bit slower out here, but maybe I just feel that way because while in New York, I was a tourist in a sea of commuters. I felt the same way in London, but have never felt that way here.

Since coming back to SF, I’ve been super-busy writing stuff for work. Last week I wrote five blog posts! I need to catch up here with a few writing announcements, including that I’ll be returning to New York in October for this conference. I got invited to participate on this panel. Woot! If you’re in New York, you should go.


  1. Cool tip from MB about book! I’ll have to get it myself. I think I can benefit from it because vague planning resulted in me not finishing Nanowrimo in ’09.

    • I think vague planning was the reason I haven’t finished three NaNoWriMo novels! I had been under the wrong impression that too much planning was bad, but almost every time I set out to write a novel, I either get stuck, or veer off in the wrong direction, or even if I finish something, I feel like it’s just off.

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