Last year, because I didn't really know any better, BEA was all about the books. As a brand new book blogger, I was focused on only two things - getting my hands on future releases so I could finally start reviewing books BEFORE they released, and meeting other bloggers like me.
When I look back, I can honestly say "Mission Accomplished". I made some life-long blogger connections and managed to get copies of books that I would go on to review before their release date.
This year, however, I was a whole year older and wiser and my priorities had shifted in a different direction. Shortly after BEA 2010, I discovered my true passion for indie authors and publishers. Maturing as a book blogger, I began rebuilding my blog and developing monthly series and features by which I could spotlight these underdogs of the literary community. I worked hard at establishing and maintaining connections in the Indie publishing world. I wanted to help readers and fellow bloggers get behind the books and meet the people who made those books possible.
My focus for BEA 2o11? Meeting as many of those connections face-to-face as possible. Publishers and Authors beware... TNBBC was on a new mission!
I RSVP'd to as many publishing events as I could. Harper Perennial's Book Blogger Lunch, and their after-event at Bill's Gay Nineties; The Random House Reader Circle's Tea Party; Picador's Cocktail party; The Bookrageous Bash held at Lolita's; The Indie Bookseller's party; Electric Lit's after-event; The Goodreads Book Club party; The Book Blogger Reception; the list goes on and on...
Of course, I double booked myself knowing full well that I wouldn't be able to attend every event, but I wanted a full dance card from which to choose from!!
My week of BEA goodness began quite early on Monday. I was driving in every day from the Pocono's and had to leave crack-of-dawn early in order to beat the horrendous bumper-to-bumper nightmare commuter traffic. This meant that I arrived at Port Authority, after clearing the Lincoln Tunnel with white-knuckled relief, with a whopping 3 and 1/2 hours to spare. I say white-knuckled because of my irrational fear that the tunnel will suddenly spring a leak while I am driving through it. Not to mention the fact that while I was how-many-hundreds of feet below the water, my CD decided to play Frogma's "I Need a Miracle" and my mind began replaying video footage from Sylvester Stallone's crappy movie "Daylight".
Enough about that though. Do you really want to hear about my irrational neuroses? I killed those 3 hours by wandering around NYC snapping some artistic cell phone shots (haha). I have no sense of direction, so me and my Hop Stop app became best buds as I entered in location after location of places to visit.
First stop: The New York Public Library. I knew my kids would get a kick out of knowing I had walked past the very library where Ghostbusters made it's debut! There was some construction taking place and the front of the library was blocked off but I thought I got some good shots regardless. Did you know that right before BEA, the library held an overnight scavenger hunt? I totally wanted to hit that, but I couldn't justify two trips into the city that close together. Have you seen GAS PRICES??!!
From there, I headed over to Bryant Park, which is literally around the corner from the library. It was chilly and gray and windy out, so I wrapped myself up in my coat, plopped down at a table where I could see into the park and also people watch, cracked open James Boice's upcoming release The Good and the Ghastly, and lost myself in the book for a half hour. It's a dystopian gangster noir novel that takes place in the 3300's. Bryant park is where I first met my UK blogger buddy and fellow Goodreads friend Becca from The Book Whisperer's Blog - she was up visiting NYC at christmas time two years ago and I brought the kids and hubby up to see her. We went ice skating for the very first time.
I don't know how I did this, but once I got up and walked around a bit more, I realized I was headed for Radio City Music Hall. So I snapped a shot of it, more for the fact that I accidently found it than for what it is or stands for. My elementary school used to take us on class trips here for the NutCracker and other weird dance-y, musical type of shows. It's one of those places that I think you begin to grow out of as you get older. Now that I come to think of it, neither of my kids have ever been here. The schools in Pennsylvania don't seem to travel outside of PA. And the class trips are small and silly compared to some of the ones I had when I attended school in a small town in upstate NY. Anyway....
After walking around a bit more, I started to head over towards building where Harper Perennial was throwing their blogger lunch. I am a worry wart, and easily get lost, and like to plan ahead to be sure I know where I am going. As I headed over the street, I noticed this cute little alley with a water fall and chairs. So of course I take a load off and have a seat and start to read again until it's time to head into Harper's for the first event of BEA 2011......
Tune in tomorrow for the Publisher Parties portion of my BEA Breakdown!