Tuesday, June 01, 2010
BEA Recap Part 1
So remember how I wrote this post about how I was scared about going to BEA? Pshaw...it was all in vain. I had a grrrrrrrrrrrrrreat time during my trip to NYC. I'm going to try to see if I can recall the entire trip so this might be a long post. Alas though I have no pictures because my camera broke somehow either before or during the trip.
Let's start at the very beginning...
Monday, May 24th - I left the DC area Monday afternoon after I got off from work. I parked my car in the Vienna metro station (because if you pick up your car on the weekends you don't have to pay for parking) and got on the Metro to go into Union Station. At Union Station (which I've only been for my two trips to NYC), I waited in line to get on the Bolt Bus. Now for those of you who didn't know, riding the Bolt Bus is a very good and cheap way to get to NYC, Baltimore, Boston, Philadelphia. The seats are comfy, air conditioned, and there's free Wi-Fi and plugs. Plus if you log in early as soon as the schedules come out you can get your ticket for as low as a dollar. And that's exactly what I did. My round trip ticket came to $3 with service charges. It actually could have been $2.50 but I accidentally bought the tickets separately instead of together.
The bus left at 5:30 and we were scheduled to get into NYC at 9:45. Unfortunately for me, I sat in the very front seat, which I think are the handicapped seats. For some reason, Bolt Bus seems to think that those seats don't need plugs so I was unable to use my laptop during the trip. I did get online a bit with the IPOD touch and the Wifi on that had very good connection. I mostly just listened to an audiobook (don't want to say the name because it's rather embarrassing - trust me) the entire trip. The lady next to me was reading, but I think she didn't know about the reading lights above us because as it got darker she kept moving the book towards whatever light was coming from the window. I didn't get carsick on the ride, for the record.
We got into NYC at 9:30. I then proceeded to take my suitcase and hobble down the steps to the 34th and Penn subway station on my way to Brooklyn. I got a metro card for unlimited rides for the whole week which was a bargain at $27. I was really worried that I would get lost using the subway but it turns out it was actually pretty easy. I just needed to take the A/C or the 2/3 lines to get to and from Brooklyn. I got to my brother-in-law's place where there was a nice bed laid out for me and pretty much proceeded to pass out.
Tuesday, May 25th - I woke up at 5:15 because the sun was in my face. I was sleeping in one of the front rooms where there are no curtains and the sunrise was directly staring at me. Luckily I dozed on and off but boy the sun is bright! I left for the Javits center around 9am-ish to go pick up my badge. When I got off at the subway station, I made the mistake of walking the wrong way and found myself half a mile on the wrong side. Let me tell you, 34th street is LONG. The only miracle that can be found is that you are still alive when you get to the end. The Javits Center by the way is in the MIDDLE OF NOWHERE. Getting inside I was directed to the wrong place to get my badge (I'm press, not an attendee) but eventually got it. It was really nice to see my name, my blog and where I was from, but I felt totally puny when I saw someone with the same badge and it said "LA Times".
I was then scheduled to go on an tour of Penguin Books so I met up with Laura from I'm Booking It and we made the trek over there where we were joined by Swapna from S. Krishna's Books. When we got into the lobby, I got to meet for the very first time Alea from Pop Culture Junkie, Gail from Ticket to Anywhere, Jill from Fizzy Thoughts, Shanyn from Chick Loves Lit, Wendy from Caribous's Mom and Lenore from Presenting Lenore. Just meeting all them alone would have been enough to geek over as I have been tweeting with everyone and reading their blogs for years now. But then we got the tour of Penguin...
Lydia (who I have worked with before) was our fabulous tour guide, and I have to say I think we got the best tour out of all the groups. We went throughout the building and got to see several imprints that Penguin is in charge of. Even better, we got to go to the take shelves and got to grab as many books as we wanted! Among my grabs was an ARC of My Name is Memory by Ann Brashares, two books from the Amy Einhorn imprint and several Berkely Prime Crime books. We also got to meet Amy Einhorn herself. It's amazing how many really good imprints that Penguin has and how many good books they publish. Then all the book bloggers and the publicists got together in a room and introduced themselves and we got to talk with each other. I met several publicists from Dutton and The Penguin Press. I wanted to kick myself because I forgot to bring my business cards. But everyone was really nice and I'm looking forward to working more with them. I wish I could actually WORK for them, but I'm not too sure how a master's degree in history can work with a publisher.
After the tour, I grabbed some lunch and then headed back to Swapna's hotel to rest for a bit before heading back to the Javits Center to go to the Editor's Buzz panel. There I got to meet up with Dawn from She Is Too Fond of Books, Candace from Beth Fish Reads and Carey from The Tome Traveller. The panel was fascinating because I was introduced to several books that are not in the genres I normally read but sounded really good. There were some I wanted more than others (not a fan of the monkey book at all) and was excited to get an ARC of Juliet by Anne Fortier. The other one I was excited for was Room by Emma Donoghue but there was so much pushing and shoving that it was all gone by the time I got to the table. After the panel, I went out to dinner with Swapna, Dawn, Candace and Jill at Becco for some really good pasta that was unlimited. The ricotta ball things (I can't remember their name) was just divine and I could have eaten a whole pan of just those alone.
Then it was time to head back to Brooklyn and get some rest because the next day was going to be a LONG day. At this point, I was wearing flats I had bought for the trip and I thought I had broken into them already. WRONG. I had blisters on my feet and the backs of my heels were bleeding. It was going to be my Vans for the rest of the week.
Tune in Friday, for more of my recap of BEA...