NYC + Book Con Recap
Thursday was our travel day. My husband traveled with me which I loved because we got to experience New York together for the first time. Travel days can be a long, long day and this one was no exception. To traveling to the airport, going through TSA and several delays due to bad weather -- it was a LONG one. One book that did get me through it was Ocean Voung's On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous. Once, we finally made it to NYC we only had enough time to check into our suite and grab dinner. We decided to try STK Midtown. In a nutshell, the service was amazing but the food sadly was not. The food was overpriced and mediocre. It also didn't help that i was not feeling my best health wise. Ah, you live & you learn.
Friday, our experience was redeemed. We started the day visiting the National 9/11 Memorial & Museum. It was very organized, yet overwhelming. We are big history lovers so it was a humbling experience to see the museum for ourselves and reflect on a sad time for so many people. After the museum, we jetted to Brooklyn and was completely captivated by the views of Brooklyn Bridge Park. Listen yall, this was one of my favorite experiences while visiting. From the views, to the people, to the atmosphere -- it was a dream to finally see it all in person.
After this, we visited a Jamaican eatery + it was the best meal I had while visiting New York. I highly, highly recommend the curry chicken with the veggies. Thank me later! Soon after, we visited three bookstores on my must visit list. First up, Books are Magic which needs no introduction. Then, Center for Fiction which was so so dreamy. Lastly, was McNally Jackson which was buzzing with people. After book #shopping, we made our way to Chinatown and Little Italy.
Later that night, I had the opportunity to have dinner and meet my friends (Anna, Renee, Traci and Marlowe) for dinner. It was such a great night of food, talks and laughter. I feel immensely grateful for these women because we can go from chatting about books to life and more.
After a full day on Friday, Saturday marked the beginning of Book Con. Before I went to the conference, we had to make our way to Harlem. We started with brunch at Red Rooster Harlem (yum!) and then we visited the iconic Apollo Theater. After that, we hopped on over to the Bronx and visited the only bookstore in the borough, The Lit Bar. Let me tell ya, The Lit Bar is amazing. The selection was great and the owner, Noelle, is so sweet and welcoming.
After shopping, I finally made my way to the Javits Center for #BookCon. I walked in and it was completely overwhelming (LOL!). There are bookworms, exhibitors, publishers, and books EVERYWHERE. I highly, highly recommend if you are interested in going to BookCon is to have a plan on where you want to go, what panels you want to listen in on and books that are must haves. After navigating the crowds, I found my friends + attended a signing for Akilah Hughes' Obviously. We also attending Penguin RandomHouse's Ice Cream social which was a treat. There was meetups, ice cream and books (plus merch!).
After BookCon, Traci (our fearless NYC leader), showed us how to take the subway for the first time. After that, we meet up yet again to attend a #bookstagram meetup hosted by Morgan aka nycbookgirl. I was able to meet so many book friends IRL + it was a treat. It was so nice to finally put a face to a @handle and just engaging in great conversations.
Sunday was PANEL DAY and (sadly) my last day in NYC. My husband and I ate breakfast at our hotel. Then we headed straight to Javits to attend Book Con.
I sat on the panel titled THE FUTURE OF THE ONLINE BOOK COMMUNITY which was moderated by Christina Marie. I was so grateful to have this opportunity because I am so passionate about the book community and also about inclusiveness and being intentional in reading and the community (plus publishing industry) as a whole. I sat in conversation with Spencer and Olivia. We had a great turn out and had an organic conversation about the community. On a personal note, I was super nervous at first but I was happy to finally get in my groove and relay my thoughts. Plus the feedback from the audience was great! The other treat was running into one of my favorite YA authors, Tiffany D. Jackson on the way out. It was a great experience and one that will truly stay with me.
If you've made it this far, thanks for reading and if you have frequented any of the spots I've visited or if you were at the panel, feel free to leave me your thoughts!