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NYC and BEA bound!

May 17, 2012

After spending the last few years green with envy at everyone’s BEA excitement, I finally get to experience it for myself! And I am SO EXCITED! Also, nervous, but we will get to that.

Husband & I are actually going to New York for our annual anniversary trip (they’re definitely not usually this extravagant [and yes, to me a week long trip to NY is extravagant], our previous trips have all been within driving distance of home), so we will have a few days of touristness and then he has agreed to be left alone for two whole days while I get my bookishness on.

I went back & forth about whether I should go to the BEA Blogger Conference or to the Unconference happening on the same day. It’s something I lamented over for weeks before finally coming to the conclusion to go to the BEA Con. My primary reason for going to BEA is to meet and hang out with other bloggers, and the BEA Con still seems like the best place to do so. (Well, yes, laziness did play a small factor. I had already registered for the BEA Con before all that hoopla came up that resulted in the Uncon, and I wasn’t all that into the idea of having to unregister and then reregister for just one day of BEA.)

So, I will be at the Blogger Con on Monday and BEA on Tuesday. And I really don’t know what fully to expect. Thus, I have questions!

1) Have you planned out your BEA days or will you wander around the exhibition hall? I have installed the BEA app on my phone, which is wonderful, but I’m not sure how planned out I want my day to be (also not sure if I will have phone coverage while I’m there [see below]).
2) Will you come armed with a list of upcoming books you may be interested in obtaining? If so, where would one find such information? (The list on the BEA app doesn’t seem complete. Will it be updated as we get closer to BEA?)
3) If you have been to NY before, what is one thing you recommend doing? My list of what hubby & I can do in NY is ever growing!
4) Fellow out-of-country-ers – what do you recommend doing for cell phone coverage while in NY? Or do you just *gasp* go without?
5) Most importantly: Will you be at BEA and do you want to meet up?? This is where the nervousness comes in. I’ll be perfectly honest, I’m a little afraid I will spend the day wandering around all alone. Which I know is unfounded because there will be other bloggers there also worried they will be alone. So… let’s be alone together? Another reason why this worry is unfounded? The lovely Cindy has already reached out about meeting up on the Tuesday, so I know I won’t be all alone the entire time ;)
Anyway, if you want to meet up, let me know in the comments or feel free to email me (alitareads[at]gmail[dot]com). Even if you’re not going to BEA but will be in NY sometime between May 30th & June 6th, I’d love to get together with you!

Any other BEA or NYC advice you have to give, I will gratefully receive. For other BEA newbies, I’ve been watching Miss Remmers’ BEA advice vlogs from last year (what to bring, what to wear), which have been very helpful.

Last questions: If you are going to BEA, what are you most looking forward to? What books are you most looking forward to getting?

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18 Comments leave one →
  1. cindyloveofbook permalink
    May 17, 2012 4:32 pm

    I am so excited to finally meet you Alita. It will be awesome to hang out with you :) Just remember to wear comfortable shoes.

    • May 25, 2012 3:26 pm

      Ah, yes, my comfy shoes will be the first thing going in my suitcase :)

  2. May 17, 2012 4:33 pm

    O I sooooo want to go. Someday. Oh yes. Someday!

    Enjoy darling!
    Take a zillion pictures and give us a full report.

    • May 25, 2012 3:27 pm

      I will come back armed with pictures and notes and bookish news to share with you!

  3. May 17, 2012 4:52 pm

    It’s been years since I’ve been to BEA and when I was there I was working so I didn’t get to do all the fun things I wanted to but I still have some great memories.

    Since it’s been so long for me my only real BEA advice is — comfortable shoes. The Javits Center is huge! Like really huge!

    As for NY, I don’t know where to start. :) I love that city so much and want to tell you everything I know and say go here, go here, go here. But that’s sort of unfair, so here goes. Union Square and The Strand. You must go to The Strand even if it’s just to stare in amazement at the miles and miles of book. Yes, miles of books. Blue Ribbon is a great restaurant and open really late, like 4AM late. I don’t recommend eating that late but that’s what it’s know for so I feel I must say it. Also, the food was really cool and eclectic. If you just want to wander around, St. Mark’s Place is a great neighborhood to do that. There’s always Central Park, Natural History Museum (the big blue whale!), and Times Square too but if you’ve been there before, all are skipable. These place all are very touristy but if you’ve never been there, worth a look.

    If you want more, email me and I’m happy to help with a few more places. I’m looking forward to our annual trip there now. It’s only a few hours away so we try to get there for the day at least once a year.

    Happy Anniversary! We’ll be celebrating our anniversary around that same time too. :)

    • May 25, 2012 3:23 pm

      Thanks so much for all your suggestions! I’ve only been to NY once before, and that was for a 2 day work trip so it barely counts. So husband & I are planning on doing All The Things. Or, As Many As The Things Before We Drop From Exhaustion.

      Central Park, Times Square, and Natural History Museum were all on our list, but now Union Square and St Mark’s Place are on there too!

  4. May 18, 2012 7:07 am

    Fantastic! BEA is a lot of fun, but it can be overwhelming. Last year, I looked through the schedule and had picked out some autographing sessions and giveaways that I wanted to try to make it to, which helped me feel like I wasn’t just wandering the floor aimlessly. I wouldn’t schedule out your whole day, but having some sort of plan will probably be helpful.

    Also, think about which publisher/imprints you like to read. I found that it was easier to go up to booths and start chatting with people if I knew a book from that publisher that I had recently read and liked. It was a good starting point, you know?

    I think I will be at the BEA Con too, so I’m looking forward to meeting you!

    • May 25, 2012 3:26 pm

      I’ve started working on a list of publishers and their authors I enjoy, but I need to actually finish that up this weekend.

  5. celialarsen permalink
    May 18, 2012 7:12 am

    Oh yay! So glad you get to go (I am too, for the first time). Maybe we’ll meet up at the BEA Bloggers Conference? Have fun in NYC!

    p.s. I second whoever said go to The Strand – it’s worth it for the sheer size and number of books!

  6. May 18, 2012 9:04 am

    Three chears for NYC trips!

    Last year, I went through the autographing schedule and put anything that interested me into my iPod’s calendar so I’d have a convenient to-do list throughout the day. (I did try the BEA app, but for some reason it refused to save any of my stuff.) I did the same when the autographing schedule went live this year, but it looks like they’ve changed the listings now so they’re much harder to browse through. Poop.

    I did find a lot of other books just at the booths, too–things by authors who weren’t at BEA to autograph. I second Kim’s recommendation: it’s a good idea to lurk around the booths of publishers you enjoy, talking to people and seeing if anything impromptu happens.

    As far as NYC itself goes, the Strand is definitely a must-visit! I particularly loved the cheapies carts on the sidewalk. If I hadn’t already acquired forty pounds of BEA books, I’d have gone hog wild there. The Met is a must-visit if you’re into museums, and Central Park is gorgeous. The High Line is also pretty great, and I imagine they’ve expanded it quite a bit since I was there. The MOMA and the American Museum of Natural History were both enjoyable; I especially liked AMNH for the retro fixtures. Battery Park was nice, but I skipped the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island because they take about 5-6 hours to see and that was just too big a time investment for somebody whose relatives came to North America via Halifax.

    5th Avenue is pretty cool just to walk along, too. I loved FAO Schwartz, the cathedral and the library, but I initially walked right past the Empire State Building because all the interesting bits are way far up in the sky.

    Ooh, and Union Station is pretty nice! There are constellations on the ceiling and a surprisingly good food court in the basement.

    Cell phones: I stuck to texting last year, since I got a $0.35/text rate. That’s not an option this year, so I bought a SIM card from Roam Mobility and I’m going to go on their 3/day unlimited talk & text plan.

    Meeting up: we must get a beer and/or wait in BEA lines/experience BBC panels together.

    /extremely long comment

    • May 25, 2012 4:18 pm

      Three cheers for extremely long comments!

      Thanks for all your advice & suggestions! I think I’m going to stick with texting, too, since I think our roaming rate isn’t too bad.

      It turns out that the Strand is pretty close to where we’re staying… and it’s open late… so I might be there more than once.

  7. May 18, 2012 2:40 pm

    The Greenwich Village tour through this site was the HIGHLIGHT of my trip to New York: http://foodsofny.com/

    I’m actually surprised I didn’t tell you all about it at book club.

  8. alexia561 permalink
    May 20, 2012 2:23 pm

    How exciting! Happy early anniversary!

    You’ll be told several times that comfortable shoes are a must. Believe it! I know people that had to actually buy new shoes as their feet hurt so much! There’s a list of author signings on the BEA website, so I usually put together a spreadsheet of who I really want to see, but try to wander around as well. Wandering around is how I stumbled across the Jan Brett signing! :)

    I actually prefer wandering around on my own, but enjoy meeting people while standing in line. You’ll be surprised how easy it is to start talking, as you know you already have a love of books in common. And I’m usually shy and have a hard time talking to strangers, so if I can do it, so can you! Trust me, you will have a blast!

    • May 25, 2012 4:19 pm

      Ahhh, talking to strangers! I am not a fan of doing this, but if you say it’s easy at BEA, I will believe you :)

  9. May 25, 2012 8:41 pm

    So so jealous. Good for you and for your hubby. I’ve never gone, but maybe someday. You will have so much fun. I LOVE The Strand, but I have to think with all of the other books you’ll be getting the trip there may be wasted (but that’s assuming you can’t send home too many books ;))
    Both Jason and I are huge fans of the Met and we go everytime we’re in NYC. It attached to Central Park so that’s a bonus.
    Have a fabulous time!!

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