I’m sitting in the Sheep Meadow in Central Park on a perfect Saturday afternoon. The 15 acre lawn offers so much that I crave — a bucolic shady tree-bordered landscape of vast openness and green all within a short walk from my apartment. And even though the place is somewhat crowded today with a fun and interesting mix of babies, twenty-something babes, shirtless cute guys, spooning lovers, frisbee dudes and uber picnic-ers swilling cabernet and munching goat cheese pesto somethings, I managed to find a shady tranquil spot under a tree.
On very good days, the wifi works and I’m endlessly productive. Without wifi, I silently complain but it’s still amazing and particularly gorgeous, especially on this not-too-hot day. Because no matter how often I go, the Sheep Meadow always takes my breath away.
This past Thursday, I did a book signing at BEA, (BookExpo America), one of the largest book expos in the United States. It’s a madhouse and massive and fascinating. Imagine an ocean of publishers’ booths, one after the other, all peddling their upcoming books. Although I’ve been to BEA, I never did an actual BEA signing. My mood went from excited to somewhat scared to really scared to relieved to exhaustion to absolute exhilaration.
Right before the signing started I had that Charlie Brown-type moment of epic panic that no “autograph” seekers would visit my booth. (BEA calls the sessions “autographing events.”) However, my Snoopy troupe (otherwise known as my editors and publicist) were very reassuring. I really liked connecting with so many people through a book, or actually, my book. I found that to be so moving and cool to share that experience. And I was stoked to see so many librarians getting books signed for their collections (I was signing both My City, My Los Angeles and My City, My New York.) I mean I’m the biggest library geek ever so that really touched my heart.
The signings are one hour each then the next author immediately takes your place so you have to be out of there and quick. So the second the signing ended, my editor, Amy, shared that Nicole Polizzi (aka Snooki) was at the booth right behind my publisher’s booth singing postcards to promote her upcoming pregnancy book, Baby Bumps, but we had to move fast to another part of the hall to make it in time.
We raced through the crowds to the Snooki booth and I had a chance to very briefly chat with the suntanned wonder. She’s actually a tiny thing and was kinda mellow and sweet. When I told her my first name she said, “that’s different” so she seemed engaged. In the My City, My New York vein, I had to ask Snooki about New York. I only had about 30 seconds with her, but here’s what she told me. (If I wasn’t rushed, I would have thrown in some New Jersey questions too.)
“I love that New York is always alive. If you want to go out at 3am to get a cup of coffee, you can. In Jersey you can’t do that. One of my favorite places in New York City is Sushi Samba. I like the music and I love sushi. It has a nice lounge and I like their Cali rolls. They’re simple.” - Nicole Polizzi (aka Snooki)
I have actually become a sushi fan, so I’ll have to check out those “Cali rolls.”
And thanks for reading.
P.S. A giant shout out to Dina Zuckerberg and Amy Lyons for taking such great photos!
Photo credits: Dina Zuckerberg and Amy Lyons