Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The Big Picture (Bella's Excellent NY Adventure Part 5)

View from a senior publicist's office at Random House.

It's taken me so long to recap my New York trip two weeks ago, that now I'm ready to go on another trip--to my last hometown, Charlottesville, VA, for the Virginia Festival of the Book. More about that in later posts.

From Friday, March 9 thru Sunday, March 11, I:
  • Met with a publicist at Random House.
  • Visited a long-lost cousin of my father's on West End Avenue, where she's living alone and mostly forgotten (most of her friends and family are dead) in one of the last rental apartments in a fancy co-op building. She's been there 50 years, and I don't think her place has been painted in at least 30. She's a writer too; seems to run in the family.
  • Had lunch with a literary agent at the Stage Delicatessen. It was one of my father's favorite hangouts, but now it's a shade--and a vastly overpriced one at that--of its former glory. I'll never go back.
  • Met a friend at the Whitney to see the Gordon Matta-Clark exhibit, then had dinner. I can't remember the last time I saw art that made me see differently. This truly did.
  • Gave my Book Promotion 101 workshop & went to an Irish pub afterwards with most of the attendees.
  • Went to a preview of "Curtains" on Broadway. Got amazing seats, 6th row center, thanks to someone I know with the show. Wow! It's pure fluff, but also pure fun. In the first act, there's a great production number decrying critics, which fit right in with all the NBCC events.
  • Went to Sardi's after the show. This was another of my father's haunts, and happily it did not disappoint--except that no one dresses up anymore. Tatty jeans and ratty sweaters go poorly with the lush red decor and gazillions of caricatures of actors and actresses lining the walls. As soon as we were seated, I remembered being there as a little girl, looking in vain for a cartoon of my dad. I had a lot of time to reflect throughout the night, because we were served caffeinated coffee instead of decaf. Which brings to mind one of my all-time favorite movie lines, from Preston Sturges's CHRISTMAS IN JULY: "If you can't sleep at night, it isn't the coffee, it's the bunk!"
  • Had brunch with a longtime friend at Cafe Luxembourg. Love the Eggs Benedict with smoked salmon instead of Canadian bacon. And since I was in New York, I had to have cheesecake (oink!).
  • Dragged my exhausted carcass to LaGuardia, where my flight was delayed--natch!-- fortunately by only a half-hour or so.

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