Saturday, June 20, 2009

New York, New York

We went to New York for Spring Break, and I fell in love with New York City the way people fall in love with human beings. I'd been only twice before--when I was eleven and when I went for the SCBWI Winter Conference in 2007--but I had hardly seen more than the hotel in 2007, and I haven't been eleven for...uh, a couple years. I am one of the first members of my family to be born outside of New York and Massachusetts since my grandparents and great-grandparents arrived in the U.S. way back when, so even though we were total tourists (except for my hubby, who had to work one day), I could somehow feel my roots. And it was such a blast being there!

The photo above is the view from our hotel room. Whenever we weren’t out exploring, I found myself glued to a window.

I'm clearly not the only writer (or artist or actor) to visit New York with huge hopes for the future. When we were there, I was like a walking, talking cliché, drooling over the publishing houses we stumbled upon. This is me outside of Simon & Schuster. Note that nobody is actually inviting me in. Of course, it was nighttime, but my point is that they haven’t heard of me. Yet. Hee! A girl can dream… When I emailed this pic to my critique group, my subject line was “Me Likey”.

The Dream is a huge reason NY is so exciting to me, it’s not the only one. I love the smell of the street vendors' hot dogs, walking in the crowds between the buildings, and all the energy. I also love the subway! If I lived there, I'd be eating street hot dogs, riding the subway for fun (yes, I'm that geeky), jogging in Central Park, and staring out my windows at the people and the motion whenever I wasn’t writing. I like the crowds, the sirens, the way it rains (different than Washington rain), the way it smells (even the smell of the subway, except for the day it smelled like vomit), the skyscrapers, the grid, the history, and the way it allows me to feel both sides of my family in the same place.

I'd love to live there someday, even if only for a few months. The cost of living... Well, I guess I wouldn't have much time to eat street hot dogs, ride the subway for fun, jog in
Central Park, and stare out my windows because I’d be working two jobs on top of my writing. But it's a dream world for me. I feel like I'm a part of the fabric when I go there, even as a tourist, because of my family; I hope to become a bigger part because of my writing.


West Sound Wildlife Shelter said...

Dawn, what an awesome blog! I love it -- I'm gonna hook up the rss feed. I especially ate up the query letter posting and this NYC one....

(Also, so glad you like the FE site! It was such a labor of love, lol.)

I'm trucking along - hope to finish the current ms this summer, but who knows how it'll all work out. I'd love to keep you posted, if you don't mind!

BJW said...

Well said Dawn. I've only been to NY once for a winter SCBWI conference as well but it made a huge impression. I really wished I would have seen the inside of the NY public library. I hear the two lions are named Patience and Fortitude (don't quote me). If I go again (hopefully), I'm sitting on them and taking a picture of it. Geeky and touristy, so be it. I'm doing it.

I appreciate your musings on NY. You've just reminded me of why I want to go back again and what an extraordinary place it is. Keep writing like this and those publishing houses will be visiting YOU!

Dawn VanderMeer said...

Thank you, Elsa! And DEFINITELY keep me posted on the manuscript! "Mi blog-o es tu blog-o". I'm totally cheering for you!

Ben, thank you so much for the kind words. You made my evening!