Five Things I Love: March Edition

(1) French lessons from feisty macarons at Cakespy

Emailed to me from Eliza. Merci beaucoup!

(2) Spaced

The SINGULAR TELEVISION-RELATED THING I'm rewarding my good writing behavior with. I so so sososobadly want to be besties with Simon Pegg.

(3) Under Great White Northern Lights

The White Stripes' documentary and live album. I've been going through a secret (not-so-secret now) Jack White phase ever since It Might Get Loud. Which is another excellent documentary for music people! Just so you know.

(4) Little Brown Pen

A goooooooorgeous Parisian blog. Thank you, Shelf Elf, for sending me the link! I honest-to-goodness cried when I looked at it. I *still* miss Paris.

Luckily, travel is on the horizon . . .

(5) New York, New York

Next week, I'm leaving for six days in NYC. I'm visiting my publishing house and in-person meeting my incredible editor, Julie Strauss-Gabel, for the first time.

(Can I say that again?)


(Forgive me. One rarely gets to say things like that in life.)

I'm excited to say hello to everyone at Dutton and to thank them for treating Anna and the French Kiss with such kindness and respect. It takes a LOT of people to get a book published! I am only one teeny tiny little peon in the process. I can't wait to meet the people who are ACTUALLY MAKING IT HAPPEN.

So. I have a question for you, dearest readers.

The trip is longer than I'd originally intended, because I'm staying a few extra days to see Thom Yorke's temporary band, Atoms for Peace.

(Can I say that again?)


(For new readers, Thom is both my grouchiest Celebrity Boyfriend and my longest term Celebrity Boyfriend. We go way back. Like, I loved him before it was legal for him to love me back.)



ME: Hello, Love. Let's get married.

THOM: You're already married. And I'm in a long-term relationship with the mother of my children. She's a Dante scholar. She's brilliant.

ME: But I looooooove you.

THOM: Bugger off.

ME: I still looooooove you.

THOM: Fine. I love you, too.

ME: *kisses telephone*

THOM: Stop calling me at work. *click*

I've been to the city and done the touristy things before. (Well. Not all of them, because some touristy things are boring.) So I'm looking for WEIRD STUFF to do. And YUMMY STUFF to eat! My only other extracurricular plans so far are:

Tim Burton exhibition at MoMA
— Frozen hot chocolate at Serendipity

Unless their hot chocolate is overrated. Is it? Have you tried it? I'll be staying with friends in Brooklyn and popping in and out of Manhattan. Anything you recommend to me in my comments — in either city — is very, very welcome! Thank you!

Also . . . what are you loving this March?


  1. I'm not sure if this counts as touristy, but when I was there last year I saw THE LION KING on Broadway and it moved me to tears. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous!

    CONGRATS on getting to meet the ANNA team in person!

  2. Ooh, I was just in NYC! My favorite new place to eat there is Cafe Lalo. And the frozen hot chocolate at Serendipity was def. NOT overrated (but the food is not so great).
    Will comment again if I think of something else. Have fun!

  3. Abby — Thank you! I'd forgotten about seeing a play or musical!!

    Lilie — Ooo! Cafe Lalo was on my list for my LAST trip, and I never made it! (I have a slightly embarrassing soft spot for You've Got Mail, and there's a scene set there.) Thanks for the reminder. I'm so happy to hear it's good! And thank you for the warning about the food at Serendipity. NOTED.

  4. Sadly, I can't help. I've only been to NYC twice. Once was for a day when I was 10, and my parents were in charge. The other was a layover at JFK (not sure that even counts) But I can't wait to hear all about your trip. SO EXCITED FOR YOU!

  5. Your five things always make me smile:) You know I need smiles lately.

  6. Anonymous4:09 PM GMT-5

    I'm so glad you liked the link! And little brown pen is gorgeous! Thanks for sharing. Have fun in the great big shiny apple!

  7. I'm loving my new story. We're in that, "Oh-my-god-he's-so-cute-and-I-think-I-like-like-him" stage.

    Also, I have you to thank because I read your post on how you decided to write your story in Paris even though you hadn't spent a lot of time there and it totally gave me the courage to write this story in York, England even though I haven't spent a lot of time there.

    And, I'm loving it. So, thank you.

  8. Frozen hot chocolate was my favorite part about this post! But meeting your editor? Man, that's awesome too! It's a toss up... normally, I would say the hot chocolate since it's edible, but in this case I think the editor wins.

  9. Thanks for the music and the tasty little french lessons! I'm excited for you: NYC, your editor, frozen hot chocolate, and Thom Yorke. Oooh la la!

  10. Have a wonderful time! You deserve a little relaxation after your wrestling match with Second Novel.

    PS I love Simon Pegg...have you seen Hot Fuzz?


  11. Have fun! I love NYC. I'm going for BEA and I'm so excited. How cool to meet your publishers and editor!!

    Also I LOVE Simon Pegg! Shaun of the Dead is one of my all time favorite movies!

  12. Hmmmm...what to love in my March...

    1) March Madness (I'm a dude, go figure, haha)

    2) Nicer weather to sit outside and write in


    4) Having people I love tell me they can't wait to read my novel's first draft. My FIRST DRAFT, for Pete's sake! haha.

    5) Honeybees (I was excited to see THREE yesterday)

  13. I love your conversation with Thom Yorke. Have fun on your trip and can't wait to read your book.

  14. LOL!! No the hot chocolate is NOT overrated--it is delish and the cafe itself is quaint but sometimes too crowded and you can't get in! So plan wisely! HAVE FUN!

  15. Haha! I love your conversation with Thom Yorke. The frozen hot chocolate is NOT overrated. However, I suggest you do the burton exhibit and serendipity on a weekday as they are both CRAZY crowded. If the weather is nice you should walk over the brooklyn bridge! And if you're into sustainable, local food, you should try Northern Spy Co. Also, try and track down some declicious street food: the calexico food cart or scnitzel and things or waffles and dinges (I think they are all on twitter). Sorry, I live in NYC and I REALLY love food. I could go on forever.

  16. Thank you so, so much for these recommendations, everyone! Please keep them coming!! :)

    Shelley — I LOVE Hot Fuzz.

    Valerie — And I love Shaun of the Dead even more!

    Jade — How *wonderful*. Thank you for telling me, and congratulations!

  17. My friend just got back from NY (she is trying to pick between going to law school at NYU or Columbia). I asked her what her highlights were and she said...
    1) The Milk Bar - Banana Cake, she said it made her forget all other desserts.
    2) Levain Bakery - If you like cookies
    3) High Line Park

    I am so excited for her & that I will have a friend in NY so I can visit!!!

    One thing I have loved this month is Orange Blossoms, actually any citrus tree in bloom.

  18. I'm seconding both High Line Park and Brooklyn Bridge (if it's a nice day, go to the ice cream shop under the bridge on the Brooklyn side). There's also the pizza joint, Grimaldi's, over there, which always has a line and is always tasty.

    For a funky bar experience, I recommend Apotheke (http://www.yelp.com/biz/apotheke-new-york). From the outside, it looks like a random Chinese takeaway, except perhaps the people hanging around outside and the pimpin' '70s dude lounging in the doorway. Inside is a classy steampunk bar with chemists are bartenders. And it's in the heart of Chinatown, so easy to get a great, cheap dinner beforehand! But go on a Tues/Wed night if you can, to avoid crowded craziness.

    Also, the link I gave you goes to yelp, which is AMAZING for helping you find things. After going to Paris and craving macarons, nothing easier than to type in my work address and "macaron" and find two places right nearby. That place can give you better advice about awesome places to eat than I can. Another handy website is hopstop.com, which does an even better job than the MTA's stop of letting you know how to get from point A to point B, and what crazy things the trains like doing on weekends.

    If you find yourself on the Upper West Side, I recommend swinging by Westsider Books, which is everything a bookstore should be; and can't go wrong with eating at Artie's Deli. And it's also a good place to start a Central Park wander.

    Another thumbs up for Serendipity frozen hot chocolate, but yeah, eat before, and be prepared for an enormously long wait and don't go on a rainy/cold day lest you have to wait outside.

    And this is a handy site for info on getting theater tickets on the cheap (even cheaper than TKTS): http://www.talkinbroadway.com/allthatchat/index.php

    That's it off the top of my head, but really, lots of wandering will often yield the best results in a NYC trip.

  19. love your conversation with Thom Yorke. Have fun on your trip and can't wait to read your book.
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