Greetings from Minneapolis! (And now I'm going to talk about New York.)

I feel as if I'm cheating on my current trip with this previous one! I'm currently visiting my sister's family in Minnesota. We're supposed to be at the zoo right now, but my nephew (wonderful, sweet) decided today would make a much better day for vomiting (orange, stinky).

So . . . I have a rare afternoon off!

Let's go back to New York, shall we?

Thank you so, so much to everyone who left suggestions in my comments. The embarrassing thing was that I only had two items on my to-do list — the Tim Burton exhibition and frozen hot chocolate — and . . . I didn't do either one! (To be fair, Burton was sold out. Which was UN-fair.) Also, the only comment that I directly answered, "Yes! I'll do that!" was Lilie's suggestion to eat at Cafe Lalo and . . . I didn't do that either! (I ate mac and cheese across the street at Fred's. It was delicious, and I made a new friend. Hi, Heather!)

But I will go back for the food I missed.

Anyway, here's what I DID do . . .

Thanks to comments from Connie and Gate Keeper, my friends and I went to the High Line, a new urban park built onto the old freight train lines above Manhattan's West Side. The day was GORGEOUS. Spring had just arrived in the city, and it was lovely to see it blooming between the old tracks:

Helloooo, billboard.

Marjorie and I, accompanied by my yellow magic bag of tricks.

But we didn't realize that not all of the High Line has been completed yet! So we decided to make the trek up to Central Park through the West Side.

The Upper West is so pretty!

Buuuut we weren't the only ones with this idea:


At the park, we saw more beautiful trees in various stages of spring:

Some white . . .

Some green.

And . . . we ate.

OF COURSE, we ate! We stopped inside the nearby Levain Bakery, which was also recommended by Connie. (And by someone else, too. I'm sorry, I forgot whom!) The Levain Bakery is famous for their SIX OUNCE cookies.

Their sexy, sexy SIX OUNCE cookies:

Extreme sexy close-up. (Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip.)

Marjorie and Manning modeling Chocolate Chip Walnut. Oh la la!

Yeah. Two thumbs up for Levain! Or six, if you count all of our thumbs.

And . . . there was more delicious foodage. Most of it I didn't photograph, but I couldn't resist this happy shot of Marjorie and her beloved Nutella:

And this was from The Bagel Store in their neighborhood. Whole wheat with jalepeƱo cream cheese. YUM:

It makes me despise North Carolina bagels.

More Brooklyn . . . stuff:

Look! It's a thing on a roof! I LOVE things on roofs!

For the wizard rockers who read my blog. Looks like the cover to a Harry and the Potters album, no?

This was the most random thing of the trip:

A dirty wine glass filled with water and a jar of achiotina. Like you do. (What is this story??)


"Tom Hanks? More like TOM HUNKS!"


Though this . . . well, this was a close second:

Oh, what's that? You can't read it? ALLOW ME TO ENLARGE:

And now I'm gonna look for one of those for my nephew.

(Just kidding. I promise. Sort of.)

EDITED TO ADD: I miss you, M&M. Thank you for a perfect week.


  1. I must go to that bakery next time I am in NY!

  2. Ohhhh man. I NEED Nutella in that size.

  3. That totally does look like a Harry and the Potters album.


  4. Awesome, Steph. As always! What else is awesome (if you don't notice my post on Facebook right away, that is)? The interview in my newest Writer's Digest issue of THE Kate Schafer Testerman. Yes, THAT Kate. haha. Very nice article! Wooo kt literary! :)

    Word verification: "duskera" ...Is that what dusk puts on its face to make it darker??

  5. Aw, your High Line experience looks much nicer than when I was there last month. Am jealous of all the blooms!
    I'm sure Cafe Lalo will be around for a while yet, so there's always next time :) I might be in the city again in June -- if so I am making a beeline for those massive Levain cookies!

  6. Let's trade lives for like a week or something. Yes?

  7. Stephanie! How long are you in MN?! If you're here for the weekend we should strive to meet each other for coffee, even if it's for half an hour!

  8. It's been 17 years since I was last in NYC and I've wanted to go back since the very second I stepped on the plane to go home. Loved the place!

    Look at you going to visit parks and noticing the nature. I went to Beer Expo...memories are a little groggy....

    I have nehver seen a jar of nutella that size. It's WOW! My son (who has major food issues and who I struggle to get protein into) eats Green and Blacks organic chocolate spread - one jar of which probably costs the same as that humungous jar of Nutella (still it is packed with hazelnuts which are …y'know…packed with protein … or am I just another sukka?).

  9. Woo Hoo!
    I'm in Minnesota! (waves at you from St Paul)

    Straight up that was the best graffiti in the history of the world.

  10. Stephanie, you're really funny and really nice. In case it's been a while since someone reminded you.

  11. Ooh, I'm totally going to check out that garden when I go to BEA next month! Looks like an awesome trip!

    (Also, can you even call them bagels if they're in North Carolina? I think not.)

  12. NUTELLA!!! <3 I didn't think Nutella jars came in that size. :P

    Beautiful photographs. :)



  13. haha! I love your picture posts! I mean who thinks to photograph all this weirdo stuff? I love it!!!!

    Glad you had fun :)

    Please make sure you add Oxford, MS to your eventual book tour. Penguin loves our town so I'm sure it will be okay :)

  14. Hellooooo Billboard! I really really really want to take a trip to NY. And Paris. And... you should TOTALLY come with me! That jar of Nutella is HUGE- please tell me you brought one back? When it's empty you can use it as a hat or something- NO. Make a LAMP! Hope everything is working itself out- we (or at least I) want a Lola update! :D (Oh, and we have North Carolina Bagels? I know we physically have them here, but...?)

  15. 6 ounce cookies? Oh my! (Although the bagel looks more delicious! I want!).

  16. Gotta love things on roofs! My dream is to one day have a roof writing space. :)

  17. Bwahahahaha. We need better graffiti in Michigan. I'm just sayin'.

  18. Thanks for the shout out to Levain! Can't wait to see you and your friends back again soon at the bakery!

  19. Did Levain Bakery just comment on your blog?! Man I was just looking at those cookies and thinking man I can't wait till my friend moves there so I can go.
    Also I need Nutella that big, I have been working on making french crepes and have been going through the small jars. Don't worry I will make you some when you come to visit.

  20. PS I wanted to say I LOVE your yellow magic bag of tricks!

  21. Ha, I just now saw these! I'm gonna steal some for my Mostly Brooklyn blog, and there's nothing you can do about it!

  22. A) The High Line is fantastic! My best friend goes to school in NYC and she took me there once. I should persuade her to take me again.


    C) I read ANNA pretty recently and I loved it. I had to stay up till 3 am to finish it. HAD TO, I tell you. And as an enormous history nerd, the fact that Etienne is also a history nerd made him probably one of the most serious book-crushes I've ever had.

    D) I reviewed ANNA on my blog, and a commenter told me to come here. I have spent ALL DAY reading your blog... which is why I am now somewhere in April. You are awesome.