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New York City: So many people. None of whom thought of alleys.

Why did you not put alleys between your buildings, New York? Did you just need to smush up against each other THAT much? Evidently yes, because you're willing to tolerate your trash sitting out on the sidewalk like it's the damn 14th century. 

Anyway. Let's get started.

I arrived in NYC late Thursday night, as is my wont so I can get that sweet sweet morning time in on Friday. Said morning time was spent watching Broad City with my brother Carl until I had to meet Jeff from Other Press for lunch. We went to a place called Smorgas. They had Scandinavian food. I classified this as "adventurous."


I got the gravlaks sandwich. I am still unsure what gravlaks is/are, but we also got herring, so now I feel like I can see The Girl King and feel like I am THERE. Also, hey, Scandinavia, lingonberries taste of nothing. You are all fooling yourselves.

Gravlaks with salad thing + potatoes

It wet-snowed all day Friday, which is why I had the voluminous hat seen in the first picture, which I stole from my brother-in-law Mike. I will not use an umbrella in the snow. It is unnatural and a crime against basic human awesomeness. This did, however, mean I showed up with frozen hair to meet my friend Meghan at Hachette.

Hachette's offices are so new and shiny! And they have a signed letter by J.D. Salinger just hanging out in a tiny room with other things! And Meghan gave me some books I am veritably thrilled about. (Jeff also gave me books, but Jeff's press is for Lacanian philosophers who like reading works in translation and I WILL TRY READING THEM, JEFF)

I'm actually really psyched about the
Montaigne from Other Press

The upper left is photographer Sally Mann's memoir, and it's ridiculously good already. So exciting. Much yay.

I went to dinner with Carl, Mike, and some friends of theirs at a place in Astoria called Bear. It's Russian and I ordered meatballs. Don't get meatballs. Get dumplings. Mmm. Dumplings. While at this restaurant, I had a fantastic conversation with a video game reviewer about how ethics in gaming journalism is bullshit, and a not-fantastic conversation with a photographer who asked me if all lesbians have bad taste in music, which happened after someone mentioned I super-love Meghan Trainor and think she is made of rainbows (or words to that effect). 

Y'know what, nope. All lesbians do not have bad taste in music. But my favorite reply to this (which I would never say, because Jesus and so forth) is "I don't know. Are all straight girls bitches?"

Which I believe was said by Meghan (of Hachette, not Trainor) the next day. God bless friends.

By the way, every night in this tale, Carl and Mike and I watched Property Brothers and the CW show The 100. So just weave that in and out, because it was always happening.

Saturday! A quick trot around FAO Schwartz and then a walk through St Thomas Episcopal with Blair from Quirk books, because Consuelo Vanderbilt was unhappily married in that church, you see. And we were looking at Consuelo Vanderbilt things. 

You're a way beautiful church, St Thomas

Then we ran up to the Museum of the City of New York, where there was a Gilded Age exhibit with some seriously bangin' jewelry. I'm not usually that impressed by shiny stones but damn. Also there was a Worth gown and I don't remember how I know that's a Thing, but it's a Thing.

We went by Emma Goldman's apartment BECAUSE I NEEDED TO and then ran through the Strand and then went our separate ways. Blair is very tall and ridic fun to hang out with. Oh! She also knows where to find tacos. Very good tacos. 

Enjoying myself in a socially acceptable way at the Strand

THEN I met up with Meghan at a vegetarian Indian establishment, where she rendered me NIGH SPEECHLESS with her academic breakdown of BeyoncĂ©'s career. Shit's impressive. You should probably hang out with Meghan. 

Sunday! Was Hang-Out-With-Alley-and-Her-Husband day. I love both of them. We always eat, and the Apple store is usually somehow involved, but THIS time they let me whirl around the Met gift shop and get excited about opera things, so, I thank both of you for that. 

We ended up going to a diner where I got:

1) a blue cheese burger 
2) cheese fries 
3) Nutella milkshake. 

Yeah. This is why I usually just eat hummus at home. If I'm allowed out, I make poor life decisions. 

We also! Also! Stopped at a bookstore on the Upper West Side called Book Culture that I really really liked because they had a RIDICULOUS number of books I wanted to buy. Alley's job was to tell me "No, Alice, you cannot buy that giant book, as you have no room in your suitcase." She did this very well, but allowed me to buy the comic Sex Criminals because it was paperback and bendy, and Meghan had told me the previous night that it is great

I did add The Language of Paradise by Barbara Klein Moss, American Queen: The Rise and Fall of Kate Chase Sprague by John Oller, and The Match Girl and the Heiress by Seth Koven to my TBR list on Goodreads because I want to read ALL of them.

I then literally saw a sign for the New York Historical Society and ran away from Alley and Alley's Husband (Alley, I don't know if I'm allowed to talk names or not help meee). There were quick hugs. I wasn't completely rude. But off! Off I went! Where I discovered that despite the top floor (i.e. the awesome one) being closed for renovations for over a year, admission was $19. Ahhh. So much money already spent on Nutella milkshakes.

So I had this conversation:

"If I'm a student and left my wallet at home, can I still get the student discount?"
"What school do you attend?"
"Normally no, but I'm feeling nice today. And NYU students get in free, so in you go."

Ahhhhhhh. I WANTED TO PAY YOU $12, HISTORICAL SOCIETY. I AM SORRY. But I spent 13 in their gift shop, so....that...evens out kinda, right? Kinda. Point being, I felt bad, but also the coolest thing they had was this road marker, and that's not THAT cool.

That night, Carl and Mike gave me whiskey and I recited about 70% of the X-Files episode 'Bad Blood' in tandem with Netflix. Then I passed out, woke up, and got on a plane home. And it snowed in Chicago because how about one last hurrah, y'know?

I'll keep visiting you, New York. There're a couple of museums I haven't seen yet. And Alley and I have to hit more burger places. And you just have so damn much stuff.


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