Hello blog friends! If you follow me on instagram or twitter you're probably already aware of this: I recently spent a week in New York City! It was part work, part vacation, and utterly awesome. It was my first time there, but I doubt it will be my last. We're already trying to figure out when we can possibly go back!
So this post is basically a photo explosion of my trip to NYC.
I didn't draw a single thing while I was there. I think it's important to put down the drawing utensil sometimes, and just be a person, and have some experiences. Goodness knows there's enough to see and do in New York to keep your brain occupied.
First thing: we took the red eye from LA (Burbank, actually) to JFK. When we arrived we needed a nap and coffee. Since we stayed at the Ace Hotel there was a constant stream of Stumptown coffee available, and we are BIG fans of that stuff, so from this first cup onward we were basically just constantly caffeinated.
We took a buggy ride in Central Park! It was expensive but cool.
We did as much and as many touristy things as we could do, but we still didn't see it all. We saved some stuff for next time! I loved the ceiling of Grand Central Station.
Sean was really excited about this library because it's in Ghostbusters. FYI: most of what we knew about New York previous to actually visiting was from movies. I didn't think to go to the Tiffany's building (like in Breakfast at TIffany's) until after the fact. D'oh!
...Sean fits right in at the Saks Fifth Avenue that is actually ON Fifth Avenue! The first day we were there it was HOT and humid, and after walking around we ducked into Saks to drink iced tea upstairs and enjoy their complimentary air conditioning.
But really...Rockefeller Center was super beautiful.
I was deeply impressed by Zoltar at FAO Schwartz, having watched BIG about 5,000 times.
We went to Central Park several times, but didn't see the whole park. Not by a long shot. We did do more walking than I remember having done for a looooooong time...actually, probably about the same amount we did in the UK this past winter. Traveling and walking seem to go hand in hand. Our feet were aching at the end of every day, but it's the best way to see New York!! So many nooks, so many crannies that you only encounter on foot!
...spent some time by the Conservatory Water so Sean could play with the remote control sail boats.
Ah yes I ruined these sneakers. They are cheapos from Urban Outfitters, they don't have a long lifespan anyway, but they are ruined.
Yes we ate bagels! Somewhere in my brain I knew better than to ask for it to be toasted, but the lady behind me did NOT know this, and so got a good talking to by the cashier. "Yo, we don't DO that. Our bagels are baked fresh every day! We don't even HAVE a toaster!!"
Ate pizza at Lombardi's in Little Italy. It was pretty magical.
We found ourselves in Dean and Deluca one afternoon. I love it there.
Some friends of ours recommended this hot dot place. I'm a vegetarian, so I didn't have one, but I DID enjoy their over the top fruit decorations....and exuberant signage.
Here's the work part of my adventures: I got to visit the publishers that I'm working with right now! This is my visitor badge from Scholastic, and their amazing carpet which has their mission statement weaved right into it. SO cool.
I met up with the art director and book designer for a book I'm illustrating (to be announced!), and we had lunch and actually got to talk in person.
This is an odd side effect of being a freelance artist: often your 'co-workers' are remote, and even though you e-mail or talk on the phone, there's nothing that compares to meeting in person. My feeling is that that experience was super important...another reason I'd like to go back!
...well it WAS my vacation sort of, so I had my fair share of tasty drinks.
This is the lobby of Random House (doing a book with them too!), which was AMAZING. It's wall to wall books, on these cool shelves. Super impressive in person. I don't think the photo does it justice at all.
...and lunch with Random House folks! That's my agent Kirsten (who I also met in person for the first time on this trip), editor, book designer and me. I'm glad that Kirsten was friendly and thoughtful enough to get someone to take this picture...it was a lunch worth commemorating.
Oh yeah, and more fooling around in Central Park. I made Sean paddle me around in a boat. How could we NOT?!
...more Ghostbusters references.
I ate this big piece of coconut cake from Magnolia Bakery in the middle of the night.
...yeah, we did quite a bit of shopping, too.
I hit the Madewell flagship store, Uniqlo (never been before!) and window shopped at about a million boutiques.
We saw the Brooklyn Bridge!
We enjoyed the magical lighting of Central Park.
Here's me and my super-agent Kirsten. I'm so lucky to have her, you have no idea. You can follow her on twitter right here!
We went to the Empire State Building, but my camera had died already so no pics from up top. I did get this one from down below, though! This is from the bar at the Ace Hotel. I like how it's just peeking over the top of the other building. "hey guys!"
We didn't stay at the Maritime Hotel, but we did visit it and have a serious, serious crush on it. The lobby is so beautiful...look at those murals!
They had these tiny ships with tiny little sailors on them whaaaaaaaaaaaaaat!
Yeah. Just gorgeous. Just out of control.
This is the pattern on the couch. Amazing.
New Yorkers are really into beautiful flowers and that is a thing that I can get behind.
Of course, we spent a good chunk of time at the Met. We went to the Moma too, but I didn't take any pictures there. There were so many people taking pictures of Starry Night it was kinda gross, so I laid down my iphone for that visit.
Look at these rad Egyptian paintings though! The patterns! The textures!
I found a Rothko to match my collar.
Faberge flowers!! I bought some daisy earrings in the style of Faberge in the gift shop. I could not resist.
SO much stuff here...it was completely overwhelming.
I wanted to move into some of the rooms on display. Especially the really, really fancy ones.
The thing that really punctuated our day at the Met was this: it rained, hard, all day long. It poured. My feet got wet on the way from the subway station to the museum, and they did not dry out the whole time we were there. I also had blisters from walking so much, a very not nice feeling, which made me a rather grumpy customer.
This was hanging on a random wall looking very unimportant, but I loved it. Maybe I'll do some embroidery someday...
Now a little bit of the Ace Hotel:
Fresh giant flower bouquets!!
Cool vintage-y signage!
Giant hot pink peonies!
On our last day, while walking around the Flatiron building, we ran into a parade. What a way to make a last impression, NY!
...and now here we are home Los Angeles. Be it ever so humble, and festooned with freeways and palmtrees and celebrities, there's no place like home. I really happy to sleep in my own bed again.
And as for souvenirs...the experience itself is the best souvenir.
This Breakfast at Tiffany's cup is a close second, though.
...and also all the other stuff I bought.