New York State of Mind

Every fall we spend a week in the city. I love New York. I love the wonderful mix of old buildings with the new and sleek, the energy and color, the mix of voices, the way the city shines at night, and all the possibilities it offers.

I’m a country girl at heart, and I need the quiet, the alone, the trees and the gardens. But I consider it a real gift to be able to come to the vibrancy of New York once or twice a year, and absorb the contrast.

We’ve stayed at the same hotel for years and years. They know us here, so it’s a home away from home for this bubble of time. They remember my birthday, and that’s sweet and fun, every year. We have a wonderful space here with fabulous views, and I know the turf, so that makes it easy to get where I want to go.

The hotel welcome
The hotel welcome

I like to hit the ground running when we’re here, and hit the streets as soon as I’m unpacked. Routinely I get another big chunk of my holiday shopping done while I’m here, and this year has been no exception. I’d say, Christmas shopping is a solid 90% done!

We traveled on Tuesday, BW, Jason and I. Crammed in some shopping, had a lovely Italian dinner. I had my mission mapped out for Wednesday, and Laura, who’d driven up to spend some time with her family in the area, joined us. Check, check, checking gifts off that holiday list, a fun lunch at a favorite pub, walking the city in amazing weather.

One view
One view
photo 2
A different view.

Kat arrives very, very late Wednesday night, and she and I spend Thursday shopping with my editor and agent, a light lunch, spending time together, again in wonderful weather more like spring than fall. Shoes were a big part of the hunt.

Then the whole group has an early dinner, walking to the restaurant, and from there walking to the theater. The weather adds to everything as it’s so much more special to see the city on foot than from the back of a car.

We saw Finding Neverland, which was magical. Broadway is its own magic, but there are some shows that grab the heart and the throat, and this one absolutely did. There was a young girl, maybe eight or nine, in the row in front of me. She was mesmerized. I felt exactly the same.

Specific shopping for a certain granddaughter on Friday, and both BW and I need new phones. Mission accomplished with a big assist on the tech from Jason. The fun, the practical and the necessary are dealt with. Basically, if you can’t find it in New York, it doesn’t exist.

We have an extra treat on Saturday with a visit from some of Kat’s extended family. Kids! So much fun! And Laura’s daughter comes by. We have pizza and cookies, and a really good time.

Today started rainy, so I chose cardio in the room, not sure if I’d do much walking. Added yoga because. Laura and BW are all about Sunday football. Jason is, bless him, dealing with some issue with my phone. Kat’s putting things together for a short foundation meeting.

When the weather clears, and the meeting’s done, I get that walk in after all. The sun’s come out, and the day’s gloriously balmy. Tourists are out in droves, and skaters glide on the rink at Rockefeller Center. Come back between games, and another visit from Laura’s adorable Clare. So we head up to our rooftop terrace for group pictures. Silly fun.

Nora and Clare (Laura's daughter) showing cause and effect.
Nora and Clare (Laura’s daughter) showing cause and effect.


Jason, Nora, Bruce, Laura, Clare and Kat
Jason, Nora, Bruce, Laura, Clare and Kat

You can also see, especially those who’ve asked or are confused: Laura is Laura, Nora is Nora. Nora writes the books. Laura handles the social media, the schedule, the outside details. Basically, Laura handles me.

Jason and Kat have to head home tonight. Miss them already.

Tomorrow we plan to head downtown for our last day in the city. Maybe hit the High Line, grab some lunch, enjoy the bustle.

And who knows. There are all those possibilities out there.


18 thoughts on “New York State of Mind”

  1. There is such energy in NYC. For a small town Canadian girl, it was magic. The people….. the sound of the street…. the buildings. Yes, I look forward to my next time there. Thank you for bringing it all back for me.

  2. Went to NYC years ago & loved it. On bucket list to go back. But since I’m rereading High Noon, Savannah has been added to said list. You make these cities come alive for us. Thank you! Have a safe trip home.

  3. There’s nothing like ‘The City’. We lived there for 7 years & our kids were born there. Then life & a promotion to management brought us up to New England. A seacoast town in northern Massachusetts is a world away from the bustle of New York. We head down now & then because we can’t stay away!! Glad you had a good trip…now I have to get cracking on my own Christmas shopping…

  4. Happy Birthday Again. Sounds like a great trip. And thank you Nora for writing the books. Thank you Laura for handling Nora and the details that come with being a well known writer!

  5. Happy Birthday! I am glad you are enjoying my hometown. I grew up here but left for about 10 year and have been back for about 20 years. I experienced country living during the time I was away. I would never have believed that I could have lived among the tree farms in rural Virginia but I did and loved it. I came back NYC a changed person and only did so reluctantly as I couldn’t find a job where I was living. During that time I discovered that I like the quiet as well and when I came back I was lucky to find a quiet neighborhood in Upper Manhattan. Although it isn’t country quiet it is nothing like the hustle and bustle of midtown or downtown.

  6. I’m from a very small town, and I’m afraid NYC would eat me up. My father was a policeman, and there were only 3 police cars. Our fun for the day was guessing which numbered car he would bring home at the end of his shift. WooHoo!

  7. Happy Birthday. Our birthdays are two days apart. Also, welcome to my town. I was born here, and never left. I’m glad you have a view of the Chrysler building from your hotel. It’s the most beautiful and iconic building in the city.

    The weather was cold and nasty last week. It cleared up in your honor .Wednesday will again be rainy and storming, so as soon you leave. You need to come here more often.

    Re: shoes- I’m the expert- I have over 200 pairs. They are my weakness. You must try Saks Fifth Ave for shoes- they have the biggest selection in the city. I’ve heard it said the shoe floor has it’s own zip code. You are smart for coming now- closer to the holiday season, the city is just too crowded with tourists. But tourists like you are welcome, anyday.

    1. I know the eighth floor of Sak’s very well! Angels sing when the elevator doors open.

  8. I spent a week in NYC in May and had a similar experience to yours. Beautiful sunny weather, walking everywhere and lots of great shopping! I was alone and yet never felt alone, weird that!
    I stayed at the Intercontinental, Times Square and enjoyed that location very much. Other times I’ve been in Chinatown or outside the city core and came in by tube (Subway). I paid particular attention to the locations in the In Deaths but don’t know the city well enough yet.
    Thanks for the blog

  9. Thanks for sharing your week with us again. I love New York but I would not want to live there. The hustle and bustle for a day or two suits me fine for a year. Laura’s Clare is lovely and looks like a mini Laura. Safe travels home.

  10. That aerial picture was breathtaking! Glad you’re having great weather for your trip. Thanks for sharing!

  11. So happy you had a wonderful time in my hometown. Hope you’ll come to Brooklyn next time around. Thank as always for writing. (Waves hi to Laura )!

  12. My wife works about two blocks from the High Line and Chelsea Market…just this morning, while driving into the city, we listened to the part of Concealed in Death where Dallas catches a kid thrown her way on the High Line…

  13. Never been to NYC even though I’ve lived around the world. Europe, Asia, East Coast, West Coast, North, South and Midwest. Everywhere, everywhere EXCEPT New York. How did that happen??

    As I’m no longer able to travel, I do love reading about your
    trips and looking at your photos. Thanks so much for taking the time to do this for us. You’re the best! ?

  14. Thanks for sharing! I’ve never been to NYC. but love seeing pictures.

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