Alexandra Duncan

Science Fiction. Fantasy. Feminism.

Things I Learned in New York

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Last week my husband and I flew to New York so I could meet my editor and all the wonderful people at Greenwillow Books who are helping to bring Salvage into the world. I learned a lot in two and a half days.

1. Everyone at Greenwillow Books and Epic Reads is extremely nice and enthusiastic. I wish I could hang out with them all the time.

2. Kevin Henkes is possibly the kindest and most down-to-earth person in the world, even after you have been fangirling all over him and have to explain that you are a librarian, not a random grown woman obsessed with picture books.

3. The best thing you could possibly hope to eat after getting lost in Chinatown during a snowstorm is a bowl of pork dumpling noodles and jasmine tea.

4. Avoid drunk Santas.

5. Subway rats can be cute. (But also too fast to photograph.)

6. I am not a fan of lox. I like sushi, so I thought I might like a bagel with lox, too. Sadly, no. I cannot handle fish early in the morning.

7. The employees of Katz's Deli are extremely adept at insulting each other. My favorite:

Employee #1: Hey, pendejo!

Employee #2: Yes, sir?

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8. The New York Public Library opens at 1 p.m. on Sundays, but you can hang out with the lions anytime.

9. The contemporary art gallery at MOMA is full of extraordinarily creepy 3/4 scale reproductions of people. Also, a piece of blue okra the size of a couch.

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10. I am beginning to suspect Edward Hopper was a peeping tom.

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11. Momofuku Milk Bar. Amazing. There are no words except "blueberry and cream cookies." I tried to recreate this cookie when I got back home, and even my failure was delicious.

12. If I lived in New York, I could eat every meal at Momofuku Milk Bar and never be in danger of being fat, especially if I lived in a walk-up.

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13. I would, however, spend all of my free time and money at The Strand.

14. My husband knows me better than anyone in the world. He picked out this souvenir for us from Obscura Antiques and Oddities. It's a skunk skull. I think we should name it Skully.

Look at its pretty teeth!

Look at its pretty teeth!

15. There is too much to do in New York in one weekend. We need to go back so we can check out the High Line, the Tenament Museum, the Cloisters and their unicorn tapestries, the Natural History Museum, and Books of Wonder, among other things.

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