April 19, 2014

A BEAst of a Convention

Okay guys. BEA is in 40 days. (Yes, I have a countdown on my phone.)

I've been seeing all kinds of posts about the big weekend and, as a Native New Yorker and BEA veteran, I feel like it's my responsibility to contribute something somehow. However, I don't think I have anything really useful to say that others haven't said. Really, I'd say my friend Shae's covered a lot of really important logistical things you should probably know about (her name is the link to the first of those posts). And I hate to be repetitive, especially when the stuff Shae's put together is so good

So instead I'll do what I always do when it comes to this stuff: Get a little silly.

First, as you can so clearly see, BEA is a BEAst of a Convention. In fact, I might just start calling BEA, BEAst, and the new hashtag will be #BEAst14. You're all welcome to join in on the sheer awesome of that pun whenever you like.

Second, I bet a lot of you are thinking: Gaby, you're a New Yorker. Tell us New Yorker things. I mean, I could tell you to go get cupcakes at my favorite cupcake place (Magnolia Bakery) but someone else (a dodo bird, for sure) is bound to tell you somewhere else is better. I could also tell you to go visit my favorite fountain (Columbus Circle), but I'm sure you don't actually care about fountains and likely want to know why I have a favorite fountain (I do a lot of walking, okay?). I might also try and explain how you should definitely not go to Times Square but, really, I'll just get laughed at because it's the place to go (no it's not it's a tourist trap runnnnn). 

So (third), instead of trying to tell you what to eat or where to go, I'm just going to leave you with this:

Marc Brown is definitely a New Yorker who knows New Yorker things. If you need proof, read this book and then be magically prepared for BEA(st14 - it's a thing now, it is). He will tell you what's up, what you need to see, and even give you maps for some of it. 
Need proof?

I will tell you, I am a big fan of Central Park. There are many things to do. Please note: Not all of the "many thing to do" are depicted on this map. But I recommend checking out an actual map of the park and maybe even clicking around the Central Park website because it's very informative and, I promise, there's lots of stuff to do there (THE CAROUSEL PICK THE CAROUSEL). Also, did you know the food vendors in the park pay like 6-figures for licenses for their spots? So, clearly this park is worth the visit. 

Also, it should be noted, I live on the side with the Museum of Natural History, but went to school on the side with the Metropolitan Museum of Art. So every day I would ride a bus through said park on my way to school and I still haven't gotten tired of it. Sometimes I would even walk through it on my way home, especially because of certain events, such as the Thanksgiving Day Parade (as Marc Brown depicted below with props to Arthur, natch) forced closure of the transfers - AKA where the cars pass through the park. 

(That event clearly doesn't happen on a school day, but the night before they blow up the balloons on the path between school and home and it's actually kind of awesome.)

Hi Arthur!
Of course, Marc Brown's book doesn't have everything and, I promise, I'm not holding out on you as I, New Yorker Gaby, definitely haven't seen everything my city has to offer and cannot tell you all of your options. (It also doesn't help that New Yorker Gaby is a person of habit who eats at the same places and does the same things all the time.)

But I will tell you this: I know BEAst14 is the huge draw. You want the books, you want to hang out with you bookish friends, you want to drink and be merry... but don't forget that New York is an awesome place worth seeing. So whether you go to Central Park (but not after dark because bad things happen there after dark) or Magnolia's or Columbus Circle or Times Square, please remember to see something that's not the Javits. 

(PS: New York is sorry the Javits is so far away from everything and that we've failed to finish building the 7 train extension to said far away place. Maybe next year?)

(PPS: Silliness aside, do yourself a favorite and download some kind of subway/bus navigator. I like GoogleMaps best because when you type in the name of a place you want to go - say, Magnolia's - it'll fill in the address for you and then tell you how to get there by mass transit. And pack lunches. PACK. LUNCHES. Don't question it. You'll thank me later.)

(PPPS: I know this post was kinda silly but if you have real BEA/New York questions, please feel free to ask them in the comments below. Unless it's about hotels - I live here and therefore know nothing about them.)