Sunday, April 1, 2012

Weekend in the City

On Friday and Saturday, I was in New York City. The main reason for my trip was the Joy the Baker book signing on Saturday. Since I was going, though, I made a weekend out of it. I got to catch up with some friends, and stay in my college roommate's awesome apartment. More and more people that I went to college with are moving to the city. It's nice, because if I would happen to get a job there and need a place to stay until I find an apartment, I have lots of mooching options.

While I was in the city, I had to visit some of my favorite places. Frozen yogurt from Red Mango, gelato from Il Laboratorio, shopping and drooling over the authentic British fare at Myers of Keswick, and of course coffee from Starbuck's. I know we have Starbuck's here. It just tastes better in the city. Leave me alone.

 I got to see a show while I was there. I thought about hitting up a TKTS stand to see one of the more mainstream musicals, but even half-price is expensive for those. Instead, I stood in the rush line for a $20 ticket to "Now. Here. This." at the Vineyard Theater. It's the same people that developed and starred in "Title of Show". If you don't know what that is, you should probably find out. "Now. Here. This." is all about living in the moment and participating in what's going on around you, instead of just drifting through life. The four actors talk about their defining moments in life, happiness, sadness, embarrassment.... It's very personal and may not be for everyone, but I loved it... probably because I can relate to almost every point they make. There were parts at which I laughed so hard I almost peed, and parts at which the entire audience had a collective weep. If you're in the city, or going to the city, rush is 2 hours before showtime, and I believe it's playing through April 22nd. Check it out!

Now. The main event. The Joy the Baker book signing. It was crazy and exciting and amazing. Joy Wilson might be my favorite person ever. When I got in the room, there was a cooler full of beer, and a spread of cookies and shortbreads. Free beer and cookies? Best book signing EVER. I think I heard that over 200 people showed up. There was an RSVP option on The Brooklyn Kitchen's website, so everyone that sent in an RSVP was guaranteed a spot for the Q&A, but some of the people that didn't RSVP were turned away, because the room was full. Joy introduced herself and answered any questions that people had.

Once the Q&A was over, the signing started. They opened the signing up to everyone who came, so those who had been waiting outside flooded in. Do you know how long it takes to sign over 200 books? Four and a half hours, apparently. I didn't feel like fighting people for a place in line, and it seemed stupid to go to the back and stand for hours, so I just sat on a bench along the back wall and waited till people cleared out. I sat there for a good four hours till I could actually see the end of the line. All I can say is God bless Joy for sitting and signing for that long. She had to have been exhausted and hungry and in desperate need of a bathroom break, but she took the time to talk to every one of her fans, write something personal in the cookbooks, and pose for a picture if you wanted one. She even signed my wooden spoon. Hey, someone in another city got her to sign his Kitchen Aid mixer. A wooden spoon isn't that weird.

We talked about what I've made from the book so far, and how everyone loves the Trail Mix Cookies. She was impressed that I'd come all the way from PA to see her. We posed for a picture, she signed my cookbook and spoon, and I got a a hug and a bookmark with a picture of her cat on it.

Joy Wilson, a.k.a. Joy the Baker is amazing and sweet and dedicated and fun and I really just want to hang out with her. If she's ever on the east coast again, you can bet I'll be there!

It was an exhausting, amazing, exciting, much-needed weekend. If I had a steadier source of income, I would definitely be there more often. I'm still keeping my fingers crossed for the Bucks County job. If I'm only two hours from NYC, and have access to the $5 bus from Philly to New York, you won't be able to keep me away!

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