where the writers are
I love NY
Central-Park-Bridge-LoRez.jpg

New York is a city of wonders. As many times as I've visited, I never seem to see enough. I've just attended the annual Backspace Writer's Conference, where I spoke in a non-fiction writing panel called, "Real Places, Real Faces, Real Stories."

I stayed at the Radisson Martinique Hotel on 32nd and Broadway, in an area called Korea Town and not far from Times Square. My daughter, E, came along to check out grad programs at Columbia and NYU while I was conferencing.

When you're in town for a conference, you don't ususally get out and about the city. Wednesday night we stopped in for pre-conference cocktails at the Algonquin Hotel, the legendary watering hole of NY luminaries of theater and literature.

Friday night we did the town with some author friends, beginning at a book launch party for FALLING UNDER author Danielle Younge-Ullman at the V-bar in the West Village. We walked over to the Peculiar Pub with a few other friends, where we ate french fries and drank Stellas. The walls of the of Peculiar Pub were lined with lined with brewing paraphenalia, bottle tops and all kinds of kitchy stuff.

We crunched seven into a taxi for a ride over to Hudson Bar & Books, a classy cigar and wine bar lined with bookshelves and full of literature and encyclopedias. James Bond films played soundlessly on video screens, while the waitresses served up cocktails and wine in red-satin dresses. Our friend Ron Hogan enjoyed a cigar and the rest of us sipped a lovely Pinot Noir.

Saturday morning found us West Coasters finally adjusting to the three-hour time difference. E and I slept in, then rushed off for a NY deli breakfast with Jackie Kessler and Heather Brewer. Jackie, a native NYer, called my bagel of scrambled egg, bacon and cheddar cheese a "heart attack bagel." Glad I don't eat like that all the time.

E and I took the subway to Central Park for an afternoon walk before hitting the train for our ride down to Harrisburg, Penn., the next stop in our summer vacation. I could spend days and days exploring Central Park and some day I hope to. There is a lovely bridge that holds a special memory for me there. Not romantic, just motherly. The first time D and I took our kids to NYC, our son J, was about seven. The only thing he wanted to see in the park was the bridge where "A Troll in Central Park" was set. I revisited the bridge and remembered the seven-year-old boy, but not the film.

This post originally appeared in INLAND TRAVELER, my travel blog for the Riverside Press-Enterprise.