Sunday, 21 June 2009

New York City!

cloudy, showers, temps 70

Happy Summer! Happy Solstice!

we're here in NYC - what fun! Left home about 8am - got across the border into Vermont and got gas and picked up some coffee...then off to the wonderful Burlington airport. Terrific. Modest size, very efficient. Easy to get through security - or at least it's fast.

I was worried with the weather forecast (rain and possible storms) that the flight would be delayed...especially since we were on a tiny prop plane. Even considered driving instead - but it was just too far, and too much trouble, and Michael said NO. Turns out flying was the right decision - easy delays. Only problem were two kids and their mohter who seemed totally incapable of dealing with them. One child was about 3 and kept teasing his brother, who would cry whenever Mom was more than an inch away from him.

Prop planes are quite noisey things...but that huge industrial roar was drwned out by the shrieks of the youngest child. Indeed, it sounded as though the plane was powered by that young fellas lungs. That and the whithering looks of the other passengers, including me.

But I put on the headphones, listened to music, and stared out the window...and watched the earth move by. We were in NYC within an hour. Such an easy trip.

Got to the hotel. Did I tell you I'd booked it through Hotwire? First time we tried it. We're at one of the W hotels in New York...and I got worried before we left that they'd, understandably, put us in their worst room, since we'd booked through a discounter. So I called the manager and told him my concerns. He agreed that rooms bought through disounters are the worst ones in the hotel. I asked if maybe, since we"re staying 5 days, we might get an upgrade. He gave me one.

I almost always ask - never, ever demand. Never make the person feel I'm whiny or spoiled or needy. Simply asking, with courtesy.

though this is an even more embarrassing admission given book 4 - and the Gamaches who are content with what they're given, and the hideous Finney family who ALWAYS ask for upgrades. Sadly, in this case, I'm a Finney!

When we arrived the room was OK - certainly acceptable. And this was the upgrade. So I discussed it with Michael, then called down and thanked them for the upgrade and said I was a little embarrassed, but is there another upgrade possible??? I closed my eyes against the vitriol. Instead the nice young man said yes - same catagory but a larger room.

Up we went, and it's a fabulous room! I'm so pleased. Will give the manager a card of thanks and a gift. What a huge difference this makes to us and we're so grateful.

We sat in the lounge - Michael with a cranberry-orange cocktail and I had a Shirley Temple. Read the sunday Times!

Am taking him out to a mediteranian dinner tonight - to celebrate Father's Day. Breakfast tomorrow with my friend Dan. He's also in the book biz...head mystery buyer for barnes and noble in the US. But as soon as we met in a business meeting last year we hit it off, and now email and chat and visit when we can. Most of our talks have nothing to do with mysteries...and certainly not my books. But friend stuff. Mostly dogs, actually. Dan is a lovely man, who writes things like, `Gosh, it`ll be fun to see you again.`

Then Michael and I have dinner tomorrow with the wonderful Hope Dellon, my editor at Minotaur, and her husband Charlie. So looking forward to it.

We`re off for dinner...such fun to celebrate Michael!

Happy Summer again!


Marjorie said...


I don't often give away this recommendation (because I want to keep the secret for myself!), but I will happily make an exception for you and Michael. If you would like a great breakfast in the city, I suggest the Popover Cafe on Amersterdam Avenue at 86th Street (that's on the Upper West Side). Easy to reach by subway (get off at Broadway and 86th and walk one long block) or by cab, the restaurant is an oasis of calm in the city. Order the basket of popovers that arrive steamy and warn with strawberry butter. Ask for some apple butter as well (which is not butter, but apples and spices). Anything else that you want will also be delicious. Ask for a window booth because they feel very relaxed and private.

(Aren't the beds at the W just wonderful?)

Let me know if you like any other food suggestions.

--Marjorie from Connecticut

Marjorie said...

Here's a link to cut and paste if you have any interest:

I hope you are at the W that gives you Bliss products in the bathroom! Heavenly!

--Marjorie from Connecticut

Brenda B. said...

Hello Louise and Michael,

How much fun to think of you strolling about in NYC this week. I hope the rain abates and your time there is wonderful.

Love the double upgrade story. Kindness pays off. The two of you are like the anti-Finneys.



Louise Penny Author said...

Dear Marjorie,

thank you!! What delight. Will go there tomorrow. We're planning on going to Rockefeller Plaza to watch the Today Show, then have a leisurely this is perfect! Will report back.

And, yes, the beds are bliss, as are the bathroom products. We might not leave, but hide in the shower and scare the next guests. Or pretend we're among the bliss products. might be a hard sell.

Louise Penny Author said...

Dear Brenda,

So are we've been lucky with the rain! but we brought umbrellas, of course, in case.

New York is so energizing...but feel a bit pretentious speaking french to people in restaurants or when they hold open doors. Habit, zoot alors.

lil Gluckstern said...

It's okay to be a little pretentious; there are many New Yorkers who would think nothing of being snooty. It sounds like you lucked into some very nice ones, by being courteous and nice, so there. Unfortunately, there's a bit of the Finneys in all of us. It is how we ACT that matters. You could act far more hoity toity with your success, but you don't. A bientot,