“Scene” in NYC.

“Practically everybody in New York has half a mind to write a book – and does.”
~Groucho Marx

Question for y’all: how many books have you read that are set in New York?

If you’re anything like me, the answer will be “a lot.” So many novels these days seem to take place in the city that never sleeps, and every time I visit Manhattan, I’m reminded of why. There’s an energy pulsing through it, a unique kind of adrenaline which excites. There are skyscrapers soaring up toward the clouds, courtyard cafes filled with delicacies and nestled among tiny gardens, office buildings overflowing with high-powered employees, tourists taking in the sights of a place that is truly a cross-section not only of America, but also of the world. There are bright lights and bright souls. And, to a writer, the city unfolds a plethora of opportunities. Everywhere you turn, there’s a story idea dangling in the air, just waiting for you to find it. There are publishing houses that motivate, waterfront views that inspire, and parks that provide the perfect spot to settle in with a journal and write, write, write. And, as I discovered this weekend, there’s even more.

There are views like this:

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir

And this:

Times Square skyline at night

There’s the Museum of Natural History:

Clearly I had to take a picture with this.

And the restaurant I wrote about in one of my books:

Barolo in SoHo

In fact, there’s all of SoHo – my character Lily’s favorite place in Manhattan. Her heart beats for the Big Apple, especially this charming area that’s a juxtaposition of old against new, of traditional against modern.

LOVE the cobblestone streets!

Such unique and historic architecture.

I’d like to live here, please and thank you.

If you’ve read the SHOPAHOLIC series, you should recognize this store.

The SoHo Building.

There’s Central Park:

I’ve wanted to see the reservoir for years!


View from Belvedere Castle.

And Times Square:

M&M Store

Early morning shot.

Outside the GMA studios.

Robin Roberts

There are Red Velvet cupcakes from Crumbs:


And great friends to share the experience:

Whoever invented the self-timer on cameras is a genius.

I’m still in the middle of MINE TO LOVE edits, and the next book I’m planning (yes … the next one … I like to think ahead) will be set somewhere along the coastline, but after that? I think it’s time for a character of mine to call Manhattan home. Or maybe not. Maybe that character will belong in a different city, or a quaint suburb, or a sleepy town. But whatever the case, I’ll continue to be inspired by those big lights. Because though New York may be a place where dreams are made, other spots can be, too. It’s about how we work for those dreams and how dedicated we are to them.

(That said – if the time ever comes when my books sell, I am totally celebrating with dinner at Barolo. One day …)


11 thoughts on ““Scene” in NYC.

    • It was SO GOOD (granted, I think all of their cupcakes must be, but this one was especially delicious). You definitely need your picture with the “author” stone — I was excited to see it included with the other professions!

  1. I love the pictures from NYC! So jealous you had a crumbs cupcake! :) They look so yummy. I’m glad you had a great time!

    So exciting that you are already thinking about ideas for your second book!

    • Thank you! Oh my gosh, and they are AMAZING, easily some of the best cupcakes I’ve ever had. So far I’ve tried the Oreo and Red Velvet ones and have been impressed both times.

      I know I should slow down a little – thinking ahead by two books only makes me want to write everything RIGHT NOW – but it’s impossible sometimes!

  2. Am finally leaving a belated reply, since I’m back home now and have a) time and b) consistent internet access.

    I loved all the photos in this post. You really brought the city to life. No wonder it’s the setting for so many novels.

    Good luck with revisions! When do you get to start your next book?

    • Thank you! It really is such an eclectic, energizing place.

      Oh boy, I am so tempted to start the next book RIGHT NOW, but I’m not letting myself focus on it (or even brainstorm, really, I just have a few random notes jotted down) until edits on this one are finished. They’re going really well – over 12,000 words deleted! – and won’t be nearly as Herculean a task as last time. Plus – I actually get to add in two scenes! I am so excited for that part! :)

  3. I agree- NYC will always have my heart! I hope one day I can have an excuse to move there.
    I have kind of been on a roll recently with reading NYC based books– Giffin’s where we belong, Wharton’s age of innocence & Mariarty’s the chaperone all in this past week! obsessed with books set there, clearly :)

    • Hi – and thanks for stopping by!

      I absolutely agree with you: there’s a magic in books set in NYC. It has a unique kind of energy, and that certainly translates to the written word!

  4. My school is just a few blocks below SoHo, so I find myself walking through the area often, and I think it is my favorite place in Manhattan. When you come back to NYC next time I highly recommend that you venture out into Brooklyn, Willamsburg to be exact. Its a 5 minute subway ride from Union Square and the neighborhood is exploding with tons of cute restaurants, shops and of interesting people. There are also new parks built along the East River where you can get some amazing views of the city skyline. It is my favorite area in NYC, for sure.

    • Oh, it sounds beautiful there! The city skyline never fails to mesmerize me, and coupled with the views of the East River, it must be positively gorgeous. Thank you so much for the tip – I’m adding it to the list for the next NYC trip! :)

  5. Pingback: Time Machine. | Shari Speaks

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