New York Valentine

My first job out of college was in Manhattan. I left six months later, thoroughly pummeled. I was broke. I’d quit my job. I had no idea what I was doing with my life. When asked about New York, I complained about the crowds, the noise, the smells. But New York and I knew the truth: I might be the one who was leaving, but the city had dumped me.

I’ve been back to visit since, always as a tourist. Pleasant trips, but it was always like seeing an ex after a bad breakup. “Oh, wow, New York, you’re looking great. Me? I’m, you know, I’m doing my thing.”

This time was different. This time, I came to the city to meet my editor and my agent for the first time. I came as a soon-to-be-published author. I came to eat cupcakes and drink champagne. This time, it was like running into an ex on a good hair day with Ryan Gosling on my arm. “Hey girl, is that your ex boyfriend? I thought he’d be taller.”

This is all my way of saying that this trip was, like so many things lately, a wonderful, magical dream of a trip, another shocking reminder to be grateful for the luck I’ve had and the people who have made it all possible. So now, pictures!!

The pastry case.

I met my editor at the charming La Maison du Macaron where we breakfasted on almond croissants roughly the size of my head (and as my milliner can tell you, I’ve a prodigous cranium).



The legendary Flatiron building, home to Macmillan!

I spent the day at Macmillan, meeting some of the amazing, charming, funny, delightful, dedicated people from Mac Kids and Henry Holt that are making Shadow and Bone into a real book. I was only sorry that I didn’t have more time to get to know everyone. The day was over before it began, taken up by meals and meetings, and all kinds of exciting plans for the Grisha Trilogy. (Many fun announcements to come!)

By the time, we finished up with a reception in one of the conference rooms, I was positively giddy. But the reception put me right over the top. There were cupcakes and champagne, and I nearly died when I saw they’d decorated the walls with Shadow & Bone themed conversation hearts. Did I choke up? Of course, I did.

At the reception

Agent Joanna Volpe, Me, Editor Noa Wheeler

"Be silly!" If you insist...

Other highpoints?

Meeting Zoraida Cordova (fellow Apocalypsie and author of The Vicious Deep) at the over the top Lillie’s Victorian Bar and Restaurant.










And then, the Russian Tea Room. THE RUSSIAN TEA ROOM! Jo, Noa, and I had a PRIVATE TOUR, followed by a decadent (and delicious) dinner that involved much vodka, caviar, and sour cherry blintzes. This place is not just about the extravagant setting. The food was amazing and the cocktails were some of the best I had in the city.

(Left to right from top: The Tsar’s Living Room; fireplace detail; carpet detail; Model of Moscow; Dancing Bear Room, chandelier–note the carthwheeling bear on the bottom rung; the room we decided to call the Enchanted Forest; juggling bear with goldfish in his belly–in case you’re wondering, the fish are fed by removing the bear’s head… of course; Jo, Noa, and I huddled up in the wilds of Tsibeya.)

I just had time to glimpse the tents set up for Fashion Week at Bryant Park, say hello to the lions at the library, and visit a dive bar with old friends Brad Farwell and Jean Paul Tremblay, before I had to get back on a plane to Los Angeles.

It was hard to say goodbye. You still look good, New York and, finally, I think we can be friends.



Filed under The Violet Hour

16 responses to “New York Valentine

  1. Elana K. Arnold

    Hooray, Hooray! What a great, uplifting post! Thanks for sharing! I can’t WAIT to read your book!!!

  2. Sarah

    it’s all too much. xo!

  3. LOVED this, esp. the Ryan Gosling reference: ‘Hey, girl.’ Dying.

  4. Yay! So glad you got to show New York what it missed when it kicked you to the curb. And also, congrats on this massive accomplishment. Go girl!

  5. Good for you, Leigh! That sounds like the ultimate valentine!!

  6. Thanks guys!! Really glad I made the trip. But a bit hard to get back to work. Also, wifi on planes? Maybe not such a good thing for the work ethic 😉

  7. Beautiful photos! I love this post for so many reasons–candy hearts! The Flatiron! JV! The splendor of the Russian Tea Room! That Victorian bar is going on my list next time I’m in NYC.

    (And…I had my own breakup with the city. I lasted three years, so yeah, it was an ugly split. Someday we’ll go for a cup of tea and share stories.)


  8. That city fully seduced you this time around. Nice job, New York! On the subject of seduction, I fully intend to tell Ryan, “Make me your villain” the next time we get romantic. TMI?

  9. Wow, that looks like you had a great time! And the Russian Tea Room? Swoon. =)

  10. I love it when a place becomes a person to you, even if they’re sometimes not so nice to you.

    That tea room looks mind-blowing!

  11. The Tea Room really is something spectacular. I couldn’t help imagining the kind of event I would throw there. Whatever it might be, it would definitely involve LOTS OF ICE SCULPTURES.

  12. Sounds and looks like you had a great time. The Russia Tea Room looks amazing. I’ll definitely try to go there the next time I’m in New York.

  13. Ah! It’s even better than I remember it.

    We miss you already, Leigh!

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