New York Adventures – The Course Begins

Monday 16th June:

I’m grateful that it’s not my first time in New York, because if it were, I might have thought the noises in the night were signs of impending apocalypse. Garbage trucks Trash compacters, horns blaring, construction workers and general yelling were all part of the nighttime chorus. Woke at 5, body-clock has betrayed me. Who am I?

Wandered up to breakfast at Alfred Lerner hall (BACON. EGGS.) and was presented with something new to me: that scene from an American high-school/college movie where everyone’s seated and the new person doesn’t know where to sit. I spotted some people I knew, and headed for them.

The first speaker was Jordan Pavlin, VP and Executive editor at Knopf, who spoke passionately about the book industry, and took lots of questions at the end.

Camille McDuffie, from Goldberg McDuffie, followed after lunch, to talk about CVs Resumes and cover letters.

Riverside Park

Riverside Park

We had unexpected free time afterwards. I decided to go for a walk and ventured the couple of blocks west to Riverside Park – one of my favourite parks in New York. It was about 27C and pretty perfect. I planned to sit and read but kept walking, until I realised I was at 96th street, cut across to Central Park and looped back up. My short walk turned into about 7 miles. I saw a man on some sort of skis with wheels, dragging himself along with one ski stick and one just regular stick/small tree branch. Tried to get a picture but he was too speedy. Got back to the dorm feeling slightly smug and more than slightly out of breath. Dinner. Dinner. Dinner.

In the evening, we had a great talk from Bruce Tracy, Senior editor at Workman, who advised us on the how an editor’s idea for a book can come to fruition.

To round off the day, a big group of us went to The Heights, a rooftop bar on W111st where we basked in a warm New York evening, and where my classmates judged me for not tipping the barman. What? It’s his job! Learning, learning….




Americanisms Glossary

Cookout = ok, not entirely clear on this one, but there is a much debated difference between cookouts and barbecues. The presence of pulled pork seems to be a factor.

Alright = Over here, this literally means ‘are you OK, because you look like you might not  be?’ and is not acceptable as a general greeting. People can get offended.

Blacktop = road surface made of asphalt


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