My last full day in New York! I was originally supposed to leave early this morning, but my grandparents generously paid for me to extend my flight so I could make the alumni reception at Christopher Cerf’s house this evening.
I woke up and frantically tried to make sure I was packed—I was supposed to check out by 11 AM, but really, all you do is put a card in the “express check-out” box that says your name, student ID, and room number, and that’s it, so I didn’t end up doing it until after 12.
Carolyn and Gaia were gracious enough to let me crash at their place for the night before my flight the next morning.
Carolyn and I really wanted to go see the Statue of Liberty, so I looked up cheap tickets (Thank you, Groupon!) We didn’t want to go onto Liberty Island, we just wanted to get a good view of the statue. As fun as it would be, it would take too much time, and we just didn’t have it.
I found cheap tickets for a 60-minute harbor cruise, so we made our way down to the very tip of Manhattan to catch our boat.
The area is so cute down there. I’m such a sucker for any beachfront/seaside sort of areas. I don’t care how touristy they are, the more quaint and kitschy, the better. And it was nice to be near water again. Reminded me of home! (Sorry, Hudson River, you’re just not doing it for me.)
I freaking love harbor cruises. I did one in Boston and it was awesome. You get to see a lot of the city in not a lot of time, and usually you have a great tour guide. This was no exception. I loved it. The weather was absolutely perfect and Carolyn and I were just so happy to be there.
Brooklyn Bridge, going into Brooklyn
Ellis Island—on the left, the Island of Tears, and on the right, the Island of Hope
After we disembarked, my wish was to go to Grand Central Station and see it. We had some time and it was a relatively simple thing to do.
New York sure does things big, whether it’s their libraries, college campuses, or train stations, they don’t pull any punches concerning design. Grand Central Station is lovely, breathtaking, worth the trip.
All in all, it was a very lovely afternoon.
We hurried back to the dorms to get ready for the reception at Christopher Cerf’s house. His house, in the East side, would’ve taken a while to get to via public transportation, as it was on the opposite side of Central Park, which doesn’t have any subways running underneath it, so a bunch of us split multiple cabs, and it was worth every penny. Plus, it was fun to see what things looked like above ground—we’re so used to taking the subways, we don’t see as much of the city as we might like.
Christopher Cerf’s house is absolutely lovely. It’s a narrow, lovely, homey house. Although his awards are displayed proudly on the mantle and a beloved little piano, Christopher Cerf and his partner Katherine Vaze have a cozy, homey residence, the crème de la crème is the book room that’s on the second floor. It’s floor to ceiling books, and it’s a wonderful room filled with handmade quilts, comfy couches, and, of course, books. Everyone was in awe of the room and happily proclaimed that they could live in that room alone and be happy.
In addition to CPC 14 people, there were students from the previous two years and then some of the magazine and book resource people, along with some of the speakers, like Brendan Cahill and class favorite Tayari Jones.
The little house and its backyard were crammed with people, drinking copious amounts of wine and appetizers, and we all had a great time. It was the last official CPC event and our last time truly all together. It was definitely bittersweet.
Gaia and I were determined to go to Little Italy, once and for all, and we invited Molly and Alex to come with us. After stopping at Duane Reade to get flip flops (our feet were killing us—I packed flip flops, but the other girls didn’t) we made our way to Spring St. and Little Italy.
We went to a restaurant called Piacere, and, despite some hiccups, the food was delicious. The wait staff was authentically Italian, demonstrated when Gaia, who’s fluent in Italian, spoke to them beautifully.
It was such a fun meal, and we had fun, just the girls. I hadn’t really gotten to know Alex or Molly too much, although we were always friendly with each other, so this was really lovely. I only wish we had become better friends sooner!
Although it was late, we then went and got gelato from the only place open and made our way back to the subway station, only slightly getting lost on Broadway. By the time we made it back it was half past midnight, but well worth the four hours spent. After saying final good-byes, Gaia and I went in, where Carolyn greeted us with a surprise—a homemade slide show with pictures from the past six weeks. Ryan and Jon came over (Tiggy was asleep—darn you, Tiggy!) and we all had a good cry, seeing the past six weeks play out.
It’s been a crazy six weeks: maddening, frustrating, but exhilarating. It was like a rollercoaster—the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. It’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, but one of the best. Here’s the thing: even if I wake up tomorrow and decide that publishing isn’t what I want, I wouldn’t consider this experience a waste at all because of the people I met.
Forming a friendship—and sustaining it—under these conditions aren’t easy. Six weeks, being in each other’s company constantly, with high stakes and high stress running abound. It hasn’t always been easy, but I feel like I’ve made real friends, who have been there for me when I’m rolling on the ground laughing or having a mental breakdown under all the stress.
Our little group is being split up—half of us to the UK, half of us staying here. But I believe we’ll be together again, because the alternative is too awful to contemplate.
I’ve loved my time in New York as well—it’s a gritty, fast-paced, extreme city. It demands everything from you, but in return it offers so much: plays and restaurants and history and everything in between. I don’t know if I love it more than I love my beloved Seattle, but I think I could live there for a few years. I haven’t made up my mind yet—I guess this means I have to go back and figure it out.
Ah, the day we were all waiting for—the job fair. A mixture of nervousness and anticipation coursed through the 2014 class of CPC. What would await us there? We didn’t dare hope to get jobs on the spot, but the potential was endless. At the very least, a lead for an interview would be nice, or at least the promise of positions popping up in the near future.
Dressing in my interview outfit and with cream-colored resumes in hand, I entered the Journalism School for the last time, where the job fair was taking place. There were between 40-50 different companies there, representing both the larger book publishers, to literary agents, to media groups, to magazines, etc. etc.
Everyone was nervous—it was less of a Hunger Games situation than we thought. The booths weren’t being swarmed with students, because we were so nervous we huddled in groups and talked about how overwhelmed we were.
One of my classmates, Ashanti, gave us really good advice about how to approach the people in the booths, and it worked well.
Sadly, no one I met were hiring at that time. I won’t tell you the number of times I heard the dreaded I-Word “Internships”. Some were paid, but many weren’t. And it’s hard to pretend to be interested in the internship program when all you want is a job. I’ve done internships; I’ve paid my time and given multiple companies my time and labor. I don’t want to do that again. And I understand that internship programs can usually lead to hiring, but that’s why I did this course, so I wouldn’t have to do internships again. This is supposed to be my in.
I have faith in Shaye, though, and her ability to get us all jobs, even if it’s not right away.
After the morning, I was exhausted. I was supposed to check out of my room the next morning, so I knew I needed to pack, and I intended to do so, but I was just too tired and so I took a 2-hour nap. It was so worth it and completely needed, though.
I woke up and began packing, which was no small process. I was going to ship the majority of my books, so Gaia helped me lug them all to the post office, where I was able to get most of them in the largest flat rate shipping box and I sent them off, where they hopefully will be waiting for me when I return home on Wednesday.
I got the majority of my packing done, and then it was time to get ready for that night. Tig and Carolyn, although they have birthdays in early August, wanted to celebrate with everyone in America befor they went back to the UK, so Tig rented the rooftop of Pera, the place we brunched at in SoHo a couple weeks before, and we were going to celebrate. We didn’t have anything until 6 PM the next day, so we could easily stay out late, which was nice.
First, though, Gaia and I had things to do.
We headed downtown to the Penn Station stop, then got off and went to a Party City, which I tracked down via Google Maps, so we could buy the birthday couple appropriate head gear, i.e. a sparkly top hat and flashing princess crown that proudly proclaimed their statuses as the Birthday People.
Then, after introducing Gaia to Payless (whoops!) we headed even further downtown to fulfill Gaia’s wish to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge at sunset.
I don’t think it was the golden sunset she had hoped for, but I’ve come to learn that New York sunsets are pink and purple-y, as opposed to orange and bright. It softens the city, I think, rather nicely.
We were supposed to be at Pera at 9 PM but Gaia and I desperately wanted to get dinner in Little Italy. And although we walked through it, we admitted that we just didn’t have time, which was unfortunate, considering we hadn’t really eaten since lunch, some eight hours before.
From there, we got a little lost walking through Chinatown, but eventually we made it to SoHo and the party, which was rocking. It was a cool, windy night—not ideal, but much better than humidity and thunderstorms, which was the original weather forecast.
Birthday Queen and King
Not to mention, you can’t beat that view:
Gaia and I stayed for a little bit and had a drink, but Pera wouldn’t let us order or take food to the rooftop, so we excused ourselves and went next door for a lovely, albeit impromptu Italian meal with Jon. We were gone for a lot of the party, I’m sad to say, but we Italians know our limits, and our stomachs were demanding food. I couldn’t drink much liquor with nothing in my stomach. No thanks.
It was a really fun night, ending with us belting out “Wannabe” on the rooftop and speakers, and if that’s not a good birthday, I don’t know what is.
We weren’t quite ready to go home, though, so a bunch of us decided to find some more clubs—difficult to do, since it was midnight on a Monday night, although as far as we were concerned, it was Saturday.
Tig, bless him, had screenshot a club called SOB that was a 10-minute walk away. Yeah… it was definitely not a club that was meant for our crowd. I won’t elaborate; I’m sure you can Google it and see for yourself. It was shutting down for the night, anyway, so, although there was much debate about trying to find another club, we decided to go back, get some greasy pizza and have a dance party at 3C, which hosted all of the great parties this summer, anyway.
That turned out to be probably the best decision ever, since the dance party was fucking fantastic, especially once people tried to start playing Edward 40-Hands, taping their beers (which were definitely not 40’s) to their hands and dancing, looking like crazy people. And then Ryan doing his Beyonce impression is always priceless. It was a lovely night.
I got to sleep in this morning, which was lovely and very much needed. People were kind of doing their own things today—Tig went downtown; Carolyn was with her friend, Geena; Gaia was exploring her beloved West Village; Ryan was working on cover letters and resumes and Jon was doing laundry. I took the subway to 79th and meandered over to Central Park, where I called my parents and caught up with them. It had been too long and was also very much needed.
After that, I looked to see what everyone else was up to: Jon was done with laundry by then, and was up for an adventure. Buzzfeed had done a list of 18 Best Pizza places, and, of course, a few were in New York, so we figured we’d go check one out—Joe’s Pizza, in Greenwich Village.
I don’t know why I hadn’t spent more time in Greenwich. It is adorable there. Small, narrow streets with cute shops and boutiques—a small park with a water fountain. It’s lovely, and Jon and I immediately dubbed it our “happy place.” I ended up buying a book of poetry from a family owned bookstore called Book Book and we found Joe’s pizza (which was fantastic, by the way.) Carolyn, Geena, and Tig—who had been hiding out in the downtown Macy’s for a while, basking in their “air con” (air conditioning)—came to join us. They had already eaten, but Jon had spotted a confectionary/ice cream place that he was dying to try, called Sugar Plumm.
It was very cute and carried a bunch of artisan chocolates, but the best part was the ice cream shop in the back part of the store.
I don’t think I’ve ever had so much ice cream at once in my life, and that’s saying something. We all got mammoth sundaes, and I’m feeling full just thinking about it. It was worth every penny, though.
After we staggered away from the shop, we walked from Greenwich through SoHo, to Chinatown, where Tig wanted to have dinner at the Golden Unicorn, the original Chinese restaurant that we tried for several weeks prior. Gaia and Ryan were supposed to meet us there, although we had no clue where Gaia was—her American phone wasn’t working, and any time she wanted to get in contact with us she had to duck into a Starbucks to do so and get wifi.
After a lot of walking, we finally made it to Chinatown, although we were about to pass out by then—not from hunger, but sheer exhaustion. My feet were killing me.
Gaia and Ryan met us at the Golden Unicorn, and we got a little ambitious with the food, getting way too much. Disappointingly, I didn’t think it was very good—I thought the hole-in-the-wall noodle shop we went to previously was way better (although that’s usually how it goes, isn’t it?)
Carolyn and Ryan went to wait with Geena for her train back to her house in Connecticut, I believe, and so Tig, Jon, Gaia, and I went back. We hung out for a bit and then it was time for bed—and the job fair the next day.
After two unsuccessful tries, we were more determined than ever, on this final Saturday we had all together, to get tickets to Shakespeare in the Park. Carolyn and I awoke at 4:45 in the morning to head to Central Park to get tickets. We arrived at 5:55 and had to wait outside the park, which didn’t officially open until 6:00. The plan was this: Carolyn was getting tickets for herself and her friend Mike, who was in town for the weekend, and I was getting two tickets as well, for myself and one other person. Jon and Gaia would be coming to relieve me at 9 AM, and if Tig came, Carolyn would be relieved as well.
What we did not count on is that they would be so strict about the lines. Usually the people who work for Shakespeare in the Park, in their bright green shirts, happily answer questions and do crowd control. Today, however, their bright smiles and shirts were accompanied by solemn faced, large men in blue shirts that read SECURITY— bouncers, or, as Carolyn called them, “heavies”. I hadn’t seen them previously in my last two times here. Now, in addition to answer questions, the green-shirted men also laid down the law, saying, amongst many other things, that no one could join you in line to wait for tickets. If you were found out, you would be disqualified from the line. This mean, essentially, that only Carolyn and I could get four tickets, when we needed six for that night.
I don’t know why we didn’t think to have Jon come with us at 5 AM, only that we knew he didn’t want to get up that early. He was willing to, but no one wants to get up at 5 AM— I only did to keep Carolyn company, really. At this point, it was 6:30 AM, and I tried to get ahold of Tig, Gaia, or Jon, succeeding only with Jon, who gamely came and was there at 7:30 to queue, except he would do so on his own, from the back of the line.
Usually, as long as you get to Shakespeare in the Park before 8 AM to line up, you’ll get a ticket, but since it was the first weekend of the new show (King Lear) it was extra crazy, and Jon reported that the line was even farther back than when it was the first time we lined up to get tickets, so reasonably he wouldn’t get tickets if he waited.
Regardless, he said he would relieve me if I wanted to go home, which I did, desperately. Sadly, we lamented that only four of us would go: Carolyn and Mike, and me and Jon. We never even thought that having one more person join us in line would have such consequences, since we had seen other people do it before. Although, I suppose if everyone had an extra person join them in line then no one who deserved tickets would get them, really.
We all agreed to enter the virtual online lottery, the only other way you could get tickets, and even though the chances were slim, hopefully one of us would win a pair of tickets and so we would have six altogether.
I trudged home, sleepily and perhaps a little bit hungover, and collapsed into bed, waking up three hours later to a happy email that said, to my complete astonishment, that I won the lottery!
I think that must be good karma— by following the rules, the universe rewarded me with a pair of free tickets. Huzzah! So now the six of us would be going: Carolyn, Mike, Tig, Jon, Gaia, and I.
Gaia and I wanted to go to brunch at this French restaurant near campus, so we had a lovely late brunch, just the two of us, as the boys went earlier and Carolyn and Jon, I presume, were napping. It was lovely.
After brunch, we decided to go see the central New York library, since last time we were there it closed just as we were about to enter it.
Upon ascending from the subway, however, we found ourselves in the middle of a street fair of all things!
They shut down sixth avenue, and it just went for blocks and blocks. It was really fun to go explore it, and Gaia in particular was fascinated with the idea of deep-fried ice cream.
"Welcome to America," I told her.
Eventually we had to turn around— the library was closing at 6, and we had to go pick up our tickets at Central Park before 7.
The library is huge and lovely, and more like a shrine to books than anything else.
We found one of the exhibits they had there, and spent the majority of our short time looking at it.
I love children’s books, and both Wendy Lamb and Tig recommended this exhibit to me, so I’m glad we found it in this maze of a library!
Gaia and I had a lot of fun in the interactive parts of the museum, and it was such a lovely, nostalgic experience, seeing all of our favorite children’s books. It was also fun to read about the history of children’s books, reminding me of a class I took at UW about the emergence of children’s literature in Victorian England.
We then hurried to the park and grabbed our tickets, although we got a bit lost on the way, accidentally taking a subway train farther north than we intended. But we got them, much to the dismay of everyone in the stand-by line:
We then went back, freshened up, got dinner (we could bring food inside, which was nice) and then went back for the show.
I wasn’t allowed to take any photography at all, so these were the only clandestine shots I got:
The seats are given out randomly, no matter how long you wait in line or if you’re lottery, so Gaia and I were away from Jon, Tig, Carolyn, and Mike, but that was fine. There’s not a bad seat in the house, and the intimate setting was wonderful.
The show was really good, in my opinion, and the acting was well done, although Annette Bening misspoke her lines a few times. Whoops!
I only wished I wasn’t still so tired; I found it difficult to stay awake during the play because I was so exhausted.
Wednesday and Friday groups of ten people met with Shaye to talk about the job fair and the future after CPC. My shift was this morning, and we were her last group. Shaye reassured us that we would all get jobs, that she would get anyone who wanted a job a job, and that everything would work out. To these sessions we brought filled out career reference forms that told Shaye which cities we wanted to work in, book vs magazine publishing, what part of publishing we want to work in (editorial, marketing, rights, etc.) and any other additional requests/concerns.
It was a nice session, and definitely reassuring. Shaye’s job, when she’s not running the program, is essentially to network and get us jobs. She will fight for us.
Our normal 2 PM lecture was called “disorientation”, but really it was more of a graduation ceremony, in which Shaye called our names, one by one, and we got our official certificates, in which we all clapped and cheered for each other. It was like a mini, proper graduation ceremony, and it was lovely and wonderful— especially when Tig tripped, a la Jennifer Lawrence at all award shows, on the way to get his award. <3 you, Tiggy!
We then all went back to our dorms and got ready for later that evening, in which we would have a final Sherry Hour, just amongst ourselves, and then a group, class picture, and then a banquet dinner in the cafeteria, which, according to Shaye, would be “transformed”.
The final Sherry Hour was more like Selfie Hour, in which we all crowded around and got pictures together with our friends. It truly felt like a graduation ceremony, the true end, and it made me so sad! I didn’t want it to be real, just yet.
The banquet was absolutely lovely. The cafeteria was transformed— large round tables, white table cloths, and best of all, lots of booze! We were lucky enough to have Shaye at her table, and I like to think we entertained her well, keeping her laughing (and she kept our table well-stocked with wine!) the whole dinner.
We also had more serious conversations about the course, Shaye genuinely wanting to know how she could improve upon it in upcoming years. At first, we didn’t know how open we could be with her, but once she encouraged us to be, we finally said things that we only discussed amongst herself. It was a safe space, and she listened to what we said intently, making empathetic comments or exclamations when necessary. She truly wanted and valued our opinions, and I really appreciated that. I’ve worked at or been a part of many organizations who claimed to “want” my opinion, but either dismissed it or ignored it, so it was wonderful to truly felt like we were being heard.
During the dinner, we also brought the cafeteria staff out and presented them with a card we made them with a standing ovation. They were lovely, and they always did their best with the food, keeping us very well fed for six weeks. I’m going to miss them, too.
Everyone kept making speeches and toasts and a few of them definitely got us teary-eyed. We had our differences and petty grievances with people, but by and by, I truly enjoyed the company of 95% of my classmates. They were all great, smart people that I truly hope I work with the in future.
We would’ve stayed in that cafeteria the whole night, talking and laughing, but school policy meant we had to leave by 8, so at 8 on the dot we all left, planning to head to one of the dorms for some more drinking before we left for the bars that night.
We had a good time together, more toasts to be had, but I don’t know how many people made it to the bars. We all ended up back on the roof, talking and laughing, finding people in the dark.
(Why does Tig look so disgusted? We may never know)
Someone met this one guy (a Columbia student as well, though not CPC) who said he could get us up to another rooftop at the engineering building with views of the skyline, so a few of us traipsed across campus and into another building (for being so anal retentive about who they let into buildings, in hindsight I’m shocked we even got in) and up to the rooftop.
And the views were amazing!
Beyond campus we could see downtown, which was awesome.
A few people decided to climb even further, up a water tower sort of thing, to get an even better view. I will not confirm or deny if I participated in this, but let’s just say if you have a fear of heights, I would not recommend it.
After we all climbed down, we then meandered back through campus and home.
today I saw a preteen girl pick up Mean Girls at Target and ask her friend what it was. She didn’t even know. She said it sounded dumb. The people are forgetting. The world is changed. I feel it in the water. I feel it in the earth. I smell it in the air. Much that once was is lost, for none now live who remember it.
The last day of classes. Man, where did six weeks go? When we first started, each day felt like a week, and it reminds me of how you turn the pages of a flip book: at first it’s slow going, but then it builds steam and then each page is nothing but a slight blur.
This morning Dorothy Boyajy from Penguin Random House came to talk to us about contracts and acquiring books, which was nice. It would’ve been more useful, I think, if she had come before book workshop, but I don’t remember if she was even slated to come originally, or if she was an addition from the revised version of our schedule.
Our 2PM lecture was with Jean Godfrey-June, beauty editor of Lucky magazine. Sarah Brown from Vogue called Jean her mentor, so we were intrigued as to who she was. I was actually surprised— from what I observed, Jean and Sarah are very different people. Despite being a beauty editor, Jean isn’t as enamored with fashion and beauty as Sarah is (Sarah is “intellectually interested” in beauty, I remember her saying). Jean said “I would write about old car tires if it meant I was writing.” She truly, truly loves to write, and unlike other magazine speakers I wholeheartedly believe her. She was a great speaker. Very genuine and unpretentious.
Our final speaker was Christopher Cerf, whose house we would be attending on Tuesday evening, in the annual alumni reception. Christopher’s father, Bennet Cerf, helped to start Random House. Even more remarkable, Christopher Cerf worked in publishing with authors such as Dr. Seuss, and then left that to pursue a career at PBS, working exclusively with the relatively new program, Sesame Street, in which he wrote many of their songs. His company, Sirius Thinking, does interactive children productions, including the award-winning program, Between the Lions, which ran for 10 years on PBS.
He was such a lovely man. I don’t know what perception I had of him, but he was absolutely wonderful and kind and funny and so generous. He showed us different clips, both from Between the Lions and Sesame Street, and I nearly teared up with nostalgia at watching Sesame Street. He played one of his favorite songs, “Put Down the Duckie” which he filmed over the course of several years, with popular celebrities from the 70s and 80s doing cameos of a song about Ernie learning to play the saxophone and realizing he needed to put down his beloved duck to do so.
Afterwards, a bunch of us noticed the gorgeous sunset and went up to the roof of our dorm to take pictures. We’re probably not supposed to go up there, but they always leave the door open, so…
Later that night, I met with my friend Julia, who was in town to look at graduate schools. We met up at the Heights for convenience sake and caught up, which was lovely. At the Heights they have a two-drink minimum on credit cards, so I got two drinks, a margarita and a cider— I didn’t realize how strong their margaritas were, so I inadvertently got quite tipsy (whoops!) But it was fun because we ended up drinking chocolate milk with the bartenders, who happened to be drinking some (???) and watching Paul Rudd videos on their phones. It was a very odd, but lovely night.
I had slept terribly the night before, and tempting as it was to sleep in, today two HR reps from Scholastic were coming to talk to us about resumes and cover letters, so it was definitely a must-see lecture.
Robert Defendorf and Lynette Spence were very helpful and lovely, and while I didn’t learn anything new resume-wise, I did learn about the importance of informational interviews (do them!!) and actual job interviews.
This was all good advice, because I had an interview later that afternoon at a well-known publishing company and would be missing that afternoon’s sessions, including sherry hour and part of magazine evaluations.
The interview was for an editorial assistant position; I think it went really well and I really, really hope I get it, so fingers crossed!
That night we had an alumni panel, in which several alumni and alumnae from CPC’s class of 2013 came and talked about immediate life after CPC, which we would all be facing soon.
It was actually really helpful and refreshing to hear from people our own ages, especially ones who were literally in our shoes a year ago.
Afterwards we all arranged to go out for drinks at a tavern on Amsterdam, but we were delayed since an impromptu thunder and lightning storm happened! A few of us had already left the building and took shelter under a tent set up for orientation. Thank god for that tent!
I didn’t really want to go, but succumbed to peer pressure and went. Man, I wish I hadn’t! The bar was a ways away and crowded and small, and no one had alerted the staff we were coming, which was completely idiotic of them. I left with everyone shortly after. Stupid.
We then went back and showered and did our usual Whine and Wine, which was much nicer.
This morning we had a young agents panel come to speak to us. A good deal of us want to become agents, and I think Shaye understands that while we love learning from the old-school literary giants, we also like hearing from people closer to our own ages, who went through similar struggles.
It was a fun panel, and they were all from different agencies and had different specialties, so that was fun.
Then came the big part of the day— our trip to Scholastic, Inc. for lunch with Arthur A. Levine, who, in case you didn’t know, is the American editor for Harry Potter.
Only 14 of us got to go, and it was for people who are interested primarily in children’s publishing, which I am. I had to write an essay explaining why I had to go, and I’m so glad I got picked!
I had been to the Scholastic store, but never to the offices above, so it was really exciting.
I was really excited. (See below)
Arthur Levine was such a nice, nice man. He was genuinely kind, interested in us and our opinions, and gamely answered any questions (although he brought up Harry Potter first, thank god, I think he knew none of us were going to be That Person). I absolutely adored him and the lunch and it is definitely one of my all-time favorite parts of this course.
Half of us went back with Shaye, while some of us stayed back in SoHo to explore a little bit, heading to, where else, a bookstore, specifically McNally Jackson. Will have to go back! Very cute place
Our 3 PM speaker was Emily Takoudes with Phaidon, who specialized in cookbook and food publishing. She was a very thoughtful, lively speaker, and luckily she didn’t torture us too much with descriptions of food.
The 7 PM speaker was Sadie Stein with The Paris Review. Holy shit, she was hilarious. I absolutely loved her. She was hysterical, saying whatever was on her mind and giving awesome advice. She covered wardrobe, interoffice dating, and her own weird path to the review. I loved her and can’t say enough good things.
I can’t believe it’s almost over! A week from now I’d be heading home.
Fun day this morning with a visit to Time, Inc. We all felt very snazzy in our professional best, headed out as a group to go to Time, Inc, which is very near Time Square and all that jazz, fittingly.
After a confusing, thorough security entrance, we were herded into a large banquet room, in which one of our classmates, Lia, did a Q&A with the editor-in-chief of InStyle magazine, Ariel Foxman.
He was a gem, and Lia is a flawless princess, so it was very enjoyable. Bless him, he even took a selfie
After that, we were split into four groups and taken around to different areas of Time: the archives, the recording studio room, People’s style closet, and the offices of Real Simple magazine.
I didn’t know we were allowed to take pictures until People’s style room, so forgive me, especially considering Time has some really cool things in their archives.
We saw relics from President Kennedy, MLK, Muhammad Ali, Princess Di, and more. It was fantastic and my favorite part of the tour.
The recording studio room was cool; Sports Illustrated Now was filming, and we were able to sneak in and see the process and see actor Michael Rapaport getting his make-up done for an interview!
People’s style closet was the delight of all the girls, and it was a total zoo in there, but seemed like a fun place to work (and no, you cannot take any of the clothes home if you work there. The interns send them all back.)
Real Simple magazine was really cute, too. I would totally work there! I like the aesthetic look of their offices and magazine a lot.
After that, we all came back together for lunch and then “speed networking” in which we had 3 ten minute sessions with people from Time, Inc. from different magazines. It was fun and definitely a new experience.
It was a very fun trip and we all got fun swag bags! Doesn’t get better than that:
Our 3:30 PM speaker was Joanna Rakoff and our beloved Jordan Pavlin. Joanna Rakoff is the author of My Salinger Year, a book we graciously received complimentary from Knopf, who published it, and Jordan Pavlin, who edited it.
I read the book over the weekend and, um, I enjoyed it to a point. It’s about Rakoff’s year in publishing as an assistant for an esteemed agency. When she was at work were my favorite parts and she’s a good writer. But some of her life choices sucked. Like, really sucked. Like, whoa, I hope mine don’t suck as much as hers do, because if so, I deserve a punch in the face.
So that was fun. I almost decided to get my book signed but the line was really long so I decided not to.
Our 7 PM lecturer was George Gibson, publishing director from Bloomsbury. He was a lovely, sweet man, who definitely knew a lot about the business, particularly from a business perspective.
It was great to have “book people” back. I missed them. Dearly.
Another leisurely morning, but I did want to get things done today. I first went to the children’s bookstore— Bankstreet Bookstore— to see what was new in children’s literature, especially since that’s what I want to specialize in in publishing.
I got two new books:
Super excited to read both!
I then went to the stationary store and bought resume paper, because for our Time, Inc. visit we needed to bring our resumes on nice paper, per instructions.
After going to the J-School and printing it out, Ryan, Gaia, and I went downtown to meet Tig at Washington Square park, where he was waiting for us to go to (a rather late) brunch.
Washington Square Park definitely has a different vibe than Central Park— Central Park has a lot of families, dogs, and tourists, while Washington Square Park is clearly locals and is a much younger, hipper crowd than Central Park. It’s very interesting.
Tig knew of this good brunch place a few blocks down, so we walked and ended up at this placed called Pera. It was this really cute, posh-y place, but it was utterly delightful. By this time, it was 3 PM, so I had clearly lunch. It was delicious.
Tig was thinking about renting their rooftop for his birthday celebrations, so we went up to the rooftop and saw it. It’s a really cute area! And it has views of both the Empire State building and the Freedom Tower, so that’s really cool:
We then went more uptown to Bryant Park, where we wanted to go inside the New York Central Public Library and then on to Rockefeller Center.
Alas, alas, the library closed at 5 PM and it was 5:04 PM when we got there, but another day! I’m determined to see it.
We then continued onward towards Rockefeller Center. After making pit-stops into several shops along the way (no, Mom, I didn’t buy anything…) we made it to Rockefeller Center. I really liked it there— I like wide open spaces within cities. I’ll have to go back for a proper tour!
We then traipsed home for more Chipotle for dinner… it was cheap and so filing. Yum.
We all slept like the dead, post-magazine workshop day. I didn’t get out of bed til 11, though I woke up frequently, as though my body was confused as to why I wasn’t hauling it out of bed lat 8 AM.
Rose and I went to the Met last week, and when you go to the Met, with your admission there you get free admission to the Cloisters up to a week after, so, it being the last day, we decided to take the trek up north, to the very northern tip of Manhattan, nearly, to the Cloisters.
The Cloisters, a branch of the Met, houses the art, architecture, and sculptures from the Medieval age.
Taken from the website:
The Cloisters museum and gardens, which opened to the public in 1938, is the branch of The Metropolitan Museum of Art devoted to the art and architecture of medieval Europe. Located in Fort Tryon Park in northern Manhattan, on a spectacular four-acre lot overlooking the Hudson River, the modern museum building is not a copy of any specific medieval structure but is rather an ensemble informed by a selection of historical precedents, with a deliberate combination of ecclesiastical and secular spaces arranged in chronological order. Elements from medieval cloisters—Saint-Michel-de-Cuxa, Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert, Trie-sur-Baïse, Froville, and elements once thought to have come from Bonnefont-en-Comminges—and from other sites in Europe have been incorporated into the fabric of the building.
I’m not a huge fan of anything medieval, particularly their art. How much two-dimensional, gold-tinted Jesuses and religious scenes does one really need to see? But, like everything else, this was very well done.
I particularly enjoyed the Gardens; they were delightful, and were modeled after traditional monastery gardens.
The only bad thing about the Cloisters is that getting there is a pain in the ass. It’s 30 minutes each way by subway; 45 minutes by bus. They were doing construction on the 1 line this weekend, in which stops 103 through 137 (Columbia is 116) were being skipped uptown, so Rose and I were forced to take the M4 from 116th all the way to the last stop at the Cloisters. Although the ride was tedious both ways, it actually worked out better because since the Cloisters is on a hill, it would’ve been a nightmare to take the subway and then walk 20-30 minutes up a hill. The bus took us straight up the hill and dropped us off and picked us up right at the front door of the Cloisters. it was like a proper tour bus. I was quite pleased; I love it when people have foresight regarding public transportation!
We didn’t get back until 530 PM and most of our other friends were off in the village brunching and running around, so I got Chipotle and ate on my own. After everyone got back, we were all too tired to go out drinking, so we stayed in and hung out. It was lovely.
Yo Pataki is a re imagining of the Hey Arnold characters as young adults. The series (hypothetically) would center around a 26 year old Helga Pataki who is now a bartender works at the family owned business, Big Bob’s Cafe.
During book workshop, one of our resource persons, Emily, told us that when she took the course several years prior that magazine workshop was more difficult than book workshop.
"It’s a different stress than book workshop," she explained. "It takes a toll on people. I remember more people cried in magazine workshop than they did in book workshop."
While we were alarmed at the time, we were also a bit incredulous, and slightly disbelieving: magazine workshop was shorter than book workshop, and because the majority of us were “book people” we all expected to be less stressed producing a product we weren’t as “passionate” about, to quote the magazine lecturers.
Alas, Emily’s prediction came true: magazine workshop was infinitely a different (and more extreme) layer of Hell than book workshop ever was. (People definitely cried.)
There, perhaps, were a few different factors that played into it: the second to the last week, people are getting increasingly antsy about post-CPC plans: where are they going to live, who are they going to live with, and how the hell can they get a job as quickly as possible?
Additionally, many people are unfamiliar with how magazines work, and perhaps felt uncomfortable in their new roles.
Unfortunately, I can’t, because this is a public blog, say what I believe is the real and most significant reason why magazine workshop week was so awful. Sorry.
That aside, magazine workshop functioned a little bit differently than book workshop. Instead of a little over a week to complete our magazines, we had only five days total: four full days and two half-days. Also, half of the groups were making websites, while the other half were making magazines. I was in the magazine group, my focus being teens. It wasn’t my first (or second or third) choice, but whatever. It seems I’ll never graduate to adult content (which sounds a lot more scandalous than it sounds.)
I was Circulation Director, which, whatever. I wanted to be an editor or EIC, but it was interesting learning a role I wouldn’t normally. My job was to identify our target audience, our main competitors, and then figure out how to reach them and boost our circulation numbers, either through single sale copies or subscription copies. I worked a lot with the Business Manager to model and predict what our sales would be like a on a 5-year basis.
My group produced a magazine called Metropoliteen that was an urban-based magazine for teens that covered general content, like long-forms, arts and culture, entertainment, fashion, etc.
There was a lot of stupid drama, particularly in my group, and the majority of the time I felt frustrated and helpless. It was difficult to work under those conditions, but, as always, I did my best, and I know that under the circumstances, the majority of my entire class did as well. We are not a group that is okay with handing in second-rate work, whether or not we are “passionate” about it. Which, as I said last week, is really all anyone can ask for.