Book Expo America 2011 was quite a whirlwind! I left our homestead for a few days to fly to NYC and have a couple signings at the event. It was the first time I have ever been to BEA and it was crazy! I was staying right by Times Square and the city was hot and buzzing with people.

This is the biggest book event in the country and basically every publisher and publishing-related company is there. Hundreds of authors filter through over the course of a few days talking about their new book, doing readings and signings. The thousands of attendees are book lovers, bookstore owners, librarians and anyone with their toe in the industry.











I met equal parts people who were personally interested in modern homesteading and the other half people who were in the industry and wanted to check out the book for their library or bookstore. They kept stacking books up next to me during the signing, but the line just kept coming. It was such a successful signing that we ran out of books!

It was strange being back in the city when almost a year ago at this time I was pulling in with my dusty Subaru after a cross country drive. I lived there with Jay for a few months, which I spent editing the book, making slow food and getting involved in the local foodshed in Brooklyn. The streets felt very familiar and I once again admired New Yorkers ability to bring plant life into the city.

It felt really good to be around such diversity again. You see it in the people living there, but also just the colors and food of the city. I had dinner one night in Koreatown. Portland barely has a Chinatown, let alone a whole neighborhood for Korean businesses.

The last night there I ate in Hell’s Kitchen with marketing team from Fulcrum Publishing. It was so great to meet more of their staff since I primarily worked with my editor through the process. The food we enjoyed was fresh, local and delicious. The restaurant even brought out a special little dessert for me to congratulate me on the book – how sweet!

It was hard to get away at the end of my term like that, but I think it was also just what I needed. It got me out of this small world of design and into the city that never sleeps. The event was successful and I would love to go again some day!

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Written by Renee Wilkinson