Finally, my In Five Years Literary Date is here! I’ve been soaking and marinating it for you all in my slow cooker to get it just right.
Translation: I’ve been procrastinating. I’m not sure why. Maybe because this literary date had to be done like none other before. Because of this pandemic, I had to adapt, and still not sure how I feel about it. I did enjoy my literary date for In Five Years, I do, however, miss the old days, not gonna lie. Don’t we all?
Usually, for my literary dates, I use the book to inspire a full day (and night) in the city, exploring the sites in the book to see where the day takes me. For a day, I get this vacay feeling as I explore the city.
For this literary date, I had to improvise so most of it happened across a span of a few days over the summer. The fact that dining and indoor activities have been so limited means one very important factor- no bathrooms for me! This girl could not go a whole day and night without a bathroom- hell to the naw! Also, with seating limited in outdoor dining, I wasn’t about to take up a table for just myself. Sadly, I didn’t do much dining during this literary date, however, the good thing is that this book has SO much. There was plenty for me to do and you, if you ever come to New York City and want to do your own In Five Years literary date.
In Five Years Literary Date
Dannie dreams of one day living in the exclusive neighborhood, Gramercy Park, which boasts a beautiful private park. To her shock and bewilderment, Dannie finds herself waking up in five years in Brooklyn of all places. Dumbo to be exact. One thing you should know about New York City is that there is quite a Manhattan vs. Brooklyn rivalry happening. Both sides will debate intensely on which is the better borough to live in (Brooklyn). Many people living in Manhattan wouldn’t step foot into Brooklyn(or any other borough for that matter) and shudder at the thought of living there. Dannie is most definitely that type of person. So it’s funny that she has a vision of herself in Brooklyn when all she dreams about is a fancy place in Gramercy Park.
Since Dannie saw herself in DUMBO, which Google tells me, stands for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass, when back in her present-day, she decides to go explore the area to see the same things she saw in her dream or whatever the heck it was.
I love the area because it’s right by the water, so I was happy to go spend some time there.
It started off a little awkwardly here-
Bridge Coffee Shop
The book leads me to believe that I was going to a coffee shop, which is what the name would suggest. Dannie orders her favorite, a bagel with whitefish salad here. However, as you see from the picture it is known for Spanish and American foods. I walked in very focused on getting a bagel, stood in line behind a bunch of construction workers on lunch break who were looking curiously at the girl in the floral dress, and determined to order probably the only bagel in the joint.
It’s a pretty subpar bagel if I’m being honest, however, it’s clearly not a spot for bagels. Reading yelp reviews, many people have great things to say about their Spanish cuisine. I should have gone back and tried some plantains. I do love me some plantains. This made me chuckle though that it was completely the opposite of what I thought it would be from the book. I love that literary dates turn me into a book detective. It’s part of the fun!
Anyway, I took my bagel (and coffee)with me and wanted to find a nice spot outside to eat and relax. Where would Dannie go?
“…I make my way down Washington Street toward the river. The sun has started to burn off the haze of the morning, and the water reflects in sparkles…Brooklyn Bridge Park is less a park and more a stretch of grass. The benches are full, and I pop down on a rock, right by the water’s edge.”
The Cliffs at Dumbo
I sat along the water right in between the Manhattan Bridge and the Brooklyn Bridge. It was a little oasis that seemed tucked away in a secret corner of Brooklyn.
Another thing Dannie did is run across the Brooklyn Bridge to get to this neighborhood. I don’t think any book could inspire me to run, but did I walk across that bridge? I’ve lived in NYC for 15 years and have never done it. So crazy! Do you think it’s time? Well, you’ll have to wait and see because this segment of my literary date involves exploring the spots in Dumbo that Dannie sees in the book. The bridge will have to wait.
In Five Years Literary Date in Brooklyn (Dumbo)
Dannie walks along Plymouth Street…
Let me tell you that when I’m walking on some random street that a book character walked, it’s a little weird but also cool. There’s a smattering of people around just going about their day on some nondescript street and then there’s me, taking pictures of this random street. Who is this girl? What kind of tourist wants pictures of that? It’s kind of amusing to me.
At the same time, it’s pretty cool to walk on the same path as book characters. It feels like real people have been there, not just fictional characters.
Dannie sees this spot in her In Five Years vision and walks past it in her present-day life:
“It’s the redbrick event space with the barn door. I recognize it now. But not just from that night. I was at a wedding here three years ago…It’s the old Galapagos Art Space, and it’s what I saw out the window that night, four and a half years ago.”
Next, I wanted to see the apartment building Dannie woke up in.
Here it is!
“It’s a brick-and-concrete building, less industrial than some surrounding it.”
I get bonus points for capturing two dogs in front of it. Maybe I should have tried to go inside? Is Dannie right, “There’s no lobby, just a buzzer, and a padlock…” I forgot to peek in although I didn’t want to look like a peeper!
I also passed the classic instagrammable spot in Dumbo, which has the Manhattan Bridge in the background.
I should have brought my own photographer. Too bad I don’t have one! Lots of people were getting their shot in this prime location. I thought about asking someone to take mine but I chickened out. Who wants to take a picture using someone’s grubby phone during a pandemic anyway?
That’s all from Dumbo, folks. I highly suggest coming here for anyone visiting New York City. Go to Brooklyn Bridge Park and get the best views of the Manhattan skyline. Plenty of nearby restaurants including the famous Grimaldi’s Pizzeria.
Also, the cutest carousel you’ll ever see, Jane’s Carousel, is located here. You get the sweetest carousel with the most beautiful views.
Next, I want to show you the area that Dannie dreamed of living in, Gramercy Park. It’s a neighborhood in Manhattan and as the name suggests, there’s a park in the area, however, it’s a private park, and one way to get a key to the park is to live in one of the buildings surrounding the park. Dannie especially wanted access to the private park.
This lowly New Yorker could only see it from behind the gates.
If I had only shown you all this pic, I might have you believe I was inside the park instead of the creeper reaching her arms through the gate to get a shot without the fence. Do you see what I go through for you all? 😉
Aren’t they fancy?
This was a quick visit because there’s only so long one can lurk outside of an exclusive, members-only, private, must-have-a-key-to-enter, fancy-schmancy park.
Moving right along…to…
In Five Years Literary Date in the West Village
The West Village has always been one of my favorite neighborhoods in Manhattan. The off-the-grid, cobblestone streets give it such a sweet, quaint feel. It’s the neighborhood that makes you want to hole up in a coffee shop, take out your laptop, and spend hours writing. In fact, many famous writers in history made their homes here including Robert Frost, ee cummings, and Margaret Wise Brown, just to name a few.
My first job in the city also was in this neighborhood and as a Sex and the City fan, I loved walking past Carrie Bradshaw’s stoop. Also, If you want to have the quintessential New York City brunching experience, find a spot in the West Village. This book provides a few options, check them out in my prior In Five Years post.
Dannie meets up with someone here and has a pivotal conversation with this person.
They walk down Perry Street towards the West Side Highway.
I decide to go over there for a relaxing time by the water. Because don’t you want to be by the water as much as possible in the summer too? Now that it’s November, we can reminisce about being by the water.
I head to…
Hudson River Park
Yes, I had picked up a bagel on the way to make up for my lackluster one from the other day. Luckily, this bagel was decidedly better, but I forgot to document where I got it from because I had been distracted at the time, making sure I was following the correct Covid protocols before entering the establishment. I was very happy to have successfully made it out with my coffee and bagel. Yum!
I sat in this park for a while, dog stalking and reading. Note to self: next time bring a blanket. For the dog stalking pic, you have to read my book review of Kings County, which includes a sneak peek into this In Five Years literary date.
Next up for this In Five Years literary date is that I want to find Bella’s apartment.
In Five Years tells us that Bella’s apartment is at the corner of Bleecker & Charles.
The book doesn’t give an exact address, so what I do in these circumstances, is I fully embody the character as I walk around and see where I’m lead (I’m being a bit dramatic here, so don’t take me too seriously).
So as I fully felt Bella within me, I found myself walking up this stoop…
and in my Bella trance, I searched my pockets for her keys, couldn’t find them so jimmied the doorknob a bit…and that’s how I almost got arrested for breaking and entering. Once I explained to the cops that I was embodying a character in a book I read, they realized I was just your average loony New Yorker and they sent me on my way because nobody gets in the way of me and my cookies!
I chose this place because Bella, according to the book, has a favorite cookie place on Bleecker Street. Unfortunately, the name of the cookie place was not mentioned in the book. I took matters into my own hands and found this yummy spot on Bleecker. These cookies are decadent omg! I bought three of them which was ridiculous. They are HUGE and delicious. No regrets.
Just learned that they changed their name to Chip City, so if you’re ever in the city, I definitely recommend a visit when you explore the West Village. I believe their unique flavors change daily, find out more about this and their other locations at chipcitycookies.com.
They also ship all along the east coast and as far west as Chicago.
Look at this picturesque street. These are the kind of streets that make me love the West Village.
But my favorite moment of the day of course was running into Dixie celebrating her 14th birthday. So cute!!
I had planned to get take out dinner from the Greek spot mentioned in the book, however, it didn’t look open when I got there. I checked Seamless to see if I could order something and the menu seemed slim as compared to what I saw online.
So with that, our time in the West Village has ended.
Now, what we’ve all been waiting for…did I walk across that bridge after 15 years living in Brooklyn?
I’m sure you figured it out that finally I accomplished that feat with my feet. Big accomplishment getting my butt some exercise.
In Five Years Literary Date at Brooklyn Bridge
It was hard to choose pics because I loved them all. I hope you enjoy my little Brooklyn Bridge slide show.
As I walked across all on my own, I felt like I got encouragement from the universe ie the building in the background…
Originally I wanted to walk across from Manhattan to Brooklyn and then go to the spots in Brooklyn like how Dannie did it. However, the best views of the city would obviously be if you walk from Brooklyn to Manhattan, so that’s what I did. It really was a relatively easy walk at about a mile long, so it’s very doable to walk back and forth, if you desired. I wore ballerina flats so my shoe wear was pretty simple too, but I’ve walked all throughout the city in them and knew I’ve never had problems. Therefore, make sure you got some good walking shoes. Blisters are no fun! Pro tip: whatever shoes you walk around the city in, make sure they are shoes you have worn often and know have been comfortable. Walk around your neighborhood a few times in them before visiting the city with them.
This concludes my In Five Years Literary Date. I loved this book so it was great to stay with these beautiful characters a little longer. Thanks again to Christine from The Uncorked Librarian for recommending this book and of course to Rebecca Serle for writing it.
If you would like to know more about all the spots in NYC that are mentioned in the book In Five Years, check out my other post that covers all of that: In Five Years Literary Date Option #1
Next up for Literary Dates
I want to work on my rom-com book again. I put it down and it’s become something else I’ve procrastinated. So working on that will be a main focus of mine, however, I might have a couple more surprise posts coming up.
I also want to tear through my New York City book list and think I will do mini book reviews with them along with some literary date ideas in the same posts.
With this 2nd wave of the pandemic going on, I don’t foresee me going on literary dates until Spring or Summer. We’ll see! If I read something where I can see myself going safely to some of the sites, I will. Since I have to work because of my healthcare job, there might be times that I can walk to some spots after work.
As always, please give me any NYC book recommendations you have. Thank you for your help and thank you, as always for reading and supporting. Hope you all had a Happy Thanksgiving! I am thankful for you all.
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