There’s something special about celebrating a book where it all began.

I’ve been to all of these cities in the past few weeks, but New York is my true home, where this personal odyssey all began. And so it was nice to be there, to be home, and celebrate with my old friends and family and new friends I’ve made along the way.

The event kind of floored me to be honest. As much as I tried to prepare myself for the number of RSVPs there were, I don’t think you ever can be ready to embrace that many people, to thank them for their support and take them all in, and feel like you’ve done a good enough job.

There were dozens of people I wanted to spend an hour with talking, some of whom I’d just met. And old friends too, lifers who I just don’t see as much as I want to.

That was the hard part. But it was still spectacular too.

I’m going to tell you a bit about them as we go along here… this is my Ode to Friends, since I couldn’t do a good enough job on Tuesday night. And because I don’t often have a chance to tell you about them, seeing as I’m a wandering Nomad lately.

It began at Idlewild Books in Flatiron, which is a beautiful place. When I first arrived to get the lay of the land, they were teaching a French class. The whole store is organized by country… it’s a travel book store, that teaches you the languages you need to send you on your way… inspiring…my kind of place.

And by the way, all of these photos were taken by Gordon Pellegrini, which is why they’re much better than usual.

When I stumbled onto the street, I ran into my friend Kristen.

Kristen is the girl you want to go on a trip with. She is the girl who will always have you laughing until it hurts. We took a cross-country trip through Arizona a few summers ago, which started in Las Vegas and ended in Mexico.

It was a very colorful experience… permanently seared into my memory and my heart. I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard or had so much fun for two weeks straight.

She just got engaged to a very handsome boy.

And I love that she always wears flip-flops.

And then I disappeared for a while and roamed the streets of NYC… I’ll tell you why in the next post.

And as it got darker and the place started to fill up, I returned to this…

One Mom Pellegrini and my Godfather Mark. He is the best. The absolute best. He is one of the reasons I love food so much. Spend one night at his dinner table and you will be transformed. It helps that he’s a world traveler and speaks Arabic among many other languages, so his cooking is always interesting.

These platters of charcuterie were sent by my friend Marc Buzzio… you can read about him in my book, he’s the chapter called “Fighting for Salami.”

It wouldn’t do him justice to explain in just a few words why this charcuterie is so special, but let’s just say he fought the USDA like heck to do what he does, and he won. He’s one of the last people in the country to make charcuterie in this way.

Then is became a blur of familiar faces. Everywhere I turned I felt the urge to hug.

These women for example. Oh man, where do I begin. These are all college gals. We were in the lecture society together that I mentioned the other day… the one I spoke at last weekend.

Abbie is on the left. She’s a publicist for a major publisher in NYC so she did some major hand holding this year. She also just had a tiny little munchkin that is the cutest thing you’ve ever seen.

Marissa is in the middle. She was my Wellesley “big sis.” We have a special kind of bond that is hard to put into words. When we see each other we just cry sometimes. I don’t know why, but we just want to. She’s so supportive, no matter how long we go without seeing each other. I feel blessed to have her believe in me so much.

Wallis is on the right. She’s so wise. She was my “resident adviser” when I was a freshman in college. She would have us in her dorm room and feed us sweet treats and help us navigate the ways of the world. She’s so very, very wise. And she just got engaged too. Congrats girl.

This might be the time to mention that New York City is full of so many beautiful people. It’s something you hear a lot as a generalization but it’s just a fact.

And they’re stylish too. Something that unfortunately has never rubbed off on me. If I find an outfit that doesn’t clash, I wear it ten days in a row because it’s so thrilling.

Beautiful people.

And the wine! St. Francis winery sponsored ALL of the wine for this event. It was SOOO GOOD. And they even came to the event to say hi. It went perfectly with the charcuterie. Everyone loved it.

On the left is my bestest friend Emily. We’ve been friends since she was in sixth grade and I was in seventh grade. We met in music school which we attended every Saturday until we went off to college. Every Saturday we’d sit in the halls and wait for our music theory class to start. She was much better at it than I was. She’s one of the smartest people I know.

This is my Godfather and his friend John.

Did I mention New York is full of beautiful people?

Beautiful and stylish.

THESE TWO! Worth and Natalie. Glamorous doesn’t even begin to explain. They are talented too. They both have voices that would knock your socks off. They’ve been on Broadway in all kinds of shows and commercials and are generally thrilling to be around. Life is always an adventure when you’re with them, they get involved in all kinds of crazy fun.

Worth just had a really fab wedding in Palm Springs that was featured on Style Me Pretty.

Natalie has a popular blog called Mormon in Manhattan which chronicles her adventures in New York City. She’s hilarious.

This is Marc Buzzio, my favorite man in NYC. You can read all about him in “Food Heroes.”

This is me trying to stand on a stool and talk to the crowd.

This is me probably falling off the stool. I can’t really remember, it was all so much so fast.

I just hope I said something coherent, but I can’t be sure.

I was better off just sitting silently and scribbling my signature.

This is my literary agent Brettne and my publicist Jessica! The dream team. They really rock.

And my agent brought me chocolate. Which I needed to keep me going.

And my publicist brought me sharpies. Which I also needed to keep going.

I still don’t have writers cramp. People have been asking. Rawk.

Beautiful people.

Marc and his business partner Paul. I made them sign my book.

One Mom Pellegrini and her friend Corolla from my hometown.

Meryl! Another Wellesley gal holding Abbie’s little munchkin Evelyn.

Jessica and Peter! They just moved from Ireland (where he’s from) back to NYC. She’s a poet and a travel writer and keeps this blog about her adventures.

This is JC and her family. She’s a singer and songwriter and I’m going to call her a comedian as well because she’s very funny to boot.

And at the end, everyone poured over to the after party. I was the last to leave. Except for my friend Marcus who rushed over from his high powered job. We were in first through fifth grade together at Green Meadow Waldorf School. Do you know those Rudolph Steiner schools? Well if you do, you’ll know that they’re unique. You learn to knit and make your own knitting needles and learn German and French and other creative things starting in first grade.

Well Marcus and I used to be very competitive. We’d have knitting competitions and I’d push him into the stream on our class field trips. That’s how I interacted with boys back then. I’m not sure that much has changed…

But wasn’t he nice to leave his high powered job to come say hi? Even if I did push him into the water back in the day… I guess he’s forgiven me.

Thank you to Idlewild Books for hosting such a raucous affair…

…which was then continued at Apartment 48.

It was the coolest spot. They hosted a lot of people in their space and gave them 10% off all of their purchases. Now that’s love.

They have really unique and beautiful and reasonable home wares. If you’re ever in NYC, you must stop in. I wanted to take half the store on the plane with me.

A color coordinated guest list…

Yes, this is where I tell you about the real masterminds behind the event.

Like I said, it was packed.

With beautiful people.

With stylish people.

Who were all way cooler than I am.

I kept asking myself if I hadn’t slipped into the wrong party.

These were the guys working at Apartment 48 for example. Way cool.

Like I said… the people involved and helping and pouring were so stylish I was certain I was in the wrong place.

I love a guy in a good bow tie.

But the glasses really take the cake.

The wine was sponsored by St. Francis like I mentioned, but the water was also sponsored — by Mountain Valley Spring Water.  Sparkling and still. In beautiful green bottles. I drank it all night long.

Another man in a bow tie and yellow glasses.

I was starting to think this party really was for me after all.

Beautiful people.

More beautiful people.

Really beautiful people. Look at her dress!

And swag bags. I’ve never had a party with sway bags before. Except for when I was in grade school and my mom gave them out at my birthday parties. Except they weren’t filled with Calvin Klein perfume. Or from the Wall Street Journal. It was more like slap bracelets and those snap things you throw on the ground. And scrunchies. Oh how I loved scrunchies back in the 80’s.

That’s when I started wondering again if I’d gone into the wrong party.

People were buying up a storm at Apartment 48.

Beautiful people.

Cool people.

Cool Apartment 48 treats.

Solie! OK. This girl on the left is Solonje Burnett-Loucas.

She is the reason for this big, big evening. She is gifted, a party planning genius. She has a company called Elios Events and I really can’t believe the depth of her talents. If you ever need anything promoted, planned and to be a success, she is your woman. I know I’m biased, but I truly believe this is her calling and what she’s meant to do. I’ve never seen anyone pull off successful events with the special touch that she has. You can follow her on twitter here.

Stylish New Yorkers.

Beautiful people.

People that are way cooler than me.

One of the talented event planners Jenna Bond-Louden, her company is Lady Bird & Co, and the fabulous Stephanie from Gilt. Gilt City sponsored this event also.

*Pinch, pinch.*

This is the entire host committee. And little dorky me.

The man in the middle is Apartment 48 owner Rayman Boozer.

Why, why? I asked myself.

And than I said a little prayer of gratitude.

Why does everyone have such cool glasses at this party? Do you think that was coordinated as well?

I think Solie might actually be that detail oriented…

Yes, I think so.

Thank you Apartment 48.

Thank you Beautiful People and Friends of New York City.

A big giant Thank You to:

Idlewild Books

Solonje Burnett-Loucas (Eilos Events)
Jenna Bond-Louden (Lady Bird & Co.)
Caitlin Crawford
Deirdre D’Elia

…the Wine Sponsor:
St. Francis Winery & Vineyards and founder Joe Martin

…the other generous In-Kind Donors:
COTY, Inc.
GILT CITY a part of Gilt Groupe
The Good Home
Mountain Valley Spring Water

…and to Apartment 48’s Rayman Boozer and his fantastic staff including Brian and Aaron for allowing us have the event in the store.

I am truly humbled and grateful.



All of the photos were skillfully taken by Gordon Pellegrini.