Novelist Allison Rushby, prior to boarding…

Novelist Allison Rushby does amazing things with her 1.5 days in New York City. Including a close encounter with a cat’s paw. (The cat’s name was Bob).

I’m staying in NYC, in Times Square to be precise. I have a week. But not really. I have a writers’ conference of five days duration, 1.5 days of fun and half a day of standing in line at security at JFK. This kind of non-holiday with a bit of time on the side stay in NYC can be overwhelming. Friends and family Facebook you with all kinds of suggestions. ‘You must visit the Frick!’, ‘Don’t forget to schedule in a show!’, ‘What do you mean you haven’t been to the MoMA?’, ‘Get out of that hotel already and see the amazing city you’re in!’.

No pressure or anything…

I’ve done this kind of trip to NYC a few times now and every single visit, I’ve put that pressure on myself to see and do as much as I can in that 1.5 days. Well, not this time. This time, I’d just moved house from Australia to the UK and I was tired. Really tired. I simply didn’t have the energy, so I decided to go micro instead of macro. And oh how much more fun I’ve had because of it.

I decided to choose two things and two things only to see. The first was Dickens’s cat foot letter opener (he loved his cat, Bob, so much, he had his paw made into a letter opener after his death). I’d heard about this object from a friend and she was right – this letter opener was a sight to behold (claws and all) – as was the rest of the New York Public Library’s Celebrating 100 Years exhibition

The second was the New York City Tenement Museum. What a find – an intimate, personal, moving exploration of what it really would have been like to live in a tenement building as seen through one family’s eyes.

Micro over macro. I think I may have conquered the short NYC stay.

Allison Rushby is the Australian author of 11 novels in women’s fiction and young adult fiction, including It’s Not You It’s Me.

It’s Not You It’s Me

In 2011 she moved to a small village outside of Cambridge, UK, where she is writing a travel memoir and blogging. In February 2012, her young adult novel, Shooting Stars, will be released by Walker Books in the US.  You can often find her procrastinating on Twitter at @Allison_Rushby. That is, when she’s not on eBay, or Etsy, or any other place she can shop in secret…

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