You’ve probably noticed I was too quiet in the end of July, and that was partly because I went on holidays to New York City. But even thought I have not posted anything during my stay in NYC, it doesn’t not mean I forgot about JAFF, by the contrary!
In fact, this trip ended up having too many references to the Jane Austen world, so today I am happy to share with you another chapter of My Jane Austen Road Trip 🙂
I would not have imagined I would find so many things across the pond that would remind me of JAFF, but the truth is that as I’m writing this post, I’m finding it hard to select the moments and pictures to share with you.
My very first day in the city was a true surprise. Once I arrived in NYC I went to my friends house in Jersey City were I would stay the entire week, as it was already late, my friends decided we would dine at a very nice restaurant called Porta just a few steps from their apartments. We went to this restaurant because of it’s proximity to their apartments so you can imagine my surprise when I looked at the menu and saw a drink called Mr. Darcy!!! The drink had gin in it, and I don’t even like gin, but I could not resist telling the waiter I wanted a Mr. Darcy! Who would have right?
I was preparing myself to say “I want a Mr. Darcy, please” when one of my friends spoiled it for me! That’s true, my friend who also happens to be named Rita decided to order it for me. I was so frustrated I had to ask another one (I repeat, I don’t even like gin!). Anyway, Mr. Darcy was not a sweet drink, it was a bit bitter and not at all what I would expect, but still, it was the best drink served in our table 🙂
If you happen to visit Jersey City, and you don’t know where to dine, I do recommend Porta, apart from the great taste in naming their drinks, the food is really good and it is a nice place to be with your friends 🙂
Mr. Darcy at Porta was not the only surprise Jersey City had for me. The following day we decided to go to a cosy little bookshop just around the corner (on the same street as the restaurant) to buy a very late birthday present to one of my friends, and guess what? The bookshop was full of Jane Austen memorabilia!
I loved some of the items so much that I asked if they had more Jane Austen related articles, and that was my mistake! Of course they had more Jane Austen related things, and of course I wanted them all. It was my second day on holidays and I was already spending my months wage in JAFF related articles!
In my defence, I can not find any of these things in Portugal , and books are so much cheaper in the US! If I were American I think I would be buying paperbacks all the time 🙂
Don’t you think these things are the best?
If you liked some of these articles you can find them at Word bookstores in Brooklyn and/or Jersey City. For more info, you can visit their Website.
My journey at this point was only beginning and the best was yet to come. It was not a surprise but something I had planned a long time ago: meeting Claudine from JustJane1813.
Claudine started her blog just a few months after me and I’ve been a fan since the beginning. We started talking through our blogs, social media and lately I have found that discussing JAFF over whatapps with her is incredibly fun!
Meeting Claudine was a surprise because we had never met and have an entire ocean separating us, but also felt like meeting an old friend I hadn’t seen for a while and with whom I had a lot to talk about.
We spend two days together in the Big Apple (I’m sure she’ll laugh and tease me about my accent when she reads this) and those were the most wonderful day’s I’ve spent in the city.
She took me to a beautiful tea house called King’s Carriage where we enjoyed an English tea and could not stop talking about books! I loved the place, the company, the conversation and the coincidence of discovering the waiter was actually a writer trying to finish his first novel. He could be fooling us, but we never know, I like to believe that the tea house was a true literary place.
After the wonderful tea, Claudine took me to the theatre to see an adaptation of Sense and Sensibility by Kate Hamil performed by Bedlam’s actors. This was the second time Claudine went to see this play, and she reviewed it at her blog so I won’t go into much details as you can still read her review, but let me just tell you that I loved it!!! I was told they will adapt Pride and Prejudice next, so if you live near NYC, don’t miss it. The group of actors were very talented and the director Eric Tucker did a wonderful job in using the space, props and actors available (several actors portrayed more than one character and that was beautifully executed). I love the theatre and go quite frequently here in Portugal, so my standards are pretty high when it comes to theatre productions, but this one was clearly exceptional. I have Claudine to thank for this wonderful experience.
While on the first day Claudine took me to a Jane Austen experience, on the second day I took her on a tourist experience.
We went to the Top of The Rock and took beautiful pictures, we visited Saint Patrick’s Church, the Grand Central Terminal, and through all these places do you know what she did? She bloged! She is unstoppable! I’ve never seen anyone as multitasked as Claudine. She was with me the entire day and she could give me her attention, enjoy the places she was visiting and still work for Justjane1813. No wonder she is always so active and well informed in what concerns JAFF! She is unbelievable 🙂
The last place we visited together was New York’s Public Library which has beautiful architecture emanating a special feeling for us book lovers. It also has some very interesting paintings on some of the reading rooms. Don’t you think that looks exactly like Jane? What about Charlotte and Mr. Bennet?
But the best part about the Library was the shop. Again, I could not resist so many great things related to Jane Austen! I bought more things than I should, and Claudine was a sweetheart and offered me a pair of hearings as a token of our time together!I will always cherish them and think of her when I wear them:)
What do you think of my final purchases? Most of the items are available in their online shop if you’re interested,
After two incredible days, my time with Claudine ended, but once again, the love for Jane Austen and her characters brought me together with a wonderful woman who amazed me with her strength and knowledge. Someone with whom I could speak at ease about everything, not just JAFF, and that is probably one of the most valuable lessons I take from this trip.
We may have been connected by JAFF, and we may have spent most of the time talking about books, characters and authors, but JAFF has become much more than a common interest between people. It has become a means of connecting, making new friends and feel understood and cherished.
It has become a door that opens so many paths, so many roads to follow, and for that I am grateful!
It allowed me to open my horizons and dream about the next road trip and all the surprises it may bring me…