Welcome to beautiful New York City -- home of #YASummerShowdown participants, the Manhattan FYA Book Club! Chaya is here today to tell us a little more about her club.Take it away, Chaya!
Welcome to the Manhattan FYA Book Club! We play hard and we read hard (well, sometimes).
In addition to monthly book club meetings, we also have events we like to call “Book Club After Dark.” Being based in New York City comes with many advantages when planning book club events. There are a million different things that we would like to go to on any given week and we try our best to make the most of what New York City has to offer.
Our first true outing together was An Evening of Awesome with John and Hank Green. Yes, that was the official name of the event, and it was indeed an evening of AWESOME. We hardly knew each other at the time, but we bonded quickly over a mutual love for the absurdly endearing Green brothers. The Nerdfighters completely sold out Carnegie Hall, where Hank sang about Harry Potter, The Lizzie Bennett Diaries cast showed up to re-enact the Anne Frank scene from TFIOS, and Neil Gaiman was forced into reciting the line “I would actually, literally suck donkey balls” in a dramatic reading from Paper Towns. And then Hank spoke for all of us,
An event that has become a tradition for us is the ShakesBeer Pub Crawl, which is a ridiculously cool fundraiser for the New York Shakespeare Exchange theater company. Our first crawl traveled through four bars in lower Manhattan’s Stone Street Historic District. At each stop actors perform a scene by the Bard, often climbing onto the bar and/or audience members. An event that combines Shakespeare and booze? HUZZAH!
ShakesBEER 2013 at Ulysses on Stone Street (left), and ShakesBEER 2014 at Bavaria Bierhaus on Stone Street (right)
In July we took our shenanigans to the high seas! Well, to the East River. We bought all day ferry passes and sailed to points east - Queens and Brooklyn. We love a good theme, so the dress code was nautical chic. Our cruise offered a chance to explore new neighborhoods and get some gorgeous views of our fair city’s landmarks like the Empire State and Chrysler Buildings, the Brooklyn Bridge, and the Freedom Tower.
Ferry Crawl 2013, Long Island City
In October, the wonderful indie bookstore McNally Jackson hosted a YA Trivia Night, complete with YA authors there to serve as expert helpers for the teams. We dubbed ourselves “That’s So Raven Boys” and stocked up on champ cans. (McNally Jackson lets you bring in alcohol. Told you they are wonderful!) While we did not come out on top of the leader board, Gayle Forman now knows us as “The Champagne Drinkers,” so we were definitely winners that night.
YA Trivia Night, McNally Jackson, October 2013
Free booze is abundant in the Big Apple if you know where to look. As part of the TriBeCa Film Festival each year Bombay Sapphire Gin puts on a transmedia exhibit called Bombay Storyscapes. We went this April and marveled at the weird movie/computer things that were displayed, but mostly we just enjoyed the neverending supply of gin.
As part of the Bombay Storyscapes event we were lucky enough to be taken off the waitlist for the Blue Dahlia installation. Not knowing what this was, but intrigued by its exclusivity, we wandered into a dark 1920s style living room and awaited instructions. A dapper gentlemen issued us into a screening room where we were each given a tray of five cocktails and a bag of popcorn.
Yes, you read that correctly. After a few hours of sipping gin we were each given our own tray of cocktails! Delighted by this turn of events we watched five short films, all with the same script, pairing each film with a cocktail as the dapper gentleman advised.
Bombay Sapphire Lounge, April 2014
After several successful Book Club After Darks, we decided to up the glam factor. Motivated by our love of Center Stage, Dance Academy, and one Mr. Roberto Bolle (Do a Google images search. You're welcome!), several members attended the American Ballet Theater Opening Night Gala performance. Dresses were cute, heels were high, champagne was consumed, and twirls were turned.
The Metropolitan Opera House, May 2014
Through our mutual love of YA books and the awesomeness of FYA we have formed amazing friendships and have a ball whenever we get together. Whether it’s our monthly book club meetings or an evening at the ballet we love being a part of this book club. With every new member our book club family grows and even though our amazing leader Erynn is moving away we will soldier on. We have lots of fun stuff currently in the books including our second annual sleepover and a summer meeting of “Book Club at the Beach.”
FYA Sleepover 2013
Thanks FYA for bringing strangers together and turning them into friends!
May 2014 Book Club Meeting, Central Park in front of Belvedere Castle