overheard in new york

In ALL, BOOK PUBLISHING, TRAVEL by Stephanie Klein51 Comments

"Thanks for coming," I said with a smile as I took my book from her hand. 
"You have no idea!  I canceled my gynecologist appointment to be here today!"

That pretty much says it all.  Thanks LeAnne and Cara for coming to Bryant Park yesterday for the panel discussion and book signing.  To Jill, Christie, Caprice, Rebecca, Rachel and a host of others who introduced themselves.  It’s restorative for me to meet people who read this blog.  It’s a reminder that people actually read it.  This might sound, no, this will sound obnoxious, but I don’t give a shit.  I was with Alexandra the other day, and I was trying to flag down a cab with little luck.  I saw a taken cab pulling over and sprinted for it.  "You’ll always move like a New Yorker," Alex said.  And we kind of shared a laugh without laughing.  I hesitated before opening the cab door.  When I lived in New York, I rarely opened someone’s door for them.  I thought it came across as invasive.  Like, "I’ll open the door when I’m good and ready to come out!"  And my opening it for them was some sort of rude impatience.  But since living in Austin, I see it differently now.  Now it’s just polite.  A gesture of kindness.  Though it does still say, "Let me help you, while I also help myself."  I opened her door as I waved my goodbye to Alexandra. 
"Oh my God, you’re Stephanie Klein," the woman getting out of the cab said.  "I’m going to your thing in Bryant Park tomorrow."  Her name was Deena, and she did come the next day, with her fiancee.  And that’s the obnoxious part.  You don’t write about stuff like this because it comes across as completely self.  Self everything.  But for me it was wonderful.  It made me realize I never really left New York. 

Comments

  1. Stephanie
    You are not obnoxious, you are a sweet, endearing,and funny woman and a fine writer to boot,as a nyc girl living in the 'burbs i understand that NY instinct kicks in. I enjoy your blog loved your book and your kids are delicious, would love to send you a pic of my little redhead. Please keep us smiling. Jenny

  2. I think that's so awesome! You should be proud of all your successes and feel great to be recognized by a fan and you should be sharing them with your readership, that's what its all about, right?

  3. I was there yesterday too! I had a conference call at 1:45 and I didn't bring my book along (loaned it to a friend) so I skipped out when the q+a ended. I have to say, it was kind of surreal seeing you–in the flesh–yesterday. And Phil and the babies. I sound really star-stuck, but I guess I kind of was. You let us into your life through the blog, and your memoir, but you remained a character in my mind until yesterday. And there you were real as ever, candid, giggling, totally human. I loved it. Great job yesterday. And best wishes in the future.

  4. I want you to come to Philly! I moved to Philly from NYC about a year ago and the lack of fashion sense still amazes me. I was in the elevator at my office the other day and a co-worker complimented my handbag. I said "Thanks, it's Marc Jacobs." Another woman turned around and said "Oh, is he a new attorney that just joined the firm?"

    Clueless, I tell ya. It's like "Hi, I'm earth. Have we met?"

  5. Re: "Charity"'s post: (yes, I’m taking my turn at being snarky today) Not to be a bitch, but it really is rather silly to go around "…oh its Marc Jacobs" and expect others who have other/more important things on their minds to care about WHO made your handbag; one that you probably paid too much for anyway. It makes you look like a twit outside of the overly fashion conscious NYC. Just my 2 cents…

  6. I was there yesterday, but too shy to come and say hello. I really appreciated the distinction you all made between regret in your life and regret in your writing. I'm going to use that in the future. Thanks for a great panel!

  7. Washington DC! DC! DC! I can guarantee you a gaggle of twenty-somethings who read your blog religiously. We talk about it so much in the office that people are like "Who's your friend Stephanie? How come we never meet her?" Thanks for being our Mentor/Friend/Distraction/Life Coach/and Role Model.

  8. I don't think that's obnoxious, I think it's endearing that you still get a kick out of being "recognized," and you shoudl take pride in your accomplishments. Shit, if that happened to me, I'd be writing about it all over my blog.

    Now this? THIS is obnoxious:
    http://www.health.com/health/article/0,23414,1630061,00.html

    As somebody who has also struggled with her weight, I thought you could appreciate.

  9. You are SO not obnoxious! You have the guts to say the things out lout that many of us are thinking! Seriously, thank you for your blog. Reading it makes me feel normal!

    Come to MIAMI!!

  10. The people who are going to say "oh you're so self-obsessed" are going to say it whether you write about these things or not. those of us who read for the right reasons aren't about to judge you for being honest about something cool like that which happened.

  11. Stephanie – I find that for most New Yorkers, no matter how many times they move or to where, they will always consider themselves New Yorkers at heart. Glad you felt so at home!

    Charity – you had me cracking up. I had a similar experience in January when a friend complimented my coat and I said it was Michael Kors. The friend thought I borrowed it from someone named Michael Kor, and because he's a surfer from LA I let it go.

  12. I was there with 4 friends from work and couldn't stay for the sigining. You totally outshined the other memoirists. Thanks for coming back!

  13. Gut instinct tells me that the recipient of the Marc Jacobs comment is an attorney in the firm and the deliveree is not! Some of us have more important business to tend to and don't care about "who it's by".

    FROM STEPHANIE: I'm sure, okay not 100% sure, but pretty confident that the people who divulge the brand name of the said complimented items either bring it up in case they want to know where to get it… or because the person asked them, and simply the above comments don't reflect this level of detail.

    For example, today a woman approached me and said, "I love your top." To which I responded, "Ann Taylor, and on sale now!" It was my way of letting her know she could get one too, and better hurry at that. "Really?" she responded, "it doesn't look like Ann Taylor. I'm going to go, thanks." I don't think it's obnoxious. I think a lot of the time, when we compliment something we wouldn't mind knowing from where it came. Not a smile or the color of their hair, but maybe a tie or a handbag. Why not? Otherwise, they say "thanks," and then you have to pry… "Where'd you get it?" And some people, not me, but some feel violated having to share such secrets.

  14. Stephanie are you going to come back to NYC anytime soon? I live in your old hood on 54th and 8th and they just opened this FABULOUS wine and cheese bar on 9th Ave. called Casellula! Check it out! By the way.. I think that you're fabulous!

  15. Stephanie,

    I'm so happy it went well!!

    I was going to fly out from Chicago to meet your lovely self and get my book signed but couldn't get the time off from work!! So sorry I missed you..

    What else did you get to do while in NYC? Are you still there? How long are you planning on staying?

    Also – Will you be posting pictures from the event? You know we'd all love to see them!

  16. I have lived outside of New York for the last seven years of my life. Every single time I've gone home, whether landing at Kennedy or LaGuardia, I get tears in my eyes walking off the plane, and my walking slows down just a bit as I wonder if anyone would notice if I just laid down and kissed the ground for a second. The first time I went back to visit, I nearly hugged a stranger in Shoprite.

  17. I was there! Thanks for signing my book. I really had a million questions but being that I had never been to that sort of thing before, I didn't know how much of your time I could take up without seeming like a psycho blog/book stalker.

    My mind went blank when I actually went to say hello, and while you do put all your shit out here in the blog and in the book, it almost feels rude to ask the things one really wants to know about the story- it feels like the eqivalent of touching a stranger's pregnant belly or something.

    Anyway- I came in from jersey just for that and then went home. It was worth it. I got another book out of it that I wouldn't have heard of, I got Carole Radziwill to sign my book, and I got to meet Stephanie Klein who reminds me of so many of my friends and who's story reminds me A LOT of my previous life with a similar ex.

    PS- I peeked in on the kids- SO cute.

  18. Dana and Charity – When someone admires your handbag, jacket, etc., there is NO NEED to tell the admirer who designed it. They didn't ask. And it's beyond self absorbed to think that someone paying you a complement cares how much you spent on the item. I know my Marc Jacobs and my Michael Kors but I am also aware that there is much more to life than fashion. Let me guess, if someone asked you what went on at the G8 this week you wouldn't be able to answer.

  19. That's a cute story – I am going to NY in October for the Gourmet Institute (given by Gourmet Magazine) and I absolutely cannot wait!!

  20. Question to Stephanie: With your book being published all over Europe now, do you have any plans to come over here, too? I would just love to see you in person, but crossing the Atlantic for a reading is just a little too far :-)

  21. Dear Stephanie
    You do so give a shit if people read your blog or not, otherwise you would so write just for you a and wouldn't ask questions, opinions (eg "what impresses you?"), advice on where to go in Austin, etc etc, 'talk' to us, your audience, as opposed to a diary to and for yourself.
    PS whenever someone compliments me on something, I'm always saying "This? I got it from the Chinese shop for ten bucks!"

  22. Did someone really suggest that if you know who Marc Jacobs is, there is a good chance you don't know what went on at the G8 summit? (Which to be honest when it comes to our president…Nothing)

    When someone admires something of mine, I often tell where I got it, and expect someone else to do the same. It's called being Nice! And style generous. It has nothing to do with price. With high scale items, it’s usually easier to name the designer than say Banana Republic. I love clothes and everything fashion. I also happen to have a B.A. and am now applying for graduate school. And guess what? My computer screen is almost always covered with pages to Fashion Websites as well as the NY Daily News and the Times.

    I swear, sometimes the women on this board are much, much worse than the chauvinistic warehouse/construction men I used to supervise. You can do both. Be intelligent, well aware of what’s going on in the world and still swoon at the site of great clothing (as I just did while watching the Today segment on SJP and bitten. $20.00 Hound’s-tooth coat anyone??) So please do everyone a favor and jump off the bitch train and by a new pair of jeans to cure whatever’s ailing you.

  23. i'm telling you…orlando is where it's at (pardon the preposition at the end)

    i'm so jealous — I must have missed the part where you said the beans would be there!!!

    please come!!

    -impatient in orlando

  24. Okay, I gotta comment on the whole saying the brandname of something.
    I too would normally scoff at those who name the brand of their article, UNLESS it was apparent this person would tell you just the same if they got it from WalMart. Again, the reason being, "hey you can get it too and cheap"

    But if they're just throwing it out there to throw out big names, fuck that pretension. I cant stand that shit. But I will admit I wouldnt pick a WalMart bag over a Louis V if they were free. :D
    No matter how ugly that Louis V is. So who am I to say?

    Women are so sensitive about that stuff. You never see men bickering over this stupid shit.

  25. You might not be a snob just because you tell someone who designed your bag, but when you make fun of a person for not knowing who the designer is, it definately turns into upperclass bitchiness.

  26. I was hoping someone would make Julie's point, above, about there being a polite/rude line to cross. If you're carrying a Hogan (or Marc or Kors) and someone (not in the streets of SoHo) says how much they like your bag, it's probably just best to smile and say thank you.

    But when I'm in court in one of my three Target wrap-dresses, which wear way too much because of the Texas heat, and a woman compliments me, my immediate response is, "Girl. Target. $19.99." It caused me and the prosecutor to look like twins the other day, but so what? I walked in and said, "So glad to hear you got this morning's memo about the Target dress."

    I think it's a girl's girl bonding kind of answer. Personally, when I compliment someone and they don't respond with where something came from, I get the impression that they don't want anyone (er, me) to copy their style.

    I'd say that one can safely name who made the piece without sounding like a show-off if it's a designer found at your local mall. And if it's on clearance? Knock yourself out.

  27. Hey Stephanie! I came out to see you in Bryant Park on Wednesday. I was supposed to be working, more specifically 'prospecting' because I'm in direct sales, but I couldn't miss the chance to see you in real life! You look just like your pictures and the panel was great!

    Thanks for vising! Come back soon!

  28. When someone compliments my coat or handbag or haircut or makeup or daughter or dog, I say thank you. With a smile.

  29. But if someone compliments one of my cats, I let the cat in question respond, because we both know damn well that their luxuriant coats and outstanding technique with ping pong balls and catnip mice have nothing to do with me. Because cats are like that.

  30. That is totally NOT obnoxious. It shows that you care about the people who you meet, and you take the time to acknowledge them. It shows that you are kind and not too self-indulgent. I bet Deena was thrilled to read your blog today and see that you mentioned it and that you running into her made your day.

    I'm sure there are some bashers on here though. Tell them to go write their own blog. I think it's a cool story.

  31. actually, i'm a law student in undergrad and grad school debt up to my eyeballs, and have yet to find a cause to which i couldn't contribute when asked – whether it was money or time. Off the top of my head, in the last few months-year alone, i have donated time and/or money to Relay for Life, AIDS Walk, SWC, One.org, United Way, IDF Soldiers, Red Cross, ASPCA, and Susan G. Komen (I'll be walking a 5K for breast cancer survivors on Sunday). In college I campaigned in New Hampshire. I read everything I can get my hands on, to the point where my friends kindly ask me to STOP sending them articles on politics and current events. No one has ever accused me of being shallow in my life – in fact, people tell me to stop taking everything so seriously. Last year my mother wrote a blog entry about how much she learns about life and current events from ME.

    maybe it was silly of me to tell my guy friend the brand, in part because whether he knew it or not, he's not the type to care. and as far as it being a class issue, i put myself through college (now law school) and he proudly told he never took out a loan.. not that that matters. i like nice things, but when my friends compliment me, i'm the queen of "oh it's Ken Cole but I got it at Loehmann's for..". i didn't respond to him or correct him nor did i care if he knew it or not, i was simply commenting on it being funny because the brand sounded like it could belong to someone named Michael Kor.

    I know my G8 damn well…you know what they say about when you assume…

    Stephanie, I apologize for this diatribe on, really, what is YOUR blog. thanks for adding your point, as well.

  32. So strange the different things in the blog people choose to talk about. What I liked most was your change of perspective now that you've been in Austin. You realize it's ok to be polite and interact with people. When I go to NYC sometimes it feels like people are rude because they are afraid of other people. It's nice to realize it's ok to be nice!

  33. Sorry to jump in really late with a comment about a comment many comments back, but I have to take issue with Jessica's link to an "obnoxious" article in Health magazine. I'm not sure I read the comment right, but you seemed to be saying that it's wrong or arrogant for this woman who quit smoking, lost 100 pounds and is running a marathon to be writing about it? Let me see – a woman takes control of her life, gets off the couch and puts one foot in front of the other for 26.2 miles and you think she's obnoxious?? That woman is a true hero. Sorry, just had to vent.

  34. Okay, for everyone who went off on me for sharing my anecdote — BUY LOOSER UNDERWEAR. I was simply relating a story and holy shit I forgot to say that my friend DID ask me who the bag was by and that's why I replied Marc Jacobs.

    I know plenty about what went on at the G8 summit. Putin is out of his mind.

  35. bina> Actually I think CeCe did touch on it in her post but I didnt see it until just now and reading through all the comments. Sorry, CeCe, didnt mean to repeat what you said.
    I have to admit this is making me laugh how something so silly is scrolling the blog, or that Im commenting on it again.

    P.S. What's G8 summit?

  36. Wishing you all the best!

    I´ve seen another girl on the street here in Vienna (Austria) who´s reading your book. I was so excited. :)

    Love, Maria

  37. Karen, you misunderstood Jessica's comment. The article was written by her, and she was joking that it would seem obnoxious to post a link here (it wasn't).

  38. oops – so sorry, I knew it! Congrats, Jessica. That's awesome. I'll be quiet now. Happy Friday, y'all.

  39. I am going to have to say I would not recommend any cereal. It causes severe gas and constipation in babies, and has little to no nutritional value. Babies can survive and thrive on breast milk and/or formula for a year, and even more than a year. So it’s not a bad thing that she’s dependent on the formula. But at six months, i would start to try to introduce regular people food that you could mush with a food processor.

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