The Book Publicity Blog

News, Tips, Trends and Miscellany for Book Publicists

What to download for your BEA trip

As the countdown to BEA / Book Expo America begins, I thought it would be useful to think about what wired folk should download (besides books, of course), so you might consider:

Signing up for:

Your Twitter arsenal: Twitter will be *the* way to keep up with people and panels.  If you haven’t already signed up, chances are you won’t be familiar enough with the program to utilize it at BEA, but for current users, make sure you’ve got your mobile app like Tweetie or Twitterberry and, if you’d like, a desktop manager like Digsby or Tweetdeck .

Flickr: if you want to post / share pictures

Downloading on your iPhone (although you can access these applications on the web, too):

Hopstop: particularly handy for getting around the city because it provides both subway / bus and walking directions.  We use it for getting to neighborhoods with which we’re not familiar (or any areas served by the G or M trains).

NYC Subway Map: There are several free iPhone applications that provide maps of the NYC subway system.  @DBerthiaume uses CityTransit (available for $2.99) that uses GPS to find you the nearest subway station (and which also includes maps of Metro North — with trains serving Westchester and Connecticut — and the Long Island Railroad).  Maps for New Jersey Transit buses and trains (including PATH trains that serve Hoboken and Jersey City) can be found on the NJ Transit web site.

*** Note: A lot of subway lines are “affected” — by which I mean “royally screwed up” — by track work on weekends.  Check the MTA Service Advisories site for details (and the iPhone application CityTransit provides these updates from the MTA site). ***

Yelp: information about nearby bars, restaurants, shopping, hotels, banks, drugstores and more

Loopt: find people (but only if they’re on Loopt as well — Twitter sort of does the same thing)

Any New Yorkers have other suggestions for handy getting-around-NYC applications?  Please comment.


Once you’re in New York, these web sites may be of use.

Menu Pages@kalenski reminded me of this useful site that lists menus for hundreds (thousands?) of New York City restaurants broken down by cuisine, neighborhood, zip code — pretty much any designation you’d want.

GoMobo: Allows you to place on order online with a local eatery and then have it delivered (or you can pick it up).

Open Table: If you know where you want to eat, you can make reservations here.


And here are some tips for catching a bus the New York way (or at least my way).

As you may know, the Javits Center, located at 34th Street and 11th Avenue, is a bit out of the way.  The closest subways are at 34th and Seventh Avenue or at 34th and Eighth Avenue; depending on how fast you walk, you’re looking at a 10-20 minute hike.

The Javits Center Directions page notes that there is an M34 crosstown bus available.  I will take this on faith.  I have never taken it. I am not sure I have ever seen it.  Nevertheless, if you would like to try, this is how to do it: walk west on the north side of 34th Street, which is the side of the road on which the bus allegedly arrives.

At each bus stop — one is located on each avenue, check to see if a bus is in view.  If it is, wait for it; if not, continue walking to the next avenue.  Periodically, turn your head to see if the bus is coming — it’s perfectly normal; New Yorkers are paranoid — and if it is, book like all heck to the next stop.  Keep doing this until you catch the bus or get to the Javits Center.  I always find it tremendously fulfilling when I beat the bus to my destination.  The small pleasures.


And lastly, for tweeple coming to New York, feel free to use #nychelp if you have questions about the city (and if you’re from New York and are willing to help out, check the hash tag and answer what questions you can).   Check my Want to help out bookish folks coming to NYC for BEA? post for details.


May 26, 2009 - Posted by | Miscellaneous


  1. Don’t forget the show shuttles. I found them helpful even if not returning to my hotel. Study the schedule and you can get around town for free during shuttle hours and much more importantly, this is probably the single most important random networking opportunity.

    I have met editors, illustrators, booksellers, publishers, authors, bloggers and journalists over the years. The whole point of BEA!

    Comment by Jean | May 26, 2009 | Reply

  2. Thanks for the helpful tips!

    Comment by Bonnie | May 26, 2009 | Reply

  3. Thanks for info

    Comment by Danial | May 27, 2009 | Reply

  4. The 34th St Crosstown is elusive not because it doesn’t exist but because it operates in a parking lot. ALL DAY. Going to the show in the morning, I’ll take the 42nd St crosstown (M42) since there are two of them (at about 9 minute intervals) and the west side of 42nd St is nearly deserted most of the time. Beware that there are two M42 buses. One will drop you off at 42nd and 11th Ave and you have a short (and easy) walk to the center (if you’ve never done it, just follow the rest of us since it can be a bit disorienting to just get off in front of a Starbucks for no reason). The second goes into the parking lot of the Javits Center (V convenient!). You can tell which is which by the front of the bus. One will say [M42: 12th St Pier] and the other will say [M42: Javits Center].

    Make sure you get a bus schedule so you can time when you’re ready to leave with the schedule of the bus.

    Also, the buses do not accept dollar bills. You’ll have to use either a Metro card (purchased in the [hated] subway) or $2 in change.

    Have fun and see you there!

    Comment by Nicole | May 27, 2009 | Reply

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