real-life NYC locations from Not Like Paradise!

My trilogy Not Like Paradise takes place in my favorite city in the world, New York! While the characters and events of the books are fictional, I wanted to share some of the real-life locations featured in the series so you can imagine Jansen, Jason, Hersh, and Clint’s life a little more clearly! Hope you enjoy! Be sure to scroll all the way to the end…I saved the best for last. πŸ™‚

Upper East Side

Jansen’s parents’ building at 71st and Lex:

The Auerbachs’ building at 78th and Park:

The Guggenheim, the site of Jansen’s 8th grade graduation:

The Metropolitan Museum of Art (the Met), where Jansen and her school friends smoke on the steps:

Lenox Hill Hospital, across Park Av from the Auerbachs’, where Jason, Hersh, and Clint carry Jansen after her OD:

Along 5th Av on the edge of Central Park, where Jansen and the boys walk every day between school, the park, and home:

The Museum of Moderm Art, or MoMA (not technically on the Upper East Side, but only 6 blocks south of it), where Corinne holds her birthday party in Pandora’s Box. The Sculpture Garden at the MoMA (2nd pic) is also the site of Corinne and Jacob’s 20th anniversary Adam and Eve party:

The Plaza Hotel, where Jansen and Summer sometimes go for drinks, and also the site of the Plaza prom, which takes place in the Terrace Room (2nd pic). The 2nd pic was taken from the balcony above the Terrace Room, where Corinne and Robert are standing in the photo Jansen and Jason find in Robert’s Paris apartment in Mirrors and Blue Smoke:

Central Park

Most of these pictures are random shots I’ve taken over the years. But the picture with all the people is of Sheep Meadow, where Jansen’s school friends always hang out. The picture with the path going under the bridge is on the west side of the park, near where Jansen and Jason’s special place is, away from Sheep Meadow and anyone they would know. πŸ™‚

Hotel Thirty Thirty

At 30th and Madison, where Jansen and Jason always go on Jansen’s birthday. This hotel has since changed names, but I was lucky enough to get to stay there while it was still the Thirty Thirty:

Delacorte Theater

In Central Park, where Jansen and Jason go on New Year’s morning in Pandora’s Box:

NYU Arch

Jansen and Jason run under this arch after leaving Red Sulfur on Jansen’s 15th birthday, shortly before they are chased by a cab. Legend says anyone who runs under the arch will never graduate from NYU:

The Bowery

Home of Katalina and the infamous flophouse…

The Hamptons

Where Jansen, Summer, Tierney, and Taylan’s families have their summer houses:

Subway stations and trains

Jansen and Jason love the subway, especially a totally empty car going around a track into an abandoned station… πŸ˜‰

East Village

Red Sulfur is fictional, but this is the stretch of Saint Marks Place just east of 3rd Av where it is described to be:

South Street Seaport

Pier 17, home of the fictional Opera on the Pier!

Broadway in SoHo

Where Hersh bought Jansen’s ring:

Townsend Building

At the northwest corner of 78th and Park, where the Circles meets (the building is real, but the name is fictional):

Roosevelt Island

Site of the Mirrors and Blue Smoke party πŸ˜€

View of Roosevelt Island and the East River from the Queensboro Bridge:

View of Queensboro Bridge with Manhattan in the background from Roosevelt Island:

Roosevelt Island tram along the Queensboro Bridge, the best way to get there from Manhattan if you aren’t taking cabs or hired cars like Jansen and her friends:

Although the East River Hospital for the Insane is fictional, Roosevelt Island did house an insane asylum for many decades, back when it was called Blackwell’s Island. These shot glasses can be purchased at the Roosevelt Island Visitor’s Center:

Le ChΓ’teau

As you may know from the books, Le ChΓ’teau is the name of the Auerbachs’ summer house in Vermont. One day I was walking around in NYC and randomly saw this! So even though this pic was taken in NYC, not Vermont, I had to include it! So cool when things like this happen πŸ˜€

Circles of 8

This picture is the absolute craziest, coolest thing that has happened in relation to Not Like Paradise. When writing the books, I randomly picked a location for the building where the Circles meets (the Townsend Building). I picked the northwest corner of 78th and Park. Later, after I had written drafts of all 3 books in the trilogy, I walked down Park Av to take pics of the buildings that would be the Townsend Building and the one across 78th Street where the Auerbachs live. And to my total shock, THIS WAS THE ADDRESS of the building where the Circles meets! 888 PARK AVENUE. What?!?!?!?! Best surprise EVER!!! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

real pictures and places from a stranger thing…denver!

Ok guys, I really am going to start updating my blog WAY more often. πŸ™‚ Last time, I featured some pictures I took in Brussels, where my character Kella lives and where a few pretty important scenes in A Stranger Thing take place, including the awesome cliffhanger! πŸ˜‰ Today, I am showcasing Denver, where Lorylyn, Zibby, Taylor, Crissy, Winthrop, and Brady live, and where I used to live as well! I love this city so much. πŸ™‚

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downtown Denver

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16th Street Mall, where Lorylyn, Taylor, and Zibby’s apartment building is πŸ™‚

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clock tower on 16th Street Mall, one of Denver’s iconic landmarks…the tallest building west of the Mississippi until 1957! I lived 2 blocks from here!

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my favorite sculpture in Writer’s Square on the 16th Street Mall

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my apartment building in Denver! I lived on the 27th floor here for 3 years =D

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view from my bedroom window πŸ™‚

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view of Uptown from my living room…this is one of the places Zibby and DJ look at houses

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another fabulous view from my living room πŸ™‚

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Red Rocks Amphitheater, one of the places Lorylyn takes Jansen, Kylar, and Cade to visit when they come for Thanksgiving

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Casa Bonita, the best restaurant in the WORLD!!! =D Another of the places Lorylyn takes Jansen, Kylar, and Cade

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view of Denver from Buffalo Bill’s grave on Lookout Mountain, where Lorylyn and Cade talk about her relationship w/ Brady and whether to move to New York

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looking the other direction from Buffalo Bill’s grave at the top of Lookout Mountain

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the creepy bronco statue at DIA…just google “Denver airport conspiracy theories” πŸ™‚ love this thing!

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My brother Josh and me at the summit of Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park…it tops out at just over 12,000 feet and is the highest stretch of paved highway in the country! This is where Zibby and DJ go for a weekend shortly after moving to Denver, while Lorylyn is in Florida for Jill’s wedding. Another fun fact…for every 1000 feet of altitude gained, the temperature drops as much as every 600 miles driven north…so going up this road from where it starts at 7500 feet to here, just over 12,000, is like driving to the arctic circle in an hour πŸ™‚

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Josh and me in Vail. The house in the background is like I imagine the one to be where Lorylyn and her friends stay in Breck

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Colorado ski slope

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my 2nd time skiing…me and my friend Derick

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me and my Denver besties at the Coral Room, our favorite spot for Sunday Funday πŸ™‚

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another fabulous Sunday Funday at the Coral Room…read the dedication page in the book πŸ™‚

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Katy, Holly, and me…I had most of my craziest Denver adventures w/ these lovely ladies. They are the real-life Crissy and Taylor…fictionalized of course πŸ˜‰

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meet the real-life Winthrop Gilligan (but also fictionalized, of course) ;)…my other Denver bestie Speedy!!

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Katy, Holly, and me at a Rockies game at Coors Field πŸ™‚

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pretzel necklaces for the Great American Beer Fest

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at one of our favorite rooftop bars, which consisted of LoDo’s and the Tavern Downtown…this was LoDo’s

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author pic for the book, taken about a block away from my apartment at an outdoor fountain downtown

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another view of downtown

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16th Street Mall at sunset πŸ™‚

I hope you’ve enjoyed the photo tour of my Denver world and gained some insight into Lorylyn, Taylor, Zibby, Crissy, Winthrop, and Brady’s Denver world too! πŸ™‚ Make sure to check out A Stranger Thing, if you haven’t already, to read much more about it! πŸ™‚

real pictures and places from a stranger thing…brussels!

A Stranger Thing has 4 major locations – Denver, Chicago, New York City, and Brussels. I thought it would be fun to share photos I took of places that inspired my writing in some of those cities! Today I am starting with Brussels, where my character Kella lives. Enjoy! πŸ™‚ And click on Kella‘s name to read an interview with her!

The Manneken Pis, first site of Jansen and Jason's statue-dressing charade :)

The Manneken Pis, first site of Jansen and Jason’s statue-dressing charade πŸ™‚

Notice the "camera security" sign on the right. ;)

Notice the white “CAMERA SECURITY” sign on the right that you can barely see in this pic…enlarged view below πŸ˜‰

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Slightly weird? Sure. One of Brussels' major attractions? Obviously.

Slightly weird? Sure. One of Brussels’ major attractions? Obviously.

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The Jeanneke Pis, second site of the statue-dressing charade. Much more difficult to access than its counterpart :)

The Jeanneke Pis, second site of the statue-dressing charade. Much more difficult to access than its counterpart πŸ™‚

Jansen had to climb onto the base, then up the gate, then squeeze herself behind it. Easy. Good thing it was the middle of the night and snowy though, as everything you see around here is a bar

Jansen had to climb onto the base, then up the gate, then squeeze herself behind it. Easy. Good thing it was the middle of the night and snowy though, as everything you see around here is a bar

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Oh, and she also had to avoid the spikes at the top πŸ™‚

Classy :) Love it

In case you can’t tell, she is peeing too πŸ™‚

Sign next to the Jeanneke Pis in Delirium Village. All bars open till 6!

Sign next to the Jeanneke Pis in Delirium Village. All bars open till 6!

Best Beer in the World at the World Beer Fest in Chicago in 2008. Google it...or read what I wrote about it in the book. ;)

Best Beer in the World at the World Beer Fest in Chicago in 2008. Google it…or read what I wrote about it in the book. πŸ˜‰

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The Grand-Place, where Lorylyn and the rest of the wedding guests go as part of their tour and later return for dinner, also considered as a wedding site for the book's royal wedding

The Grand-Place, where Lorylyn and the rest of the wedding guests go as part of their tour and later return for dinner, also considered as a wedding site for the book’s royal wedding

Grand-Place

Grand-Place

Grand-Place

Grand-Place

Grand-Place

Grand-Place

Kella's street, rue de la Perche, in Brussels' Saint-Gilles neighborhood. Her building is the white one straight ahead on the left as the street starts to curve

Kella’s street, rue de la Perche, in Brussels’ Saint-Gilles neighborhood. Her building is the white one straight ahead on the left as the street starts to curve

Close-up of Kella's building. The best part was while writing the first draft, I looked at a map, picked a random street in Saint-Gilles, and described her building as being white and on a corner of a street that curved uphill for 2 blocks and disappeared. When I went to Brussels 2 years later, this is what I found =D

Close-up of Kella’s building. The best part was while writing the first draft, I looked at a map, picked a random street in Saint-Gilles, and described her building as being white and on a corner of a street that curved uphill for 2 blocks and disappeared. When I went to Brussels 2 years later, this is what I found =D

street in Saint-Gilles, Kella's neighborhood

Another street in Saint-Gilles, Kella’s neighborhood

Actual site chosen for the book's wedding...and location of the last scene. Get ready...it's a cliffhanger, of course ;)

Brussels’ Royal Palace, the actual site chosen for the book’s wedding…and the location of the last scene. Get ready…it’s a cliffhanger, of course πŸ˜‰

Hope you’ve enjoyed the photo tour of Kella and the other characters’ Brussels world! Coming soon…highlights of Denver, where Lorylyn, Zibby, Taylor, and BradyΒ live, and my former city as well! πŸ™‚