I feel sometimes like setting a novel in New York City is cheating a little bit. I do this sometimes because it’s easy to set a novel where I live—I know what things look like, I know the cadence of the speech of the locals, I know the patterns of life in the area. On the other hand, I think I’d want to set stories in the city anyway.
I took some time off last week, and took a long walk around Brooklyn one afternoon. When I was out, I realized that I was very near to the intersection in which my character Jonathan lives in Blind Items. This is a photo of the intersection of Dean and Bond Streets in the neighborhood of Boerum Hill. This is not one of my greater photographic achievements, as this shows mostly the concrete of the intersection, but you can see that there is a little cafe on the opposite corner of where I stood when I took the photo, and lining Dean Street are all of these gorgeous old red brick houses. (You can click on the photo to embiggen.) I imagined that Jonathan would be renting an apartment in one of those houses, living modestly and under the radar despite his famous father. Just as I imagined Rey the movie star would be living in a big brownstone in Park Slope and Drew in a run-down old building in Fort Greene. There’s a lot of Brooklyn in the novel, though the characters spend time in Manhattan, too. I like the way Brooklyn is less densely populated, though, more residential and a little less chaotic than Manhattan. It’s home to me, so it’s where some of my characters come to life, too.
Blind Items will be out from Dreamspinner on July 29th!