Guess where we are?

Hi Everyone!  Guess where we are?  Here’s a hint:  MUSICA



New York

Yes, New York! This is the view from our room. It thrills the cockles of my heart.


This was probably my first awareness of the Empire State Building. I watched this movie about a thousand times long before I ever saw New York in person. An Affair to Remember.  Cry your eyes out.


affinia hotels

Our room is so comfortable!  We got here last night and I watched the Invasion of Normandy (OMG) under a blanket (a true nap blanket, came with room, on bed below) on that sofa while Joe sat next to me studying up on where we’re going to eat today!


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Affinia Hotels

Isn’t it just wonderful?  I love New York. Growing up I never imagined I would be the type to go to New York.  I was more the type to camp in Yosemite.


New York

Every window comes with a view.  See those cabs?  We’ll be getting into one of them this morning to careen wildly through the streets (because that’s what you do) to BEA, Book Expo America, at the Javits Center where we’ve been invited to sign Our book, “A Fine Romance” in the Baker & Taylor booth. So excited.


New York

We’re in the “Murray Hill” area of Manhattan, I’m sure some of you know where that is.  Lexington and 37th, lots of pre-war brick buildings, a real neighborhood with old trees.



Empire State Building

The view from the bed. It’s really there!



 They call New York “America’s Home Town” and this strikes me as one of the reasons why, there’s a lot to love in this beautiful city.


home in NY

But of course, we take “real” home along with us wherever we go.  I’m sitting here having tea this morning, listening to this musica, writing you and about to put pink polish on my fingernails.


Good Morning!

One more picture from the room with a view early this morning.

Girl and Jack

But, I hear you say, what about the kitties?


Elizabeth & Diana

Never fear.  Girlfriends Elizabeth and (her cousin and best friend) Diana are visiting the island from California, working on Elizabeth’s new house, staying in my house and on the job for Kitty Love.  Kitties will be properly spoiled while we are away.



peanut butter cookies

  I did my part and made Peanut Butter Cookies so no one would starve.  And this recipe has no flour ~ it’s so easy, I thought you might like to have it (so easy I memorized it! That should tell you something.) . . . preheat oven to 350°.  There are only 4 ingredients: 1 egg, 1 tsp. vanilla, 1 c. sugar, 1 c. peanut butter.  Lightly beat egg and vanilla together, whisk in sugar, then peanut better; mix well.  Roll into 1″ balls, place about 2″ apart on ungreased cookie sheet, press with fork to make tine marks across dough.  Bake 10-12 min until golden around edges. Cool on waxed paper. Makes 2 dozen.


quilt collection

Don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten our June celebration.  We’ll be celebrating five years with FOSB, Friends of Susan Branch, I love new yorkwith our wonderful Facebook Friends, and three years for my dear and darling Blog  Girlfriends with a very fun giveaway that I think everyone will like, quilters and non-quilters and just regular people.  I want to be at home where I can wrangle the comment section better than I can from here . . . so just a few more days.  Tell your quilter, sewing, or quilt-loving friends.  And Have a lovely day everyone.  Wish us luck at the Javits Center!  Love you! XOXO

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380 Responses to Guess where we are?

  1. Melody says:

    Oh, how exciting to be in New York City! And what a view from your room..the Empire State Bldg. Very cool. Hope you have loads of fun at the BEA. I think it would be wonderful to attend that event!! Hope Joe researched some wonderful places to eat. I bet the choices are endless.

  2. Patti from California says:

    I would imagine that doing book signings in wonderful places is the FUN part of being an author. Meeting those of us who love you and go along with you on your adventures. You add a new depth to our life experience and whet our appetites to follow our dreams. Enjoy your time in the Big Apple!! I’m married to a Jersey Boy, Paul, and always look forward to our trips East and visits to NY City. So glad we got to meet you and Joe at Remnants of the Past in SLO last year!! xoxo

    • sbranch says:

      It is the fun part!

      • Patti from California says:

        Paul wanted me to suggest that you and Joe walk the High Line from 34th St to 14th St in Lower Manhattan… spectacular views of the Hudson on the west side and elevated views of the city to the east. You’ll love it!!

  3. Carol D. from Sierra Madre, CA says:

    Hi Susan! Love hearing that you love NYC so much. I do also and we’re going to be there on Wednesday to top off a trip after being in Europe to pick up our son who was spending a semester away in London. We picked him up and spent 5 days there and then spent 5 days in Paris. We’re in Barcelona right now, exploring this beautiful city, too. I’ve thought of you so often, wishing we could have gotten to the countryside in England. Haven’t done that for 24 years! Love that place! We’re staying at the midtown Hilton. Very convenient location, so we’ve stayed there a few times now and have always thought it was right for us. Have fun in Manhattan. I’ll be thinking of you when we arrive, although I know you’ll be back in your little piece of heaven by then! I’m missing my kitties right now, but we’ll be home all too soon!

  4. Luci from Virginia says:

    Dear sweet Susan &Joe,
    Thank you for the musica and the memories of “An Affair to Remember”. What a wonderful movie! The one with Deborah Kerr and Cary Grant is my favorite version. I think there have been about four versions made of it. I loved the scene with the visit to his grandmother. So sweet. Everything was so beautifully written in this movie. The picture of Jack and Girl was cute and so typical of kids with that look to instill guilt in the parents when they get ready to go out of town and leave them behind. How much fun for Elizabeth and Diana that get to stay behind and get all the “kitty love”. The pictures of New York were so enjoyable and bring back sweet memories of New York. I made many a trip there as a professional book buyer and go there every year the first week in December to get my NYC Christmas fix. What is so wonderful about it is you can have a good time there no matter what your taste is from peace and quiet things to do to doing things at a frenzied pace. It has everything. Hope you were able to get to Patsy’s to eat where Frank Sinatra,
    Rosemary Clooney, Benny Goodman and many other well known people loved to go eat. There is nothing like being spoiled by going on the third generation of Scognamillos in their restuarant. If you didn’t get there then go to an enjoy drooling over their website and put them on your list for your next visit. I envied your trip to the Book Expo because they always draw such wonderful booklovers together. When you bring book vendors and booksellers together wonderful things happen. They are all there because they love books! I always remember the wonderful parties the publishers would give so the buyers could meet the authors in a more intimate setting when we would go to the American Booksellers Assoociation Convention. Always more invitations than time allowed. I’m sure after your busy days in NYC that it will be good to get back to home and ” kitty love”. If your kitties are anything like my grandkitties they have to snub you a little when you get back to punish you a little for leaving them. The peanut butter cookies look delicious. I will have to make them and have them with some of your tea. My husband gave me all your teas for our 42nd wedding anniversary and they arrived about two weeks ago. We have tried all of them and they are all so good! I loved your Louisa May Alcott quote. How true. Wish I had a magic wand to give all the girlfriends who have not been to New York City that experience but I know with your magic wand of words you will do that when you get home. You have a wonderful gift with words and being in the moment. Thank you for always sharing. Always look forward to your posts. XOXOXO

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you Luci … I agree, when the book people get together, its a lot of fun. So much in common! Yes, Patsy’s is on the list for next time, we have to go there!

  5. Martha B says:

    Loved seeing NYC as we’re headed there soon. Have not been there in nearly 50 years (high school trip)!

  6. Nettie says:

    I love seeing through your eyes Susan. New York is quite a town must go soon with some girlfriends as my husband is not a traveler like your Joe. Although our last big trip last summer was to your beautiful hometown and we got to walk right by your big beautiful White House.
    I live your quilts and you have inspired me once again to photograph my beautiful stack of quilts I have collected. I also am a quilt maker and last summer freshened them up by hanging them on the clothesline….what a kodak moment tht was!
    Have a wonderful time in the Big Apple and don’t forget to dance down the street.

  7. Pamela C Betz says:

    Susan–You live such a neat life. I know we only see the good stuff, but it’s so much fun to read about. Pam

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, there’s good and bad in every life, but I have nothing to complain about. Love to have you here Pam!

  8. barbara lassiter says:

    New York, New York, what a wonderful town…tra-la. I’ve only been there once and so briefly, it hardly counts. I saw The Empire State Building from a distance. I can’t imagine what it must be like to live there, unless it’s like living in a small town within another town. It might be overwhelming because of the size, but you could venture out occasionally (in a cab) outside your little town to enjoy all the good things available in a city so large. It would definitely be interesting!

    • sbranch says:

      Great description, that’s what it’s like. Families and kids and dogs on the sidewalks, restaurants and sidewalk cafes, beautiful old architecture, flowers in window boxes, shop windows and grocery stores.

  9. sondra fox says:

    Hi GF’s, & Susan, I truly wish you lots of FUN & Games in NY, but to my mind, I can’t for the life of me understand what folks see in NY. Sorry, I don’t mean to offend anyone, but while growing up, for a year in NY, I have bad memories of it all. Now, when I’m flying (on my broom), I get sweaty palms when I have to change brooms in NY. All the hustle & bustle have always given me fits of displeasure. Just wanted to add a different outlook on all the superlatives expressed about NY. Now, if I could stay for awhile on Martha’s Vineyard, I’d be thrilled. Give me the simple life. (Sandy from Chihuahua Flats)

  10. Marie E. Fluck says:

    Hope you’re having a super time there in NY!! I’m VERY busy with the help of my neighbor, Brian, composting my cottage garden!! Beautiful weather here in PA and great fun and laughs, as we play in the garden with the bees and butterflies! The birds are singing this morning, calling me back to play after church. Don’t you just love spring??!!

    Hugs, Marie

  11. Rhonda Williams says:

    This all makes me want to visit New York City! Mentioning Grand Central Station reminds me of the children’s book The Gardner, good read for any age especially if you like to garden. Happy Day!

  12. Jennie L says:

    Hope you are home safe now- it felt like being there, thank you for sharing everything! That peanut butter cookie recipe is one of the best- fills the whole house with a warm peanut butter smell for hours, reminds me of sneaking into the kitchen at night when I was little- mom would put all of us to bed and bake a little while she had the time. Must eat warm and have milk ready!

  13. Esther says:

    One of my twin sister’s favorite movies – she would actually miss an afternoon of shopping just to stay at home and watch that movie. OK, so I would join her and we would cry our eyes out together. The view from your hotel room is perfect. I especially enjoyed this blog with notes on a favorite movie, travel, kitties, a recipe and QUILTS! Thanks for sharing BEA with us, too.

  14. Lisa says:

    Your room view (sigh)…the thrum of the city energy…I have goose-bumps and smiles just imagining being there. Thank you for sharing!

  15. Have lots of fun, Susan. I have a girlfriend who lives and works in New York just now. I visited her about 15 years ago the first time she was there and I had great fun shopping. x

  16. Susan Young says:

    Hi Susan. Thanks for the NYC visit. If I had my life to live over, I’d head there right after college. Actually that is where 3 nieces and 1 nephew of mine are now living the dream!! I hope I am commenting on the correct page for your quilters give away… Love your blog and I love your life!!!

  17. Lois says:

    I visited New York in 2001, it was amazing and I would love to return. That is on my wish list and hopefully this Dec for my 40th wedding anniversary. The give away looks exciting, if those quilts are involved! Blessings to you.

  18. Renee Mumford says:

    Rabbit! Rabbit! Rabbit!
    Memorial Day weekend, and mind you I live in the Chicago loop – what appeared at my front threshold were month old Flopsey, Mopsey, and Cottontail! In a bundle fast asleep. At first I thought it was a big rat! Scared the wits out of me! But on closer observation, charcoal colored bunnies who had been born in the planter by my front stoop tree – having sleuthed where the little ones might have come from. Darling little bunnies but very shivery so I covered them with the hood of my furry parka winter coat until mid-morning and then gently skooched them back to their furry nest in the ground cover surrounding my tree. Cheers Susan and take a big bite out of the Big Apple.

  19. Luci from Virginia says:

    If you want to have some reading fun , go to Patsy’s website and order their cookbook. It is full of stories about their famous guests , the history of the restuarant and many good recipes. It will make your visit there more fun knowing all that. Another good read is The Mitford Series by Jan Karon if you haven’t read it already. XOXOXO

  20. erica says:

    Hi Susan!

    Did you know that the spire on the Empire State Building was designed as a mooring for dirigibles? It wasn’t successful, but can you imagine?

    What a massive city – oh. my. gosh.

    all for now.
    Erica xo

  21. Marie (Long Beach, California) says:

    Rabbit, rabbit! Wow, the first day of June. Love this post! Your room with the quintessential view of the Empire State Building, is fantastic! Loved seeing how you brought just the right amount of “home” to your room, so comfy. Girl Kitty looks so regal and elegant in the picture with Jack. You have two perfect fur persons, so happy Elizabeth and Diana are there to spoil them. I’m pretty sure I’ll be making those peanut butter cookies, they look scrumptious! Looking forward to our June celebration! ♥

  22. Ruth Thomas says:

    When we moved from RI to California, we took the bus from Newport to NYC and had to take a cab from the bus station to the airport – wild ride!!! Will never forget it. Seeing such tall buildings for the first time and huge bridges!! Such a wonderful event. One trip there is on my bucket list. Enjoy your time Susan and Joe!!!

  23. Gert~Iowa says:

    Oh Susan…I must get this comment done and put up! I have written one twice then got interrupted! Won’t happen tonight…lol New York, New York! What an exciting place..(so I’ve been told!) I love your view out your hotel window! Awwww! We made your cookies last night, they are so nummy! And I have that same ‘tulip’ bowl! They are so pretty!! It was my mothers. smile.. Enjoy your trip…

  24. Cathy says:

    Hi Susan
    That tulip bowl brought me instantly back to around 1956 and my grandmother’s kitchen, which I am trying to reproduce (50s dinette table and chairs, 40s reproduction refrigerator and radio (of course we only listen and dance to 40s and 50s music). I need to find that bowl. Thanks for your posts regarding Gladys Taber. I joined FOGT and am so glad I found access to her wonderful articles and books again. Also, I love anything about English Villages and am buying A Fine Romance. Best to you.

  25. Carol from PA says:

    Welcome back to your Island now that you are filled to the brim with so many wonderful memories of NYC! Ah, An Affair to Remember! I must have seen it over a hundred times in which I cry harder each time I see it. My favorite memory of a Valentine’s Day was watching Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr with my mother who has since passed. I am so thankful that she passed onto me her love of old movies and the legend stars of Hollywood. I was passing through the City on Wednesday and remembered when I got home that “Susan is in New York!”. Perhaps I saw you from my very high window on the NYC Airporter traveling between LaGuardia and Port Authority. Loved seeing the Tower of Freedom in the distance from the other end of the Island. Hope you saw it too. Spectacular! Thanks to all the girlfriends for their suggestions for you. I will look up some of them on future trips into Manhattan.

    • sbranch says:

      We saw it when we sailed into New York from England — it was wonderful then, but we didn’t make it down there this time.

  26. Laura says:

    Gorgeous, gorgeous photos – you captured the feel of the city so well from your hotel window! So glad you got to stay THERE in particular. Have fun!

  27. Hi Susan,
    An Affair to Remember was my favorite movie growing up, too. My girlfriends and I watched it dozens of times and always ended up bawling. And, since I grew up not far from New York and could see the Empire State Building and its strong beacon from my third floor bedroom window, I made my senior year boyfriend take me to the top after our senior prom, lo, those many years ago. So romantic! A great memory and a great movie. Thanks for helping me remember!
    All best as you sample the Big Apple!
    Nancye T.

  28. Karen chamberlain says:

    Dear Susan, Loved traveling to New York with you, my first trip there! You bring such joy… always finding the beauty, inspiration and excitement to share wherever you are, whatever you do. How did we all ever get along before your blog to brighten our days with such wonderfulness?! Oh, but we did have your books, thankfully. Happy Days, Karen

    • sbranch says:

      I waited a long time to do this, I had to wait until the computer was invented, then blogs, and now, here we are!

  29. Loretta says:

    Dear Susan…what a beautiful trip you had! OMG>…such a wonderful place…and that shop you visited…………..OMG………..cute outfit for the baby. I’m sure they will love it……………..take care…..enjoy your blog so much…. Loretta/Santa Nella, Ca.

  30. Debbie says:

    I have never been to New York but you make it look so friendly I might have to give it a try one day. I am a country girl at heart.

  31. Jack says:

    Rabbit rabbit ,you carnavore girlfriends , Rabbi Rabbi , you Jewish girlfriends , Carrot Carrot you Vegan girlfriends and to all others Happy Happy Day Day ! !

  32. sue says:

    I just found your blog recently after reading your latest book and I would love to be entered in all the giveaways. I don’t know what to put for website

  33. Love that view! How romantic. Sigh.

  34. I love all your blogs and have tried to send you my thanks, but they just won’t go from my IPad. I don’t even know of this one will go! Anyway, you have brought me much joy and I love seeing all your quilts. I have done a fair amount of quilting, but arthritic fingers. Don’t do too well anymore. Thank you again for all the beautiful calendars—- can hardly wait for the new one. Have a lovely summer!
    Charlene Scholey, Menifee, Ca.

  35. Lynn says:

    I remember a story in one of your long ago Willards, or maybe it was one of your books – about a trip that you and Joe took to Manhattan to visit his aunt….what truck out in my mind was the classy cocktails and “bar” snacks she set out for ou and now I don’t remember what they were 🙁

    In any event, I hope the trip was as lovely as it seemed to be!

  36. We love this picturesque post and their pics. Looks like a profesional was take them! Barcelona is other city that have really magical soul.

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