five borough

I feel like people are thinking that My Immortal was a genuine example of Rose Cristo’s writing when she was 15 yrs old, but the official description for her memoir that just came out confirms what I have always believed, that my immortal was a joke/trollfic, although the reason why she wrote it is something no one would have ever guessed:


A heartbreaking and wryly hopeful memoir of surviving the NYC foster care system―and how one girl’s “masterpiece of literary disaster” (io9.com) connected her to a community that could help her find her lost brother.

In the early 2000s, Rose Christo was separated from her five-year-old brother and shuttled between foster homes in Brooklyn to the Bronx and back again. Desperate to be reunited with her sibling, she traveled the five boroughs, unable to find any trace of him, as New York state’s child care agencies failed to help her time and again.

Then, with the help of one beloved foster sister, Rose created an infamous piece of Harry Potter fanfiction titled My Immortal, posting it online under the pseudonym XXXbloodyrists666XXX. The “forty-four chapters and 22,000 words of hysterical, typo-laden hyperbole” (BuzzFeed.com) went viral as the most notoriously terrible fanfic ever read by the community. For years, fans, writers, and editors researched, debated, and contested the story’s origin and its mysterious author: was this grammatically-challenged rant actually written by a suicidal Goth teenager named Tara Gilesbe living in Dubai, or was this a hoax perpetrated by a group of professional authors making fun of fanfiction?

The truth is a gripping, compelling, and surprisingly funny story of how a young girl infiltrated and used the fan fiction community to search for her brother by baiting their attention with a deliberately badly written tale, creating a ten-year mystery that garnered pop culture media attention and remained unsolved―until now.

https://www.amazon.com/Under-Same-Stars-Rose-Christo/dp/1250147034

7

Ai Weiwei’s fences take on borders and belonging in NYC exhibit

The exhibit, which spans the five boroughs, opens to the public on October 12 and is comprised of more than 300 pieces. Like the Robert Frost poem it references, the show examines the tension and contradictions surrounding borders and those excluded by them, inspired by Ai’s concerns about the global refugee crisis and related geopolitical conflicts. Many of the city sites selected by Ai, once a New York immigrant himself, also have close ties to histories of immigration, protest, and free speech.

smile ✦ peter parker

summary : as the adopted daughter of none other than tony stark, you have a myriad of responsibilities. babysitting peter parker probably wasn’t supposed to be one of them. not that you’re complaining.

word count : 4.7k (also known as the longest thing I’ve ever written)

author’s note : ur adopted b/c not everyone is white and i don’t want anyone to feel excluded from reading this due to the fact tony is white (and yes ik there are interracial couples i just want everyone to feel included i want to make sure whoever wants to read this can without feeling weird about it b/c i know it is something that bothers people in the fanfic community okay bye enjoy my loves.)

   Tony Stark was a lot of things to a lot of people. He was the billionaire, he was the genius, the philanthropist, and the notorious playboy in his younger years. Most notably, however, was that he was Iron Man. He was marveled at by the entire world, him and the group of heroes that stood beside him; the Avengers, as they called themselves. To you, however, he was your father. 

   A terribly overprotective one, at that. 

  Of course, this was only to be expected of a father, even a foster one, but the lengths the man went to in order to keep his only daughter out of whatever he deemed trouble were rather extensive. You rarely ever left the Avengers tower, and if you did you were accompanied by a team of people you could only describe as rip off Secret Service men. Sometimes, Natasha would replace them, or Steve, but that was a rare occurrence. You were homeschooled by the best tutors his money could pay for- this particular move was less about refining your education and more about keeping you away from any boy in the five boroughs. 

   You chose to spend majority of your time reading in your room and training, always wary of anyone who approached you about being a friend. Your surname meant everything to people, especially the girls that wandered around Manhattan desperate to become the bestie of the daughter of the richest man in New York. You loved your dad with all your heart, but the stigma that ran with the Stark name would never stop irritating you. 

   That, and the impromptu plans he threw at you on a regular basis. 

   “Miss Stark, your father is requesting access to your room. He knows you hate it when he barges in.” Vision drifted into your room without warning, making you jump. You yanked your earbuds out of your ears, giving him a look. 

   “I hate when anyone barges in, Vision. That includes you, too.” You pushed your chair away from your desk, placing your pen on the desk and shutting your notebook. “Tell him he can come in if he lets me become an Avenger.” You raised your voice at this, knowing he would hear you. 

   “He says that he’ll consider it if you let him in.” 

   You raised your eyebrows. “Touché.” You motioned for the door to open, and your father walked into the room, immediately taking his pristinely polished shoes off and lying down on your bed. You stared at him.“Dad, it’s not cool to wear sunglasses inside. You look lame.” 

   Tony Stark rolled his eyes at you. “It’s called a look, sweetheart.” You laughed, pretending to nod in agreement. He placed his hands behind his head as you spun your chair back around to your desk. “What are you working on?” 

   “Something for Bruce,” you muttered, pen cap between your teeth as you continued to jot down important points from his numerous lab reports. You were going to have to hand in a full analysis of his findings for your end of term science paper, and he was more than willing to aid you. “Science report.” 

   “My daughter, beautiful and intelligent, my flesh and blood,” Tony declared proudly. 

   “Dad, I love you to the death, but I’m still not your biological kid,” you smiled all the same, though, and he knew behind the tough exterior you were happy to hear his expressions of admiration. 

    “Who needs a biological kid when I’ve got this great, wonderful adopted one right in front of me.” 

   Not looking up from your notebook, you said, “You’re really laying it on thick today. I’m all of those things, obviously, but I know you want something. So, what is it?” You paused, then said, “Thank you, by the way.” 

   “You sure we’re not related?” He sat back up, clasping his hands together. “What do you say about Germany?” 

   “Nice enough place I guess, interesting history, why?” 

   “I kind of need you to go there for two weeks with me.” 

   With a groan, you dropped your pen and held your face in your hands. “Another surprise trip? Dad, I have school. I have homework! Do you see this?” You held up the thick stack of reports from Banner’s lab, waving them around. “This is gonna be, like, my life’s work.” 

   Tony shook his head. “Kids these days and their homework. Seriously. When I was at school I would have taken any opportunity to shirk my responsibilities.” 

  “You did do that.”

    He waved his hand. “Technicalities. Anyway, as you know the Avengers have been disassembled. Sokovia Accords and all that bullshit. I assume you’ve been keeping up?” 

   “Hard not to.” It was true. Anything in the news was about the great split of the infamous team, Captain America vs Iron Man. It was impossible to turn on the television without hearing about it. And, considering you lived underneath the same roof as half of them, it was quite literally not an option to be ignorant to what was going on. 

   “Good,” he grinned proudly again. If there was one emotion that the man felt whenever he was around, it was proud. Nearly everything you did made him beam with pride, and if you had been placed into an actual high school, there was no doubt in his mind that the person at the top of every single class would be you. You excelled no matter the circumstances. “So, to sum up, there’s gonna be a big showdown in Germany. Western style, naturally. Guns blazing and everything.” 

   Your eyes lit up and you nearly flew out of your chair, rushing over to him. “Oh my god, are you finally gonna let me fight? You’ve seen my training, right? I’m getting so good. I’m like, practically Natasha level good. She’s been showing me that move where I can snap people’s necks with my thighs and-” 

   “First of all, your thighs are not going around anyone’s neck, so jot that down,” he interrupted. Your enthusiasm visibly deflated. “I need you to kind of watch over this kid who’s coming with us. He’s from Queens. You love Queens.” 

   “You’re making me babysit?” You flopped down on your bed, staring up at the ceiling. “C’mon, dad, I’m sixteen. That’s practically an adult. I think I should be allowed to fight this time. I’m Avenger worthy.” 

   “Practically an adult is not the same as literally an adult, as in over eighteen.” You groaned again. “Don’t call it babysitting, anyway. He’s your age. Well, he’s a few months younger, but that doesn’t matter. Just call it… hanging out with a good kid that’s fighting for your dear old dad and making sure he doesn’t get into trouble in Germany or annoy Happy too much.” He patted your knee, standing up. “We leave in the morning, kiddo, so pack up.” 

   “How come he gets to fight if he’s younger than I am?” 

   “’Cause he’s not my daughter. Goodnight, light of my life.” He kissed your forehead before leaving, giving you another encouraging smile.

   “Goodnight, pain my ass,” you grumbled as he left. He popped back in, a stern expression on his face. “If I watch your new protégée can I become an Avenger?” Tony rubbed a hand over his eyes. Teenage girls were exhausting. 

   “We’ll talk about it.”


   You’re sitting at your breakfast table with suitcases piled next to you when Peter Parker strolls into your life with happiness in his every footstep because he is just so, so glad to be there. You’re spooning cereal into your mouth when he sits down directly across from you, a video camera cupped in his soft looking hands and the little red button clicked on, meaning that he is recording you. You place your spoon back into the bowl of milk that is dusted with cinnamon sugar from the Cinnamon Toast Crunch you’ve been eating for the past ten minutes. 

   “Do you mind?” 

   “Mind what?” He asked, peeking up from behind his camera. You gestured toward it, wiping your mouth with your sleeve. 

   “The camera. I’m kind of still in the middle of eating breakfast in my pajamas,” you leaned forward, switching it off. “You must be the Spider-Boy.” The chestnut haired boy feels a blush creeping up his neck and settling along his cheekbones when you say that. 

   “Oh, did Mr. Stark tell you that?” He rubbed the back of his neck, laughing awkwardly. “Um, it’s Spider-Man, actually.” He mumbled the man part, knowing fully well that he didn’t look like much of a man in the eyes of anyone, his eyes casting down as he fidgeted with the strap on his camera. 

   “Oh good,” you nodded. You took another spoonful of cereal. “I like that better. Nicer ring to it.” You grabbed your box of sugary breakfast and pushed it toward him, an offering. 

   “Huh?” He was a bit dazed. He stared at the box in front of him and then realized he had been doing that for far too long of a time to be considered normal. “Oh, right, um, sure, thanks!” He opened the box and took a handful, shoving it in his mouth. You kept eating your cereal, silently staring at the bowl and willing yourself not to laugh at the boy in front of you. With all his nerves, he was still a bundle of energy and cheerfulness, and, well, let’s face it, he was sort of adorable. “So, you think my name’s cool?” He tried to sound suave, charming, as he said it, tried to smirk at you, but he stopped when he realized that he looked stupid.

   You gave him a half smile. “It’s pretty good.” His face positively lit up with happiness to be taken seriously, and you knew the feeling too well. You stuck out your hand. “Oh, forgot to introduce myself-” 

  “Y/N Stark, adopted daughter of Mr. Stark, probably the smartest girl in all of New York and, uh, correct if I’m wrong but… Black Widow’s best student as well as Bruce Banner’s apprentice.” 

   You gaped at him. The blush he had been sporting crept up to his ears and made his nose turn the shade of a strawberry. “Well, uh, yeah,” you said, flustered. “Should I creeped out or flattered?” 

   “Flattered, please.” The genuine worry in his eyes as he leaned forward made you laugh. He had an endearing personality. 

   “Flattered it is.” You watched the slow sigh of relief leave his mouth, his hands flying up the mess of hair atop his head and fixing it distractedly. Your dad walked into the room, and Peter practically fell out of his chair trying to stand up and seem presentable. Your slouch was indicative that you didn’t care much. He was just your dad. “Morning, pops,” you slid the box over his way.  

   He frowned at it.” Y/N, that stuff is crap. I don’t know why you eat it.” 

   “Wanda and I like it,” you said defensively, a slip of the tongue. You knew your dad was going to get annoyed at the mention of the Scarlet Witch, who had evaded and ignored his attempts at keeping her powers under control. “It’s good. High quality. Right, Peter?” You whipped your head toward him. 

   He felt his heart give a little tug. He grabbed the box out of your hand and shoved more cereal in his mouth, the cinnamon sugar sticking to his lips. “Yeah, Mr. Stark. Best stuff ever,” he said through a mouthful of it. Tony gave them an amused glance, picking up your two heaviest suitcases and beckoning you both to the landing strip. Peter swallowed his food. 

   He didn’t even like Cinnamon Toast Crunch that much. He was just thrilled that you knew his real name.


   Everything about this kid was infuriatingly dorky in the cutest way possible. You came to this conclusion as you boarded the jet with ease, sitting in your usual spot by the window and greeting Happy with your typical friendly smile and idle chitchat. Peter stumbled onto it with awe written across his features as he stared around the place, touching nearly everything much to Happy’s dismay. 

   “Haven’t you been on a plane before?” The man asked, growing irritated with the way the kid was filming everything. You saw Peter zoom in on Happy’s face and grinned out your window. 

   “Nope, never!” Peter exclaimed, his video camera still in front of him as he captured every detail of his trip. 

   “Well, sit down so we can take off,” Happy said gruffly, grabbing Peter’s shoulders and forcefully placing him into a seat. 

  Peter sat still for a moment, then hopped over to the seat next to you. He placed his camera in front of him on the tray table. “Y/N, smile for the camera. I’m recording.” You looked at him, then turned to the camera and gave it a deadpan stare. You even threw in a slow blink. “Good enough,” he shrugged. He kept it recording as he shifted in his seat so that his entire body was facing you, his chin resting in his hand and his elbow on your armrest. His gaze was sort of nice. “So, Miss Stark, I have a few questions.” 

   “Um, okay, shoot,” you closed your book that you had open on your lap. “I’m not that interesting, just so you know.” 

  “I think you’re interesting,” he assured you. You heard Happy let out a choked laugh at Peter’s flirting attempt, but it was just another thing you found sort of lovely. It was a genuine compliment. “What’s your favorite subject in school?”

   You’d been expecting the typical what’s it like being Tony’s daughter spiel, and you were pleased to get an actual question about yourself for once. “I like everything, I guess. I kind of love school, but I don’t go to a conventional school, so. Training is cool, I like that a lot.” 

   “You train with Black Widow, I have to ask- can you show me some moves? I need to refine my technique before the fight,” he explained.  

    “Do you wanna learn how to crush people with your thighs?”

   “Wow! Do you think I could? Could you teach me? That’s so cool,” he beamed, turning to the camera for a split second with an overexcited look. 

   You pursed your lips, staring out your window for a minute. You were up in the air by now, and there was long flight ahead of you. “Maybe. If my dad is okay with it. I have to check.” Peter looked confused, 

   “Why wouldn’t he be?” 

   “He’s, you know, really overprotective.” You put your first against the cheek, leaning the same way that Peter was. You sighed. “I don’t have a lot of friends. Which is fine, but I can’t even attempt to go make any because I have a whole freaking SWAT team on my ass the minute I step out of the tower because he’s so worried about my safety.” You let your head hit the window, your eyes rolling skyward. “And that makes no sense because-” 

   “You’re really strong and stuff. You can protect yourself,” Peter finished. 

    “I think you know me a little too well, Peter,” you said, poking him lightly in the arm. “But… yeah, exactly. I don’t really get to do anything fun. I don’t have adventures. Sure, reading is fun and studying is fun for me and training is great and I love hanging out with everyone in the tower but I’m still a teenager. No fun for me, though. My life is pretty boring, sorry if that makes your little video diary suck.” You stuck your tongue out at his camera.  

   “No worries,” he said, taking it off the tray table and turning it toward you. “Tell me every boring detail, Miss Stark.” 

   “As long as you stop calling me Miss Stark.” 

   “You’ve got a deal.” 

   It was a seven hour trip, and you both passed out by the three hour mark after Peter had pried every excruciating detail from your life out of you. You hated sleeping on airplanes, but your head was slumped against his shoulder and his arm was knocking against your own and his sweatshirt was as soft as pillow. You remembered the shy glance he had given you just before you knocked out on his shoulder for the remainder of the flight. He had a sweet smile. 


    Peter filmed absolutely everything. He filmed himself getting off the plane and then filmed you getting off the plane and nearly shoved the camera in Happy’s face until he threatened to break it and Peter backed off. He radiated enthusiasm. “Look at this, and this, and this, oh shit wow that’s so cool look at this! Oh man this is good stuff!”

   “Peter this is literally just the airport how am I supposed to take you around the actual city?!”

   “OH WOW Y/N have you seen this!” 

    “Yes, Peter!” 

     He zoomed in on your face, your devoid of emotion look appearing again. “Are you ever gonna smile for the camera?” He gave you a pout, doe eyes and all. You turned away. 

   “No. I’m supposed to be babysitting you, please be behave.” You touched your fingers to the bridge of your nose, dragging Peter to a couch. “Please sit. We’re getting the hotel reservations checked.” 

   “Do they juice boxes? I’m really thirsty.” He was just trying to make you laugh at this point, and annoying you was kind of funny for him. You let out an involuntary chuckle when he pretended to claw at his throat, throwing himself on the ground. 

   “I’ll make sure they have juice boxes for you, Petey. You’re such a seven year old, geez.” You pretended to gag. 

   Looking offended, Peter replied, “I’m actually twelve.” 

   Jokingly, you said, “You’re a twelve year old that’s going to get a punch in the face if you don’t settle down right now.” He stood up, directly in front of you with his light eyes and little grin, another feverish looking heat burning at his face. Nevertheless, he still said, “It’d be an honor to get beaten up by you.” 

  His voice, the sincerity he carried within it despite the ludicrous statement, made you feel those famed butterflies fluttering inside you. Maybe it was the way he looked into your eyes as he said it. Maybe it wasn’t. But something within you was starting to like Peter Parker, and you’d barely known him for twenty four hours. 

   Then again, it was hard to not like Peter. The kid was just so damn likable. 


   He had known it from the moment he first set his eyes upon you that day in the tower that he was a goner. If he had known it then, just from sitting down across from you with nothing to him but his lanky figure and a suit that resembled a onesie more than it did a costume fit for a hero such as he, he was sure of it now, a week and a half later. 

   Every day had been the same routine. He’d be up bright and early in the morning so you could help with him his training, teaching him how to utilize the suit your father had given him with ease rather than his usual tactic of jumping into everything blind. You’d been the one to help come up with nearly all of the web shooter combinations. He didn’t know all of them yet, or close to half of them, but he was progressing wonderfully. 

   After training, you’d give him the tour of your favorite places around Germany, close enough to where you’d both be able to get back to the hotel before dark. He filmed the both of you constantly, but you shied away from the cameras every time without fail. He couldn’t understand why, but he didn’t push. He just liked filming in general, and would accept you not smiling in any of his clips as long as you were still in there. 

   There was a beautiful sense of normalcy that came with hanging around Peter. You reveled in it. No one had ever made you laugh so hard with his ridiculous attempts at jokes or made you smile so much at his shy flirting skills that clearly needed to be revisited. 

   It was okay. You didn’t mind. And the fact that you didn’t tease him for it made him so, so happy. 

   Then, came the day of the fight. Peter had his camera out, he was dressed in his spidey suit, and you were standing there next to him dictating who he should and shouldn’t go after. 

   “Don’t go after Wanda ‘cause she could obliterate you in two seconds and Cap could crush you, too, but he won’t ‘cause he’s really nice like that. Bucky won’t care as much, though, so don’t do that- Ant-Man seems pretty cool and harmless but I don’t have as much intel on him and Peter if you get hurt you have to go hide somewhere-” 

   “I’m not gonna get hurt,” he said confidently. 

   You ignored him. “I’m gonna be in your earpiece, figuratively speaking, so I’ll hear everything you do and if you talk I’ll be able to hear you and you can hear me. So, just… keep me updated.” Peter took off his mask for a second, hair sticking up everywhere from the static. You leaned up, smoothing it back into place. Everything about him was soft. You wanted to curl up in it and stay there for as long as you could. 

   “I’ll be fine, Y/N, don’t worry,” Peter placed his hand on your shoulder. You felt your face heat up. 

   “I- I’m not worried.” You totally were. “I know you’ll be fine.” You didn’t want him getting hurt. “I just want you to be careful.” You didn’t want him to fight. 

   You could’ve sworn his face fell a  bit when you said you weren’t worried, but he squeezed your shoulder anyway. Without a moment’s hesitation, you threw your arms around him, your nose pressing against his neck as you took a deep breath. He stood there for a second without doing anything until he realized that if he didn’t hug you back, he’d be the dumbest person on the face of the Earth. You felt his surprisingly defined arms hug you back. 

   You didn’t look at him when you pulled away. You stared at the spider emblazoned on his chest, gave him a quick good luck, then departed from the room. You sat on your own hotel bed with a rapidly beating heart.

    The nerves were killing you. Ten more minutes. You opened your laptop and pulled up the system that would allow you to communicate across Team Stark. You were more focused on your dad and Peter. You tapped into your dad’s earpiece after placing the headset on. “Dad?” You spoke into the microphone. 

   “Hey, kiddo, everything okay?” 

   “Y-Yeah I just-” you took another breath. “Be safe. I love you.” 

   “I love you too, Y/N. Are you sure everything is okay over there?” 

   “Can you just make sure Peter gets out okay? If he gets hurt, bring him right back, please. That’s it.” Maybe it was a stupid request in someone else’s eyes, but you needed Peter to make it back in one piece. Tony Stark looked over at Peter Parker, crouching in his hiding spot and fumbling around with the gloves of his suit and gave the kid a knowing smile. Of course that was the one his  daughter fell for in the end. Perfectly fitting. 

   “I’ll make sure.” You knew your father couldn’t see the grateful smile on your face, the sigh of relief that fell past your lips when he spoke these words.

   Peter Parker, I swear if you make it out of this, I will smile like an idiot in every single one of your stupidly adorable video diary things. I swear. Just be safe.


 “Your black eye is awful,” you told him, dabbing at it with more cream. “Totally ruins your face.”

   “I think I look manly.” 

   “You think incorrectly.” You stepped back, your fingertips tilting his chin up so you could examine it further. “I think I got the worst of it. You did really well, Peter. Exceptionally well.” His face was glowing from your compliment. 

   “Can I get on that tape?” He asked excitedly, ducking under his hotel bed for his camera. You nodded, and he switched the camera on. He held out his arm so that you were both in frame. And you smiled. He forgot all about what you were supposed to say the moment that beautiful smile appeared there. “I- wow, Y/N.” 

   “What?’ 

    His stare was kind as it usually was. “You just-” he paused. “Your smile is really, really beautiful.” There was no way for you to turn away from the camera this time and you were left grinning like a lovestruck idiot at the boy in front of you, leaning up on your toes to press a kiss to his cheek. 

  “Thank you.” 

  You slept the entire plane ride the way you had the last time, curled up against Peter. This time, it was intentional. One of your arms was flung across his waist and his was wrapped around your shoulders, the sweatshirt he had came in now swaddling you cozily. There were two separate cars waiting for you. You stood in between them when the flight got off, the sleeves of his sweater hanging off your hands as you reached out to grab his. He felt you push a piece of paper into his hand. “You better call me, Peter Parker. I’ll be really upset if you don’t.” 

   He wrapped you suddenly in an embrace that lifted you off your feet just a little bit, his lips pressing against your temple. “I’ll call you every day.” 


   He kept true to his word. Every day without fail, your phone rang with a call from Peter, and you fell asleep on the phone with him more often than not. If you weren’t on the phone with him, you were texting him, and if you weren’t doing that, you wished that you were. The consistent communication was better than nothing, but regardless, you missed his presence. You missed the way you felt walking next to him as he explained why chocolate ice cream was so clearly better than vanilla. You just missed him. 

   “Peter?” You held the phone to your ear, nestled in your blankets already even though it was barely nine o'clock. His sleepy voice mumbled out a yes? “Would it be stupid if I said that I missed you?” 

  She could practically hear his wide smile through the phone. “Of course not. I miss you, too. So much. Probably more than you miss me.” 

   “That’s so not true!” She scoffed. 

    “Wanna bet?” His tone was mischievous, no longer the hoarse, pretty voice of a boy just waking up from his nap. “Open your bedroom door.” 

    “Are you joking?” 

    You hung up the phone, throwing back your covers and not caring one bit that your hair was a dripping mess from your shower or that you were wearing  a terrible set of hello kitty pajamas that weren’t meant for anyone over the age of ten based on the size of the top. You nearly tackled him to the ground when you saw him standing in your doorway, a happy squeal escaping your lips. You were surprised he even got in, considering your dad wasn’t home, but you figured Vision had let him in. Vision always had a way of knowing. 

   “Have I ever told you that you have a really pretty smile?” Peter’s lips hovered over yours, almost hesitant. You took the initiative to kiss first, your hands delving into his silk-like hair. There was no point in waiting anymore. Your noses bumped together clumsily when he tilted his head back, admiring. You could feel your whole being light up when he gazed at you the way that he did, in that admiring, careful, Peter way of his. 

   “Careful, Spidey,” You warned, hands on his chest as you stared right back up at him. 

   “Careful of what?” He quirked an eyebrow. 

   “You’re going to make me fall in love with you one of these days if you keep looking at me like that.” It was only the truth, and you were a honest person.

   “That’s sort of the plan,” he shrugged in a seemingly careless way, but he couldn’t hide it. He was an open book. An open book who loved you, and the way that you smiled at him when he pulled back his sleeve to reveal a web shooter, a strange glint in those brown eyes of his as he said, “You up for an adventure?” 

i saw a similar post about writing tips when it comes to having paris as a setting, so i thought it would be helpful to have the same thing except for……new york city! as a native new yorker i love seeing my home appearing in fics, because lbr nyc is pretty awesome. so if you’re looking to make nyc your setting, here are some tips when writing about it. these can help establish if your character is a native or non-native.

—first off, nyc is technically not one city. it’s five cities. the boroughs of manhattan, queens, staten island, bronx, and brooklyn are all part of nyc. however, the nyc that’s always on tv/movies is manhattan.

—if you live in any of the four other boroughs, manhattan is always referred to as “the city”. so if your character lives in brooklyn but is heading out to central park, they’re going to the city.

—public transportation is the way to go. unless it’s staten island, where cars are the easiest way to go. mta fare is $2.75 and we use metrocards. trains are divided by uptown and downtown, and some are express and some are local. we do not refer to the train lines by their color—only by their number or letter. buses are designated by their borough; a manhattan bus would have M in front of the number.

—taxis are mad expensive and sometimes public transportation can be too when you need to take a combo of buses and trains. many new yorkers walk a lot. the reason we walk fast is bc it makes it easier to get to your destination. walking up ten blocks can only take ten minutes if you speedwalk basically. which is why slow walkers annoy us, especially when they stop suddenly.

—trains run slower during weekends and nights so your character might be in for quite a wait. bus generally take 10 minutes to come, unless it’s a popular route. then buses come every five minutes.

—except for the very southern part of manhattan, the roads are numbered. so areas such as greenwich village, wall street, little italy, and chinatown do not have streets with numbers. streets run from east to west; avenues run from south to north. the east & west streets are separated by 5th Avenue. numbers increase as you move north and/or to the west.

—you can always find pizza and hot dogs for a dollar. busy areas such as times square and central park will try to overcharge you. no new yorker would be gullible enough to pay $2 for a pizza slice. for cheap $1 pizza, the chain 2Bros is good. speaking of pizza, we fold it in half bc it is easier to eat and walk then.

—a distinctly new yorker thing is saying “on the line”. such as asking someone “are you on the line?” no other state says this. drive into new jersey and they’ll say “in the line”.

—there is one international airport and one domestic airport for nyc, which are both in queens. there’s JFK (international) and La Guardia (domestic). a third option is newark airport (also international) in new jersey.

—smoking is not allowed in nyc parks nor in most public spaces whatsoever. also the legal age for smoking and drinking is 21.

—if your character is a college student, all public colleges are branded as CUNY (City University of New York). every borough has at least one CUNY college. public colleges have “cheap” tuition rates, which are usually around $5000-$8000. the “famous” colleges in NYC are not public. NYU and Columbia are both private and are ridiculously expensive. Wagner College (private) in Staten Island has a really good performing arts/music program.

—new yorkers avoid many of the sightseeing places bc they’re expensive and overcrowded. i have lived my whole life in nyc (almost 20 years) and have only visited the Empire State Building for the first time this summer—and that’s only bc my internship covers the expense of my tickets to such places.

—speaking of expenses, most of the homes in the boroughs are apartments. Staten Island however is suburban and residential. houses are abundant there. in manhattan, houses which are really just townhouses, are super expensive. we’re talking millions here.

—manhattan is an island. so is staten island. the only ways off manhattan are by cars/buses over bridges or tunnels, or by trains. the only way off staten island is by car, bus, or the Staten Island Ferry. the ferry is free of charge, running 24/7 between SI and Manhattan. all bridges have tolls, where ezpass holders have lower rates.

—yes we’re the city that never sleeps, but we do sleep. some areas like times square don’t appear to. i’ve shopped at the forever 21 in times square at 1 AM. it was still crowded.

—SI has a predominant Italian and Sri Lankan community. Queens has a predominant Indian community, most especially in the Jackson Heights neighborhood.

—coney island is in brooklyn. the rides are fun but expensive. the beach is crowded and dirty. brighton beach and rockaway beach are better choices. staten island has a more calmer (and actually fourth longest in the usa) boardwalk.

—if you’re mailing something to manhattan, the address should be written as new york, new york. it would not be manhattan, new york.

this got really long but if your heart is set on writing within new york, i think it’s really important to get your setting right. like i said before, these tips can really help your character stand out or not as someone who is or isn’t from new york. i hope this helps for all the fabulous writers out there!

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BOOK OF THE DAY:

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer

“No spoilers here, but we will say that the book–which includes a number of photographs and some eccentric typography–ends with what is undoubtedly the most beautiful and heartbreaking flip book in all of literature.” –Booklist

Oskar Schell is unlike any nine-year-old you will ever meet. Bright and quirky, it is safe to say he is a little weird. He makes jewelry, he speaks French, he plays the tambourine, he is a Shakespearean actor, jeweler, pacifist, vegan, historian and correspondent with Stephen Hawking and Ringo Starr. When his father passes away in the September 11th attacks, Oskar is left depressed until he finds a mysterious envelope with a key, titled, “Black” in his father’s closet. Filled with inspiration and hope, Oskar embarks on an adventure to find the lock of the key. During his journey, he travels through the five boroughs of New York, where he meets interesting characters with their own survival stories. What begins as an innocent, heartfelt testimonial of loyalty to his father, ends up as a heartbreakingly beautiful climax, which leads to his father’s grave.

Although the plot seems rather thin, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is far quirkier than you believe. Reflecting Oskar’s intellectualism, Foer’s writing is experimental. With several back stories, including the Hiroshima and Dresden bombing, as well as others’ stories of trauma, Foer’s writing is intuitive: it lacks punctuation and shifts narrative. It contains eccentric, illegible typography (where the words are mounted on top of each other) blank pages, pages with one liners, sweet monologs, illustrations and scribbles. Although it may be perceived as gimmicky, it is highly stylistic and unique.

Without a doubt, Foer’s delicate style adds to the sentimentality of the novel. Make no reservations here, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close will make the coldest heart shed a tear. Foer has created a prose on the exploration of grief and healing. As a result of the highly sensitive topic and young narrator, there are no mild feelings procured here, you will feel a gut-wrenching beautiful ache or a bitter taste in your mouth. Note, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Closenavigates two extremes of the spectrum, between beautiful sadness and manipulation.

Read excerpts from the book here!

Because there’s so much M/M books on Goodreads and it’s hard to select which one are good, I decided to make a post about it, for anyone who wants to start reading original content ! It’s gonna be updated as I read some new books :)

Feel free to send me some rec for books you think I’m gonna like !

First, the HOLY TRINITY : (read them before anything else)

- Captive Prince trilogy, by C.S Pacat : Slavery, politic strategies and amazing love story.

- In The Company of Shadows, by Santino Hassell and Ais  : read this post I made about it and GOOD LUCK TRYING TO ESCAPE THIS SERIES .

- All For The Game trilogy , by Nora Sakavic : sport team (this sport is a very violent sort of Lacrosse, but with barely any rules),a lot of fucked up but amazing characters , some bloody family story, and of course great love story.

Then : (with no order)(last update on September 1st 2017)

- Cut & Run Series, by Abigail Roux and Madeleine Urban : a FBI new team, a amazing to follow these 2 characters  relationship  along 9 (NINE!) books.

- Cyberlove Series, by Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell : 4 books for now, following different stories and couples, all based on the Gaming/YouTube universe and online relationship.

- Takeover Series, by Anna Zabo : holy shit, welcome in the BDSM scene (4 books, aka 4 differents stories) ;)

- Five Boroughs Series, by Santino Hassell : 4 books, starting with an amazing BFF to lovers story.

- No Place Left to Run, by Zarah Detand : an original story by our beloved fic writer zarah5 ;)

- #gamers Series, by Annabeth Albert : another trilogy about gaming universe, awesome !

- Him Series, by Sarina Bowen : amazing love story in the professional Hockey universe. (2 books)

- Heels Over Head, by Elyse Springer : welcome in the world of professional divers running for an Olympic win ;)

- Out Of Uniform Series , by Annabeth Albert : 3 books for now, all in the Army universe.

- Wound Tight, by Tessa Bailey : a CEO/security guard story

- Coda Books Series , by Marie Sexton : love story in Colorado. 7 books !

- The Assignment Series, by Evangeline Anderson : Police detectives and BFF to lovers relationship.

- Perfect Harmony series, by Annabeth Albert : a capella universe.

- Broken Pieces series, by Riley Hart : Can three broken pieces make a whole? (2 books, Threesome)

- Portland Heat series, by Annabeth Albert : In Portland, Oregon, the only thing hotter than the coffee shops, restaurants, and bakeries are the hard-working men who serve it up—hot, fresh, and ready to go—with no reservations…  (6 books so far)

- Skin Deep Inc. series , by L.A Witt : when Navy meets Tattoos Artist … (2 books so far)

BOOKS READ IN 2017: sutphin boulevard by santino hassell

“I don’t understand why you’re acting this way. I just don’t want to ruin what we already have. I’m not trying to upset you.”

“I know you’re not trying to upset me, but what do you expect, Mikey? You know I want you, and you don’t want me, so what else is there to say?”

“I don’t—”

“Don’t say you don’t know what the fuck I’m talking about.”

businessinsider.com
Queens has more languages than anywhere in the world — here's where they're found

There are as many as 800 languages spoken in New York City, and nowhere in the world has more than Queens, according to the Endangered Language Alliance (ELA).

“The capital of linguistic diversity, not just for the five boroughs, but for the human species, is Queens,” Solnit and Jelly-Schapiro write.

Hundreds of public school teachers in New York City have landed tickets to the hottest show on Broadway.


Some 400 teachers from schools in all five boroughs will attend Wednesday night’s performance of the sold-out, Tony Award-winning musical “Hamilton.”


The teachers were selected by the city’s Department of Education and via a lottery held by Teach For America-New York, a nonprofit educational organization. Barclays is also involved in the performance for educators through a partnership with the organization and the Education Department.


The Broadway show’s organizers hope the musical’s message of diversity and inclusiveness will resonate with educators and their students. […]

Alright, so based on the texts I got, messages received, and forty-two anons (I GOT THE ARISTOTLE ONE YEESH :)) I made a list of all the books mentioned. 

• Song of Achilles
• Captive Prince Series
• The Rifter series by Ginn Hale
• magpie lord by K J Charles
• Him by sarina Bowell
• Shattered Glass by Dani Alexander
• Stockholm Syndrome by Richard Rider
• Roads series by garrett leigh
• Five Boroughs series by Santino Hassell
• Simon vs the homo sapiens agenda  by becky albertalli
• how to repair a mechanical heart by j c lillis
• The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley
• nightrunner series by Lynn Flewelling
• Temptation series Try, Take, Trust
• Alexander the Nice guy series
• Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

• don’t let me go by J.H Trumble

• cut and run series- Madeline Urban
• Hope Cove Series- Cate Ashwood
• SSU Boys-Maris Black
• Ivy Years Series-Sarina Bowen
• Southern Scrimmage Series-Mercy Celeste
• Aidan and Ethan-Delvin and Garrick-Cameron Dane
• Black Reek Series-Riley Hart
• Better Than Series-Layne Hayes
• Straight Guy Series-Alessandra Hazard
• First and Forever Series-Alexa Land
• Firehouse Six Series-Draven St. James
• Nothing Special Series-A.E. Via
• Chase the Storm-V.M. Waitt
• Fated Heart Series-Aimee Nicole Walker
• The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher by Dana Alison Levy
• Dancer of the Dance-Andrew Holleran
• Carry On (and series)- Rainbow Rowell
• Ask the Passengers
• All for the game series. first one is the foxhole court and its free on iBooks
• Freakboy is a novel written in verse about a genderqueer teen and a trans woman of color
• The Tameness of The Wolf
• Brothers of the Wild North Sea
• The Cranberry Hush
• Beauty Queens-Libba Bray
• Afterworlds-Scott Westerfeld
authors:
• Sarina Bowen
• Ella Frank
• Mary Calmes
• A.M. Arthur
• Eli Easton
• M.J. O’Shea
• Felice Stevens
• L.A. Witt
• Lisa Worrall
• cordelia kingsbridge

Blogs for more lists: 

weneeddiversebooks 
yainterrobang.com


….lets go read!

Can’t-Miss NYC Eats for the Newly-Made New Yorker (Part 1, Manhattan)

“As the college application season comes to a close, thousands of students around the world have decided that New York City is where they want to live and learn. For the unfamiliar, New York City has a tendency to overwhelm. And with more than 20,000 restaurants and eateries spanning the five boroughs, it can be difficult to determine exactly where and what you want to eat. So, I’ve compiled a list of what I believe to be some of New York City’s best spots to grab a bite. Bear in mind, this list is catered to college students who can’t afford to dine at four-star restaurants. 

  • Eataly: 200 5th Avenue, near Madison Square Park and the Flatiron Building. This gourmet market stocks a myriad ofItalian specialty goods, as well as conventional and exotic produce, homemadebreads and pastas, fresh meat and seafood, several sit-down restaurants, arooftop brewery and bar, and a café that serves homemade gelato and bakedgoods. One can easily spend an entire afternoon in Eataly, but be warned: thisbastion of gastronomy is not always the most frugal option.
  • Dominique Ansel Bakery: 189 Spring Street, SOHO:Home of the famous “cronut,” this bakery specializes in complicated Frenchdesserts, but also offers sandwiches, salads, soups and ice cream. You cannot go wrong with anything on the menu here.
  • Momofuku Milk Bar: 251 East 13th Street: one of David Chang’s many NYC institutions, goodies from this eccentric sweets shop have probably appeared on your Instagram feed a few times. Most flock to the Milk Bar to try their “Compost Cookies,” “Cereal Milk,” “Crack Pie,” and cake truffles. This bakery also offers cake-making classes, where you yourself may learn how to recreate some of their famous desserts.
  • Levain Bakery: 167 West 74th Street, a healthy walk from Barnard and Columbia! Levain lives up to all the hype. Anyone who knows anything about NYC knows that Levain is THE place for cookies. And these aren’t your average, rinky-dink little Chips Ahoy—cookies from Levain are big, chunky, and full of flavor. Levain also sells freshly-baked breads and pastries, but the cookies are what put this bakery on the map.
  • Doughnut Plant: 220 West 23rd Street, Chelsea. Head here for creative takes on the standard breakfast treat that are guaranteed to satisfy. Flavors rotate and differ based on location (they have many outposts throughout the city,) but frequent favorites include tres leches, carrot cake, and chocolate blackout.
  • Rice to Riches: 37 Spring Street, Nolita. If you’ve ever lamented the underrepresentation of rice pudding in the New York food scene, I have good news for you. Rice to Riches is a one-of-a-kind rice pudding bar offering seasonal and year-round flavors, as well as unconventional toppings, such as chunks of toasted pound cake. Buy yourself an 8 oz. “solo” bowl, or bring 10 friends and tackle the 80 oz. “Moby” bowl.
  • Veselka: 144 2nd Ave, East Village: You might not have expected to find a Ukrainian diner and coffee shop on this list, but hear me out. Veselka is a staple of the East Village frequented by celebrities and commoners alike. The restaurant is open 24-hours, so you can get handmade pierogis and Eastern European specialties such as stuffed cabbage and potato pancakes at 3AM after a long night of uh, studying. Lovingly prepared soups, breads, and pastries are also menu mainstays.
  • Magnolia Bakery: 401 Bleecker Street, West Village. Chris Parnell and Andy Samberg love Magnolia’s cupcakes, which are quite good, but this bakery’s true claim to fame is the banana pudding. Let me tell you, if I could fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool with any single item, I would fill it with Magnolia Bakery’s banana pudding.
  • Big Gay Ice Cream Shop: 125 East 7th Street, East Village. As if you didn’t immediately fall in love with this place based on its name alone, BGIC has some of the best ice cream in the city. Their best-selling cone, the “Salty Pimp,” consists of creamy soft serve vanilla ice cream with dulce de leche, sea salt, and chocolate dip. It’s absolutely divine, but every single item on their menu is a revelation. Lines are long in the summer, but if you’re lucky, some friendly drag queens will keep you company as you wait outside the store. No, I’m not kidding.
  • Russ & Daughters: 179 East Houston Street, Lower East Side. R&D is a traditional appetizing store that opened in 1914 to cater to Jewish immigrants. This does not mean, however, that you have to be Jewish to enjoy their legendary smoked fish and bagels. Though you may wish to convert once you try one of their signature sandwiches. Don’t miss the homemade babka and rugelach, either.
  • Katz’s Delicatessen: 205 East Houston Street at the corner of Ludlow, Lower East Side. I don’t have to tell you about Katz’s, because chances are, you’ve heard of it before. Yes, Katz’s is a little bit expensive, a little bit cliché, and a little bit tourist-y, but their food makes up for all of this. The pastrami, corned beef, and brisket sandwiches are a religious experience.  Just make sure you order your cold cuts on rye with a schmear of mustard, because any other preparation would be an adulteration of the highest magnitude.
  • Shopsin’s General Store: 120 Essex Street, located inside the Essex Street Market. I’ve got four words for you: “macaroni and cheese pancakes.” I’ve got three more words for you: “glazed doughnut sandwiches.” I’ve got six million more words for you, because the menu at Shopsin’s is more than 900 items long. But be forewarned, it’s very difficult to get a seat, your party cannot be more than four people, and it’s not unlikely for customers to be verbally assaulted while they eat. Don’t you just love New York?!
  • Vegan Divas: 1437 1st Avenue. Okay, you probably haven’t heard of this place and you’re probably wondering why I’ve included a vegan boutique cafe on this list when we all know that butter and eggs make the world go ‘round. But Vegan Divas holds a special place in my heart. I first discovered this cafe and bakery in 2012 after I was displaced from my Long Island home by Hurricane Sandy. Okay, I wasn’t displaced, my house was fine, but we had no power and I was hella bored. So there I was, wandering aimlessly around the Upper East Side desperately searching for a wifi signal when their dainty blue awning somehow caught my eye. I’m not a vegan, I’m not even a vegetarian, but for some reason, I felt compelled to go inside. And I am so glad that I did! Vegan Divas offers a wide variety of low-calorie baked goods as well as salads, sandwiches, breakfast items (their granola is stellar) and beverages. The tofu chocolate mousse, chocolate chip cookies, double chocolate brownies, lemon raspberry muffins, olive oil corn muffins, and cinnamon sugar doughnuts are so insanely delicious that you won’t even remember that they’re devoid of animal products. I don’t have a bad thing to say about this place. The way to my heart is with anything from Vegan Divas.
  • Ellary’s Greens: ellarysgreens 33 Carmine Street, West Village. “Health food” restaurants aren’t typically what you’d recommend to a friend who’s seeking out New York City’s essential eateries, but Ellary’s Greens is a sentimental favorite of mine. It’s where I fueled up before participating in my first LGBT rally (which took place around the corner at the Stonewall Inn). It’s also one of the few restaurants in a city that prides itself on pushing the boundaries of gluttony and gastronomy where you can get a delicious, hearty meal that won’t leave you belly-up in a pool of drool on the bathroom floor. Kidding, of course, but the truth is that anyone can make something yummy using butter, bacon, cream, and eggs; only an adept chef can produce food that is both tasty and nutritious without relying on those aforementioned culinary crutches. Ellary’s Greens is fit for meat-eaters, vegetarians, pescetarians, and vegans alike, with many dishes that cater to the lactose and/or gluten intolerant, as well as an array of housemade baked goods and freshly-squeezed juices. I recommend the tofu curry, any of the salads and vegetable sides, the “zinger” shot, and the avocado chocolate mousse. If eating healthy ain’t your speed, try the bacon mac & cheese… I hear it’s pretty good.
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On this day in music history: September 16, 1979 - “Rapper’s Delight”, the debut single by the Sugarhill Gang is released. Written by Michael Wright, Hank Jackson, Guy O'Brien, Sylvia Robinson, Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers, it is the debut release biggest hit for the New Jersey based rap trio. Recorded at Joe and Sylvia Robinson’s All Platinum Studios (redubbed “Sugar Hill Studios”) in Englewood, NJ, the rhythm track and vocals are recorded entirely live in a single take. Though technically not the first rap record released (“King Tim III (Personality Jock)” by Fatback is released a few weeks before in August of 1979), it spreads the New York City born underground phenomenon beyond its five boroughs to the rest of the US, and the world. The song is an instant smash and at its sales peak is selling over 30,000 copies a day. Initially released only as a 12" single, it sells over three million copies in the US alone (featuring the full unedited version on one side (original labels list the timing as 15:00, though the actual running time is 14:29), and a edited version on the flipside (listed as 6:30 on the label, the actual running time is 7:10) ). It is later revealed that the verses by Big Bank Hank were actually written by Grandmaster Caz (aka Curtis Fisher) of The Cold Crush Brothers but does not receive a writing credit or receive royalties from sales of the record. Chic members Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers also have to sue Sugarhill for proper credit and royalties since the song borrows the music (also cutting in the strings from Chic’s record) from the band’s recent smash “Good Times”. “Rapper’s Delight” peaks at #4 on the Billboard R&B singles chart, and #36 on the Hot 100. The single is a huge international hit as well, peaking at #3 on the UK singles chart and hitting number one in Canada and The Netherlands.