Dash and Lily Day: A Book Adventure

I had big plans for the holiday season this year. Part of those plans included planning and hosting my first ever Cookie Swap (which went really well–it was the first Sunday in December and we’re finally out of cookies!). Another part included something that quickly came to be known as Dash and Lily Day.

This year my friend The Book Bandit and I read Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan. We both really loved the characters and the story. Even more fun, the book takes place at Christmas right here in New York City.

One of the cool things about living in New York is that a lot of books are set here. This year, The Book Bandit (Nicole) and I decided to make the most of that. Earlier this month we picked a Sunday to recreate some of the more memorable moments from Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares if not in perfect accuracy at least in perfect alignment with the spirit of the book.

Being a book-centric blog, I thought it would be fun to share the itinerary for the day for any curious readers or any New Yorkers who might want to do something similar:

With festive clothes and cameras in tow, we began where the book started–The Strand in Union Square.

The Strand

While we did not find any girls wearing Majorette boots or surly boys checking up on their favorite book, we did spot the book that inspired our adventure.

Dash and Lily's Book of Dares book

After The Strand we started to modify the itinerary on the fly.

First stop: the Holiday Market at Union Square to admire all the festive things for sale (because you know Lily would be all over that).

Photo taken by The Book Bandit (Nicole)

Initially after browsing Union Square, we planned on stopping at Max Brenner: Chocolate by the Bald Man.

We did get close enough to take pictures in front of it.

(That’s Nicole on the left and me on the right.)

But we couldn’t even get near an actual table.

So we did what any intrepid traveler would. We went up to Times Square to catch a movie. Not just any movie, of course, but Hugo in 3D.

Photo taken by The Book Bandit (Nicole)

While the movie was much longer than either of us expected (causing a 3D-induced headache for me), it was a lot of fun. I sorely missed the voice over narrative structure of the book as well as some of the more memorable illustrations from Selznick’s The Invention of Hugo Cabret but overall the movie was a lot of fun. One of the coolest things was seeing the silent films that play such an important role in the story being played out as actual films instead of as still shots. Definitely a must-see for fans of the book and film enthusiasts.

I’m still sorely disappointed that the Pixar movie about office supplies in Dash and Lily is not a real movie, but Hugo more than made up for it.

Our next stop was the Build-a-Bear store to . . . build bears. (Dash has Lily make a puppet in the book so this seemed like the obvious, and more affordable, alternative.)

At first it was difficult to make the right choices, but as often happens, the right bears found us.

Nicole made a blue bear and named her Lily (for obvious reasons) while I made a brown bear and named her Clarice (because Nicole and I decided it really was the most festive name choice–you know, because of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.)


(Lily and Clarice: BBF–Bestie Bears Forever)

Conveniently located right next to Build-a-Bear, Nicole and I found Little Miss Matched–a delightful store that sells socks in sets of three. Because they are designed to be worn without matching. What could be better? Honestly, very little. We enjoyed picking out socks and admiring some of the sillier hats (I actually bought that pink one–it’s super comfy).

We had bigger plans after building bears and buying socks. A ceremonial trip to FAO Schwarz uptown. A pilgrimage to Dyker Heights in Brooklyn to admire the Christmas lights.

Unfortunately in addition to being a long, activity-filled day, Dash and Lily Day was also one of the coldest days of the winter season (which is really saying something since it’s only been serious winter weather for about a week all told). Defeated by fatigue and the increasingly cold night air, we packed it in with our bears and our socks before finishing Dash and Lily Day with a nice diner dinner.

But fear not, I more than made up for the lack of Christmas-decoration-viewing with my Festivity-packed itinerary for the Tour de Christmas. But that, dear readers, is a story for another blog post. Soon.

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