Marisa Kanter on writing her New York YA book, Finally Fitz

"Whenever I return, it feels like homecoming, and I always knew it was only a matter of time before I wrote my New York Book."

This post was written by Marisa Kanter, author of Finally Fitz.

I love New York. It’s a cliché, a slogan stamped on tacky t-shirts peddled on chaos midtown streets, but it’s my truth. I lived in Manhattan for six years. I have a note on my phone filled with interesting snippets of conversations overheard while walking concrete streets, while sitting on the subway, while I was supposed to be writing. I’ve been stuck on an N train for so long I had to exit between stations, walk the entire length of the platform. Once, a kind grandpa-aged man bought my iced tea at a bodega that I didn’t realize was cash only. I’ve stood in a puddle of my own sweat on a subway platform in August. I’ve slipped on ice in February. I love New York. Whenever I return, it feels like homecoming, and I always knew it was only a matter of time before I wrote my New York Book.

And now it’s here! Finally Fitz is my humble addition to the canon of romcoms set in New York City. It’s the first time I’ve written a setting that feels like a character, the first time I’ve written so intimately about our relationship with setting. About the feeling of being in a place that fits just right. So I thought it’d be fun to share a little preview of the New York that Fitz falls in love with, a few spots that make this city special.


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The High Line: Stretching twenty-two blocks from Chelsea to Midtown, an abandoned elevated railroad line bloomed into a park in the sky. The High Line is an example of not just upcycling, but of a creative way to incorporate green spaces into the city for pedestrians to stroll or chill. Filled with rotating art installations and home to more than 150,000 plants, it’s hands-down one of the most magical spots in Manhattan.

Pier 25 Mini Golf:  Further south, at Hudson River Park in Tribeca, Pier 25 is home to the only outdoor miniature golf course in Manhattan. Take in the incredible skyscraper views of the Financial District or a sunset over the Hudson while playing a friendly (or, not so friendly!) game of mini golf.

The Brooklyn Flea: I will always, always support a Brooklyn moment and if you’re able to head over to DUMBO on the weekend, explore the endless stalls of vintage clothes and antiques at the Brooklyn Flea. Afterwards, relish in your one-of-a-kind finds and walk over to Brooklyn Bridge Park for more breathtaking views.

And that’s just a small sample of Fitz’s adventures! In so many ways, Finally Fitz is a love letter to New York.

I hope I captured the magic of the city and all of its quirks. I hope you feel immersed in all of it, from the city adventures to the subway tears. It’s not a perfect city, but it’s a perfect for me city and it was such a joy to bring it alive through the eyes of a teenage girl discovering it for the first time.

Get your copy of Finally Fitz by Marisa Kanter here.

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