Today, I’m helping celebrate the release of How to Hack a Heartbreak by Kristin Rockaway, a charming new rom-com perfect for the age of online dating, with a guest post from Kristin featuring some of the NYC locations featured in the book. Consider this a tour guide to the city, through the lens of How to Hack a Heartbreak.
THE NYC HOTSPOTS OF HOW TO HACK A HEARTBREAK
by Kristin Rockaway
Growing up in Brooklyn, New York shaped me into the person I am today – from my personality to my accent to my above-average parallel parking skills. So even though I live on the West Coast now, happily ensconced in a San Diego suburb, the Big Apple still courses through my veins.
That’s why it’s no surprise that I chose New York City as the setting for my forthcoming novel, How to Hack a Heartbreak. The story features many of the locales, neighborhoods, and restaurants I frequented while I was still a city dweller. And like the main character, Melanie Strickland, I lived in Downtown Brooklyn and worked in Downtown Manhattan, so writing these scenes was a lot like taking a virtual tour of my old haunts.
To help you get a sense of what Mel’s day-to-day life is like living it up in the big city, I created this Google map highlighting some of the places she visits in the book. If you’d like to learn more about any of these NYC hotspots, check out the details below.
Around the Office
The backdrop to Mel’s workdays is South Street Seaport, a riverfront district with cobblestone streets, historic landmarks, office buildings, and a touristy mall on the water called Pier 17. Melanie works on the 29th floor of One Seaport Plaza – which is, coincidentally, the same floor of the same building I worked in when I was a software engineer. Those gorgeous views of the Brooklyn Bridge from the Hatch offices? They’re real. (The brogrammers? They’re fictional. Mostly.)
One of the perks of working in this neighborhood is the plethora of amazing eateries. Whether Mel is enjoying a sunny al fresco meal with Alex at Fresh Salt (until Greg so rudely interrupts), or a tasty sandwich from the Banh Mi Cart, lunchtime is never boring.
When Mel’s done with work at the end of the day, she heads home on the subway – more specifically, a crowded, slow-as-molasses A train. She gets off at the Hoyt-Schermerhorn Station, where it’s a pretty quick walk home to her apartment building. The building itself is fictional, but I imagine she lives somewhere near the intersection of State Street and Bond Street, in the heart of bustling Downtown Brooklyn.
She’s also a hop, skip, and a jump away from the foodie scene on Smith Street – where her girlfriends take her to brunch at Bar Tabac and drop some serious truth bombs over avocado toast.
Fun with Friends
There’s no doubt Mel would be lost without the love and support of her three best friends – Whitney, Lia, and Dani – whose adventures take them across the city.
Happy hour is a must at Verlaine on the Lower East Side, where half-price lychee martinis are the perfect accompaniment for post-Fluttr date debriefings. On Thursdays, Mel and Lia always hit up a discount fitness class somewhere, but after an awkward experience at Krav Maga, they fill up on margaritas and flautas at El Cantinero. And the very best cure for the breakup blues has gotta be edible cookie dough, which is so good, Dani waits on a 45-minute line at DŌ just to get her hands on it.
Hopefully, this helped you to get better acquainted with the world Mel inhabits. The next time you find yourself in New York City, take this map with you for a self-guided How to Hack a Heartbreak tour of the boroughs.
By day, Mel Strickland is an underemployed help-desk tech at a start-up incubator, Hatch, where she helps entitled brogrammers—”Hatchlings”—who can’t even fix their own laptops but are apparently the next wave of start-up geniuses. And by night, she goes on bad dates with misbehaving dudes she’s matched with on the ubiquitous dating app Fluttr.
But after one dick pic too many, Mel has had it. Using her brilliant coding skills, she designs an app of her own, one that allows users to log harassers and abusers in the online dating space. It’s called JerkAlert, and it goes viral overnight.
Mel is suddenly in way over her head. Worse still, her almost-boyfriend, the dreamy Alex Hernandez—the only non-douchey guy at Hatch—has no idea she’s the brains behind the app. Soon, Mel is faced with a terrible choice: one that could destroy her career, love life and friendships, or change her life forever.
Kristin Rockaway is a native New Yorker and recovering corporate software engineer. After working in the IT industry for far too many years, she finally traded the city for the surf and chased her dreams out to Southern California, where she spends her days happily writing stories instead of code. When she’s not working, she enjoys spending time with her husband and son, browsing the aisles of her neighborhood bookstores, and planning her next big vacation.
Her second novel, How to Hack a Heartbreak, will be released from Graydon House/HarperCollins on July 30, 2019. Her debut, The Wild Woman’s Guide to Traveling the World, is in stores now.