By Johnny Heller   May 17, 2019


This year I will be surprising all those who hoped to see me at APAC by not showing up! (I will be at McGarry’s Pub lunching with Ms. Hillary Huber and others if you want to pop in and say “Hi”.) For those of you coming to the little village of Manhattan, please accept this blog as a guide to help you navigate and get through the week with your sanity and your wallet intact.


  1. APAC – May 29 – Javits Center. The reason you are here. This takes place at the Javits Center and you will wish that it was Comic-con instead, but it isn’t. Most of the building is taken up by the Book Expo which is a thing you should attend. The bit you get will be filled with producers, publishers, editors, narrators and APA staff. Here are a few suggestions:
  • Get business cards. Sure, give out yours but you already know you so get everyone else’s.
  • Dress is business casual. No ties. But no cut-offs and sandals. It will be likely be really hot in NYC that day because it always is during APAC, but it can be very cold inside. So, keep in mind that you will inside.
  • If you aren’t good at schmoozing, hang out with someone who is and ask them to introduce you to people you want to meet.
  • Read the room. If you want to meet a publisher and that publisher is talking to someone else saying: “You son of a bitch! I told you to stay away from my wife! I’m going to kill you!” You shouldn’t approach them and ask about sending them your demo. Wait until the publisher is done killing the other person.
  • There are two tracks at APAC – a narrator track and a publisher track. You can go to meetings in either. If your goal is to meet publishers, guess which ones have the most publishers? However, it is not appropriate to interrupt the panel during a discussion of budgetary issues and ask them to look at your website.

Have fun. Remember that you paid for this. Get what you need out of it. And remember that every person on every panel also paid the same amount that you did. That’s how much they care about sharing with you


May 28th 9-4:30 Baruch College at 22nd and Lexington. Here’s the one I like! It’s a workshop to help the narrator up their game and features the top names in the business. You get to work with coaches – or at least watch them work with other narrators. There’s breakfast and lunch and swag and a chance to win some coaching time with folks like Scott Brick, Sean Pratt, Paul Ruben, Pat Fraley, Carol Monda, PJ Ochlan and more! Here’s the link to register but you need to do it fast. The caterer needs to know how many sammiches to bring!



Thursday May 30, 9-3 with Amanda Rose Smith and Tom Dheere at 338 West 23rd Street.  Here’s a chance to learn all about tech stuff and e-learning (you can tell by the title!) with the top names in the field. Register at



  1. MUSTANG HARRYS LUNCH – Monday May 27th – 352 7TH AVE 1-4PM.

Hosted (not paid for) by Steven Jay Cohen. This fine pub is near Penn Station and Madison Square Garden and is a great place to meet and chat with friends before all the festivities begin.

  1. McGARRY’S WITH SEAN PRATT – Monday May 27th 417 9th Just a convivial get together the Yogurt Ninja – or whatever he’s called – is hosting. Come, have a drink, relax and chat.
  2. APA MIXER – May 28th 5:30 – 7:30pm or so. 79th and the Hudson River at the Boat Basin. Here’s where your $20 can go far – you can meet everyone you want to meet in a no-pressure social setting – and they will be all liquored up! Have fun here. Meet and greet but don’t be all business. It’s likely to be hot and your name tag will fall off many times. And your make-up will run. Deal with it.
  3. NOT NAUDIES – May 29th 8pm -? CONNOLLYS – 121 West 45th Street 3rd Floor
    There are a few parties on this night but some are invitation only so I can’t tell you about them. This one is open to everyone and everyone attends. It’s a party hosted by me, Jeffrey Kafer and Melissa Exelberth. You must come – and we can tell you the history of the Naudies. Or just come and talk about other stuff.


A note about parties: These parties can get crowded and noisy. If that’s an issue for you, go to a library. These are parties. (I do believe the outdoor 4th floor at Connolly’s will be open but I couldn’t book the space so are on the 3rd floor. If you need a quiet moment to gaze deeply into some publishers’ eyes and softly murmur – “Hi. Wanna go to my hotel and listen to my demo?” – you might want to visit the outdoor upper deck.




New York was discovered by European adventurers many years ago – a discovery that confused the natives who were born there and “discovered” it by opening their eyes for the first time. The Europeans dealt with the native population fairly equally – stealing everyone’s land and giving all of them incurable diseases. (The native Indians got their revenge years later by inventing casinos and taking back the white men’s money.)

Most of the surviving Indians were paid $27 and a few beads to move from Manhattan to Staten Island – which is still the going rate to move there.

While New York City is comprised of 5 boroughs, early settlers picked Manhattan for its natural harbors, lovely parks and great delis. By the time the Indians realized what had happened, it was too late for them to get into the real estate market and they couldn’t pass most co-op boards.

TOURIST NOTE #1: TAKE THAT STATEN ISLAND FERRY! It’s a free trip that takes you near the Statue of Liberty (where you can read the motto that the current administration completely ignores) and right to where the Staten Island Yankees play ball. If there’s no ball game, come right back. You can also drink beer on the ferry and there’s time to guzzle a couple so you will be able to enjoy the New York experience of having to pee really badly and have no idea where to go.



The Dutch settled in lower Manhattan which is evident in the many streets that go nowhere at all and serve no real purpose. This is what happens when one trusts architects and planners with round hats and wooden shoes. This area features the stock market and many places where George Washington hung out and did stuff. There are cool museums and a well-marked walking tour.  This part of the Island is very narrow and you can walk from east to west and back again in about 15 minutes. Further uptown, a crosstown cab can make the trek in under a week in good traffic conditions.
The seaport is on South Street which isn’t that far south – thanks again Hans. It’s teeming with tourist traps. No New Yorkers go here.
At the tip of Island sits Castle Clinton. This is where Hillary Clinton defended herself from countless Republican attacks on her for bad email etiquette and for being a woman.


Here’s where you can find Houston Street – ask Paul Heitch how to pronounce it. Little Italy is also here and it’s a great place to eat Italian food and watch Chinatown grow and take more and more space while you eat your Lasagna.

TOURIST TIP #2: GET A SUBWAY MAP. IT’S FREE AND SHOWS YOU ALL THE MANHATTAN NEIGHBORHOODS. AND – TAKE THE DAMN SUBWAY. The Subway is the best way to get around. All the lines are color coded but for some reason, no New Yorkers ever mention the colors. You have to use the numbers. So, you can’t say – “take the red line”. You have to say: “take the 1,2 or 3”. (I still say the colors because I know it annoys people and I enjoy that.)

Instead of talking about all the neighborhoods in Manhattan and all the charms of each, let me just say that you should never ever have a bad meal in New York City. Ever. There are millions of restaurants. The prices can be high so if you want a diner breakfast – head far west or far east of your hotel and go where the natives go. $20 hotel eggs are not better than $6 diner eggs.

Every neighborhood in New York features a Rays Original Pizza place- none of which are the original or have anyone named Ray working there. New York pizza is considered a wonderful thing by everyone except Chicagoans who know better. New York hotdogs also blow compared to Chicago hot dogs but if you want a hot corned beef on rye – this is the place! Mmm.

Manhattan is filled with great neighborhoods from the tip to the top. All with great food and something to see everywhere you go. And while I mentioned that you should take the subway to and fro, there is no better town for walking around than New York.  Manhattan for a week should be a thoroughly enjoyable experience for you. You must visit Central Park and you must stroll along the Hudson River and you should visit Trinity Church and the Brooklyn Bridge (just don’t agree to buy it from anyone.)

Comments (2)

  • Melissa Exelberth Reply

    “The seaport is on South Street which isn’t that far south – thanks again Hans. It’s teeming with tourist traps. No New Yorkers go here.”

    AHEM. Some people live here y’know. My studio is here – since before it became all Fru-Fru. B’sides it’s from here you can hop up the staircase to the Brooklyn Bridge and stroll across to Brooklyn Heights where you may run into big name actors who left Manhattan for quiet and trees just a quick hop away.But don’t pay attention to them. No one in NY does.

    If you ARE in Lower Manhattan head to the Pearl St. Diner, one of the last remaining stand-alone diners in the city. And it’s living on borrowed time. It’s a classic – from the wait staff to the food. But it has the tiniest bathroom in the city. Yes, even smaller than Wo-Hops.

    Speaking of bathrooms, here’s a tip. When you need to go, just waltz into any hotel, right past reception as if you know exactly where you are going and belong there and then look for the lobby restroom. Or a sign to tell you where it would be. Works great with large hotels but also mid-size ones.

    If you want to experience a real dive bar, Rudys is on 9th bet. 44th and 45th in Hell’s Kitchen. Yes. HELL’S KITCHEN DAMNIT. Not Clinton. Not Midtown West. HELL’S KITCHEN. It’s been around since Prohibition and the duct taped leather seating attests to that. Al Capone’s rumored to have hung out there. These days you get a free hot dog with your drink. Oh, and there’s a teeny tiny backyard.

    “Here’s where you can find Houston Street – ask Paul Heitch how to pronounce it.”
    You owe me a keyboard for this Johnny. HAHAHAHAHA

    May 17, 2019 at 9:33 pm
  • Holly Adams Reply

    So great. Thank you! What time is Sean Pratt’s thing at McGarry’s?

    May 20, 2019 at 12:27 am

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