Tag Archives: Last Girls Standing

The Landmarks of a Relationship: The Javits Center and THE DATING CONTRACT

For years before I started pursuing writing professionally, I spent a period of time working at a bookstore in Grand Central Terminal. The store carried a bunch of things, one of which was a section of books dedicated to New York- history and photo books loved by tourists and locals alike. One of my favorite NYC photo books had a beautiful photo of a ceiling made of light,  window and glass.

It was the photo book I recommended to people who were searching for one, and every single time, I folded out the page and revealed the photo. It was, of course, beautiful. And every single time, there was surprise at the location of the photo – the Javits Center, the convention center filled most of the year by all sorts of conventions and exhibitions.

But this special photo was of things you could only see if you’re in the building looking up. And most of the time, our attention is focused on the things in front of us, the things we’re there to see, not the beautiful spaces, some of which happen to be just above us.   

The building, the spaces we see when we’re looking everywhere but up, shows up in The Dating Contract. Twice.  

First, the Javits Center shows up at the beginning of the book. The opening scene is filled with the anticipation and nerves of people excited to get into the building and the wedding expo it’s hosting, contrasting with the fmc Leah’s own misgivings, as well as the mmc Samuel’s concerns and thoughts as he sits in his booth and deals with the reactions of the crowd. The Javits center and Samuel’s booth is also the location of Leah and Samuel’s first meeting in years. 

The second time the Javits Center shows up is much later into the story ; Leah and Samuel have made their agreement, and Leah is now attending Comic Con as Samuel’s bodyguard/confidant as he signs posters he’s drawn for the first time. 

The location is generally the same; on the same upstairs floor. However, the booth on the right side, in an area filled with artists waiting to display their art to potential people in search of an autograph or Ketubah; the signing area is in the area designated by MoviePix for that purpose, and Samuel is signing only posters he lettered for a historical romance series. 

The equivalent of the beautiful view that happens when we look up is the emotional arc that sits in between the two different appearances of the landmark convention center. From the way Samuel and Leah react to each other, all the way to the mood of the entire convention, you can see the development of the relationship between the two characters from their first encounter.  In the space between the two scenes, you can see the evidence that Leah and Samuel are on their way to resolving their past and will end up together for real. 

 No matter what they think  

About the Author.

Stacey Agdern is an award-winning former bookseller who has reviewed romance novels in multiple formats and given talks about various aspects of the romance genre. She incorporates Jewish characters and traditions into her stories so that people who grew up like she did can see themselves take center stage on the page. She’s also a member of both LIRW and RWA NYC. She lives in New York, not far from her favorite hockey team’s practice facility.