Trying to Float : Coming of Age in the Chelsea Hotel

Trying to Float : Coming of Age in the Chelsea Hotel

eBook - 2016
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"Hysterically droll, touching, elegant, and wise--a coming-of-age story from someone who possibly came of age before her parents" (Patricia Marx, New Yorker writer and bestselling author), Trying to Float is a seventeen-year-old's darkly funny, warmhearted memoir about growing up in New York City's legendary Chelsea Hotel.

Meet the family Rips: father Michael, a lawyer turned writer with a penchant for fine tailoring; mother Sheila, a former model and renowned sculptor who matches her welding outfits with couture; and daughter Nicolaia, a precocious and wry high school student at work on a highly unusual extracurricular activity, an official record of her peculiar childhood.

Nicolaia is a perpetual outsider who has struggled to find her place in schools populated by cliquish girls and loudmouthed boys. But at the Chelsea, Nicolaia she has found her tribe. There's her neighbor Stormé, a tall albino woman who keeps a pink handgun strapped to her ankle; her babysitter, Jade, who may or may not have a second career as an escort; her friend Artie, former proprietor of New York's most famous nightclubs. The kids at school might never understand her, but as Nicolaia endeavors to fit in, she realizes that the Chelsea's motley crew could hold the key to surviving the perils of her adolescence.

"Nicolaia Rips is an old-soul sophisticate. Trying to Float is like Eloise meets Wes Anderson" ( Elle ), and not since Holden Caulfield has there been such a fabulously compelling teen guide to New York City. Rips's debut is "charmingly self-deprecating and very once highly insightful and deeply familiar" ( W Magazine ), a triumphant parable for the power of embracing difference in all its forms. Her "engaging story with a big heart...will appeal to adults and teens alike" ( Kirkus Reviews, starred review).
Publisher: Scribner,, 2016
ISBN: 9781501133008
Call Number: EBOOK AXIS 360
Characteristics: 1 online resource
text file,rda
Additional Contributors: Baker & Taylor Axis 360


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Feb 18, 2017

After having read and enjoyed "Darling Days," I gave this a try and was pleased. Growing up in Manhattan (as opposed to the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens or Staten Island, all of which are NYC, technically) is a trip, no matter what building/street/neighborhood you call home. When you have parents who can't actually do the parenting thing, it makes it harder to get through all the crap because you're starting from a place of real insecurity and you become a target. So this book is less about living in the Chelsea Hotel than it is about being born to people who have no clue or inclination to parent. The writing is breezy and charming, plain and simple, and the stories are told quickly.

Dec 08, 2016

Nicolaia, the author, lived in New York, the Chelsea Hotel her whole life with her parents , but everyone at the hotel were a family as they all ate, drank and had there own life there. At first I thought this was a rich hotel with rich families, but as time went on, it was how this appeared to Nicolaia as a young girl, but as she got older, she realized her hotel family were more outcasts, past prostitutes, handicap, lawyers who all now partied and didn't have much money.
She was bullied a lot at school, and she kept trying to fit in, she wouldn't give up, it broke my heart to see how cruel the kids were to her.
In the end, because of how hard she tried, she was accepted into a top school of arts, where as many who bullied her, didn't get it.
The book was an eye opener for me.

ArapahoeKati Nov 06, 2016

Pleasantly and happily surprised by this. It was the perfect escapist read because it was funny and--bonus!--it has short chapters.

Chapel_Hill_ShannonB Aug 25, 2016

Having always been mildly fascinated by the Chelsea, it's residents and history, I enjoyed this breezy, witty read by a 17-year-old writer who grew up in the famous hotel. Precocious, sure, but not in a negative way. The stories she tells of her parents and the residents are sweet and engaging.

ArapahoePamelaH Aug 16, 2016

A fascinating look at a young woman's life, growing up in a famous hotel, amongst a lively bunch of eccentric people.


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Dec 08, 2016

runningbeat thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over


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