Trying to Float

Trying to Float

Coming of Age in the Chelsea Hotel

Book - 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, big-hearted memoir about growing up in New York City's legendary Chelsea Hotel. New York's Chelsea Hotel may no longer be home to its most famous denizens--Andy Warhol, Leonard Cohen, Patti Smith, to name a few--but the eccentric spirit of the Chelsea is alive and well. Meet the family Rips: father Michael, a lawyer turned writer with a penchant for fine tailoring; mother Sheila, a former model and renowned artist who matches her welding outfits with couture; and daughter Nicolaia, a precocious high school junior at work on a record of her peculiar seventeen years. Nicolaia is a perpetual outsider who has struggled to find her place in public schools populated by cliquish girls and loudmouthed boys. But at the Chelsea, Nicolaia need not look far to find her tribe. There's her neighbor Storme, a tall woman who keeps a pink handgun strapped to her ankle; her babysitter, Paris, 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 begins to understand that the Chelsea's motley crew could hold the key to surviving the perils of a Manhattan childhood. Not since Holden Caulfield has there been such a fabulously compelling teen guide to New York City: Nicolaia Rips's debut is a disarming, humble, heartfelt, and wise tale of coming-of-age amid the contradictions, complexities, and shifting identities of life in New York City. A bohemian Eloise for our times, Trying to Float is a triumphant parable for the power of embracing difference in all its forms"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York :, Scribner,, 2016
Edition: First Scribner hardcover edition
ISBN: 9781501132988
Branch Call Number: 921 RIP
Characteristics: xiv, 254 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm


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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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