On a cold February morning back in … a while ago, a little red-headed baby was born at St. Vincent’s hospital on 17th Street in New York City. One of my mother’s friends sent her a telegram congratulating her on the birth of the baby orangutan. (Har dee har har!) I think that’s why no matter where I go, where I live, or how long I’m away, it always feels like coming home when I return to New York. (Because of the “being born there” part, not so much the looking like a baby primate.)
And this trip was no different. Rain washed the city clean the day I arrived (no familiar choking urine smell) after which the weather was perfect. Fabulous friends put me up (and put up with me), I saw many good pals and reconnected with some old ones. Two observations: people in general are much friendlier in New York than they ever get credit for, and it’s amazing how many people still smoke in Manhattan! I was convinced I was contracting emphysema waiting for a friend on a corner one afternoon, cough cough. I’ll try to post a few highlights of the trip over the next few days, but I wanted to let folks in the NYC area know that if you missed my two signing events there, I did happen to leave a happy trail of signed books behind me — I basically seeded the East Village.
Exit 9 was a new pleasure, but those other three are places I have spent many hours and many dollars. It’s completely surreal to have a book of my very own in these shops — I’m not kidding, I still do a double-take when I see it on the shelves.
I particularly love the Strand in all it’s completely overwhelming glory — any bookstore that hands you a shopping bag the minute you step through the doors because they assume you wont be able to get out without benefit of a forklift is my kinda book store! Their byline is “Home of 18 miles of New, Used, Rare and Out of Print Books.” Sorry, I just drooled a little into the keyboard.
So if you’re in the East Village, you can go on a little treasure hunt and score yourself a signed book. And if not, I happen to have some right here in the studio — just drop me a line!