I love New York. I’m having a great time and feeling inspired for the first time in months. Maybe it is the dynamic nature of the city – the hustle and bustle of not just millions of people, but traffic lights, buildings, street signs, ads, taxicabs, buses, neon, tourists: all nonstop, orchestrated chaos. In a place this accelerated and noisy, I find myself slowing down, finally able to think.
Here are some of the highlights:
1. Brooklyn Book Fair: for being the exact opposite of everything I imagined it to be. This was no industry-heavy event. I met librarians, writers, translators, families, small publishers, students, teachers, kids, guerilla poets, performance artists, musicians, magazine publishers and booklovers of every description. What a relaxed, fun event in which to chat with folks who adore books. Special bonus was meeting other Flipped Eye authors. Not only talented poets and short story writers, but great people.
2. Little unnamed diner near my hotel where I met Guille: gentleman waiter and fellow lover of literary magic realism and grill cheese sandwiches. We talked about politics, the Nobel prize and Miguel Angel Asturias’ ‘El Senor Presidente’, which he’d read over 30 years ago as an impoverished student in Guatemala. They don’t make them like that anymore, Guille said, putting an extra pickle in my bag. They certainly don’t.
3. Donald – the cabbie who drove me to Newark. Wisecracking, politically astute and full of witty observations, he talked non-stop about the recession, social security, immigration, health insurance, the perception of patriotism and Bush’s war. After promising they wouldn’t send her back again, Don’s only daughter is serving yet another tour in Iraq. God fucking bless America.
4. The receptionist who offered me free coffee and a danish when I returned to my hotel, worn out and weary on Sunday evening. I know it was complimentary, but it was kind of her to offer when I so obviously looked as if I needed it.
5. Tied for fifth: The Moma (always fun) Union Square (great place to people watch) and Trash Tv posing as news. How much OJ can one person take? Well, that’s all for now. I’m off to Chicago tomorrow on the train. Can’t wait!