I took the 3:00pm train to Penn Station, the E train to West 4th Street, walked up Greenwich Ave. and back in time to the first mystery bookstore I ever visited, Partners & Crime.
I planned to buy the book early and beat the rush, but as of 4:30, the copies of Hard Boiled Brooklyn for the 7:00 launch hadn't arrived. I busied myself looking over the shelves until the shipment came in, and I bought the first copy out of the box. Oh, what a feeling.
With two hours before the reading, I stopped into the McDonald's on 6th Ave. and West 8th Street for a chicken fajita and medium orange juice. Pastrami, pickles, and Brooklyn Lager were served at the launch, but I spent the time between readings mingling with the crowd. Great to see S.J. Rozan again, who read, and signed her story ("Sunset") "For the famous Gerald So." (blushing)
I also caught up with Jason Starr, to whose story ("Last Pick") I could instantly relate. Jim Fusilli and I talked a little baseball. I met readers Joseph Wallace and Gabriel Cohen and introduced myself to Maggie Estep, whose poetry and prose both have encouraged mine.
I also met photographer par excellence Mary Reagan, who led off and capped the night with photos of Dave White drinking.
I was glad to chat however briefly with ever-busy, ever-friendly Partners part-owner Maggie Griffin. Former Partners staffperson Sarah Weinman returned.
I chatted once again with Hard Case Crime editor Charles Ardai and fellow Long Islander Chris Aldrich.
Unable to attend but synonymous with the words Hard Boiled Brooklyn was Charlie Stella.
Huge thanks to editor and M.C. Reed Farrel Coleman and everyone at Partners & Crime.
UPDATE (05/19/06): Mary has posted some pictures from the event.