Friday, May 22, 2015

Back in a New York Groove

© by Gerald So | | 11:00 A.M.

Freelancing from home on Long Island, I don't give myself much time off, nor do things align so I can get together with friends very often. Fortunately, everything worked out Wednesday night, so Andrew Carbone, John Ricotta, and I could attend Ace Atkins' signing of his fourth Spenser novel, Kickback, at the Mysterious Bookshop, visit Condé Nast, where John works, at One World Trade, and then go to dinner at the Church Street Tavern.

When I emerge from the subway, it traditionally takes more time than I like getting my bearings. I cut this time to only seconds by anticipating landing on the wrong stop or wrong street, so I knew where to go from there.

The signing drew a Spenser- and Ace-friendly crowd including Megan Abbott, Reed Farrel Coleman, Wallace Stroby, and former Black Orchid booksellers Bonnie Claeson and Joe Guglielmelli. I hadn't seen Bonnie and Joe since the last Ace signing I attended, for his second Spenser, Wonderland, but right away Bonnie asked about my poetry. I told her I was editing a weekly poetry site, but she remains computer-free, as some say. To have one's work remembered despite that is a great feeling.

When signing my book, Ace thanked me for my Amazon review, my Crimespree interview, and said he felt as if we talk every day because he reads my Twitter. That's exactly what I aim for with my tweets.

I can only describe One World Trade as stepping seemingly several centuries into the future. I doubt I will see anything like it outside the building for at least ten years. Andrew, who's worked in the city since before 9/11, showed me around the memorial pools, saying they make him feel as if the attacks happened the day before yesterday.

Finally, the Church Street Tavern Burger is well recommended and totally worth $19 (fries included).

The photo you see was taken by John. I have no photos myself, just because I prefer soaking in moments to live-tweeting or photoing them.

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