Thursday, November 12, 2015

#BRLive Unofficial Book Crawl: Bookstores in Review (#NaBloPoMo)

At the first Book Riot Live event last week, one of the participants, Alyssa, put together a map for a Book Crawl. We were all super excited about it but by the time Saturday evening rolled around, many brains were mushed! But a few of us adventurous types made it out! The stores were ordered in order of closing times so we'd have time to browse around. Point A is Metropolitan West, the location of the Book Riot Live panels, events.

1073 Avenue of the Americas (Between 40th & 41st St)

Kinokuniya is three floors of books, with the upper floor being devoted to Japanese books, including a great selection of manga. I didn't make it to this one, but pumped someone else for the scoop. It was the first stop on the crawl and I was still debating about whether I was an adventurer or going to flake out of the whole thing. Then, Lisa texted me to get off my ass and get moving. I think she just didn't want to traverse Time Square by herself. Anyway, by the time we left Hell's Kitchen, the group had moved on and Lisa and I hopped the train (with newly haggled nuts from the street vendor) to meet them at Point C! 


52 Prince Street, New York, NY 10012
McNally Jackson was classy. I don't have another word for it. I got the feeling that it was holding on to the hip and trendy reputation of it's Soho surroundings. Everyone just seemed really put together. It's a little off the beaten path of the tourist path but not too much so. Downstairs is an abyssal YA section but the children's area is cute and welcoming. The lady that checked me out didn't smile, she was too cool for my witty banter. Trust me. I'm witty as hell.

PIT STOP - Food and bevs

24 Prince Street, New York, NY 10012
We were ready to eat. The first place we went to had a 40 minute wait time. Ha! So, walking along, toward the next stop we passed a little Latin place that caught our eye with the Suck My Cocktail tag on the front of their store. We, as nerds, loved this delightfully naughty play on words and went right on it. To be smushed up at a table with hardly any room. My Mango Chipotle margarita made up for the extended wait time. Also, there was a long sprig of mint (maybe) in the water bottle that worried us. What was it doing in there? The water didn't taste minted. How long had it been in there? Was it growing killer fungus? We decided the alcohol will kill any germs and asked for a refill on the bottle. My tostadas were good but not really 10$ good.

30 Prince Street, New York, NY 10012
Yep. Cupcakes. I had the Chocolate German one. It was awesome. I was torn because they also had red velvet, blue velvet (what the hell is that about), peanut butter and jelly, and several other delicious looking things. They poured too much milk in my coffee, but that is exactly why I have control issues.
172 Allen Street, New York, NY 10002
We decided to skip Bluestockings after we ate dinner so that we could make it back to The Strand in case anything BookRiotous was still going on. I checked out the website before hand. It seems to cater to crunchy socially aware types, offering  organic, vegan, fair trade options in the cafe and asking folks not to spray any perfumes in the store.

Back to the Train!

122 4th Ave, New York, NY 10003
On our to The Strand from the train, we saw this little book shop. There were exactly 3 minutes until it closed. We went in, turned a couple of circles and count it as a win! This shop is super small and full to the brim with books, on the floor, on the shelves, everywhere. Many old, rare editions of classics were visible during my 35 second glance. Again, no smiles from the staff, but we were the people walking into a store three minutes before closing. I wouldn't have wanted to encourage us either, if I were them.
828 Broadway New York, NY 10003

The Strand might be considered an unofficial extra location of Book Riot Live 2015. There were happy hour events both Friday and Saturday night in the rare book room. A ticket to the event, 40$ pricetag, got you in and a 15$ Strand gift card. It was a fun time. Definitely worth the 25$ (difference between the event and the gift card) cost. My Mission: BRLive Party was to talk to at least 10 people before I left Friday night, which I did. It was great to get to know some of my fellow book nerds in this informal, wine-infused event.

ANYWAY! During the book crawl, we continued to massive goal of checking out this book store and purchasing all the things! It's four floors (I think), with the basement housing lots of used books and non-mainstream selections. The store also has a lot of The Strand exclusive signed editions of popular books. There are books all over the place but the paths are clear, the staff is friendly, and it's well lit. There was also lots of bookish stuff. They may have had to restock once I left. Also, if you've got the time and the luggage space, there are about 15 racks of used books outside during business hours that range from 1 - 5 dollars.
832 Broadway, New York, NY 10003

Forbidden Planet is 3 doors down from The Strand is was basically comic geek's heaven. Figures, t-shirts, toys, books, etc. No one was overly friendly but they all looked like they might talk to you if you didn't make too many sudden moves. There were several over-sized books I would have liked to have but didn't want to figure out how to get home. This place would be way better if I were with other comic-booky people. Book stores are that way in general, though, right? You either need to be with other people who can appreciate them or you need to be alone to wallow in them in peace.

Note: pictures of the book stores used on this post are from the stores' website photos. I make no claims of ownership.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad I was able to talk you into joining me, because I definitely wasn't up for dealing with Times Square, the subway, etc on my own! And I'm glad you blogged in such detail about our evening, because it let me just link to your post rather than describing any of it in my own recap of the weekend, which I've finally finished.

    Hm, so what I seem to be saying is that I'm only using you for things I don't want to do myself? I swear our relationship is based on more than that! ;-)