I Went To a Marvelous Party
I received the following anonymous comment this week:
Am I the only person who raises her eyebrows at the money these big publishers throw around? Am I the only person who thought that the Lemony Snicket thing was a huge waste of money? Can't a presentation be professional and appealing (and user-friendly) without overt extravagance? Shouldn't a great book or a great list stand on its own?It's all in how you look at it. Allow me to point out, however, that the Snicket party was not, is not, and never will be the norm. This was a once-in-a-lifetime blowout event of publisher extravagance that likes of which I shall never see again. But see it I did and now you can too.
The full experience was already written here, so I'll just give you a walking tour of the space.
Okay, so you come in and this is the kind of place you find yourself in.
Kinda cool. You go up the first flight of stairs and see that someone has been given a liberal amount of freedom with that oval mirror in the hallway.
It doesn't take much to create the VFD eye symbol, it seems. And really, it wasn't until I uploaded these pictures that I noticed that this involved magic market at all. Live and learn.
This next little set-up worked on a number of levels. Give it a long look.
The casual passerby could be forgiven for thinking that the face above these framed portraits was their own. At first it looks like a very dirty mirror. Then, as you lean in closer, you see that either you have grown a moustache or that's a painting you're examining so closely.
You have already seen the bathroom/Reptile Room, but here are some action shots.
My husband actually has to physically remove himself from the room when that second picture comes up. He has a snakes in bathrooms fear. No, really. He does.
I found this cutie tucked away one of the space's many hidden rooms.
And then we get to the ridiculous overabundance of delicious food. See the round thing sitting in the center of the table below?
Do you know what that is? I'll give you three guesses. Soup? No. A gigantic melon the size of a punchbowl? No. Ice cream? No no no. It's cheese. The largest parmesan cheese in the world. You basically walk up to it, grab a knife, hack off a chunk, and devour it. And that guy in white behind it? Slicing mozarella as we speak. Turn around and you had the macaroni and cheese and pot pie . . .
. . . albeit in teeny tiny ramekins. So that was that. I did not get a photo of Mr. Handler since it seemed rather silly. No one else, for the record, was taking any photographs and I felt a bit gauche. Gauche and librarianish. Hence I left and attended the official release of the book at Barnes and Noble. My view of Mr. Handler at the previous party had been from a 2 foot to 3 foot distance. My view of him at Union Square?
He's the one on the left with the accordian. Stephen Merritt is on the right singing the song Shipwrecked. Yes, I really was that far away. On the down side, not the best view. On the upside, I saw these kids below me.
Do you see what they're doing? By the yellow wristbands you can tell that somebody stood in line at 10 in the morning (for a 4:00 signing) so that they'd get a closer view of Mr. Handler when he signed books. Until that happy time occurred, however, they were perfectly content to sit on the floor painting this elaborate picture of a book entitled, "Violet's Diary" instead. He could sing all he wanted at the front of the room. They were having none of it until they finished the last touches on this, his present. Note the nice use of VFD on the left photograph. A pleasant end to a remarkable experience.