A Story for All the NYC Bike Share Haters, Including Steven
Two summers ago, Mic and I met up in Paris — me from Berlin, her from a wedding in southern Germany — where we would kick off a couple weeks of traveling together. We spent a lot of time while there with Virginie, a native Parisian whom Mic knew from Virginie’s New York days. Virginie is a person whose life on paper reads like the treatment for some HBO punk-glamour make-good docudrama, probably starring Marion Cotillard. After leaving her American rock star husband, Virginie moved back to Paris to work in fashion – which, Virginie is so Parisian that her last name is Parisy, which is what they used to call people a millennium or so ago who hailed from this little tiny settlement on the banks of the Seine. Let’s just say family’s entrenched. Which is relevant to my story; you’ll see.
This is one of the very few wooden clapboard houses left in Manhattan, on 29th Street at 3rd Avenue, probably built in the 18th century and existing along my walking route to the ferry terminal at 35th Street on the East River.
Its survival seems remarkable, its charm even more so, especially in the face of its across-the-street neighbor, the bar Tonic, which would be on anyone’s shortlist for epicenter of douchebaggery in New York nightlife.
Here’s the building in 1934, when it was brown and housed a junk shop:
Petition to Keep Rockaway Ferry
The Rockaway Ferry began service in the weeks after Hurricane Sandy, providing Rockaway residents with a means of getting to the city after the A train was wiped out. It’s awesome — forty or so minutes to downtown Manhattan, and you can buy coffee in the morning and beer later on.
The ferry is currently scheduled to cease service when the A train comes back at the end of the month (if all goes as planned). But let’s convince them to keep it! It is the absolute best way to get to Rockaway, and summer is ready to pounce on us, and you’ll want to get out there.
11:11pm and the Music Just Went Off
When you are spending your first night since January without at least one from among your boyfriend and your dog, you don’t feel lonely exactly, but sort of like the music just went off after playing in the background for hours. Everything is the same, even though it is suddenly a little off, and things that blended into the noise before are suddenly denuded.
On a normal night at this point, I’d be yelling at S. Jam Fitzgerald for having been asleep for an hour already, and why can’t we ever actually watch a movie instead of using it as a sleep aid, and S. Jam Fitzgerald would respond by smiling and apologizing without waking up at all, a skill he has spent decades perfecting.
Which isn’t exactly right, because the previous paragraph applies to 10:15pm every night. By 11:11pm (make a wish wamp wamp), the current time, I’d be asleep as well, with yet another episode of Arrested Development soldiering on over the whoosh of our snores (we don’t snore).
Novels I Should Have Read Decades Ago: The Bell Jar
The particular topic of conversation last week between Ebeth and me isn’t relevant, which is lucky because I can’t remember what it was. But I know that we sat at the end of a red-lit bar sipping the first cocktails of what would turn out to be a longish run of them, and for a reason that seemed to matter I told her that I didn’t like The Bell Jar. I immediately revised my statement, professing to have liked it but to not have found it like life-altering. And then immediately again, a bit of unwelcome knowledge started nagging at me. I’d never read The Bell Jar cover to cover, only bits and pieces at different points in time. I didn’t mention that, but over the next week, I rectified it.
Daily Beast, Monthly Reviewer
My first go-round as a regular book reviewer for The Daily Beast is up (I wrote the last two in the series this week). Look for me again next month!
Above is an accurate visual dipiction of a day in my life.
I’m Writing a Book! Holy Shit, I Have to Write a Book.
Walking home from Soho yesterday, where I treated myself to a haircut I can’t afford from the magic-making Mariano at Ion, it came to me that in observation of my celebratory mood, I would, if I came across an appropriate bar on the way back to the apartment, stop for a drink by myself to have a moment over my book deal.
By appropriate, I mean empty and possessing a capable bartender. I came across the place on Bond Street, where the Italian bartender made me a perfect negroni, which I sipped for an hour while reading a book. I didn’t tell anyone I was celebrating my own not-yet-existent book, but instead pretended I was killing time before I had to be somewhere.
I secured the deal last week, but it wasn’t until I was able to announce it that excitement flooded me, which likely says all kinds of things about my desire for public regard and adulation that I’d rather not think about. So, not thinking about it and just relaying the straightforward experience, I can report that yesterday felt good, in a simple, unencumbered way, even as “I’m writing a book!” began morphing already into “Holy shit, I have to write a book..”
Biggest Announcement of My Whole Life: I’m Writing a Book!
It is with so much happiness (and a healthy amount of stress, now that the reality of a manuscript deadline is part of my life) that I announce that I have sold my book, Process: The Writing Lives of Great Authors, to Amazon Publishing.
And because this is Amazon Publishing, the recently launched publishing arm of Amazon, there will be some experimentation — namely, the book will be released first in serialization. You buy it, a new chapter automatically pops up on your Kindle/Tablet every week or two. The hold-in-your-hand, made-of-paper version will be released Summer 2014, and I am basically breathing into a paper bag right now.
S. Jam Fitzgerald was the first person I told the idea to, and he liked it. Thus emboldened, I continued batting it around for a few months, then pitched it to the woman who would become my agent, Brandi Bowles, who proceeded to do all the necessary publishing business things with it that are completely foreign to me, including guiding me through the writing of a book proposal.
Since this is a book about the process of writing, it’s only natural that readers of this Tumblr will be subjected to my own writing process as I scramble to get the thing done. I’m going meta like that. More to come soon. I’m so excited.