I went to New York, you guys. It has been two years since I lived there, and six months since I last visited, although that was in winter, and now it’s summer. In summer the city is a different place.
The Strand is still there. Fuck the Strand. They should call it Rock Bottom Remainders. St. Mark’s Bookshop got evicted. What is wrong with people? Now the St. Mark’s windows are empty and anonymous and totally wrong. Have you been to Mast? It’s like the artisanal chocolate maker of the same name, but for books: $80 volumes of Richard Avedon and weathered first editions of Pnin. The new St. Mark’s was supposed to open on 3rd Street and Avenue A, but when I dropped by it was locked and they were still moving in. Exhausted and overheated, I went to McNally Jackson for a cold can of blood orange San Pellegrino—Aranciata Rossa, I should say—and on the way out I bought Patricia Lockwood’s book of poems but not Eileen Myles’s book of essays because luggage.
Community Bookstore in Brooklyn is still hawking The Paris Review and Tin House and A Public Space, as if all anybody cares about is ruminative photo essays and Japanese fiction in translation, but maybe that’s true, they’re in Park Slope where 85% of the population is novelists. My friend is moving to Garfield and 8th Avenue and she published with Viking. I had to finish a root beer float made of gourmet ice cream that cost $7.25 before I could walk into BookCourt, where a portly man in business attire copied my every movement across the shelves, and I regret that I didn’t have enough time to visit Greenlight Bookstore, but you guys, you guys! I went to New York.
– Brian Hurley