Notes From NYC

There is a lot of skateboarding on city streets, a lot more than last year. Both motorized and foot-pumped, very few guys wearing safety equipment. They all look so graceful — and fearless. Weaving in and out of traffic. Spectacular. Also a bunch of those one-wheel handle-less motorized Segways and Segway knock-offs, requiring, according to a reviewer, a “fearless mind-set.”…The Jane Hotel, where I’m staying is in the West Village, was built as a hotel for sailors in 1906 and—factoid: was used to house the survivors of the sinking of The Titanic in 1912. It’s a great place…If you’re willing to put up with a small room, with bathroom down the hall, rates are like $115 per night, and this is NYC!… On Wednesday I borrowed one of the hotel’s free bikes (Schwinn one-speeds, took a while to get used to using foot brakes again)—and pedaled along the river down to the Javits Center, where I’m attending Book Expo America, in about 5 minutes…Went to see the play “Travesties” last night, got ticket for $39; it was brilliant, hard to describe…NYTimes reviewer Ben Brantley wrote: “Senility is a joy ride in the exultant, London-born revival of Tom Stoppard’s ‘Travesties’…This account of a clash of three cultural titans — James Joyce, Vladimir Lenin and the Dadaist poet Tristan Tzara — in Zurich during World War I is related decades later by an ancient witness (one Henry Carr, of the British Consulate). His recollection is, to put it kindly, capricious.…”…Watched the Warriors pull it out of their hats last night on the screen at the Blind Tiger Ale House in the village with a pint of Greenpoint Harbor Other Side and a decidedly pro-Cavs, but friendly young crowd…

Then the best sushi I’ve ever had at Blue Ribbon Sushi on Sullivan Street in Soho…I’m now at Stumptown Coffee Roasters, 30 West 8th Street, it’s 10AM and I’m heading over to the book convention, which has already been incredibly productive for me, hanging out with brother and sister book lovers…