Great Landmarks in Book Publishing: New York City?

6 Dec

749px-white_horse_tavern_nywts.jpgThis last summer, after four years of marriage, my wife and I finally took a long belated honeymoon trip out of the country. By the time we left, neither of us had received our passports—my wife had been waiting 15+ weeks for hers while I had applied for mine at the last second—and we wound up having to rebook our flight on an airline that would take the documentation we did have as opposed to the original airline which would not. Anyway, after great (extra) expense by having to do all this on the run at six in the morning in the Houston airport, we ended up having credit for two tickets on the first airline that we had to use by the end of this year.

So, stunningly enough—especially for someone like me being the (cheap) homebody that I am—this means we are taking not one but two actual vacation trips this year. (For those of you keeping score at home, this works out to half a vacation a year over the course of our marriage.) And, even more stunning, we threw caution to the wind and decided to go someplace over the upcoming winter break where we have no relatives to visit: New York City.

My blushing bride has never been there; I went on a family trip there about fifteen years ago. Perhaps like with a lot of people, the things that still stick in my mind are random events I saw as opposed to formal tourist type stuff: a homeless guy outside of FAO Schwarz making fun of a mime (after all, what’s a mime to do?), a lady reading—that is, yelling—verses from the Bible for an hour right in my dad’s ear while we were standing in line in Times Square in the bitter cold to buy tickets to a play, and hanging out in the lobby of where we were staying, the Algonquin. Even at the time, however, as cool a trip as it was, I remember thinking, man, if only I could come back and not have the whole fam along with its fam vibe going on.

At long last, the day has arrived. And finally, to make a long post endless, my question is, for anyone out there with an opinion about it (Steve Tiano, where are you?), what are the great NYC book publishing landmarks that should be checked out. The White Horse Tavern? The NYC Public Library? Historic publishing/author houses? Off-the-wall bookstores? In general, I’ll always happily go for the obscure as opposed to the mainstream, but I’m curious to hear any suggestions for must-see locales.

Thanking you in advance,

Mark

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3 Responses to “Great Landmarks in Book Publishing: New York City?”

  1. Stephen Tiano December 7, 2007 at 5:33 pm #

    Funny you should ask. Me, I’m getting ready for my wife and me to leave–tomorrow–for the Left Coast, California. Specifically the Bay Area. Now, Jacl London Square is worth a look.

    As for THE City, New York, yes there’s the 42nd St. Library. But there’s also the public library at Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn–tho’ I can’t vouch for the neighborhood anymore. In fact, there’s Brooklyn generally–again, tho’ I can’t really vouch for specific neighborhood (in daylight, most should be okay).

    There’s Coney Island–even off-season, with everything closed. There’s my old neighborhood, Park Slope, and Greenwood Cemetery there. Boss Tweed and the inventor of the soda fountain are both buried there. There are a host of other historical personages buried in Greenwood. They have maps naming them and pointing out their gravesites. VERY interesting place. Maybe catch the Christmas show at Radio City Music Hall if you’re trip is scheduled at the right time.

    Oddly, I can’t think of any “literary” spots. I’m sure I’ve known of some, but for the life of me I can’t come up with any right now. I’ll let you know if anything comes to me.

  2. Stephen Tiano December 10, 2007 at 7:05 pm #

    I meant Jack London Square, of course. In Oakland, 5 believe.

  3. henry January 16, 2008 at 11:28 pm #

    This reminds me of a great new book I read by Clifton Lambreth, Ford and the American Dream. Clifton Lambreth has demonstrated extreme courage in telling the inside story of what went wrong at on of America’s biggest corporations – Ford Motor Company. This should be required reading for every college business major and every MBA student before they are allowed to graduate,

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