Monday, June 28, 2010

ALA 2010 Conference

I just got back from the American Libraries Association Conference in Washington D.C. late last night. It was fantastic! I went down with my girlfriend from library school, Lis. This was our first library conference and we had no idea what to expect!

First on Saturday, we went to see the legendary Nancy Pearl speak....err, sorta. What it really turned out to be was Nancy Pearl interviewing a filmmaker who just made a documentary about the filming of To Kill A Mockingbird. Interesting, but not really what we thought we were going to. Next we went to a panel of romance writers. Now, I've never read any romance, and I wasn't particularly excited for this program, but it sounded more interesting than anything going on during the same time slot. However, it ended up being one of the best programs of the weekend! Every writer (there were six total) discussed their writing process and how the library related to that. Typically, I am immersed in conversation about libraries from a librarian's point of view, so it was interesting to hear about libraries from an author's viewpoint. My own bias made me assume that romance writers were vastly overweight middle aged single women who lived with their cats in a fantasy world where Prince Charming would really show up on their doorstep on a white steed. Instead, all of the women were very intelligent, articulate, and very funny! They came from a variety of backgrounds, including one who is a published professor of art history. Other programs attended include: the Feminist Task Force's Introduction to Women's Issues, Career Development for New Librarians, and Self-Censorship. The opening remarks were given by Toni Morrison, who is a fabulous speaker. She told a story about how she first "learned the brutal power of words". She truly is a wordsmith with amazing delivery and her speech was really one of the weekend highlights.

Sunday, we decided to conquer the exhibits hall, which featured 42 aisles of exhibitors, of which we had barely made a dent in visiting Saturday, despite three trips to the hall. The exhibits included everything from job recruiters to library furniture, to book ATMs, to database vendors, but the best part was definitely the 10 aisles of publishers. There was everything to the big publishing houses like Random House, Harper Collins, & McGraw-Hill, to tiny independent presses. They were giving away books like candy, and Lis and I both made a killing! Many of the novels we received aren't even out yet, and we are both excited to dive in to them. We concluded our conference weekend by attending the sixth annual Book Cart Drill Team Champions ships, where four teams from every corner of the U.S. competed with their book cart dancing...yes, I said book cart dancing, librarians know how to really blow off some steam!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Mermaid Parade 2010

Saturday was the 2010 Mermaid Parade down at Coney Island. We ended up having perfect weather; sunny but not too hot! My friend Brooklyn Babydoll organized a group going as "Tony Montunafish presents 'Scarfish'". The theme actually ended up turning out really well. Below are pictures I snagged. Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson presided as King Neptune and Queen Mermaid.

Our whole group from left to right: me, Coco Le Pearl as Elvira, Shannon, Brooklyn Babydoll as Gine Montunafish, Machine Gun Mermaid, Julian as Sonny, Jacqui as the statue at the end of the film, and Bob as Tony Montunafish.

Brooklyn Babydoll modeling our banner

Brooklyn Babydoll and Me

It ended up being a very fun day and I look forward to participating again next summer!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Busy as a bee!

Oh me, oh my! My schedule is June has been crazy busy and the craziness has just started. Last weekend was the Stein-Gray Wedding (see previous post). This Saturday is the annual Mermaid Parade. In the Mermaid Parade, participants dress as up as various kinds of mermaids and promenade around Coney Island. Later in the evening is the Mermaid Ball, where all the spectators and participants mingle for dancing and burlesque. Sunday is Punk Island, where 130+ tri-state and New England punk rock bands takeover Governor's Island for a free music festival.

The following weekend I will be in DC for the annual American Libraries Association Conference with my good friend Lis. I come back to New York for a four days and then jet off to Salt Lake for a week to visit my friends and family. When I get back I am going to need a vacation from all this craziness!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Stein-Gray Wedding

Early on when I moved to New York, I had the great fortune of meeting Liz and Chris. This dynamic duo have been really wonderful friends as I've been building a new life here. Liz is a New York native and Chris is from Salt Lake, something that we have bonded over. I had the joy of seeing these two tie the knot this past weekend, which resulted in one of the most fun weddings I've ever been to.

The bride and I at her bachelorette party.

The ceremony was held at Brooklyn Bridge Park, which provided for a lovely backdrop. The New York skyline was in the background, the Brooklyn Bridge was overhead, and the sun was shining down on us. The reception was held at the DUMBO Arts Center and featured live music from Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co. A good time was had by all!

Liz and Chris

Erin, Brooke, Emma, Me, and Tara enjoying ourselves

Me at the ceremony

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Memorial Day Weekend

My visit with Kara this past week went splendidly! She was tied up with Fordham a lot of the time, but we still managed to have fun. This past week was Fleet Week here in NYC, where all the Navy ships dock in New York Harbor and the city is overrun with sailors.

We went dancing at Webster Hall on Friday night, followed by drinks at Otto's on Saturday. We also tried Foodswings, a vegan fast-food joint in Williamsburg. Now, just because its vegan, doesn't make it good for you. The menu is full of all sorts of burgers, shakes, and other bad for you fried goodness. I had a gyro with a peanut butter whoopie pie and Kara tried the Ranch Bacon Chicken sandwich with a pistachio milkshake (with fresh chopped pistachios!). Kara has decided that she wants us to live within a 12 block radius of this place. No, seriously. So we've added Williamsburg to the list of potential places to live.