Are you a damsel in distress? Never fear. Call on Crispin Guest, the disgraced
knight turned detective to get you out of trouble. Just flash your book bag, mug, or t-shirt his way. You can get them at the new Crispin Guest store at CafePress.com.
Just go to http://www.cafepress.com/crispinguest and shop for your best buddie...or even yourself!
This weekend I made a whirlwind trip to New York to what I affectionately call "Presidents Camp" for Mystery Writers of America. All the newly elected chapter presidents (I was elected to the Southern California Chapter) met in New York with the newly elected natonal board, so I got to hob nob with some fantastic names in mystery, which I'll get to in a New York minute. (Hey, by the way, you, too, can be a member of MWA. You need not be a writer, and you can go to interesting events and schmooze with authors.)
I arrived Friday evening, greeted by rain. But my driver got me to the bookstore event in record time. Mysterious Bookshop is the last remaining mystery indie bookstore in Manhattan, if you can believe that. The event was open to the public to come and buy books from their favorite authors and get them signed. I don't know if any public showed up, but the place was lousy with mystery authors. Take a look at this place.
The manager is up on a ladder to welcome us. Top to bottom bookshelves on all three walls. Old books, classic books, new books. A paradise of a library! Why aren't you shopping there? Go online and order stuff!
Checking out the view out of my hotel window, I got a chance to pore over the architecture. I'm coocoo for Rococo. Get a load of the buffalo busts on the Helmsly building. This building has two huge arches through which the street traffic flows.
And when the sky cleared enough, I noticed this.
See that? A view of the Chrysler Building Well, sort of. A sliver, anyway.
Hotel hallways in front of the elevators had these wonderful chandeliers. And speaking of elevators, I think I heard people speaking a different language every time I got in. Chinese, Norwegian, Russian, Italian, Portuguese...everyone comes to New York.
More of the lobby of the Roosevelt:
Then finally, on to the streets, where we walked to Bobby Van's and were treated to a wonderful dinner.
Just some of the sights. Like Radio City Music Hall. And this...
A guy dressed like the Statue of Liberty.
The next day, there was a little free time for me to breakfast with my agent. We walked the streets of New York, and he pointed out some of the finer bits of architecture and its history. For instance, Park Avenue is higher because they had to build up the streets for the subway train tunnels that run directly below.
Lots of cabs available. I like the idea of sticking my hand out and a car comes running. Not when it rains, though.
He took me to Ess-a-bagel. I thought I died and went to deli heaven. We're a little short on delis in the Inland Empire. Short on fellow lansmen, too, so I got my Jew on in New York. Ten kinds of cream cheese, a dozen kinds of bagels, lox, all kinds of salads.
Mmm. Onion bagel with scallion cream cheese, onions, and lox. Along with...
...pickled cucumber salad.I bought two bagels to bring home to my husband. My luggage smelled like New York.
And then it was on to the Flat Iron building, that triangular structure that is the home of my publisher, St. Martin's. My editor was nice enough to come in on a Sunday to give me the five cent tour. A classic bit of architecture in New York from 1902. The outside is great. Terra cotta for all the details. The inside, however, is like any other warren office building. Though I did get to see the view from some of the "prow" offices.
Like this one. The building makes up a triangle of 5th Avenue, Broadway, and 23rd Street. Across the street is Madison Square Park (right).
On the ground...
The facade on the fifth avenue side. The entrance on the other side has an entirely different address number. Confusing? Feh.
Yes, there is an elevator but there is also a Vertigo-style staircase. I'm hearing Bernard Herman music.
So that's all, folks. I have work to do as the new prez and I'll be working on that, tying to write the Next Big Thing, and finishing up the remodeling of my kitchen. But not today. Lagging just a bit. Let's get a fresh start tomorrow.
According to a story from San Francisco Gate News, a Spanish Trappist monastery built in the 12th century, and rebuilt in the 16th century, was then imported stone by stone by William Randolph Heart of newspaper and Hearst Castle fame, who intended to use the stones and arches for a grand estate he never built. The bits and pieces were abandoned in Golden Gate Park for more than 60 years. But now they've been fitted back together like giant Lego. It's now called the Abbey of New Clairvaux located in Vina in northern California. The Cistercian monks raised $7 million over twelve years to buy the stones. There's more to the story here.
It's always nice to be asked, and so there's a few places you can catch my interviews. he first of the year is at Medievalist.net, one of my sources for medieval news. You can find it here.
If you're a member of GoodReads, you can join into the ongoing discussion and conduct your own interview, asking those burning questions you've always wondered about, like what's going on with Crispin in the next book, and what about Jack? See that here.
You can find a couple of radio interviews (from my last post) here.
And if you really want to dig deep, you can see past interviews here. It's all good.