What a pleasure it was to read last night as part of Oana Marian and Prudence Peiffer’s fifteen month old reading series, Folding Chair, named after all those chairs that are set up in the room upstairs at 61 Local, a really great new-ish bar in Boerum/Cobble Hill. The room was pretty packed, which is always a relief, and it was great to see some familiar faces. Many thanks again to my friends who came out to support me and to everyone else who braved the rain. The vibe was super relaxed and warm and friendly. The series usually happens on the first Tuesday of every month, so you should check them out and like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter and do whatever it is you do on Tumblr (I don’t have a Tumblr account, so pardon my lack of terminology)
There’s nothing pretentious or highbrow about this reading series, and that’s probably why they get such a healthy turnout. Just a group of great readers and an engaged, supportive crowd. Not to mention Rowland, our MC, who apparently is one super talented musician. I was so pleased to read with Rachel Cantor and Marie Helene Bertino, ladies whose impressive credentials and excellent stories were only outdone by their warmth and kindness.
I read last, which turned out to be a good thing, since unlike Rachel and Marie, I was going to use up my allotted twenty minutes and then some. It’s rare to be allowed twenty minutes to read, and since I’ve never read “Floating” at a reading before, I was happy for the opportunity. Unlike the other stories in the collection which focus on the men traveling, “Floating” takes the perspective of the hotel manager receiving guests. The piece was inspired by someone whom I met while I was in Arequipa, Peru, who told me, off the cuff, that the manager of my hotel was gay. I wanted to imagine what his life was life in a small, conservative town.
Turns out last night was Oana’s last as organizer of the series for a while, as she is taking a sabbatical to work on a screenplay in Los Angeles. Best of luck, Oana! And a special shout out to my friend Mike, who just moved back to NY from Seattle. It was great seeing him and catching up.
Afterwards, a few of us went to La Vara, which is a Spanish tapas restaurant on Clinton that is part of the Alex Raij Txikito empire. I would go into detail about how good the food is there–how for instance they have a semolina-walnut date cake dessert which tastes exactly like my Grandmother made it twenty five years ago when she was still alive–but I worry that you’ll all rush there and I’ll have to wait longer for a table when I go, which is often. So I won’t mention how incredible everything is. Of course not
The pics below are kind of blurry, but the video ain’t bad, mostly because I don’t look as fat as I thought I would. Thanks for reading!