I had a really amazing day of seeing New York guys, and specifically Manhattan. I have to mostly thank fellow DJ James G. for leading is around the city, because I would have been stuck with my iPhone in front of my face if not for him.
We started the day with a free breakfast in the hotel, and then headed out to catch the F-Line to Central Park. We walked around a bit but decided to get going pretty quickly to find the New York Public Library, which I really wanted to see. We ended up heading around to see other stores and buildings, got some NY hot dogs, bought a shirt for my friend at the NBC store, ate a Magnolia Bakery cupcake, and only then did we get to NYPL, which was signified by both the twin lions and some Occupy protestors. We also got free kettle corn. Huzzah.
The library was my number one destination for the day, and I'm so glad we made it. It was so beautiful inside and out, and there were so many components to it: children's, microfilm, maps, reading rooms, exhibits, more microfilm, Jewish, local, etc. I explored that whole place and I'm so thankful my fellow DJs put up with it. I was a kid in a candy store. Little known fact: I geek out about libraries. I love them. I follow 'libraryporn' and 'librarianista' on Tumblr. I work at a library, and spend a lot of time thinking about how great libraries are, so it was fun to fantasize about walking up and down the stairs of the local section to grab maps and statistics to hand to eager patrons. *shiver*
Anyway, after that we decided we didn't have a whole lot of time, so we walked a ways and got some coffee at "The Bean" (which has damn good macaroons, coffee, and cool baristas to boot) and saw that we were magically across from "The Strand" which is a gigantic bookstore. On the front it literally says "18 miles of books." That's what we call heaven, ladies and gentleman. So after calming myself down I decided to soak in as much as possible, and decided that I couldn't do that calmly so I ran around the story reading the first few sentences of everything until James came and told me that the entire basement was used books and half-priced new books. I ended up buying a book for a friend about cats by William S. Burroughs, and a book by Edouard Levé about suicide. And a Strand pin. SUCCESS.
Next destination was Occupy Wall Street. This was an amazing experience to see these people put their hearts and souls into what they were doing. It made me feel so proud to see people doing the right thing at the cost of so much. I talked to quite a few people and got some great interviews recorded in the process. My favorite was talking to a man about the OWS Library that has been created in the past couple of weeks. Originally it started out as some people bringing a few books to read and making it communal. Then people started donating books. Then authors started donating books. Then companies started donating books. Eventually they had enough interest in the books, and some real librarians willing to volunteer, that they began to categorize them and to create a database at People's Library at Wordpress. I'll have another post about this I'm sure, because it was fascinating.
After some Ukranian goulash and Czech beer at Veselka, we headed over to listen to Joe Frank at the Metropolitan Pavilion, and let me tell you guys, it was a great way to start off the weekend. It was just Joe Frank and his guitarist, and he simply told us a story with simple background music. I also met Ken Freedman, the general manager of WFMU, and a man named Henry who was a fan of Joe Frank's and just there for the show but not the conference. You could feel the excitement and buzz about radio in the room, and I can't wait to talk to more people tomorrow.
After the event was done we decided to end the night with some Kenny Barron at The Village Vanguard, which was both very relaxing and stimulating.
Stay tuned for my account of WFMU's Radiovision and Record Fair!