NYC | Inhuman Swill | William Shunn
Inhuman Swill : NYC : Page 5
            

My main contribution to last night's June CD Mix of the Month Club (for which I'm still importing discs into the database) was From Gotham to the Windy City, a fantasia in which a girl and boy console themselves upon leaving town.

Since this was my last CDMOM mixer as a New Yorker, almost the whole gang turned out. It was a fun and gratifying evening, despite the fact that our first-choice bar was so packed that we had to move the festivities to an alternate location. I was dubious about any bar on that once-sordid-but-now-tourist-friendly stretch of St. Mark's Place between Second and Third Avenues, but Grassroots turned out to be a perfect dive bar for our purposes, not too crowded and not too loud. The gang surprised me with a card and a Morton's of Chicago gift certificate, Lisa brought homemade chocolate chip cookies, Ali brought cupcakes from Billy's (though sadly her bellydancing plan did not come to fruition), and people kept pouring me drinks. Everyone tried to egg poor Nuno on into giving me a lap dance, but to his immense relief they let him off the hook.

I will miss this crew, though maybe a few of them will move to Chicago themselves someday! If so, maybe there will be a Chicago chapter of CDMOM waiting for them to join.

But the story isn't done yet. As Alan and Ali and I, the last ones standing, were leaving the bar, I apparently started telling a story I had already told. This should have been a clue to me. By the time my cab had crossed the Queensborough Bridge, I was feeling decidedly sick. Now, I don't think I had that much to drink, so I'm blaming the combination of cupcakes and cookies and stirfry with far too salty soy sauce for dinner, but it wasn't long after I arrived home (and only a moment after Laura arrived home in a different cab, having gotten a last-minute ticket to see Romeo & Juliet in Central Park) that I was praying to the porcelain god. This, seriously, is only the second time in my life that ralphing has followed drinking. The first time was right after my 30th birthday party at Mooney's Pub on Flatbush in Brooklyn. Boy, was that a party.

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South Carolina state treasurer Thomas Ravenel has been indicted on federal charges for cocaine distribution.

Buried at the bottom of that article, you'll see that Ravenel is the South Carolina state chairman for Giuliani's presidental campaign.

Is it coincidence that Mayor Bloomberg, only a short time later, announces that he is leaving the Republican party?

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I can't believe neither Laura nor I had ever eaten at Peter Luger until last night. It was worth the wait, and the money, and it fully lived up to the hype.

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Never again

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The never-agains are starting to come thick and fast. I realized already that I may have eaten at our favorite Greek restaurant, Aliada, for the last time. But just now I realized that I will never again buy a 30-day MetroCard.

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In more news for New York SF fans, check out the HBO Bryant Park Summer Film Festival schedule and start planning your picnic for June 25th.

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King Kong Radio Theatre
If you're a New York science fiction fan, you have no excuse. You know where the theater is already. It's the Red Room, and it's upstairs from KGB, home of the KGB Fantastic Fiction reading series. In fact, if you've been to a reading at KGB, you've probably heard stamping feet or caber tossing or whatever it is they do up there that makes so much noise.

But now I'm urging you to grab some tickets and hie thyself to the Red Room Thursday through Sunday until June 10th for 75 minutes of radio drama you won't soon forget. The show on tap is RadioTheatre's KING KONG, but rather than describe it for you here, I'll simply point you toward my review at Sci Fi Weekly:

King Kong An off-off-Broadway production brings the Eighth Wonder of the World to the most intimate stage of them all—the stage of the mind.  [review]
If you love King Kong, radio drama, or both, you need to treat yourself to this show. As an accidental booster of genre theater in New York City, I want to see it again myself, though with moving preparations it's not clear that I'll have time.

Oh, and mark your calendars for this fall, when RadioTheatre presents its H.G. Wells Science Fiction Festival! I'm going to have to try to come back to town for that one.

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Telescoping the Nebulas

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Laura and Bill
Let me start by saying that I had a fabulous time over the weekend. I lost a Nebula to James Patrick Kelly, but I wasn't unhappy about it. Burn is a terrific novel novella, and it's pretty incredible that after nine at-bats this is Jim's first win.

Anyway, the weekend started for me last Thursday afternoon, and between then and about 2:00 am Sunday Laura and I hung out with Sheila Williams, [info]asphalteden, Bianca Miele, Trevor Quachri, [info]paulmelko, [info]paulwitcover, [info]bobhowe, [info]eleanor, Jim Minz, Paolo Bacigalupi, Jack Skillingstead, Scott Edelman, Toby and Emily Buckell, Steve Feldberg, Jim Kelly, John Kessel, Craig Engler, Jae Brim, [info]rajankhanna, Barbara Krasnoff, Jim Freund, Chris Cohen, Marc Zicree, Brook and Julia West, Rick Bowes, Jeff Ford, Wil McCarthy, Daryl Gregory, Shawna McCarthy, Wayne Barlowe, Gordon Van Gelder, John Joseph Adams, [info]slushmaster, and probably a couple dozen other people who are slipping my mind just now. I also appeared live on Jim Freund's radio program on two hours of sleep, had a lovely breakfast with Jack and Maureen McDevitt, and helped direct Norman Spinrad to the nearest subway station.

Hour of the Wolf 12 May 2007, full audio 
5:00-6:10 amMP3 file31.3 Mb
6:10-7:00 amMP3 file21.9 Mb
A dinner out that Laura and I organized for a relatively modest-sized group of folks turned out well, and just as we in our nefarious scheming had hoped accumulated many more participants as we strolled across lower Manhattan from the book signing to the restaurant. Like iron filings to a magnet! Mwa ha ha ha ha ha! Good thing Laura had the foresight to make a larger reservation than we believed we would need.

The banquet and awards ceremony itself were interminable. Thank God the novella category came early in the program or it would have been even worse. Even so, the nervousness didn't start settling in until during dessert. Or maybe the delicious cheesecake concealed a botulism virus, I don't know. Laura and I were fortunate enough to sit at the Asimov's table with Sheila Williams and my fellow nominee Paul Melko, who cut quite a handsome figure in his spiffy tuxedo. (Brian Bieniowski and I looked good, but we were still hopelessly outclassed.) As I said above, Paul and I lost to Jim Kelly, but we're saving those acceptance speeches because we'll face off again in Yokohama. Better sharpen that katana, Melko! Dou itashimashite!

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Shout out to my peeps

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Hey, lunch crew. This one's for you. Good to see you all.

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You're a real gone guy

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He's highstepping up the subway stairs ahead of me—tall, soda-straw thin, hair cut Ivy League style and slicked back on top, long sideburns curving to points near the corners of his mouth—back rigid, knees rising and falling in a bizarrely quick clockwork rhythm. Tight black denim jacket, pegleg jeans with the cuffs rolled up, black sock, Converse hightops.

As he pulls away up the ramp at the top of stairs, twisting the throttle, I think to myself, Now that must be the Stray Cat Strut.

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What's that you say, Reuters? New York's pedestrians are the eighth fastest in the world? Are you sure?

Pedestrians in Singapore were crowned the world's fastest movers, walking 30 percent faster than they did in the early 1990s... Copenhagen and Madrid were the fastest European cities, beating Paris and London. And despite its reputation as "the city that never sleeps," New York ranked only eighth in the pace race, behind Dublin and Berlin.
We score that high? Because when I go out walking, I am stymied by the slow. Not sure I want to live in Singapore, though. Copenhagen might be nice.
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