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September 18th, 2012

The Hundred Story House in Washington Park

Heather O'Donnell has a sweet story on her blog Honey & Wax Booksellers about the Hundred Story House, which was in Park Slope's Washington Park yesterday.

The Hundred Story House is the brainchild of Julie Marchesi and Leon V. Reid IV (illustration at left is a rendering) who organized a Kickstarter campaign to get the project off the ground and managed to raise an impressive $13,502 last March.

The One Hundred Story House is a miniature lending library and installation that was designed for Cobble Hill Park but is evidently going to other parks, too .

In  fact, the House opened in Washington Park in Park Slope on September 8th. I guess it's going to be there for a while (I will check with Kim Maier at the Old Stone House for further information).

Marchesi and Reid wrote on the Kickstarter site: "Brooklyn is very bookish. If you walk the streets on a fair weathered weekend in certain neighborhoods, you will notice a system of informal and anonymous book-sharing. You will see piles of paperbacks and hardcovers lying on sidewalks or stacked on brownstone steps, available to any passersby looking for a good novel, or a cookbook from 1972."

Ah yes, I did find Secrets of La Bonne Table a 1970's French cookbook by Jeannette Seaver on the street once. Marchesi believes this tradition speaks to limited space in our too-small apartments " but also to the distinctly Brooklyn spirit of small-scale community interactivity that can be possible in a huge metropolis. It also speaks to a shared love of the written word -- as do our many bookstores, public libraries, and coffee shops filled with famous (or soon-to-be) writers at work."

Lovely idea. I can't wait to see it.


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July 9th, 2012

OTBKB to The Guardian: Yes, Brooklyn is a Writer’s Mecca

It seems that across the pond, they've discovered that Brooklyn is quite the writerly place. I guess when Brit author Martin Amis buys a house in Cobble Hill, it becomes news over there. I did, however, enjoy the Guardian article and especially this paragraph, which reminded me of what happened when Jonathan and Nicole spent 3.5 million on their house. That sounds like chump change these days.

"Today Sunny's is popular for bluegrass sessions and literary salons that attract aficionados from across the borough. There is not a night of the week when you can't attend a reading in Brooklyn, or several. Many take place at the independent bookstores that have proliferated in the last few years, or – like BookCourt in Cobble Hill, where I remember waiting in a long line of young tattooed men and women to hear Bret Easton Ellis read – doubled in size. And writers aren't just coming here to read; they are flocking here to live. Some, such as Paul Auster, have been here for decades; others, like Martin Amis (a stone's throw from BookCourt), are fresh off the boat. On Saturdays you can go Pulitzer spotting at Fort Greene's farmers' market, where both Jhumpa Lahiri and Jennifer Egan may be found perusing the vegetables. When Jonathan Safran Foer and his wife Nicole Krauss, author of The History of Love, brought a Park Slope townhouse in 2005, bloggers gasped at the $3.5m [£2.26m] price tag."

I was one of those  bloggers and I remember it well. Rad photo illustration from The Guardian.

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