Remember book fairs during elementary school? Held at my school’s library, I looked forward to these book fairs. If I was lucky, my mom would give me $10 to splurge on books even though I ended up getting bookmarks, bracelet kits, Mad Lips, and stickers.
Earlier today I got onto the 7 train, passing under the East River and emerging into Long Island city – I noticed behind the buildings “legally” covered in graffiti (I later noticed signs prohibiting photography oddly enough) Manhattan in the background – a nice change of scenery.
I walked to P.S. 1 MOMA, where the annual New York Art Book Fair was being held. Being the last day, the exhibitors looked tired and drained after just 3 days – try 10 consecutive days (a la Olympia International Art and Antique Fair and Le Salon du Collectionneur)! After browsing a few tables, I wasn’t at a bookstore; apart from a few major publishers like D.A.P. and dealers specializing in antique books, most were independent artists dedicated to publication. I never really saw books as art concepts but more for practical reasons. Like fashion – who on earth would wear some of the outfits those models wear on the catwalk? But I learned today that there’s an artistic element to published work aka art publication. (Just a reminder that at times I’m still a naive person from Chino Hills).
Then it hit me, Van Francis, an aspiring writer, was at a place filled with publishers and distributors. I wasn’t even prepared to network – oh well, there’s always next year!
Afterwards, I headed to what is now one of my favorite bars only a few blocks from P.S. 1 MOMA, Dutch Kills. Their website doesn’t give much other than directions – it is a 1890’s style saloon with an ever-changing cocktail menu. Apparently they have a ragtime band playing in the back room that I have yet to see perform.
Although I’m a little paranoid of getting hit by a car on Queen’s Blvd, my first day in Long Island City was fantastic!