Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Williamsburg, the Literati and Me

David and I don’t get out very much. I know this because on the rare occasion when we do, people make a big, embarrassing fuss over it.

Last night, we not only got, out but made it all the way to Williamsburg. I never feel quite right in Williamsburg. I feel too old, and not hip enough. I am -- perhaps unfairly -- annoyed by how satisfied the residents of Williamsburg are with themselves for living there. I used to know this great guy, born and raised in Williamsburg, a ballet dancer who was debatably the biggest hetero horn-dog in history, with a Brooklyn accent so thick it made you feel like you were in Saturday Night Fever when you talked to him. You don’t find that kind of guy in Williamsburg anymore, though.

What you do find, and what lured me out there last night, are book parties for hot, on-the-rise, about to break out like a teenager who hasn’t been using his Clearasil, authors, like my friend Victor LaValle.

I have the good fortune of knowing Victor through my best friend from college, who's a big-time novelist and member of the Literati herself. What can I say? I may not be changing the face of literature, but I know the people that are. Victor's new book, Big Machine, is coming out on August 11th and if you consider yourself a reader with any amount of taste, you’re going to want to read it. You don’t have to believe me, just listen to what the Wall Street Journal has to say.

Victor LaValle's Big Machine Draws Comparisons to Thomas Pynchon

It was a big enough occasion that David and I got a babysitter (ie: my cousin) and hit the BQE. That’s when we realized we don’t get out enough because at least four people exclaimed, “You made it!” upon seeing us, like we had to sneak out of Sing Sing or something. But a great time was had by all and the booze and empanadas made me think that maybe, just maybe, I wasn’t too old and out-of-the-loop for Williamsburg. So, Grand Avenue, watch out. You may be seeing more of me and my kids, dressed in their most irreverent and ironic T-shirts.