Tales of Whales and the (Penguin) MINI in NYC

Over the weekend my daughter Evelyn and I hopped into the MINI and boarded the early ferry to high-tail it down to NYC for a one night jaunt. Excuse #1: Evelyn had a birthday last week and expressed an interest in visiting SoHo. Excuse #2: a dear cousin invited us to stay with her in the West Village, and excuse #3: McNally Jackson (the beautiful bookstore in NoLita) needed beer for their upcoming Moby Dick book club event on November 29th, and I happen to co-own a brewery called Cisco Brewers whose flagship beer is named after the great white whale himself. For so many reasons, we are more than happy to be part of this particular party!

In great bookselling karma, the MINI got attention from book people right off the bat. As I stopped in traffic on Bleecker Street, there was a knock on my window… “THE PENGUIN MINI!” said the excited hip gentleman outside. “I drove it last summer and got T.C. Boyle’s signature on the dashboard!!!” I was like “No way! Now it’s on Nantucket, I bought it for my bookstore!!!” (If you missed that news, here’s the Globe article.) Turns out he knew that, and had even been to Bookworks this year. So on that high note I circled the block trying to find a place to park. As I maneuvered into a tiny spot on 11th Street, a woman was locking up her bike right next to me. When I triumphantly opened the door she of course said, “Great car!” so I said “Thanks! I bought it from a publisher called Penguin and they took it on book tour and got all these great authors to sign the dashboard!” To which she replied, “That’s so cool, I design book covers for Random House!” I guess it’s a small world after all… either that or this car is a SERIOUS publisher-type magnet.

The MINI spent a nice night soaking up aromas from the Magnolia Bakery, then in the morning we headed over to McNally Jackson.

The Bookworks MINI outside McNally JacksonOur friend Michele Filgate, who we met at a booksellers’ Winter Institute in Louisville a few years back, is Events Coordinator at the beautiful store. We stay in touch quite a bit through the miracle of Twitter. (Follow @nantucketbooks, @wendyhudson, and Michele at @readandbreathe for fascinating tidbits!) Here’s Michele with the beer:

And admiring the signatures on the dash:

And here’s the beer ready for the event. Note the white tail (not blue!) and the literary allusion of the beer’s name (tale not tail!) BTW, the Whale’s Tale tagline is “For a Moby Good Time” ; )

I wish I could make it back for the event… Sponsored by Time Out New York and with an artistic focus, it’s sure to be fun. In the meantime I’ll concentrate on reading Nat Philbrick’s latest book to convince me to return to the gigantic novel I read way back at the Williams-Mystic Maritime program in the Spring of 1988. (Yes, the details are fuzzy…)

Cheers to Epic Quests.

-Wendy H.

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