Microcosm Zine Store in Portland Will Exchange Real Books For Unwanted Kindles!

Alt text

(illustration by Rio Safari) 

Do you love print? Do you still read books? Did you get a Kindle for Christmas? Do you want to trade in your soulless faux-literary technology for its worth in good old fashioned books? Well, friends, Microcosm Publishing’s got your back! Beginning RIGHT NOW you can bring in your Christmas Kindle to the Microcosm store in Portland (636 SE 11th) and trade it in for its worth in new or used books and zines! That’s right! Why let fad technology kill print when you can take a stand and fill up your shelves in the process. (Don’t worry, we won’t tell your parents.) And make sure to bring a friend to help you carry all your loot; most of the store’s books are priced in the $2-$6 range so a $139-$189 trade-in (note: going retail for the Kindle at Amazon’s site) you might be carrying your books out in a fleet of wheelbarrows!

On Amazon’s Kindle page you’ll be able to read glowing endorsements like the following, “”My first impression of Kindle’s screen was: ‘That’s a screen?! It doesn’t look like a screen.’… It looks like a book page, only perfect. No grain or pulp.”—Jeremy.”

Well, you know what, Jeremy? We love the and grain and pulp. Long live the grain and pulp! Long live the PAGE.

Thanks for helping to keep print alive!

Microcosm Publishing book and zine store
2752 N Williams Ave
Portland, Or 97227
11am-7pm, Seven days a week
503-232-3666
http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Microcosm-hQ-Store/131220623559507

Since opening doors in August 2008, the Microcosm zine and book store has moved twice to larger locations. In an age when out-of-touch doomsayers are hoping to drive the final nail in the print media coffin, Microcosm continues to prove that people still buy books and zines and that running a DIY bookstore (and publishing books) in this day and age isn’t a damned proposition. The new store location is in the massive 636 SE 11th building shared with likeminded folks Eberhardt Press and Printed Matter (and a skateramp.) The store is open seven days a week and features a full scale reading area and coffee counter. Check with http://www.micrcosmpublishing.com for regular author signings, readings, and potlucks!

The Microcosm Interview with Edible Secrets’ Michael Hoerger and Mia Partlow!

What do top-secret CIA assassination plots, Black Panther arrests, and Reaganomics have in common? Food, of course! Michael Hoerger and Mia Partlow collect, contextualize and graphically narrate declassified government documents with food as a theme! Over 500,000 declassified memos, debriefings and transcripts were combed to uncover some of the most important and iconic people and narratives from US history. Providing a voyeuristic insight into the US government, these documents are like reality TV for politicos and foodies: Assassinations by milkshake, subliminal popcorn cravings, Reagan’s love of hydroponics, and what could be Fred Hampton’s most radical action—giving ice cream to small children. Illustrated throughout by Nate Powell.

Keep tabs on the regularly updated Edible Secrets blog right here. And get a copy of the book here!

Q: For anyone who hasn’t gotten a chance to read the book give us a little overview. What can people expect?
MH: An entertaining introduction to government secrecy and radical US history…starring food. Assassination by milkshake, a communist Jell-O box, subliminal popcorn cravings. It’s political voyeurism for foodies! Through food and declassified documents we’ve graphically narrated histories of the Black Panther Party, the execution of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, Fidel Castro and Cuba, US government experiments on humans, globalization, and more.

Alt text

MP: We tried very hard to make the book accessible and interesting to people of all ilks. There are graphics with information like “Top Five CIA Pranks on Fidel Castro,” which gives a little overview of the five most ridiculous assassination attempts/attempts to annoy Castro, or a graphic depicting all of the interactions the Black Panthers had with the police from 1968-1969 (hint: there were a lot). And there are also essays for people who want to delve a little deeper, which give a history of the documents and a little background that explains how that document came to be–for example, why did the US government fund a study on subliminal messaging, or how did Reagan come to be sitting in a room talking about hydroponic lettuce? Those questions get us into discussions of experiments with mind control and the US legacy of creating better torturers, and discussions of food subsidies and how the world food supply is propped up in order to keep capitalism legitimate. Like I said, something for everybody!

Q: How did you guys get a hold of the documents you used? How long did it take you to collect them all?
MH: The documents were casually collected over many years.  The first document I found by mistake.  Late one night I was searching a computer database of declassified CIA documents and, in a moment of boredom, decided to search for Jello Biafra of the punk band the Dead Kennedys.  No results came up for Biafra (though I’m sure he has quite the FBI file out there somewhere), but the document featured in the book about Julius and Ethel Rosenberg and the notorious Jell-O box popped up.

The documents were collected over a period of 5 years from library collections and online databases. If you’re interested in declassified documents, you should start by asking your local librarian for help finding them. And in the book we include a sample Freedom of Information Act Request.  Before becoming a book, Edible Secrets was a portable art installation of the documents (enlarged and screen-printed), historical artifacts, dioramas, art, and even featured an audio tour at one point.

Q: The super awesome Nate Powell does the illustrations for this one. How was it working with him?
MH: Nate Powell and I were roommates for many years, including when Edible Secrets was conceived of.  So it was great to work with Nate, as he was the primary sounding board for all things Edible Secrets.  And Nate is an illustrating genius, and produced perfect illustrations for each chapter and a beautiful cover.  There were a couple that didn’t make it into the book; maybe we’ll put those up someday.

MP: Nate is amazing! Besides being an awesome illustrator with the power to tell an entire story in a single pen-stroke, he is a super nice person with a wonderful creative energy.

Q: What do you think of this whole WikiLeaks thing?
MP: One of the more interesting things happening right now connected to WikiLeaks is the dialogue occurring around the issue of Julian Assange (the face of WikiLeaks) and sexual assault. There have been some good discussions in the media about it. As writers we feel it is important to confront these issues head on. When sexual assault victims are used as pawns, all victims and survivors ultimately lose, because the rhetoric around assault is clouded with other objectives. 

MH: As for the (most recent) leaks themselves, they are intriguing.  The most recent WikiLeak, dubbed Cablegate, is a data dump of 200,000+ state department cables; essentially internal memos from US embassies abroad.  The documents released so far (only 1% of the documents are available to the public) do not provide any earth-shattering revelations, but are interesting for the level of candor in the narrative voices.  They read more like emails between friends -kinda evil, profit-hungry friends- than official US documents or declarations.

PS, be on the lookout for our Gastronomical Guide to Cablegate, as we could not resist the temptation of using the food filter on Wikileaks: socialist sandwiches, Chinese licorice machine parts, and more government favors for Coca-Cola.

Q: What’s next for you guys? You have an event coming up soon. Tell us a little about that…
MH: Right now we are just trying to get the book out there.  On January 15th we’ll be doing a presentation on the book at Bluestockings in New York City.  After that we hope to do some events in the Midwest and maybe attend some book fairs.

As for next projects, we are tossing some ideas around: a history of plane hijackings before 9/11, a resource guide for prison abolition, and potentially a memoir/cultural history of asthma if Mia ever finishes that quilt she’s been working on.

Q: Finally, give us your top five favorite foods…
MH: beets, pizza, cupcakes, brussels sprouts, ice cream
MP: lentils, soup of almost any kind, sourpatch kids (corporate vegan deliciousness), vegan wings with homemade buffalo sauce and vegan ranch dressing, and ice cream.

Building a Cookie Tin Banjo with How & Why!

I’m a banjo enthusiast. That’s something I’ve made peace with. But building a banjo? I never thought I’d be capable of managing a hacksaw while keeping my jugular intact, let alone make a scrappy instrument that sounds rad! While editing How & Why, our latest DIY guide for the next apocalypse, Matte Resist’s instructions for building musical instruments gave me the push to try it out myself—and build a fretless banjo from a cookie tin.

Cookies plus banjos. It wasn’t a hard sell for me.

I bought an old cookie tin with a 9” diameter for $1. It provides a sturdy base to hold the neck (along with the tension of the strings) while being a good carrier of sweet tunes. Bigger equals louder. Then I cut a slot for the neck with a box cutter (see below) on what would be at the bottom of the tin’s side—that way, I can still take off the lid when the banjo’s done!

Diagram 1

Want to learn to construct your own banjo f or just a few bucks? Pick up your own copy of How and Why!

SWEEEEET BOOK READING IN PORTLAND, DEC 11TH + MICROCOSM GETS COFFEE!

Hey Portland!

The Microcosm Publishing zine store is throwing a book reading for author Andrej Grubacic on December 11th, at 7pm! Grubacic is in town for the Portland Anarchist Bookfair happening on the same day and will be reading selections from his new book on PM Press, Don’t Mourn, Balkanize! Essays After Yugoslavia!

From PM Press: “Grubacic is a dissident from the Balkans. A radical historian and sociologist, he is the co-author of Wobblies and Zapatistas and editor of The Staughton Lynd Reader. A fellow traveler of Zapatista-inspired direct action movements, in particular Peoples’ Global Action, and a co-founder of Global Balkans Network and Balkan Z Magazine, he is a visiting professor of sociology at the University of San Francisco.”

Also, the Microcosm store now has a full-scale coffee counter courtesy of Currier Coffee Roasters! (http://www.couriercoffeeroasters.com/ ). Coffee is $1.50 for 12 oz cups, or $2 for 20 oz. The beans are ground in a hand-crank press and the coffee is French pressed. Zines and coffee go hand in hand and now folks that come to our readings can have a piping hot beverage just in time for the pre-winter!

Microcosm has CAWFEE! from Cantankerous Titles on Vimeo.

HARD INFO

Andrej Grubacic reading Don’t Mourn, Balkanize! Essays After Yugoslavia!

December 11th, 7pm, free

Microcosm Publishing zine and book store

636 SE 11th

Portland, OR

97214

www.microcosmpublishing.com

ABOUT DON’T MOURN, BALKANIZE! ESSAYS AFTER YUGOSLAVIA

Don’t Mourn, Balkanize! Is the first book written from the radical left perspective on the topic of Yugoslav space after the dismantling of the country. In this collection of essays, commentaries and interviews, written between 2002 and 2010, Andrej Grubacic speaks about the politics of balkanization—about the trial of Slobodan Milosevic, the assassination of Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic, neoliberal structural adjustment, humanitarian intervention, supervised independence of Kosovo, occupation of Bosnia, and other episodes of Power which he situates in the long historical context of colonialism, conquest and intervention.

But he also tells the story of the balkanization of politics, of the Balkans seen from below. A space of bogumils—those medieval heretics who fought against Crusades and churches—and a place of anti-Ottoman resistance; a home to hajduks and klefti, pirates and rebels; a refuge of feminists and socialists, of anti-fascists and partisans; of new social movements of occupied and recovered factories; a place of dreamers of all sorts struggling both against provincial “peninsularity” as well as against occupations, foreign interventions and that process which is now, in a strange inversion of history, often described by that fashionable term, “balkanization.”

For Grubacic, political activist and radical sociologist, Yugoslavia was never just a country—it was an idea. Like the Balkans itself, it was a project of inter-ethnic co-existence, a trans-ethnic and pluricultural space of many diverse worlds. Political ideas of inter-ethnic cooperation and mutual aid as we had known them in Yugoslavia were destroyed by the beginning of the 1990s—disappeared in the combined madness of ethno-nationalist hysteria and humanitarian imperialism. This remarkable collection chronicles political experiences of the author who is himself a Yugoslav, a man without a country; but also, as an anarchist, a man without a state. This book is an important reading for those on the Left who are struggling to understand the intertwined legacy of inter-ethnic conflict and inter-ethnic solidarity in contemporary, post-Yugoslav history.

Praise:

“These thoughtful essays offer us a vivid picture of the Balkans experience from the inside, with its richness and complexity, tragedy and hope, and lessons from which we can all draw inspiration and insight.”
—Noam Chomsky, MIT

“The history of Yugoslavia is of global relevance, and there’s no one better placed to reveal, share, and analyse it than Andrej Grubacic. From the struggle of the Roma to the liberating possibilities of ‘federalism from below,’ this collection of essays is required and radical reading.”
—Raj Patel, author of Stuffed and Starved

“This book of essays shows a deep grasp of Yugoslav history and social theory. It is a groundbreaking book, representing a bold departure from existing ideas, and an imaginative view to how a just society in the Balkans might be constructed.”
—Howard Zinn, author of A People’s History of the United States

“I cannot think of another work that even tries to accomplish what Andrej Grubacic has artfully undertaken in this volume. Don’t Mourn, Balkanize! is the first radical account of Yugoslav history after Yugoslavia, surveying this complex history with imagination and insight. Grubacic’s book provides essential information and perspective for all those interested in the recent history of this part of the world.”
—Michael Albert, author of Parecon

“Andrej Grubacic is a rare genuine authority on the recent history and politics of the Balkans. I have known him for a decade, have followed and read his work with profit, and corresponded with him on matters which I found difficult in doing my own writing in this field.”
—Edward S. Herman Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

Product Details:

Author: Andrej Grubacic
Introduction by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
Publisher: PM Press
ISBN: 978-1-60486-302-4
Published: November 2010
Format: Paperback
Size: 8 by 5
Page count: 272
Subjects: History-Yugoslavia, Politics

Meet Microcosm, Episode Nine, Meet Dylan GW!

For this, the ongoing Meet Microcosm blog series, we talk to Bloomington collective member Dylan GW. So without further adieu meet Dylan!

Q: What kind of stuff are you doing outside of Microcosm?

A: Well, I’m just getting adjusted to life in Bloomington again. I grew up here, but I went to college in St. Paul, Minnesota for a year. I moved back here during the summer. It was sort of an accident, but I’m happy with it. College was crazy! It was nothing like American Pie, but it was a weird adventure. I lived in dorm with about 100 other freshmen, and they were largely the only people I interacted with the whole time I was there. My college was about the same size as my high school, and it did kind of feel like living in a high school. It was my first time really living in a big city and my first time living in a place where my accent was considered “southern” by a lot of people I met. The winter was long and cold. I watched a lot of movies and read a lot of zines. The whole thing freaked me out. I’m glad to be home.

More recently I’ve been busy getting set up here. I recently moved into a new house. I’ve kept all my stuff in a couple duffel bags for the last 6 months and it was really nice to finally unpack. I’ve started doing creative projects again, which is really exciting. Some housemates and I started a band, the first band I’ve ever been in and I’ve just finished working on my first zine. I’m stoked!

I have a few hobbies. I read for pleasure. I play a lot of Tetris. That may not seem like a hobby to you, but when you’ve dedicated as much of your precious time here on earth to Tetris as I have, it becomes a hobby. I play games on the computer, board and role-playing varieties. A major interest of mine is ravioli and other stuffed pastas. I am very interested in finding new things to put in pasta. What else could one fill a ravioli with? I don’t know, but I’d like to find out.

Alt text

Q: What’s your favorite zine, and why?

A: Let me just start this off by saying that it’s so hard to pick a favorite zine! There are so many great zines out there. But if I have to pick a favorite, I’ll pick Nuns I’ve Known by Prunella Vulgaris. Nuns I’ve Known was one of the first zines that I ever read. It’s short, it’s well written and it has a nice hand made cover–you can tell that the author really put time into it. It’s about a very specific topic, it’s literally a list of nuns that the author has known, yet it’s super interesting to read. To me, it’s a perfect example of what makes the zine medium unique: information or writing with merit that would never otherwise get published that, thanks to zine culture, gets distributed to a large audience.

Q: If you had to evacuate your home, what are the five things you’d take with you if you could only take five?

A: Is it assumed that I’m wearing pants? I only wear pants when I absolutely have to so I probably wouldn’t be wearing them when the hypothetical emergency occurred. So I’d need to take them as one of the five items. The first item, probably. Then I’d take my laptop. It contains my tunes, my jams and my video games, so it’s pretty crucial. I’d take a copy of God Bless You Mr. Rosewater by Kurt Vonnegut–it’s my favorite book. Then my stuffed penguin, Pengi. Finally, I’d need a light jacket. It’s getting pretty chilly out there.

Alt text

Word Association
1) Explosion.
Volcanic!
2) Realism.
Keepin’ it
3) Television.
Star Trek!
4) Fun.
I’m against it.
5) American.
John Cougar Mellencamp

Q: You’re based out of the Bloomington office. What’s your idea of a good day in Bloomington?

A: It would be late May or early June–The college students are gone. The town is peaceful. Sleep in late, but not too late. Walk into town to get some coffee. Read or play Tetris in the coffee shop until your friends also show up at the coffee shop, which they will. It’s pretty much guaranteed. If it’s warm enough, get a group together and go swimming in the limestone quarries or in Lake Monroe. Then go eat some pizza before going to whatever awesome thing is going on that night starts. Remember to stay up late.

Alt text

Q: What are your five favorite things about Bloomington? As well as the five things you like the least…

Likes:
1 I love the size of the town. I can walk or bike to anywhere I would ever want to go.
2 Bloomington has everything that a big city has, pretty much. Except for an Ikea.
3 Bloomington has a great music scene, Boxcar Books, an awesome radical book store and a tight-knit, friendly punk/radical community.
4 The food! Bloomington has such good food! We have so many different kinds of ethnic restaurants and so many different choices when it comes to pizza. Disclaimer: We do have an Italian food problem here.
5 It’s beautiful here! Lots and lots of trees, cool old limestone buildings and cute little houses (with cheap rent).

Dislikes:
1 Every fall, 40,000 morons move here and spend all their free time drinking, puking and breaking things.
2 Bloomington is so small that you can’t really leave your house without seeing someone you know. It can be a problem if you sometimes don’t feel like talking to people.
3 In Indiana, under 21 folks can’t go in bars at all. Which means that every show in a bar is 21+. That’s a lot of shows.
4 It’s really tough to get jobs in Bloomington. With all the college students, competition for even minimum-wage jobs is pretty stiff.
5 For some reason, developers keep building gigantic ugly high-rises here. It seems like a bad idea, like there aren’t enough people to fill them because they usually sit half empty. They must turn a profit, though, because more keep getting built!

Alt text

Q: Finally, what do you do for Microcosm day in, day out?

A: Well my specific job duty is shipping–I put labels on all of the packages, fill out customs forms and email customers if there is a problem with their order. I also pack orders–all of us do that in Bloomington. If there’s time left over in the day after packing and shipping I do whatever needs to get done, usually organizing, stapling zines or proofreading new stuff.

The Zinester’s Guide to NYC Zine-vasion” @ St. Mark’s Bookshop November 30, 7pm

Dear NYC friends,

In celebration of our new book, the Zinester’s Guide to NYC, St. Mark’s Bookshop is helping us host a “Zine-vasion” zine party. Ayun Halliday, editor of the Zinester’s Guide to NYC, will be on hand with a select crew of the book’s contributors for zine readings, a Q&A, and an open consignment session. (Bring three copies of your zine if you’d like St. Mark’s Bookshop to sell it on a consignment basis.)

Q&A discussion topics include;
How do you make a zine?
Why do you make a zine?
How did you get into zine-making in the first place?
What other zines do you read?
Where can I get my zine photocopied?
How are zines distributed?
Where are zines reviewed?
Where can you go to buy zines?
How do you pronounce “zine”?
And how can I find out more?

The evening’s presenters include Ayun Halliday (The Zinester’s Guide to NYC, The East Village Inky zine), Andria Alefhi (We’ll Never Have Paris zine), Melissa Bastian (Anywhere I Lay My Head), Leslie Henkel (aka “Dear Drunk Girl” of The Tight Pantsy Drew Mysteries), Josh Saitz (Negative Capability), and Esther Smith (Purgatory Pie Press.)

Come say Hey!

“Pol Pot Luck” Genocide-Themed Thanksgiving Party @ the Microcosm Publishing Store Nov 25th!

Dear Portland friends,

We’re throwing a genocide-themed Thanksgiving party Nov 25th at the Microcosm Publishing zine store in SE Portland (636 SE 11th). Along with tasty veggie pot luck food, the “Pol Pot Luck” will feature select books on genocide and a board game battle based on imperialist themes.

Says Microcosm Publishing founder Joe Biel, “We’d like to remind people of the historical significance of Thanksgiving as told by those who didn’t get to write history—as well as those who didn’t get to write history throughout recorded time.”

All food will be vegan and gluten-free or clearly labeled otherwise. (Any major allergen ingredients will be labeled.)

The event runs from 2pm to 8pm and it’s absolutely free. Come hang out all day. Bring a pot luck dish and your appetite (for destruction.)

HARD INFO
Pol Pot Luck
2pm-8pm
Free!
Microcosm Publishing Store
636 SE 11th
Portland, OR 97216
503.232.3666
www.microcosmpublishing.com

Alt text

The Microcosm Interview with Ayun Halliday, author of the Zinester’s Guide to NYC!

Our brand-new New York City DIY travel guide Zinester’s Guide to NYC is out now and we’re helping throw a release party at the Housing Works Bookstore Cafe in SoHo on November 11th. We talked to Ayun about that, her zine The East Village Inky, and much much more!

Q: Why do you live in New York? Why not Alaska? Tokyo? Omaha? Indonesia?

A: I have a strong cardiac preference for New York. I have wanted to live here since I was a little girl in Indiana, where I was once overheard informing a playmate that I was a city dude. For my money, what little I have of it, there is no better city on earth in which to be that dude.

If Sam Shepard’s 1978 play Curse of the Starving Class is to believed, Alaska is “all frozen and full of rapers.” A hypothesis not borne out by the month I spent in Juneau, but still, one of the greatest lines in American theater history.

Tokyo I will visit any time you pay me! But I have never been to a Tokyo neighborhood that did not feel like Japan, whereas there are many neighborhoods in NYC that give me the impression I am no longer in the United States. I would miss that if I were to live in Tokyo. (I do wish our department stores had their wonderful food selections…)

Omaha I cannot say anything good or bad about, having never visited there, but I will say that my friend Jeff is not only redesigning my website, he is a son of Omaha. He recently passed through it on a road trip with our mutual friend Kathryn, and when asked what his favorite stop of the whole tour was, he picked Omaha, because no one ever visits Omaha, and it was so thrilling to be able to show someone else around.

Indonesia, again, I will visit any time you pay me! I had fantasies of maybe moving to Bali one day, plying my trade as a massage therapist, but… when it comes to relaxation, I’m rather dependent on knowing I have a hundred options at any given time. Movie theaters, bookstores, cultural events, museums, hole in the wall restaurants from every conceivable culture, eccentrics of every age, race, and creed riding with me on the subway… I would like to have an Indonesian style bathroom though, with a squat toilet, and a big jar of water with a dipper for throwing it over your head.

Alt text

Q: My 6th grade English teacher just asked me to ask you to give us one sentence about each book you’ve written since birth…

A: The Big Rumpus is about a period in my life when I was totally immersed in motherhood, running around New York City with two little kids in tow.

No Touch Monkey! And Other Travel Lessons Learned Too Late is a semi-scatological, low budget travel memoir, as well as a knee jerk response to Seal Press’ suggestion that I should write a sequel to the Big Rumpus.

Job Hopper revisits some of the crappy day jobs I had when I was an actor.

Dirty Sugar Cookies is a bildungsroman with recipes and the greatest index in the world, though Joe Biel’s index for the Zinester’s Guide to NYC is a close second.

Always Lots of Heinies at the Zoo is 32 pages long, was illustrated by Dan Santat and is best read aloud to a bossa nova beat.

The Zinester’s Guide to NYC is a dream come true, and I will spend the rest of my life mentally adding to it.

Peanut is a graphic novel about a girl who fakes a peanut allergy, with illustrations by Paul Hoppe, who would no doubt join me in encouraging you to buy many copies of it when it is published in July 2011.

There are also two unsold picture books and a novel that could use another go in the rock tumbler. Interested publishers should present themselves forsooth. I mean forthwith.

Q: My 6th grade English teacher (who is turning into a total pest) asked me to ask you to sum up your zine, TheEast Village Inky, in less than 50 words, using the words “cantaloupe,” “Mr. T.,” and “rabbit fur.”

A: What is this, Twitter? The East Village Inky is a handwritten, quarterly chronicle of my life in NYC, as well as a time lapse portrait of my children, when viewed as a hold. No cantaloupe, Mr. T., or rabbit fur, but these topics may well be covered in upcoming issues.

Q: What are your five favorite pieces of NY-related art?

A: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer

The Luckiest Guy on the Lower East Side by Magnetic Fields

Next Stop, Greenwich Village

New York City by Cub, and the cover by They Might Be Giants

An essay about the General Slocum memorial David Rakoff read aloud on episode 194 of This American Life, shortly after September 11, 2001

Q: If you were taking my 6th grade English teacher on a one day tour of New York where would you take her?

A: Oh lord, not her again. How about a downtown literary whirlwind? The Strand, Idlewild, Bluestockings, Housing Works Bookstore Café, St. Mark’s Books, and Unopressive, Non-Imperialist Bargain Books… we could have a browse every time we run across a street seller. I’d tell her to add the 2000 documentary Bookwars to her Netflix queue. Then because she is a closet Flight of the Conchords fan, I would take her past Bret and Jemaine’s apartment on Henry Street, which puts us in spittin’ distance of Bar 169, (also a location on the series). How convenient. I could no doubt use a drink. Though I could also get my drink at KGB or Happy Ending, both of which have excellent and frequent readings. If Teacher’s not turned off by Happy Ending’s former incarnation as a Chinatown massage parlor, I’ll send her to Babeland or Burlesque at the Beach. She can make her own way home to the Gershwin Hotel, conveniently located by Wholesale Copies and the Museum of Sex. I would also send your English teacher to the Brooklyn Superhero Supply Company, a front for drop in tutoring and amazing free writing workshops for kids and teens. She could buy some anti-matter…it goes to a good cause.

Q: If you were taking your first boyfriend on a one day tour of New York where would you take him?

A: Depends on how you define boyfriend, son. If it’s the one I’m thinking of, I’d tell him to hold his fire ’til April, so we can spend the whole weekend at the Museum of Comic & Cartoon Art Fest. We could spend the whole weekend there. If he gets hungry, he can find an Indian restaurant in Curry Hill, and bring me back something, since I’m thinking of ante-ing up for a booth.

Q: If you were taking the President of the United States on a one day tour of New York where would you take him?

A: I’m going to assume that for him, it would be a relief to be treated like a regular civilian, so we’d start with breakfast at Panya (I recommend the curry pan, fatten him up a bit), then make our way down to the Wall Street Baths (so he’d have to bring his bathing suit). Lunch at the Vegetarian Dim Sum House, followed by a self-guided walking tour of Chinatown with stops for coconut buns and souvenirs for his daughters from BJ99. If he wants some exercise, we can do the Monkey Bars in Columbus Park. Then like most visitors to NYC, unaccustomed to so much walking, he’d probably be pooped, so we could recharge our batteries by seeing a movie at the Sunshine. Then we could go book shopping, or alternatively thrift shopping (if it was Wednesday, I would insist we go to Salvation Army since it’s family day and everything’s half off.) If he’s really into thrifting, we’d go to the Thing in Greenpoint. Eventually, we’d make our way back to Otto’s Shrunken Head for cheap drinks and a spin in the photobooth. We’d get some tacos at the Zaragoza Grocery on Avenue A, and finish the evening at Decibel Sake Bar, where I would not be above using the President’s VIP status to jump to the head of the line. If he’s really into burning the midnight oil, maybe I could be talked into accompanying him to Mehanata, the Bulgarian bar.

Q: If you had one hour to live and you had to spend it doing something amazing in NY where would you go?

A: Maybe to the top of the Empire State Building—I’ve never been there before. I’d have to be allowed to go to the front of the line, though. Otherwise, I’d probably just go embrace an arch of the Brooklyn Bridge and sing “New York, New York,” and think about how I’ll soon be flung off it, in ash form.

Q: Finally, Tell us about the 11/11 book release party…

A: Oh, it’s going to be so awesome. A half dozen or so musicians from the Bushwick Book Club will be playing original songs inspired by the guidebook. Many contributors will be on hand for the mini-zine fair. If you’re the sporting type, you may wind up vying for exciting prizes in the live ZG2NYC $2 Pyramid onstage game show. It’s my Hoosier homeboy Kurt Vonnegut’s birthday, so there will be a short reading in his honor. We’ll also be reading a few of our favorite listings. And it’s the Day that Most Resembles Corduroy, so please dress appropriately. Full disclosure: food and drinks aren’t free, but they are cheap, and all purchases will help Housing Works Bookstore Café in their fight to end homelessness and AIDS. Speaking of money, bring some, so you can guidebook up—make things easy on yourself by securing a copy for everyone on your holiday shopping/obligation list!

EVENT INFO
The Zinester’s Guide to NYC Book Release Celebration, Zine Fair, and Reading
Thursday, November 11, 2010, 7–8:30 pm
Housing Works Bookstore Café
126 Crosby St (btwn Houston & Prince) NYC, 212-334-3324
FREE to the public!
Food and drink available for purchase
The book: https://microcosmpublishing.com/catalog/books/3038/
The author: http://ayunhalliday.com/

ZG2NYC Book Trailer Contest!

Calling all filmmakers, animators, and folks with a penchant for screwing around in iMovie: We invite you to celebrate the publication of our low budget, highly participatory, illustrated, anecdotal guidebook, The Zinester’s Guide to NYC, by creating an original online book trailer. The winner will be showered with analog prizes courtesy of Microcosm Publishing and Ayun Halliday, the ZG2NYC‘s primary contributor. Your video will also be given a permanent place of honor on Microcosm & Ayun’s websites.

The ZG2NYC is for folks who crave participation, the offbeat, and a dirt cheap deal! They’re creative, just like you! They ride bikes, love a parade, and dress funny on purpose.

Alt text

You have until December 15 to upload your video to Vimeo and send the link to ayun@ayunhalliday.com (please cc joe@microcosmpublishing.com). Live action, animation, puppets, a slideshow – anything goes. NYC’s awesome and beloved Hungry March Band has graciously given us permission to offer their song, “Jupanese JuJu” as a soundtrack – or write your own.

You can order a copy of the book here, or from any number of online vendors, or ask your favorite indie bookseller to lay one in for you – they will be available November 15.

A few parameters
The following phrases need to be prominently displayed. The timing is up to you, unless otherwise noted:
The Zinester’s Guide to NYC by Ayun Halliday
The last wholly analog guidebook to NYC

“If I could still walk the streets of New York among my People, I would use this truly funny and truly affordable guidebook. It kicks ass.” – Stephen Colbert

Support indie booksellers by ordering the ZG2NYC from them!
Final page should be a card that says:
© 2010
www.MicrocosmPublishing.com
www.AyunHalliday.com

for those using “Jupanese JuJu”:
“Jupanese Ju Ju” by Yokoyama, Candler & Fairey
Performed by Hungry March Band
www.hungrymarchband.com

You must have the rights to all photos and video clips used in your video. If you’re not NYC based, try searching photo sites for NYC-specific photos with a Creative Commons license.

There’s more info about the book:
https://microcosmpublishing.com/catalog/books/3038/
& here:
http://ayunhalliday.com/

You can download the book cover, and a few illustrations here (scroll down):
https://microcosmpublishing.com/press

We can fix you up with more if you want -email your request to ayun@ayunhalliday.com
Download an mp3 of Jupanese JuJu here:
www.microcosmpublishing.com/uploads/jupanesejuju.mp3

Please help us spread the word by forwarding this to your friends, posting it to your blogs, and just generally smearing it all over the Internet.
ZG2NYC4-evah!