Posts Tagged ‘Books’

Some of my readers know all about my Magical Mystery Tours because they have been included on them.  However, for those of you who are thinking “Whoa there, is this about LSD or shroom tea”, the answer is no, nothing of the sort.  A Magical Mystery Tour is an adventure,  a trip to a place you never knew about and it could practically be in your back yard.  An MMT is guaranteed to be a surprise to those invited along and sure to please.

My first Magical Mystery Tour was to take my husband on a trip to Journal Square in Jersey City.  I told him to meet me at Macy’s on 34th St.  Then I led him down a side street and into a large building that housed (of all things) The Manhattan Mall. That was his first shock because he had never heard of this place sitting around the corner from Herald Square. It was merely a decoy trip – we went up an escalator, walked past some stores that you couldn’t imagine being there and then down another escalator to the first floor and down again!  The second escalator down brought us into a subway station.  I led him over to the PATH train section and we bought ticket to board a train to New Jersey.  At this point he was getting nervous;  after all, it was night time and I was taking him to New Jersey!  We got off the train at Journal Square and the station looked large and unfamiliar – not like the subway stations we were used to in Manhattan.  I led him out of the station, across a large open  space where all the stores were closed (it was a little off-putting) and then across a wide main street.  He still didn’t “see” where we were headed until we were almost on top of it.  There, in all its faded glory stood a Loew’s Movie Palace.  We paid a mere $6.00 each and entered in a world of glory days gone by.  I had never been in a movie palace before, they didn’t exist where I grew up.  It was magnificent even in its state of disheveled rehabilitation.  Peter marveled that this treasure still existed and that it was slowly and painstakingly being brought  back to its former glory.

Lowe's Jersey Movie Palace

Lowe’s Jersey Movie Palace

We repeated that trip a few times, bringing unsuspecting friends on their own MMT and relishing their surprise and joy at discovering this treasure.  Since then over the years I’ve taken Peter on other Magical Mystery Tours and we just returned home  from the latest;

Today we went to a secret bookshop in Manhattan!  And it was in our neighborhood and who knew?  Well actually I knew  about it because Gail, my own secret sourcer-er, sent me an article about a secret bookshop about a year ago.  She even suggested that it would make a great Magical Mystery Tour. A man was running a bookshop out of an apartment.  It was on the Upper East Side and not exactly legal.  It was his own apartment at one time, that is until the books began to overrun the place;  he had owned a book store down the street but lost the lease and moved his inventory into his home.  He also continued to indulge in one of his passions – buying books!  Eventually the apartment became a warehouse for his books and his continued purchases.

I did research and finally found out his name but not his address.  I looked up a couple of articles written about him but they  always omitted his name and whereabouts WHICH is exactly what I’m going to do!  I found a phone number and periodically called and left messages to no avail – I never got a return call.  I tracked down the author of one of the articles and she gave me his email address, so of course I wrote, but never got a reply.  A month or so ago, Gail found out that he was on FB and I should look up his page and “LIKE” it and maybe send him a message there.  I did and WOWIE – after a month I received a reply.  I was shocked and thrilled!  He gave me his hours, his address and his cell phone number!  Oh boy, I was in business now!



I made an appointment for this afternoon and marked our calendar with MMT so Peter would keep the afternoon free!  Well, walking over there and not knowing exactly what to expect was a little scary.  But I rang the bell with unmarked (yes) name and we were buzzed in.  This is what we saw!  We were warmly greeted by _______ and welcomed to his idiosyncratic bookshop.  Books, books, books and more books!  Books on shelves, books in bookcases, books piled on tables, books piled on the floor, books on top of books – it was a melange of mysteries, a passel of paperbacks, a bounty of biographies, and chock full of fiction!  A literary paradise, a candy store for bibliophiles. 

We spent over an hour just gazing at shelves and grazing through the titles.  We didn’t buy anything today but will certainly return, perhaps even to participate in one of his “salons”.  There’s no need for advertising, this place is strictly WOM.

I’m sure you’re intrigued and are dying to know where this secret place is but I have to tell you, my lips are sealed!



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It’s hard to imagine being a real Foodie,  lover of food and not owning several cookbooks.  That’s not to say that you need to actually make any of the recipes although that would be the expected thing to do, you can just leaf through the pages.  Sometimes I do that, it’s like window-shopping.  I think of it as grazing without actually eating, a behavior known to perpetual dieters who can visually satisfy themselves (I’m not really one of those).

Besides The Joy of Cooking (I’m not a fan), there literally thousands of cookbooks available in every Barnes & Noble and through Amazon.  That’s not to mention the great recipe sites such Allrecipes.com, MarthaStewart.com, the cooking magazines and the hundreds of niche blogs dedicated to cooking and eating.  I could easily recommend  a cookbook a day for the next 18 days but I’m not going to do that.

Today my Foodie gift of the day is a cookbook written by Mark Bittman of the New York Times.  It can be purchased at Amazon.com for $25.75.  The cookbook is 

How to Cook Everything (Completely Revised 10th Anniversary Edition) Hardcover

by Mark Bittman (Author)
How To Cook Everything

How To Cook Everything

Don’t be put off by the fact that the author is a New York Times staff writer.  Believe me, I’ve made several of his recipes that were featured in the Dining Section of the newspaper and we’re not talking gourmet ingredients and techniques.

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I‘m so excited for my friend, Murray!  His photographs are featured in a forthcoming book for children ages 2yr-6yr and those of us young at heart! The book is available as a pre-order now from Amazon.com

http://www.amazon.com/Frisky-Brisky-Hippity-Alexina-White/dp/0823424103/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1324253499&sr=1-1  or readily available at the end of February.

I am so fortunate to have him as a dear friend, family actually and that he graciously allows me to post his photos for my pleasure and yours.  Many of you have commented over the past couple of years on how much you enjoy his artistry and talent.  ME TOO!

Madison Square park, squirrels, Frisky Brisky Hippity HOp

Frisky Brisky Hippity Hop

Photo by Murray Head

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