Not much shakin’   Leave a comment

Sadly, I’ve been to more Barnes and Noble stores the past few
months than indie shops, and not getting into NYC much of late,
and lacking tons of cash to blow on rare books also has attenuated
my indie bookstore excursions and succumbing to buying things
online more often than not. It’s nice to see that Barnes is still
stocking new fantasy SF and horror titles, but not much in the
way of back-titles or deep back titles any longer, and they still
have music magazines but not nearly as much as they once
did. The UK magazines like UNCUT and Mojo are a few of the
only good UK media and music mags worth buying any longer. Most of the
American ones are not very good these days, sadly. And there’s
almost no Fantasy or SF mag. action at B&N, they don’t even
stock LOCUS which is a great crime and shame. At least,
not the Barnes and Nobles near me. Borders Books did,
when they were still going. Cannot even find Video Watchdog
any longer, although perhaps it’s only going out subscription
and as an e-zine these days? I have no idea.
I even finally acquired a copy of Donald R. Burleson’s seminal
1984 Greenwood Press study on H. P. Lovecraft from none other than Larry McMurtry’s fine bookstore in Texas (online) for a very reasonable price last
year, a book I’d meant to buy decades ago but couldn’t afford
such an academic tome at the time. That’s what it’s come to.
Got a mint fine beautiful copy from him, too. His bookstore
is Booked Up (, I heartily recommend
shopping with his fine store online or off, if you ever get to the
fabled Archer City, Texas, I should think that Mr. McMurtry
requires no introduction, otherwise! I also got a copy of Burleson’s
Disturbing the Universe on HPL Deconstructed from a separate
online source quite reasonably not long ago. It’s ok to use Amazon
and ABE as long as you go with some reputable and deserving
book dealers and indie shops, I would say, also Goodwill shops
seem to offer some amazing deals online nowadays. As long
as it’s going to the right sources, hey, online is fine. It still won’t
replace real bookstores though, of course. I also heard that
Borderlands Books in San Francisco (never been there or the store,
but do hope to someday soon) was in grave danger of closing
the past two years or under, but they appear to have run enough
of a save the shop appeal that they have raised the funds to keep
Borderlands going indefinitely! Great, guys. I only wish I had
thousands of $ to send you for books and to help the cause.
But I hear Borderlands is an amazing shop, also featuring a cafe,
and tons of author signings and events all the time. I’m envious.
I did make two trips the past two months, out to Suffolk County, L.I. to West Babylon’s fine indie music shop Looney Tunes, which does stock a good wall of rock and music books, but needs to stock more zines and things
than they do now. One trip was to catch an in-store performance of our friend
Jesse Malin on the release of his fine new CD New York Before The War,
in May, at which he did a two-main acoustic performance of select
songs from the new album, other older tunes, and one Big Star song.
This was a stupendous event, got a signed CD by Jesse and his
guitarist Derek Cruz, and the show was fantastic as always.
I went out to Looney Tunes again a few weekend ago, and
bought a bunch of items, including a fantastic Albert King’s
double CD Best Of compiliaton from Stax, I already own the
late great B. B. King’s King of the Blues box set, so I’m covered
with B. B. that’s for sure. LooneyTunes also is the place to go
on L.I. for rare and new vinyl, but the prices on much of the new
stuff is a bit, er, exorbitant. But LooneyTunes remains one
of the finest indie music shops on Long Island or in the entire
tri-state area, though many Brooklyn shops like Rough Trade
or Academy Annex probably have them beat by a few miles,
if truth be told, but we meed more shops like LT on L.I.! They’re
worth the road trip out there. I also ate at the fabulous South
Bay diner on Sunrise Highway one of these trips, a great diner
in the middle of kind of a wasteland area, and it featured
a beautiful young maiden on the cash register which also
helped assuage the wasteland-esque nature of Suffolk Long
Island. It’s time to go back for more coffee soon.
I recently signed an online petition to try to help save the Forest Hills, Queens Barnes and Noble from extinction over the landlord wanting
to raise the rent astronomically high there by next year: I know
it’s not an indie shop but I used to shop a lot at that Barnes
and Noble when I was living in Queens and Brooklyn years ago,
and I have a soft spot for it, even though we still have larger
B&N stores out here still on L.I. They also held an event
last Sunday 5/31/15 which I didn’t hear about early enough
to attend, at the store to try to raise awareness of it’s possible
closure, including authors and readings and buy-ins, etc.
Wish I could’ve attended but alas, I could not. I do hope
they find a way to save the Barnes and Nobles, and also,
I hear P.S. Books in DUMBO Brooklyn is also now in danger
of closing soon due to high rents and taxes, and I liked that
shop when I went a few times the past few years, so let’s
hope P.S. finds either a way to stay open, a new home,
or both.
Meanwhile i notice Barnes and Noble in Park Slope and
the Court Street shop in Bklyn Heights are both apparently
doing well and going strong, presumably due to the wealthy
nature of the only people who can really afford to live in those
tony neighborhoods these days. I recall when I lived in
the area, Montague Street and Court St. even had some
good indie comics, music and guitar shops and things but
I fear most of those if not all, are now long gone or moved
to Greenpoint, Billyburg or Bushwick, although the Hts.
still has Court Books and a few other things to recommend it.
I haven’t really been over to that area in a while, and I was
in DUMBO and P.S. Books briefly this past December, but
I had no time to shop, alas, so was only in the nabe for
a few hours and it was bloody cold that day as well.
I did venture two summers ago up to the venerable
Book Barn in Niantic, CT, which was a load of fun but
elicited not much in the way of true rare/signed/antiquarian SF
Horror or Fantasy titles, but some cheap general genre stuff,
and last summer I was briefly in Providence, RI and
finally made it to Cellar Stories in downtown Providence,
a great and fine shop, I bought a few choice books,
sold a few things, and they had Necronomicon Press
new and OOP titles at the register, Arkham House books,
and an excellent Horror SF and Fantasy section(s),
as well as some great film and entertainment/music and
poetry rare and OOP books and cheap, mainly as well.
If you get to Providence anytime soon, go check out Cellar Stories,
this is how the bookstores in Providence used to be,
as well as the late great Merlin’s Closet, although
that shop was so fabulous nothing much could touch
it in its day, I only wish I could go back in the time
machine for Merlin’s Closet, which helped put me
in touch with the Lovecraft Mafia (haha) and
I only got to shop at once or twice, but was key in
my getting involved with the whole horror, Lovecraft
and pulp fiction field in the early 1980s.
Otherwise, watching a ton of films, old and new.
Mad Max: Fury Road was JUST GODAWFUL. I shall rant
about that another time. Also finally watched Rich
Linklater’s A Scanner Darkly, which I thought was
a fine version of Philip K. Dick’s classic paranoid
novel, much better than Minority Report or
Total Recall, by far, and the most faithful Dick
adaptation I believe I’ve yet seen.

Visit to a horrible bookstore on Long Island (sadly)   2 comments

Sorry everyone (all three readers of this blog)

that I haven’t posted in months, been preoccupied with other things and not that up to writing much of late.

However, I visited this awful bookstore recently in Bellmore, Long Island, NY and wanted to warn

everyone and anyone to stay far away from it!  It’s horrible and the owner is an obnoxious troll.

A nasty man that nobody should ever do any business with.  Here is my review of the place,

copied from a recent Yelp review that I’d posted about the shop, Booklovers Paradise, which

turned to be more like Book Nazi Purgatory.  I found it sad that with so few actual bookstores

left on L.I. or even in the tri-state area, we have to put up with a promising indie shop ruined

by it being run by a nasty, obnoxious cretin!    Guy wanted $700 for a few issues of the old

Crypt of Cthulhu magazine.  Ridiculous!  He’s insane.

In any case, I’ll try to come back on soon and post some other recent news including some

musical events.   Back in May I went over to Williamsburg Brooklyn to see a film about Nick

Drake A Skin Too Few, and Joe Boyd was there in person presenting the film and doing Q/A,

showing music clips afterwards in the bar, and signing books and CDs and other things.

I managed to have Joe autograph my copies of R.E.M.’s deluxe Fables of the Reconstruction

album, as well as my Nick Drake Fruit Tree box set and the Sandy Denny box set that Joe

had produced years ago, Who Knows Where Time Goes?.   Also got a copy of Joe’s book

White Bicycles: Making Music in the 1960s and he autographed that as well.  I’ll come back

later on and post more about this and other recent events.  I also visited BookThugNation

on that trip around the corner from Metropolitan Avenue and Nitehawk Cinema,

I spotted not that much that turned me on this visit but they did have a copy of Arthur

Machen’s The Terror (1960s hardcover reprint edition by Knopf or something) for

maybe $35 but I thought it was maybe a tad high for that edition, so didn’t buy it,

plus I own most of the other Machen books in various editions including S.T. Joshi’s

definitive Chaosium editions, so didn’t really need an older copy.  But BookThugNation

still seems to be a great shop and I do hope to return again soon and see what else

is there.  Otherwise the fantasy section this time around wasn’t all that fantastic,

mainly very prosaic type selections and not much Lovecraft to be found this time around.

Anyway, without further ado, here’s my excoriation of this terrible bookshop in

Bellmore!  I do hope nobody shops there and I wouldn’t step foot in the place for any reason,

any day of the week, ever.


Booklovers Paradise

Categories: Comic BooksBookstores  [Edit]

2972 Merrick Rd Ste A
Bellmore, NY 11710

3 reviews in English

  • Review from Scott B.

    Photo of Scott B.
    • 4friends
    • 90reviews

    Port Washington, NY


    Where do I even begin? First of all, make no mistake, the two bad reviews below
    are spot-on: do NOT patronize this kook’s absurd excuse for a bookstore.  Secondly,
    in my case, you must keep in mind that I’ve A. been a serious book collector since
    around 1981, when I first got seriously into author H. P. Lovecraft and Fantasy/Horror
    fiction and SF fiction and nonfiction/criticism and B. I’ve also been an established,
    known author and critic in those fields both pro. and non-pro. since almost that long.
    I know the rare and SF/Horror/Fantasy book markets in and out. I know the field backwards and forwards, I know book values backwards and forwards, and I know the publishers, authors, editors, and everything else in the field backwards and forwards.

    First of all the store is indeed a mess, with crap piled high to the rafters and junk
    and books and other things blocking some of the aisles making it a real feat to
    try to browse the place, but ok, sometimes that’s fun.  It’s not organized very well
    but there’s maybe some method to the madness here.  The ONLY book I saw
    here, the 1989 Collected Stories of Richard Matheson (yeah, he’s a good writer
    but OVERRATED and he’s no Lord Dunsany or Arthur Machen or even HPL!)
    the signed, deluxe, slipcased edition this guy wanted $150 for: later research
    revealed that this edition goes for as high as $500 on ABE Books, but we all
    know now that most of the dealers on there are full of s–t and are highballing
    prices these days to the skies and there’s no way to know, sometimes, what
    the real general range value of a book is anymore, and there are no price
    guides worth a damn in the field to guide you.  So it’s easy to get ripped off.
    However, in this one case, this kook’s store seemed at least semi-reasonable
    with this one title.  But, who is blowing $150 for a Richard Matheson signed
    ltd. edition in this day and age on L.I.? Nobody, that’s who.  And I’m a Matheson
    fan.  There are cheaper editions of his collected works that one could collect
    unless one MUST own the signed 1989 ltd. edition, ok?

    But otherwise, this guy had two other offerings that made me want to either laugh
    in his face, or cry.  One was a 1977 set of books ghostwritten by Horror
    author Ramsey Campbell (as Carl Dreadstone), who I’ve met at least four times since the late 1980s and own countless signed editions of his: granted this set of his
    ghostwritten Universal Horror film “novelizations” is a bit rare but you can find
    the individual paperbacks easily online cheaply, but this character at this shop
    wanted something like $200 for the slipcased paperbacks, and no, it wasn’t
    autographed by Ramsey.  Overpriced, even though a tad rare? Yep.  Also,
    he had a bag full of LATER (not early!) issues of the magazine Crypt of
    Cthulhu which I even wrote for as a young high school lad and I’m friends with
    Robert M. Price who published the magazine, for years.  I asked this guy
    what he wanted for the 26 issues and he quoted us $700 the set. This is just outrageous.  The very early issues (#1-15 or so) of Crypt are maybe worth a bit more these days but the later ones are simply NOT worth as much. They are easily obtained cheaply on Amazon or Ebay for modest prices. At this point I was really getting disgusted.

    But the final and most important reason not to patronize this dreadful shop
    is that the owner is utterly and totally obnoxious beyond all belief.  I made
    the grave error, apparently, of making some remark as we walked in here
    about not having megabucks these days to collect as once I did, or something,
    which apparently gave this cretin license to basically ignore me, and make
    later untoward and nasty comments such as “I don’t know if I have any other
    items you might like since I’m reluctant to show them to you since you
    cannot meet my prices,” or, “young man come back when you have a job
    and can spend the money and have your mother buy you books” (my mom
    happened to be with me when we visited this retarded shop!).

    First of all, this assclown had no idea what money I might or might not have, and
    had no business asking what job I might have, or assume (as he clearly did)
    that I DIDN’T have a job or money enough to meet his absurdly inflated
    book prices!  Why anybody would EVER give this guy ANY money for
    anything at all in this shop I do not know.  All I know is I bought NOTHING
    and will NEVER, EVER return or buy a single thing at this abortion of a book
    shop.  And it’s sad since if the place was taken over by an actual human
    being and organized and repriced properly and catalogued properly, it could
    possibly be the best remaining indie bookstore on L.I. (and we basically have
    almost zero left anyway), but as it is, it is a nightmare on wheels.

    My advice?  AVOID AT ALL COSTS.  If you want something like Richard
    Matheson’s Collected Stories, go online and check some specialist
    dealers like Other Worlds in R.I., Ebay, ANYTHING but this obnoxious man’s
    horrible tourist trap.

    Was this review …?



Finally posting again!   Leave a comment

I don’t know if anybody will even be reading this at this point,

or if they were at all previously, but it’s been a hideous last

month or more here in L.I., N.Y. and environs, no reason

to go into why since everybody knows about Hurricane Sandy

and all that, and what’s going on here.

My place didn’t get flooded but we all lost power

for days on end and such, and boy did it suck.

LIPA dropped the ball completely.  Their COO resigned.

Much of the south shore of Long Island

and NYC etc. are totally decimated.   The north shore of L.I.

doesn’t look too bad, we had tons of power outages and

trees and lines down but not too much flooding or storm

surge damage, thank goodness.   I managed, however,

to take a drive out to Huntington, L.I. the other day

and I also visited the once-indispensable

The Book Revue again, but I’m sad

to report that I think that shop has outlived its usefulness,

and is picked over totally and is not seemingly adding much

new used or new stock to speak of, which is highly

disturbing.   This might be the last time I go out there

for a long, long time, sad to say.  I hardly found anything

worth buying this trip.  This was a rather disappointing

and depressing trip this time around, all told.

I did, however, manage to see the great Steve Forbert and

Karla Bonoff (didn’t really know her beforehand but

she’s a very accomplished songwriter/singer who

did that song “Personally” years ago which I did know but

she didn’t write that one!) live at the local Landmark Main

St. Jeanne Rimsky Theatre in Port Washington L.I. this past Friday night:

it’s a great venue but the sound was extraordinarily uneven tonight,

Steve Forbert’s vocals and guitar needed to be cranked

wayyyy up volume-wise and nobody ever corrected it,

and his voice was a bit out and rough, and I’ve seen him do much

finer shows the past few years in NYC, but overall the

entire show was solid enough, and Karla Bonoff’s music

was a pleasant surprise even though it’s not my usual

cup of tea of which Forbert’s is much more mine.  We

managed to grab some of his CDs during intermission

and wend our way through the chaos and speak to

Steve again briefly and get some CDs signed, including

my cherished new copy of the Alive On Arrival (his debut

LP from 1979 with “Going Down To Laurel” and “It Isn’t

Gonna Be That Way” on it) deluxe 2-disc reissue, which is fantastic.

Still haven’t made it again to the newer bookstores

in Brooklyn and DUMBO, and also, I’m now hearing

reports that many businesses in that area are flooded out

and/or destroyed, so who knows what’s going on, or

when anybody will be able to get over there and

when some of those shops will re-open for business.

For one, I hear PowerhouseArena the art bookstore

and art space is flooded out and they lost all their

stock, including holiday stock, so that’s one store

in DUMBO that is going to take some time to

get back in the game.    I tried to call the newer

Science Fiction bookshop over there Singularity and Co.

but thus far I haven’t heard from them about their

status, or if they sustained storm damage.

Basically I lost three weeks of potential NYC

bookhunting and other stuff to the storm and

other complications and none too pleased about it.

I was also hoping to take a trip to Philadelphia

to do some book and music store hunting there,

which I’m afraid will have to wait for better weather/times

before I can do that.   I did also manage to drive

out to Newton, New Jersey a few weeks ago before

the storm hit and see The Smithereens once again

deliver a rousing/cracking good show at The Newton

Theater there.  A scarily rural and downhome section

of New Jersey but the locals were unfailingly nice,

the show was great, had a front row seat, and

also met the band again afterwards and got

some more CDs signed once again.  The weather

that day was rain all the way from the G.W. Bridge

and it was a long, long trek to and from, but

at least the show and the unwavering congeniality of

the band made it all worthwhile.  Sadly,

Newton NJ does not boast a single book or record

shop.   This is a sad situation.  Not even a single

Starbucks to be found, either, but maybe that’s

actually a positive?   Not to my mind, but I’d

still rather have found a decent book or record

store and found zero.   The Newton Theater

is the renovated former main town movie theater

and is now a privately run music venue as of

2011, seats about 800 people max. a glorious

venue and my front row left seat was absolutely

amazing.   As Dennis Diken of the band commented

mid-way through the show, “this was a movie theater right?

I think I saw Jaws II here….”
























































Posted November 18, 2012 by deathofthebookstoreandweirdfictionetc in Uncategorized

And this new Brooklyn shop noted   Leave a comment

Was once again reading up today on the Bushwick neighborhood

(Bushwick proper, as opposed to E. Williamsburg where I found

myself last weekend) in Brooklyn today via the web site Bushwick Daily which is

a fairly comprehensive guide to the area, and read this

article on another new bookstore Molasses Books which

just opened in late July.  Was also researching some of the

vittles in the area and they need some investigating as well!

Looks like some great cafes and Mexican restaurants

there, among other things.  Anyway, the new bookstore’s

basic info. is as follows: Molasses Books (770 Hart St) is

open daily from 8am to 8pm (except Mondays when they close at noon).

Looks like a small, humble and unassuming shop to

begin with, but it clearly has great potential.  This is another

shop I’m definitely hoping to check into soon.  Let’s

hope Matthew’s shop thrives and grows.  I’m looking

forward to a Bushwick that’s full of cool interesting

stuff like this with less of the effete “attitude” that plagues

Williamsburg and Greenpoint, at least, sometimes.

The article on the shop is here:

Seems like we’ve actually got some growth in the bookstore

world/market to report, at least in Brooklyn NYC, meanwhile

out here on L.I. the bookstores have mostly all but

disappeared, if anything.   I also thought it was a refreshing

thing to see an actual RPG gaming shop (Twenty Sided Store)

thriving in NYC (or anywhere) in Williamsburg, since

I think this seems to prove that that hobby is still somehow

growing, even with competition from computer gaming

and Web gaming and all that nonsense.  I couldn’t believe

that traditional RPG and “paper and pencil” and board

games are still going strong, but they are still selling

and being played as much as ever, at least if that

particular shop is any indication.  Similarly I feel

the growing market and demand for vinyl records

and turntables and retro. analog equipment etc.

is also a good thing, since it proves that even

if such items become a specialty at least there

will still be a supply and demand for such things

in the future and digital won’t completely

overrun the analog world!  And that goes for

books, music, games, or what have you. Or so

I fervently hope.

There’s also this new shop I just read about

as I was finishing this post today, it recently

opened up near  DUMBO/Vinegar Hill that

looks very promising indeed, focusing apparently

on our field of SF/Fantasy books and also publishing obscure and

neglected SF titles:–this new latest Brooklyn N.Y. shop is called

Singularity and Co. Hell, I used to live right

in this neighborhood once upon a time, and this

shop definitely sounds like I need to go check it out ASAP,

given its primary focus:


Meanwhile, as for my other digital or analog hobbies,

I upgraded my audio “rig” myself

this past week, adding a Fiio headphone amplifier

the E11-Kilimanjaro to my iPod Classic and Klipsch

ImageOne headphones, figuring if most of my listening is

going “digital” these days, I might as well

get the best sound out of my rig as possible,

and so far the Fiio amp is making a world of

difference in the sound and boost on the iPod

and only makes those Klipsch ‘phones sound

that much greater, and they already sound

really great on their own.   The Fiio E11 is also

small and portable and plus it has a replaceable

recharge battery unlike a lot of those devices,

so it’s not a throwaway item and it’s all USB

powered which is also really awesome.

I’m likin’ it! a lot!     I’m also glad it didn’t

cost $500 unlike some of those amps.

Rare books and audio are two areas where

I get pretty exacting in terms of quality

and being discriminating, although I’m not sure

I would describe myself as a total audiophile,

since for that it takes a fortune to spend anyway.

Audio is also pretty subjective: one person can

prefer Beats, Bowers & Wilkins, or Klipsch

or Shure headphones but it depends on what

sounds best to YOU not the cost of the cans.

Same with most audio equipment.   But I maintain

if you compare any of the above to the cheapest

pair of earbuds at Best Buy you WILL detect

a vast difference, depending on what you’re

playing them through.   And that’s enough of

that for this week!

Posted September 3, 2012 by deathofthebookstoreandweirdfictionetc in Uncategorized

New Brooklyn shop may bear investigation   Leave a comment

During the Peter Murphy concert/excursion/day last Sunday,

I was tipped off by the gracious Lauren, one of the owners

of the Twenty Sided Store, the RPG/strategy gaming

folks to a new bookshop opening or just recently opened up

in Bushwick, Brooklyn, Human Relations Books, located

at 1067 Flushing Avenue, Brooklyn, N.Y., open 12-7 daily,

which is a few blocks south of Meserole and Grand St. where I was

seeing the show last week, and on Flushing Ave. which is

more or less also a “main” thoroughfare similar to

Grand St. or Metropolitan Avenue.  Sounds quite promising

from their web site although the site itself is bare bones

for now, can’t search their stock yet.  The web link is   Apparently this is a joint

venture with some of the folks from Williamsburg’s

quite excellent BookThugNation shop, which

I’d visited a couple of times the past

two years.  I don’t know if HumanRelations just

opened recently or in 2011 or what, but I have a feeling

it might be a place to go check out and I’m hoping

to do so over the next couple of months, as much

as Brooklyn can sometimes exasperate me!

For some reason I feel like Bushwick has more

character almost and less ‘tude than Williamsburg

or Greenpoint proper, and it’s obviously a neighborhood

on the verge of total rehabilitation and renovation,

at the very least.  I hope Human Relations turns out

to be a jewel in the crown, but there’s only one way

to find out, which is go over there and scope it the heck out.

I hope to do so by the end of September if not sooner.

That might also might be in or around the David J

(yes, the man from Bauhaus and Love and Rockets etc.!)

concert I just heard is happening on Tuesday September 25th

at The Delancey near the Williamsburg Bridge entrance

in Manhattan (at the corner of Rivington St.), a venue I’ve heard great

things about but haven’t had a chance to go investigate

as yet.  It looks VERY intimate indeed with

the music downstairs, main bar street level and a gorgeous

roof deck with view up top.  I hear tickets for David J are only $10 so no

excuses for that one, I’m definitely planning on

attending, plus David doesn’t exactly tour very

often, so catch him while you can and I saw him

live solo “in cabaret” as it were back around

1999 or so in NYC at another W. Village venue

and it was a fantastic show.  So that’s something

else to get frothing at the mouth about for

September.  I’m not usually a huge weekday night

concert fan, but hell, for David J I’ll try to make an

exception.  I tend to try to combine these

book/music NYC excursions since otherwise

it’s a royal pain in the arse to keep schlepping

it into NYC every single cultural “mission” I plan

to carry out and driving in from the cultural

wasteland that is Long Island as I currently

have no choice but to do.   Anyway David J’s

web site has links to buy tickets and

to the Delancey and various other venues

on his current tour.

Cheers to all you book lovers and music fanatics and fellow

wackos out there,


Posted September 2, 2012 by deathofthebookstoreandweirdfictionetc in Uncategorized

Brooklyn book jaunt and Peter Murphy live The Well 8/26 Sunday   2 comments

I haven’t posted anything in weeks ’cause been fairly busy,

and I also finally got a chance last Sunday to take a drive

to DUMBO Brooklyn N.Y. to check out P.S. Books for myself,

one of the newer shops in Brooklyn.  DUMBO is fairly

annoying and trendy and touristy these days, like TriBeCa

or SoHo in Manhattan but worse, but P.S. Books was a nice

shop, if a little bit overpriced on certain things, including

a couple of rare Algernon Blackwood and Arthur Machen

books that the shop was asking far too much for, such

as Machen’s The Glorious Mystery for $125 and

some other Blackwood book in a locked glass case

and they were asking $250 or something like that for

a book you can get online for at least half that price,

if not less (in fact, in both instances).  But I did find

a signed copy of the 1st edition of Peter Straub’s Ghost Story

hardcover for $30 so that was a find that made the

whole trip just about worthwhile. Otherwise,

DUMBO has just as much elitist attitude as the rest

of Williamsburg and E. Wmburg and Greenpoint.

I also tried to eat lunch from a ghastly awful joint

called Archway Cafe which I ended up slamming

later on a review on Yelp, and boy did it deserve

getting slammed!  A TERRIBLE joint serving

inedible food and nasty service and ‘tude.

Avoid at ALL COSTS.

And then I had to drive into Brooklyn again

this past Sunday for the Peter Murphy concert

8/26 at new venue The Well on Meserole Street,

which was in East Williamsburg, Brooklyn, near Bushwick,

a fairly terrible area barren, desolate, but

plenty of parking at least.  I was not in a good mood

and I was hoping it was an indoor show but it was

an outdoor weird new venue with port o johns,

the barest bones bar and facilities which basically

for some reason infuriated me no end. I ended up

clearing out for four hours and coming back to the

place later after doing some other exploring

in Williamsburg proper, as I was far too early in

any case and not willing to sit through 3 crap

opening acts waiting for Peter to take the stage

which was at 8 p.m. thank goodness.

I also discovered a neat new roleplaying RPG/board gaming

shop over on Grand St. near Havemeyer Street and the BQE

a bit south of Metropolitan Avenue by sheer accident,

called the Twenty Sided Store, I’m not a gamer anymore

although I once indeed was big into all that stuff,

especially D&D and Lovecraftian gaming of various

sorts, and they have all that stuff there.  Here’s the

web site link if anybody is in the area and wants

to check them out, a nice bunch of folks and

I was able to chill there and vent my frustrations

to the nice folks (poor folks!) inside when I

walked in.  I bought a set of Steve Jackson Games

Cthulhu gaming dice(!) just for laughs,

hoping maybe it’ll inspire me to game again,

although since I don’t live in Brooklyn

and don’t know anybody who games this

will probably never happen.

The Peter Murphy concert was fantastic and a far

cry from a terrible show I had to suffer through

of his last year in Huntington, Long Island,

at a new venue The Paramount where there were almost no audience,

no decent sound, and no nothing and it sucked and

was utterly depressing.  I’ve seen Peter play a ton

of times so it’s rare that I’ve witnessed an off night

but last year was the fault of the venue totally and

entirely.   i don’t have time to review this show but

the Well was annoying but the show was great and

Peter and his new(ish) band were in fine form.

There was an after show VIP meet-and-greet being

offered for $80 but sorry Peter I don’t have the $

and I was extraordinarily pissed off because I had

items I would’ve liked to get autographed, and

also other hardcore fans  there told me the same

thing, that they did NOT purchase one and had

no plans to do so.  All of which is sad and depressing

in my humble opinion, i would’ve loved to go

“backstage” and do the VIP meet and greet

one of my heroes of all time thing, but

I just balked at the cost–actually, ok, I DID have the cash

and had it on me, but it was the principle of the thing in my

opinion.  Do these artists need the extra cash

bled out of their fans THAT badly!?  If so

that’s pretty pathetic.  It used to be

after a show the artists would hang out a bit

and sign things and talk to their fans,

or at the tour bus outside, or whatever,

stage door stuff, but then again if it was some

huge act at the Garden you’d need a backstage

pass to meet them anyway, but this wasn’t

that type of show, first and last of all.

Ultimately I sat it out and went home, but not

after driving  to get a fast bite at the always

reliable Oasis Falafel joint at N. 7th Street

in Williamsburg on Bedford Avenue (after finding out that

nothing decent in Greenpoint is open late

on Sunday which also sucked bigtime) and

almost feeling like knifing some street

derelict asshole who lumbered past  my car’s windshield

just as I was attempting to eat dinner,

and felt like goofily waving at me or gesturing/harassing me

but I saw this asshole coming and

made sure he knew I was not playing games

with him.  Prob. some homeless guy I dunno

but he was a real jerk and I was ready to

rumble for sure.   You don’t do that to me,

sunshine.   He’s seriously lucky I didn’t run him right down,

that’s about how angry I was by that point of the evening.

And everybody else in the falafel joint I went

into had a typical I’m such a hipster arse wanker,

I’m so snobby and better than you attitude it

wasn’t funny, like take a picture it lasts longer

you stupid pathetic staring m—-kers.    I pretty

much can’t stand Williamsburg the more I think about it.

It has some attractions but you can cut the snobby

elitist “ambience” with a knife every single time

you go there, so thus I don’t go there too often,

and DUMBO is kind of a fun area but it’s becoming

just as snobby and touristy if not worse,

so I don’t know how much I can take of that area

now, either.  I was glad to see Peter Murphy do a great

show but that was about all I was glad

about Sunday.   P.S. Books to sum up

from the previous Sunday was cool,

I’d recommend the shop wholeheartedly

but again some items are very overpriced

as near as I can tell, so be warned,

but they do have some good deals there

if you really search the place down.

But at least P.S. Books is a sign that

there are some new shops opening

in NYC so maybe the death of the bookstore

is not upon us totally yet.

Brooklyn bookstores research   2 comments

Just a fast post for today: been doing a ton of research today

on Brooklyn, N.Y. bookstores and even though a couple of good

indie shops have closed the past few years, there are apparently

still quite a few notable shops strewn around the borough,

including the apparently revered Free Bird Books in Carroll Gardens

(just north of Red Hook), The Community Bookstore in Park Slope

on 7th Ave., Unnameable Books in Ft. Greene, Babbo’s Books

at Prospect Park West or thereabouts, Court Books in Brooklyn

Heights, although the venerated Atlantic Books in Cobble Hill

apparently either closed recently, or is about to do so.

I’ll just post a quick Yelp page link to help folks get a bearing

on what shops are still extant in Brooklyn, and reviews

are often helpful on Yelp anyway.  I’ve also heard good

things about Greenlight Books over near BAM in

Prospect heights or Ft. Greene, but haven’t been there yet.

This is the trouble with living on L.I., you rarely get to

these places unless you work in the area, or live there,

and I don’t have the time or cash to hit up every one

of these shops often, and I’m also not certain if any

of these shops carry or specialize in Horror, Fantasy,

or SF books, but I’m trying to find out and contact

a few of them now.  I may also go visit this newer

shop PS Books, located up in the Dumbo area

near the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges,

as I’ve heard good things about this one,

and it opened its doors in 2006, which I believe

is a good sign, considering that means NYC

isn’t totally a dead zone for new indie book

and music shops as much I’d feared, and from

what I’ve read, their shop appears to be

thriving thus far.

I’m also hearing about some new book and

record shops (in some cases that actually

sell vinyl and such as well in large quantities)

in the Greenpoint and Bushwick, Brooklyn

areas, so that development is also, I’m sure,

a welcome change from recent trends and

maybe a sign that there might be some

hope for the growth of the indie shop

in the near future, at least as far as

hipster/affluent Brooklyn is concerned,

I can tell you one thing, that there’s nothing

like this happening out on Long Island,

which I hate to say is truly becoming a

dreadful vacuum/wasteland/cultural

Dead Zone of epic and depressing

proportions.  It’s nice that we have

Barnes and Noble but it just doesn’t

cut it for me as a real rare and used

book collector, sorry.  Shame on you

you redneck L.I. jerks you have no

brains or culture or anything worth

a damn.  Go to Roosevelt Field

to buy your Armani sweatpants

and fall into a Black Hole, please!!


Long Island = cultural Hell!!   Trust me

on that one, folks.  And, the Hamptons

don’t count, and they do NOT have any

good bookstores as far as I know, I’ve

tried to find some there and haven’t

found any yet worth a damn.  If there

are any out there I’d like to hear

about them, but I doubt there are,

and who the heck is going trek

all the way to East Hampton

just to buy books? Not I.