Saturday, August 29, 2009

Diary of a book tour

I've been Tweeting and Facebook-posting since the launch of Wrestling with Moses, but am now pausing here in Peru, Vermont to reflect on my experiences sharing this book thus far:
-- Tonight was Northshire Books in Manchester, Vermont, a very happening place, Howard Dean tomorrow night, hen Tracy Kidder and Richard Russo. Lots of New Yorkers with very good questions, including how we can possibly solve the gentrification dilemma. Today as well John Barber of the Toronto Globe and Mail weighed in with this piece:
-- Earlier this month I was in Toronto for media interviews and the Ramsay Breakfast forum at the University Club. The city is home to a great many Jane Jacobs fans; she moved there in 1968, in part to protect her sons from the Vietnam draft, and became a Canadian citizen. Her son, Jim Jacobs, was kind to meet with me and we talked for hours and walked around the city. He gave me a mason jar of some peach jam Jane had made, dated 2005, the year before she died.
-- Before that, the turnout at Politics and Prose in Washington DC was inspiring, lots of interest and people who care about cities and citybuilding. A number of Loeb Fellows attended, including DC city planner Harriet Tregoning and David Goldberg from SmartGrowth America. I dutifully took the Metro and walked a mile to the bookstore -- another wonderful independent institution.
-- The first talk was at Porter Square Books in Cambridge, and another good turnout for a Tuesday evening in August. That followed the launch party at Tory Row in Harvard Square July 30. That morning my old car overheated on Storrow Drve, and I figured it was the ghost of Jane Jacobs chiding me for using it too much (though I have low VMT). I traded it in for a 2010 Prius and I'm loving it.
The weeks ahead include New York, at Urban Center books, The Skyscraper Museum and the Tenement Museum; the University Club in Boston; Powell's Books in Portland, Ore., where we're screening the Lincoln Institute film "Portland: Quest for a Livable City," and after that a lunchtime talk hosted by SPUR in San Francisco.


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