26 July 2007

Harry Potter Release Party

Well, I'd say it's about time to talk about the Harry Potter book release in the city! Sorry it's taken me so long to write about this. I've been too busy with life and day to day stuff (like everything from my cat destroying my computer keyboard to driving to Quebec City to spend the night).

So, last Friday, Tim and I headed into town to visit Scholastic's "Harry Potter Place" in Soho. It was PACKED with people, so thank goodness it was outdoors. We got there around six-ish and waited in line to get in (they let in groups at a time so it wasn't a total mob scene). While we waited, we got some funky pictures with other HP fans who were probably more excited about the whole thing than us - at least more dressed up than us. There were, shall we say, "all kinds" at this party! We giggled at the little kid in front of us who kept shouting spells and waving his plastic wand... We laughed at teens who came all decked out in their goth garb... We smiled at mothers all face-painted and at grown men who were sporting their graduation gowns and home-made hats... It was a feast of eclectic and eccentric people. But we were all united in our love for all things Harry Potter.

I dressed for the occasion as well - I am sporting another home-made shirt made from the band Harry and the Potters. It's taken from a song of theirs called "Save Ginny." (It is totally their own design and I promise I would have purchased a shirt from them if I could have found a place selling them. Their online store just sells the music - which is great, BTW.) I did see other folks wearing the real shirt, which kinda made me feel bad... But I saw a look of jealousy from some of the original shirt wearers - I think they thought mine was cooler. Heh.

Anyways, "Harry Potter Place" was a cool and FREE event (except the cost of the train and dinner, of course). There was a giant 20-ft high moving Whomping Willow, the "Knight Bus" (which only Tim got to see - I kept missing stuff - too easily distracted, you know), the "Pensive" that held the first U.S. copies of the Scholastic printings of HP (signed by J.K. even), a HUGE "Muggle Board" where you could write messages to Harry, loads of magicians and fire eaters and whatnot, face-painting (with an insanely long line), wand-making (with another insanely long line), and a photo booth to take your picture in the book cover (previously posted). It was a lot of fun. If you want to see some funny pictures from the night, go here.

We planned on party hopping and hitting the Jim Dale party at the Union Square Barnes and Noble afterwards, but we desperately needed dinner. So, we crashed at a cute bistro place across the street from B&N and had some bizarre expensive salads. By the time we finished dinner it was around nine-ish, so when we tried to get over to the B&N, there was a massive line and four scared-looking police officers blocking the door, saying that there was no entrance because of fire capacities and whatever. So we decided to head home because I already had the new HP on CD (perks of being a librarian). Also, we needed to get home to get some rest before leaving the next morning to take a drive to Quebec (more on that later...).

But we had a great time. I just think that Harry Potter is such a cultural phenomenon and I'm thrilled that I got to experience the craze at it's peak. It's like the Beatles or something. Harry Potter has revolutionized how kids approach reading. Heck, HP even created a voracious reader out of my little brother (who formerly HATED to read anything that didn't have lots of pictures). Kids come into my library having read the individual HP books three or four times each - and those are thick books! I'm just truly thankful to be able to witness this fever for reading in a time when the world seems so rushed and flashy and TV-centric. It makes me realize that some values will never fade away and that is a good thing.


Ruth said...

How did you make the shirt? Did you silk screen it yourself? I want one. I'm glad you enjoyed the Harry Potter party. I still haven't read the book, so you better not give anything away.

Christie said...

Where oh where has my Suzy gone? I check back everyday waiting for a morsel. ;)

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