The Hang Fire Books Blog

The rantings of a bookdealer in Brooklyn, New York.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

I'm back

Alice and I just got back from a much needed vacation / friend visit in Lexington, Kentucky. We drove through 7 states in 14 hours (well I rode through 7 states while everyone else round-robined at the wheel) for four days of barbeque, camping and bourbon tippling.

Some trip highlights:

A roadside replica of Noah's Ark, somewhere in Maryland. Saw this out of the corner of my eye coming and going. It's just a skeleton of the back section with a sign that says "Noah's Ark Being Rebuilt Here". According to Google there are a few of these in the works (one in the Netherlands and one on Mt Ararat). I'm glad the great Northeast won't come up short. We don't want an Ark Gap when the hard rain falls.

Cornhole: A regional variant on the horseshoes/Bocce ball/Jarts variety of lawn sport where you toss bean bags at a slanted board, trying to make them stick or drop into the "cornhole". There are many schools of thought on proper stance and bag grip and we fought them out over a marathon tournament while developing serious farmer tans. We want to bring Cornhole to Brooklyn in a big way.

The Lexington Art League is currently running Wall-to-Wall: An Exhibition of Monumental Drawings. Spread out in an historic "castellated Gothic Revival villa", the show highlights the work of sixteen artists who test the boundaries of drawing. Some pieces are nearly invisible, drawn directly onto the walls in faint chalk, others invite the viewer to alter and rearrange the drawn elements. Though massive in scope these works are very approachable. The simple techniques give the viewer a way in, then the high level of detail invites the creation of a narrative. View a slideshow here. As an extra bonus, the house may be haunted.

Pop's Resale and Consignment: A massive record, clothing, video game and junk shop the likes of which you just can't find in NYC (because of the damned real estate prices). This past weekend was their 12th birthday and they had a big sale, live music and free BBQ. I spied a 60s era pinball machine, a 45 jukebox and an electronic dartboard all for less than $400 each. If I lived in Lexington, these things would be mine.

Favorite place names: Coon's Run (even with the apostrophe, I'm not sure this isn't an imperative statement); Nitro, a two-street town with great Slurpees and massive Springfield-style cooling stacks that feel WAY too close; Schartlesville (see our above enthusiasm for Cornhole).

All in all a great vacation.

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