Friday, June 23, 2006

Librarians descend on New Orleans, read, unpack, blog

Making Light: Notes from New Orleans 1 (Patrick Nielsen Hayden):
I’m in a high-rise hotel on Canal Street. I’ve been to New Orleans three times before, in 1988, 1993, and 1994. Things down here look largely as I remember them, that peculiarly New Orleanean blend of comfortable wear, piss-smelling grunginess, heart-stabbing beauty, and civic boosterism. There are some large buildings visibly out of commission, like the medium-rise Doubletree Hotel that lost most of its windows. Despite the presence of the American Library Association (which I’m here for) and another convention or two, the French Quarter and downtown seem oddly uncrowded. This could be because the city has half the population it used to. Or it could be because it’s hot and humid enough to strike strong men down in the street.

The T-shirts for sale in French Quarter tourist shops include some interesting new flavors in the mix. Along with the usual (I GOT BOURBON-FACED ON SHIT STREET) and the predictable (KATRINA GAVE ME A BLOW JOB I’LL NEVER FORGET), there’s a distinct streak of the overtly political. A whole subgenre is devoted to mocking a certain Federal agency: FEDERAL EMERGENCY MISMANAGEMENT ASSHOLES, or, somewhat inscrutably, FIND EVERY MEXICAN AVAILABLE. But what’s striking are the overtly anti-Iraq War shirts, which seem just as prevalent: MAKE LEVEES, NOT WAR. And, more directly: SCREW IRAQ, REBUILD HERE."
Paperback Girl: American Library Association Conference in New Orleans (Iris):
11 am--Starving in New Orleans.. during the final decent, the plane is silent as everyone cranes their necks over to see if you can tell half the city is destroyed.. My middle seat doesn't afford much of a view, but the girl next to me is a Folklore major studying for test on Proverbs.. I read over her shoulder the whole flight.. yeah I'm annoying like that. [...]

HOLY CRAP ITS HOT AND HUMID. Glad I brought lots of cotton and linen.

12 pm--Doubletree. Its kinda crummier than I thought it would be, (black hair in the sink!) but they gave me a warm cookie at check-in, so I will survive. Unpack my three dresses, three skirts, seven shirts.. for three and a half days. But I have a BIG Carry-on, so it was fine. My roommate will arrive at the hotel probably around 2 am. yay.

3:52 pm--I am now at the convention center, having registered. At 4pm I will go to a YALSA event. I am sitting in the CC lobby peeking into the exhibit hall where a GIANT Google sign is winking at me through a proped door. The CC is UGLY UGLY UGLY and HUGE.. even though half of it is still being renovated.

UPDATES: 6/26: More Paperback Girl notes here.
EDIT, 6/27: dumb title changed. However, Patrick Nielsen Hayden is not a librarian, he's a science fiction editor.


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