Apparently it’s only 32C, according to the thermometer atop the Watchtower building by Brooklyn Bridge, but it feels like 45. Watersellers are EVERYWHERE.
Met Howard. Went in knowing it wouldn’t be anything like what I expected and wasn’t disappointed. Very nice guy, however, and we had a good time talking over lunch.
Things have picked up in the last few months, thank God. E-books are going to save us and print is dying out. Electronic is 6% of the market. Next year it’ll be 10%, and so on. Mass market is dying hard. But things are looking up. Stores need stock again so people are buying. It’s still nowhere near what it was 10 years ago where selling 500,000 copies was modest. Now it’s a good result to sell 50,000. But it was dire. The possibility of going out business was right there.
Editors have got it pretty bad. If they get fired they never work again, and if they’re of a certain age they’ll be fired within five years unless they’ve achieved serious seniority. And then they’re still saddled with high work hours, and reading all the time. Mug’s game. Writers actually have it worse.
One thing I like about Howard is he’s brutal. Not unkind, but he delivers the facts – which I appreciate enormously.
He told me a great story about how he met the woman he’s been living with for 7 years and intends to marry. I dont think he’d mind me telling it here.
He’s a martial arts nut. She was his daughters jujitsu instructor. After a year-and-a-half they went out. And then one night she leaned into him and whispered: "I could kick you in the head from here." And that was when he knew this was the woman for him.
I laughed. Really laughed. It was the best thing I’d heard all week.
Then he showed me the Brooklyn Promenade. Which is where I got my ‘Trafalgar Square’ moment for NY. The whole city just spread out in the heat haze, across the river, right there. Gave me chills.
Then I walked across the Brooklyn Bridge and probably gave myself skin cancer. Sweated more than I’ve sweated in recent memory. Rivers running into my eyes. Insanely hot. Oddly, I don’t think I even tanned.
I love subways. The aircon is always cranked. It’s frickin’ delightful.
I love this town. I really do. I could be happy here.