I’ve been travelling around northern New Jersey for Eat, Drink & Be Wary talks and signings!
July saw one under an arbor at Apple Acres in the West Milford Community Garden, the largest community garden in Passaic County. The garden was lush with fruits and herbs and vegetables, some of which overhung the table that Apple Acres’ proprietress set up for me. Of course I contrasted such a healthful setting with an excerpt from The Joy of Junk Food (of which there was an abundance, I should be ashamed to admit, on the refreshment table).
I returned to Lafayette in October for a Local Authors Showcase hosted by Black Dog Books.
November brought two appearances. I talked about the realities of being a food writer at the Jefferson Township Public Library and at the Boonton Books and Beyond! Festival sponsored by the Boonton Public Library. These venues had been in my flight path for decades, and it was fun showing up in author togs.
The JTPL event took me to a room I’ve frequented as attorney for the library board (with reps from my client in the audience, for a change!) and as organizer of a Summer Chillers film festival a decade or so back.
Boonton is a charming little town, with a main street on a hill lined with a jumble of Victorian houses and brick commercial buildings of varying vintage. I’ve had wide-ranging connections with the place — acting on the stage of the Darress Theater, a haunted (I have stories) former silent film/vaudeville house the town recently took over, taking architectural walking, reading cards at a now shuttered coffeehouse, indulging in comforting interior Mexican food at Chili Willie’s and my favorite margherita pizza at Top of the Park.
The streets were buzzing with people on the sidewalks when I arrived for the lunch the library was providing for presenters. Before I cleared half of my plate, a event rep warned that a rain and hail storm of Biblical proportions had broken out. With his help I was able to keep my tote bags of books from getting wet but … as the storm cleared, so did the crowds. Ah well. The basement of the Boonton Coffee Co. was a cozy setting, heavy on dog decor, for an intimate group.
At both events I read an excerpt again from The Joy of Junk Food (it’s a crowd pleaser) and threw in some Mariano’s memories for the Boonton audience, which had backgrounds in food service.