Last night, New York City got hit with a crazy snow storm. It was cold, wet, slushy. It was an atmospherically fitting start to NoirCon 2012. I was, however, worried that it meant a miserably cold and damp weekend was ahead. I was also afraid that the storm would mean the roads were in bad shape, which would affect travel. Furthermore, I seem to have lost all of my winter clothing, which meant I had to make a last-minute trip to Burlington Coat Factory for hat and gloves last night. (Thank you, Charles Silver, for loaning me your scarf.) Thankfully, this morning the weather was decently warm, the snow melted, and I didn't freeze my ass off waiting for the Bolt Bus on 34th Street. The bus itself smelled like a port-a-potty, which made me want to vomit, but I survived.
And then I pulled into Philly, right on time at 12:45PM. Glorious Philadelphia.
I walked down Market Street to my first stop: Whodunit Books. I first visited the store towards the end of NoirCon 2010, at which point my wallet was nearly empty. This time, I made sure to visit it first thing, while I still had some dough to spread around. Art Bourgeau, the store's owner, is a great guy, and knows a ton about crime fiction. He regaled me with memories of a young reporter named Duane Swierczynski who used to hang around the shop on his lunch hour, and how he was showing this young whippersnapper the likes of Lionel White and other hardboiled masters. I thanked him for helping nurture one of the best and most original writers out there today. Bless small bookstores like this and their owners. I wish there were more of them.
I walked away with a few great finds -- Larry McMurtry, Lee E. Wells, Ed Gorman, and four A.A. Fair (Erle Stanley Gardner) books, three with Robert McGinnis covers.
The cover for Crows Can't Count has the finest female bottom I think I've ever seen.
After Whodunit, I walked across town to the Society Hill Playhouse, where I met up with Lou Boxer who was getting the backroom into shape for the event.
Inside, Lou and the Playhouse crew were hard at work setting up for the big weekend ahead.
The big score: NoirCon Goody Bags. It's a mystery what's hidden inside ...
Lou found a real treat -- a vintage aviation pulp with a Goodis cover story!
The great guys from Farley's Books had set up their own stand earlier today. Looking over their exquisitely curated collection I can see my bank account diminishing.
Next, I headed over to PhilaMOCA -- the Philadelphia Mausoleum of Contemporary Art. Years ago, it was a showroom for mausoleums and tombstones -- a great place for an art gallery, and a perfect fit for NoirCon.
When I got there, it was just an empty gallery space. Stay tuned for further updates to see what it turned into ...
Stay tuned for more NoirCon 2012 updates here at Pulp Serenade.