Saturday, February 5, 2011

Snow Ballet Recap--How Did Our Event Go for Apollo's Angels?

How's the snow out there? It's in big piles. We wound up opening on Wednesday on time at 11, but because we couldn't get anyone to break (we had two booksellers within walking distance) and sales were pretty slow, we wound up closing at 4 pm. So we gave it a good try. Starbucks was packed, as was Hollander. And Downer Hardware told us that folks came in and cleaned him out of every shovel, every sled, and every snow toy, in the course of one hour. Good thing they stocked up!

Jocelyn was thoughtful enough to take some pictures of the snow. Pentagon did a great job clearing the sidewalks, and even the alley, but with so many properties to cover, our first hour was a little slow. It actually doesn't look so bad here, but depending on the wind, but you have to understand how the wind blew around two feet of snow. At home, we actually had part of our walkway completely clear of snow before shoveling, but there were also four foot drifts in our neighbor's driveway (which I helped shovel out, of course).

And the wind! Here's a photo of the Downer theater, sans some key letters. The last storm blew some of my home awning half off and this one finished the job. It's tied together with spring till I can find someone to fix it. Fortunately the old roofing is there underneath.

Now the only problem is that there are less street parking spots out there, as some of them have piles of snow in their place. There are spots--I drove to work today after taking the car on Thursday and Friday, and I was able to park in my usual spot. Don't worry, I am probably not taking up a customer spot. I park farther away than you likely would. But can I just say it's still closer than the farthest out spots in Mayfair. I still haven't done my blog piece on that!

We had calls all day on Thursday wondering if our Milwaukee Ballet event with Jennifer Homans, author of Apollo's Angels*, would still go on. Plus emails. Plus Facebook queries. Homans was originally set to come in on Wednesday, but keenly rescheduled for a flight that would arrive Thursday afternoon. Since she was coming from the west, her plane was there and delays weren't terrible.

I'm pleased to say that the event was a smashing success with 80 enthusiastic attendees. Had the eather been perfect, would we have had more folks. Yes, likely. On the other hand, if the event had been scheduled for February 1st or 2nd, it probably would have been cancelled.

Under Alyson Chavez's watch, the floor was laid, the bar was brought in and set up, the furniture was moved. We set up our new projector for Homans talk, testing to make sure we could use it. Stacie's very handy, you know.

Artistic director Michael Pink introduced the event. Dancers from MB2 demonstrated the positions while Homans talked about their military origins. There were lots of enthusiastic questions. And then Barry Molina from MB2 danced Don Q. I'm going to post it separately as the embedding code is acting up. Naughty code!

Today I received an email from Jake, who I had chatted with after the event. He told me he could have used the A word to purchase the book, but understood that if the books don't get bought from us, the events don't happen and the store disappears. So he bought it from us. And I'm very, very grateful to all of you who figured out the equation.

If you enjoyed this event, don't forget to come to our opera insights event on February 16th where the Florentine Opera Studio and Corliss Phillabaum will be previewing "The Italian Girl in Algiers." Tickets are now available for the show itself, which is playing March 18-20th.

Tomorrow, I figure out what that means in the age of ebooks, and why I have put off signing up for Google editions. I normally write up gift stuff on Saturday, but very little came in this week. I am working on a new blank book spinner, so our stock is a little low. Your insider scoop of the day--you buy the books in the spinner and you get the spinner for free. We need something on wheels, as I've already broken one blank book spinner and the 2nd one I brought over from Schwartz already has some cracking going on.

*And yes, we have signed copies. Order the book and request a signed copy in notes.

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