For Your Calendar: Downtown Literary Festival


New York is a paradise for book lovers. You’ve got the rich literary history stemming back to the founding of our country, big-time magazines named after our city like The New Yorker and The New York Review of Books, over a hundred really important writers living here, and tons of literary journals and blogs popping up from Crown Heights to Harlem.

At the center of it all are the amazing indie bookstores thriving in neighborhoods all over our fair city. This weekend, two of those stores that sit comfortably a few hundred feet from each other right off Broadway, McNally Jackson and Housing Works Bookstore Cafe, are throwing a massive party. This Sunday, you can celebrate all that is good in the world of New York books at the Downtown Literary Festival, hosted by the two stores.

Kicking off at 10:30 in the morning (don’t worry, you can get delicious coffee at both stores), literary celebrities Jami Attenberg, Lev Grossman, and Saturday Night Live alum Rachel Dratch will give a virtual tour of the literature of downtown New York. Throughout the day, the fest hops between stores with events like Eileen Myles reading the work of Frank O’Hara, a New York television storytelling event hosted by Maris Kreizman of Slaughterhouse 90210 (which I’ll be participating in, if you want to say hello), Thurston Moore telling New York rock stories, and so much. And did I mention it’s free?