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What’s an author to do? A book signing during a pandemic.

3rd December 2020


Notable New Yorkers of Manhattan’s Upper West Side: Bloomingdale – Morningside Heights has just hit bookstores shelves. The author, Jim Mackin, has spent the last three years researching and writing this fascinating and comprehensive volume about notables who at one time or another lived in the Bloomingdale and Morningside Heights neighborhoods.

Now he is ready to share it with the public but where are they? Because of COVID-19, most of us are at home avoiding public venues. Jim has been doing Zoom presentations for local history groups and organizations and they have been great successes which means he will be doing many more. But given that Jim has written a book about people, it goes without saying he is a people-person.

Jim Mackin Hungarian Pastry Shop
Jim Mackin in front of The Hungarian Pastry Shop.

Is a book signing even possible? If yes, where to do it and how? The answer — The Hungarian Pastry Shop, a local legend on Amsterdam Avenue and 111th Street. It has been a home-away-from-home workspace for writers, poets, scholars, and Jim. To meet the demands of these regulars, Philip Binioris, the owner, has gone outdoors with tables and chairs, socially distanced in the fresh, sometimes cold, air — nothing will keep a devotee away from a croissant and a cup of coffee. Now, the Pastry Shop will be the site of a book launch.

On December 12 at noon *(rain date December 13 at noon), Jim will be signing books at a table on Amsterdam Avenue, a spacious area because the street is closed to traffic. People can stop by and pick up a book in a minute or two, maybe three if there is a conversation with the author. This new approach reclaims the time-honored book launch tradition.

Jim’s book will take you on self-guided tours around the neighborhood – a great COVID-safe activity. You’ll get to see where Maya Angelou, Humphrey Bogart, Hannah Arendt,  Amelia Earhart, Jonas Salk, Norman Rockwell, Barack Obama, and many lesser-known but amazing characters lived. This book will introduce you to 591 notables and launch you on a fascinating journey

*A reminder to all: Be sure to follow the latest NYS and NYC COVID guidelines. Let’s keep you and our city safe!

Here are the details…

BOOK SIGNING! Notable New Yorkers of Manhattan’s Upper West Side: Bloomingdale and Morningside Heights by Jim Mackin

Save the Date: Saturday, December 12th at noon  *Rain Date – Sunday, December 13th at noon)

Where? The Hungarian Pastry Shop
111th Street and Amsterdam Avenue, NYC (Directions here)

About the Author

Jim Mackin

Jim Mackin is a New York City historian and founder of Weekday Walks, which provides tours of New York neighborhoods. Jim is co-leader of the Bloomingdale Neighborhood History Group, and he is the recipient of the Mayor’s Award for Volunteer Service and the Morningside Heights Historic District Committee Award for Contributions.

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