New York Daily Photo Analytics

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Pottery

I imagine by now that most have heard of the release of the 7th Harry Potter book. There were events worldwide for this yesterday, with bookstores participating in numerous ways - contests, raffles, street parties, costuming, face painting, wand and potion making, performers, etc. And the biggest fete of them all was the block party put on by the publisher, Scholastic themselves. An entire city block was closed off to traffic - Mercer Street between Prince and Spring Streets in SOHO - with a huge banner that proclaimed it to be Harry Potter Place. The Scholastic building runs through from Broadway to Mercer, so the street festival abutted their Mercer Street entrance - very convenient for this mega-promotional event. There was a range of activities and performers - jugglers, stilt walkers - and the requisite countdown clock. There was a stand displaying a copy of each volume in the series including the newest one, all under glass. People were in line for nearly three city blocks from early evening for the 12:01 AM (Saturday) release of the book. Waiting in line half of the day to buy a book (which will be easily purchased today I am sure) seems like sheer lunacy to outsiders, but when it comes to cult phenomena, excessive behavior is to be expected; this event parallels the iPhone release. Add to the mix the fact that this is essentially a children's book, along with indulgent parents, and you really add some fuel to the fire. Ultimately, fun was had by all, and this event fills the desire many have to be part of something and to make connections with others who share a passion...

6 comments:

Hyde DP said...

Lots of fun and if folk had a great party then I've problem with that but elsewhere there was far too much hype about getting your hands on a copy at the stroke of midnight.

We picked one up this morning from our local Asda [equivalent to your Walmart, I think] for just £5 (about $10) no queues or anything.

Lavenderlady said...

Port Angeles also had a picture of a Harry Potter party...I understand...I don't understand.

Brian said...

We have definitely entered an era of hyperpromotion. The bookstores I visited were out of control - Barnes and Noble was giving out wrist badges to get into the store. But at least it promotes reading at some level.

Jeremy said...

Well Brian .. the NY launch in SOHO leaves little old Wellington, NZ for dead .. but despite that all the readers of the Harry Potter books seem to be totally entusiatic about reading ... and that has to be a great outcome. I remeber well the SOHO area and Prince Street .. loved it cheers Jeremy

Gledwood said...

I love the "canyon-like" streets of New York: I think you captured them perfectly ... great blog u got here! I'm here totally at random on a nextbloghopping expedition tonight! Come to mine sometime if you like - http://gledwood2.blogspot.com - you're most welcome.
OK see you later hopefully
all the best ...
from
Gledwood
"vol 2" ...

annulla said...

What a great photo. I didn't attend any of the Potter festivities, but the next day it seemed as though every other person on the subway was reading the book.

I asked a few random readers whether they'd skipped ahead to learn the ending. Without fail they looked shocked that I'd even ASK such a question and answered with an indignant, "Of course not!"