July 21, 2007

Pottermania and Coming Down With A Case of the Deathly Hallows

A shot of the crowd at Potter Place outside the Scholastic Store in Soho on Friday afternoon.

It seemed as though hundreds of thousands of people in New York last night were struck down with Pottermania. Cinecultist had it bad too. At around 6 pm, we went down to Soho to check out the scene outside the Scholastic store. It was Pottermonium. Kids and adults in Hogwarts costume, face painting, decorations and a buzz of energy as everyone counted down the hours to the release of the final book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Cinecultist and our friends intended to spend the midnight hour at the giant Union Square Barnes and Noble party, so we swung by to pick up orange wristbands, for those who hadn't prepaid but intended to purchase the book after 12:01 am.

Unfortunately when CC returned at around 10 pm after a bite to eat, we discovered a mad scene outside the 17th street entrance. Only those with yellow prepaid wristbands seemed to be getting into the already packed bookstore. CC and Lisa headed instead over to the smaller independent children's bookstore Books of Wonder on 18th Street between 5th and 6th Avenue. Also a rockin' Potter party, at least Books of Wonder had a shorter line to pay and was giving out gratis cupcakes in their adorable Cupcake Cafe. CC and Lisa rested with some caffeine laden drinks and took in the crowd, a nice mix of kids and adults, all palpably excited about the approaching midnight hour. Books of Wonder also had a cast of college-aged students dressed as the main characters from the books. The very blond boy dressed as Draco gave us quite the once over and then declared us "Muggles" in a very contemptuous tone as he passed by. The verisimilitude was adorable.

At 10 seconds to midnight, the crowd began counting down and as the clock struck the hour everyone cheered. Quickly the Potter actors climbed on furniture and began announcing (with bad English accents still intact) the numbers by Hogwarts House who could move to the back of the store for their books. CC was placed in the Ravenclaw house and at number 88, our turn came up quite quickly. Granted, we paid the ridiculous $34.99 plus tax full price for this 759 page sucker but as we walked past the still massive and unmoving line outside B&N on the way home at 12:30 pm, CC wasn't sorry. We were still able to get an hour of reading in last night and as of now are well-past the halfway mark in the book.

No spoilers we promise, just that Cinecultist is enjoying J.K. Rowling's final foray into the tale of the Boy Who Lived. Hopefully we'll recover from this contagious case of the Deathly Hallows sometime tomorrow afternoon. CC's always been a fast reader.

Posted by karen at July 21, 2007 4:36 PM
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