We get a lot of invitations for random book parties here at Gawker HQ, but an email that came through our tips line about Brooklyn dreamboat Jonathan Lethem's new collaboration with photographer Kate Milford inspired enough interest for us to send newly-minted editorial assistant Heather and her trusty photog sidekick Kate on an inter-borough mission to check out the scene. In Brooklyn. Peruse our gallery of bookworm joy here, or sample Kate's full gallery here.After the jump, Heather comes to terms with wasting a perfectly good Thursday night "partying" with toddlers and quasi-literary types.
Don't get me wrong, I love Brooklyn. I live in Park Slope, I tell people I run in Prospect Park, even though I've been to the park maybe three times since I moved there in April. The sandwiches at Terrace Bagels are pretty kickass, and I've learned to somehow deal with the constant parade of baby carriages and screaming kids at Barnes and Noble on 7th Avenue (read: Xanax; also read: alcohol). There are times, however, when all I can think is, for serious, what the fuck?. Last night was no exception, when I took Kate under the guise of a party crash to the party for Jonathan Lethem's new project with fellow Brooklynite and photographer Kate Milford, Patchwork Planet. Before we even made it to BookCourt, we had two such moments. First, upon exiting the subway, we happened upon this sign:
We had a brief interaction with another nice lady, who, after I expressed the high probability of the poster of the sign being bitterly disappointed by her tall, blue-eyed mystery man (most likely by erectile dysfunction or straight-up lunacy), stated that she hoped the woman found him, that they fell in love and lived happily ever after. I responded with, "Oh, you're one of THOSE." Kate then asked me to check my bitterness at the door. I said there was no door, and that she should shut up because she knew it was true, too.
She shut up for about three minutes, when we crossed paths with Jesus Christ himself:
I had nothing to say about that, because it well, it was a fucking life-sized statue of Jesus Christ in someone's front lawn and knowing my luck, I'd be struck down by the wrath of God or something. Welcome to Brooklyn.
We get in and I make a beeline for the cheese table while Kate makes a beeline for the Lethem. I'm engrossed in my brie for a good five minutes until I notice that Kate is still talking to the Lethem. I move closer so I can eavesdrop, and finally realize what Kate was like as a 13-year-old teeny-bopper:
Just to let you know I really love Fortress of Solitude I was an English major and a real book nerd and it's in my top 5 of all time which is actually pretty huge so how true to life was Fortress did you really grow up on Dean street because I got out of the subway and i was like wow there's a Starbucks on Dean Street and I thought to myself that Mingus Rude would be rolling over in his grave if he had actually existed and do you live in this neighborhood now oh you do really that's so awesome 3 blocks from your original apartment wow that's crazy thank you so much for signing my book can I take a picture of you hee heee hee heeeee heeheeheeheeheee
At which point he asked us why we were taking pictures. I explained we were with Gawker. He replied with a little diatribe about how he tries not to read the site because it's like spiraling down a rabbit hole and then all of a sudden half a work day is gone. I didn't tell him that the same thing happens to me, and I work here. The flurry of awkward interactions continued. A dialogue between two quasi-greasy hipster dudes that went a little like this:
Hipster #1: Hey, man, thanks for coming the other night!
Hipster #2: .... (looks confused) oh, right! Your WEDDING!
Hipster #1: Yeah, man!
Hipster #2: Yeah, man! That was fun.
Hipster #1: Yeah, man.
Just as my brain is about to implode from the sheer weirdness of this interaction, Kate decides she has taken enough photos of petulant children, so we decide to peace. Before we do so, Kate needs to drool over Lethem a little more, which affords us the pleasure of witnessing the most awkward interaction of the evening. It's between an unfortunately made-up woman in an orange puffer jacket and Jonathan.
Orange Jacket Lady (to Jonathan): I'll see you later, sweetie.
Jonathan: it was great seeing you.
OJL: I'll see you again soon...I'm kind of living in the Jewish Grey Gardens right now.
I took a moment to consider why I was here, how the hell I was going to write this up as a party crash because dude, there are kids and dogs running a frigging book store in Cobble Hill. Why am I in a book store on a Thursday night? What happened to the raging parties I was at last week, the ones that were full of douchebaggery and drunk people, the pieces that basically wrote themselves? Why am I not drunk? Why haven't I read Motherless Brooklyn? What the HELL is wrong with me?
And then I realized, all at once, what was wrong: I just ate seven pounds of cheese, and I am lactose intolerant. Also, I am an idiot.