So on Wednesday we set off for 'the city', discovering the profound truth of just how hard it is to find parking at P. Junction on a workday, and cursing the rain somewhat. After being upgraded to an enormous room, which atoned a little for the horrors of the rain, we set off for the first much anticipated event of the week: an 'event' with Amanda Palmer and Neil Gaiman at Housing Works Bookshop in SoHo. As an aside, I will note that it is a beautiful bookshop in a beautiful building, with extremely high quality second hand books which made the Oxfam volunteer in me green with envy (I had originally written puce, because it sounded nice, but then discovered that it is not a shade of green at all. Sad.). And that there were a LOT of women. Almost all women, in fact.
The general idea of the event was that Neil Gaiman would read bits from what he's written for this book, and Amanda Palmer would play some songs, and they would do some Q&A, and it would all be nice. And it was nice! He reads really well, and she is awesome and looked beautiful rather than deranged (and sadly quite clothed, unlike, say, her performance at Coachella [youtube link]). Sadly she didn't play many songs because a long, long time was spent on auctioning a signed copy of the book - yes it was for a good cause, but it did drag only slightly too mcuh and it would have been good to hear a few more songs, since we couldn't go to the actual gig later in the week.
Anyway, when she plays she gets really intense, aggressive almost towards the piano, like she wants to climb on it or something - and her voice is amazing. Maybe in that respect it was nicer to see her in a more intimate setting with less tech stuff in the way (I can't really say unplugged because it was an electric keyboard...but the ukelele was definitely unplugged!) as it gave us a better chance to appreciate her voice. All in all, it was a great night, the Q&A was lots of fun too though right this moment I can't remember any instances which stand out particularly :-(
Thursday was very much a family day - my great aunt (the one who turned 90 in March) and my aunt (x Fulvia: la sorella di mio padre...) had flown over for my cousin's wedding, so I spent most of the day with them as I don't know when the next time I fly home will be. Then there was the wedding rehearsal which wasn't quite what I expected - I had, perhaps naively, thought it would be something like a dry run or dress rehearsal of a show, instead it was very bitty and I'm not sure it actually left us much wiser than before. We then headed here for the dinner. It is a Persian restaurant, and I am including a link to it because it was very good. There were also speeches, which were sweet and emotional.
And then, the next day was the wedding - but we will leave that for another post...