Thursday, September 27, 2018

Trip To The US - Los Angeles

The final city we visited on our recent whirlwind trip to the US was Los Angeles.  There we hired a car and drove to Santa Monica to visit Book Monster.  This store is great.  It's really well organized with lots of secondhand books.  I managed to find some Ian Fleming - James Bond novels and some Charlie Higson - Young Bonds, but unfortunately I already had them in my collection.

Back in LA we ventured by foot to Larry Edmond's Bookshop.  Located close to the Grauman's Chinese Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard this store is a cinema lover's paradise.  Lobby cards, posters, film stills, books, magazines... anything you could want as a souvenir from Hollywood.

While there I looked specifically for items about "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" but couldn't find any.  Then I spent time going through Bond movie stills and ended up purchasing these five press release images from "Never Say Never Again".  The guy behind the counter was really helpful too.  Who needs a computer inventory system when you've got a memory like his.

After leaving Edmond's I stopped by Grauman's Chinese Theatre and snapped this photo of Sean Connery's imprints in the concrete.

And Roger Moore and Pierce Brosnan's stars on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame.

Finally, here's some other snaps we took while in Los Angeles:

"Nakatomi Plaza" from "Die Hard" (aka Fox Plaza)

Hollywood Walk Of Fame

The Hollywood sign

An Italian "The Living Daylights" poster in a shop

More imprints outside the Chinese Theatre

Santa Monica

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Trip To The US - New York

The third city we visited on our recent trip to the US was New York.  Upon arriving at our hotel I was told there was a package waiting for me with the Bell Captain.

After taking our suitcases to the room I ventured down to the street lobby to collect my parcel.  A process that had begun with an email in early March of this year had finally taken fruit, as the parcel contained a promotional letter and an advanced reading copy of Anthony Horowitz's latest James Bond novel "Forever And A Day" published by Harper Collins in the US.  For some it may be just a book, but for me it was the result of many, many emails and I am indebted to Harper Collins for generously providing this copy of the novel.

Next morning my wife and I ventured out into the city.  It wasn't long before we trekked to the first book store on the list: the Argosy Book Store.  I'd done some research on this store before I arrived and knew it was one of the oldest independant book stores in NY, six stories high and with lots of famous customers.  What we didn't know was that on the day we visited, Wednesday September 18, the store was closed for Yom Kippur.  With no time for a revisit this trip the books of the Argosy will remain an enigma until our next trip to New York.

Next stop on our walking tour was Barnes & Noble.  These visits give me a chance to see the latest James Bond novels on the shelves.  In this case it was the lack of novels as my wife and I were only able to find a copy of "Casino Royale" published by Thomas And Mercer.  There were no other continuation novels or Young Bonds.  Fortunately with the US release of "Forever And A Day" in November this will change.

After lunch my wife and I walked out of the cafe and fortune shined because directly opposite was the store Book Off.  What a great second-hand store; toys, DVDs/Blu-rays, computer games... and of course books.  Unfortunately I couldn't find any English language James Bond novels, and despite assistance from one of the staff we couldn't find any Japanese language Bond novels either.

On our second day in New York we caught the subway to Dumbo in Brooklyn.  Our return journey was by foot, crossing the fantastic Brooklyn Bridge and continuing to The Mysterious Bookshop.  My previous visit to this store back in 2014 proved fruitful, so I had great hopes on this visit.

The Mysterious Bookshop was just as I remembered it.  Well organized, friendly staff and lots of James Bond novels.  Here we managed to find a signed hardback of "Forever And A Day" by Anthony Horowitz, a signed hardback copy of "Red Nemesis" by Steve Cole and an almost complete set of the Thomas And Mercer series.  I also found two James Bond spoof novels from the 1960's: "The Lady From L.U.S.T. / To Russia With L.U.S.T" by Rod Gray and "Dr Nyet" by Ted Mark.  As I had all the authorized novels mentioned I left the store empty handed.  But I'll be back.

The final store we visited was The Strand Bookstore.  This was my third visit to this store in four trips to New York.  It has a huge selection of books on a wide variety of subjects, it's well organized and there's plenty of staff if you need assistance.  No luck for me today but great to visit again.

Finally, here's some other snaps of New York we took on our travels:

View of Manhattan Bridge from Dumbo, Brooklyn.  If this view looks familiar it features on the "Once Upon A Time In America" film poster
A weed bus
The New York Public Library
The Chrysler Building
View from our hotel
A butcher
Street photo
Travelling in a taxi
Food vendor
Washington Square Arch
The "Ghostbusters" firehouse
Statue of Liberty from the Brooklyn Bridge
Times Square
UN Headquarters