Best Barometer of the Decline of the Manhattan Literary World - 2008
Brooklyn Book Festival
Brooklyn as literary hotbed has been pretty well established at this point, even past the point of cliché. But while the borough has yet to see its own version of Elaine?s, it now has something vastly finer than that once-storied, now-calcifying eatery. Indeed, perhaps nothing better signals the end of Manhattan?s literary hegemony than the rise of the Brooklyn Book Festival. Last month?s fest was only the third, but the enthusiasm and attendance at the event has made it the lit bash of the year, with over 20,000 folks wandering Cadman Plaza and attending talks by the likes of Jonathan Franzen, Naomi Wolf, Breyten Breytenbach, and more than 140 other authors. The critical mass has indeed shifted in our lettered city. O Manhattan! It?s over for you, we fear. But coast on your memories of the Lion?s Head and Caffe Figaro, if you must . . .