[Editor's Note: In honor of our 33 1/3 sale — buy two new (not used or sale) books from Continuum Books' 33 1/3 series, featuring critical writing on seminal albums, and get a third free — we're pleased to feature blog posts from some of the people behind the 33 1/3 series.]
The last stop on my East Coast tour this summer was in Baltimore.
I met Rebecca at the train station. We're used to living in Boston, where you can walk everywhere, so when the lady at the information desk told us we'd need to take a cab the twenty blocks to Atomic Books, we laughed it off. We were Bostonians! 'Course, Baltimore's way hotter, and the black bag that I had overpacked with books and CD's didn't help things any. Neither did our collective lack of navigational skills. Twenty blocks turned into thirty, forty.
We made it, finally, to Atomic Books, this smallish room crammed to the gills with fanzine anthologies, comics and out there film. Both of us felt comfortable there within seconds despite being cranky and soaked in sweat — Rachel, the place's co-owner, exuded this friendly, hospitable vibe that has yet to be equaled in any other city. We looked around the place, and both of us felt it: if we had a place, it would be just like this.
My reading was at Atomic Pop, the trinket/Hello Kitty sister store. After dinner, Rebecca and I bought some beer to drink with Rachel (and co-owner Benn, and Maggie). Thanks, Benn said. You can put that with the beer that's in the cooler in the back.
After my reading and a screening of 'We Jam Econo,' the Atomic folks hooked 'Guitar Hero' up to their projector cart and we drank and hung out and rocked and bullshitted each other for hours afterwards. The hospitality was amazing — the second time that day of if we had a place, it'd be just like this.