Roxanne and I first went to see Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and enjoyed it tremendously. Then we headed over to Soho and Scholastic. Suzanne Murphy had convinced me that I (an early-to-bed-early-to-rise-crowd-hater) should not miss this one. She was right! So, thanks, Suzanne and all the folks at Scholastic for a really terrific time.
We were given V.I.P. treatment which was quite cool: “All Access” badges giving us priority to all the events (say making wands in the Scholastic store), a private “Deathly Hallows Lounge” (with “tasty delights” like Butter Beer — evidently root beer and ginger — I didn’t try it), all sorts of entertainment (say amazing magicians), and easy access to all the fun on Harry Potter Place (a huge party taking up the whole street behind the Scholastic building).
That is the Muggle Board where people wrote messages of all sorts including (according to fellow V.I.P. Jordan Sonnenblick) one stating that Snape (Jordan, correct me if this is wrong) was bigger than Jesus. (Could John Lennon have imagined the Beatles being usurped like this back in 1966?)
A really adorable Harry under the Whomping Willow.
Scholastic’s Pensieve containing all the books including the final one signed by Ms. R. herself!
The count-down clock.
The Daily Prophet, natch.
A really, really tall witch and a really, really short Muggle.
Another Muggle with her zen wand and some cute owls.
Some of our fellow V.I.P.s.
Evidently many of the other V.I.P.s were kids who had won contests, various folks who had been involved with Scholastic, authors and editors (besides Jordan I only knew Laura Godwin and Lisa Sandell), and top Scholastic brass like Dick Robinson and Lisa Holton. (Jordan also pointed out Salman Rushdie — how cool is that?) A few minutes before midnight Dick Robinson encouraged us to join the throngs outside for the countdown. There we finally connected with Cheryl Klein who had been at the apparently insane Union Square Barnes & Noble, experienced the countdown, picked up our complimentary books, walked out past the media frenzy, miraculously got a cab, and went home to start reading.
Here I am, seconds before the release, flanked by Cheryl and Jordan (with the Knight Bus behind us).
Harry is waiting; must get back to him now.