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Harry Potter and the Enchanted Bookstore

July 23, 2007

* I do not discuss the book at all, only the party at the bookstore. No spoilers here- I promise.

Diana, Heather, and I went to the Harry Potter release party at the Barne’s and Noble at Union Square. I had done some research and this was the one party in the city with the most attractions to it. Even though we were there for nearly eight hours we only got bored when we got too tired to do anything more.
I called about a week beforehand to make sure there was no reservation required, and it turned out that you could reserve the book. I reserved three copies for us, and on the day of, Diana graciously stood in line for us in the morning to get the wrist bands we would need at midnight. She stood in line for three hours, but we ended up getting the books by about 12:30, which was fantastic! Diana and I met up around three and we chose her outfit out. After that, we made our way to the bookstore around five. This bookstore is really big, with four full floors. The first floor had the “Owl Emporium”, with live owls, and a snaking line cardonned off, which would be the line to get the book. The second floor was “Diagon Alley”, with Ollivanders Wand Shop, the Apothecary, Weasly’s Wizarding Wheezes, and face painting. The third floor was “Hogwarts”. They had the Forbidden Forest, complete with a Whomping Willow, the Dining Hall (formerly known as Starbucks), and Divination (tarot card readers). The fourth floor was where Jim Dale was going to read, (he’s voice in all the audio books). They also had a quiz “show”, spelling bee, magic show, and bird show with the owls.
Some of the staff had been designated different professors, and Dumbledore was the one who did the quiz.
After that, Professor McGonagall and Professor Snape were in charge of the spelling bee.
Over all, I was extremely impressed with the costumes. I didn’t get a picture of Hagrid and I really regret it, because he was the spitting image of the movie Hagrid. By that time, Diana and I were getting hungry. So we left the store, and headed to Republic for food and drink, where Heather joined us.
Afterwards, we went back to see the rest and wait for the release. We saw what we determined was a vestral, outside. It took us a while to decide that, although now I’m not sure, because I’ve just realized it didn’t have wings. Hmm… anyone know what this is?
Inside, we checked out the live owls, since we had missed the bird show and the magic show while at dinner. The owls were so cool. So majestic looking, and the crowd didn’t seem to bother them in the slightest which was impressive in my opinion, because it was pretty crowded in there.
We decided to make our own wands at Ollivander’s, so we headed that way. Once there, we quickly remembered how fun arts and crafts are! Diana’s wand had a “crystal” on the end that kept falling off, but I think she managed to conquer in the end.
My wand had a heart on it, which was a last minute addition to spruce it up. But I like it.
Heather’s wand was definitely the better one. She went all out with a bunch of stuff. Note her lighting mark scar!
We went to get our own potion from the Apothecary (juice with pop candy in it), and I forgot to take a picture because of the cute wizard working there. 🙂 But after that we made our way to Hogwarts. The first thing you see is the Whompin Willow.
Just behind the Whomping Willow was Divination. We tried to get in line for that, but we were too late, as they had already given out the maximum number of cards you needed to see the readers. I was a little bummed out, since that I would never pay for something like that, and it seems fun. But we forged on.
Next we saw a Hippogrif. Isn’t that a Hippogrif? Kudo’s to Diana for calling that one; I never would have thought of it.
Which way should we go next?
By this time, we were nearly exhausted, so we decided to sit down in the dining hall. Note the floating candles around the ceiling. I thought that was a pretty nice touch. With a little less than an hour to go, we decided to camp out there until it was book time, to watch Jim Dale read on the monitor. They wouldn’t let us up to the floor he actually was on.
When 12:01 hit, there was a huge countdown just like at New Year’s. The whole store was roaring. Heather was designated to be the person to get all three books, since one person would make it go easier. Somehow, Diana and I found our way outside, only to be greeted by one of the biggest mobs I’ve ever seen. There were police everywhere, and the mob was so big, it was on both sides of the street. Here is a picture I took after getting out of that mess, while we waited for Heather to come out.
We didnt’ know how long it would take Heather to get the books, so Diana and I decided to check out the area and see how many people there actually were waiting. It turned out the line went completely around the block, in addition to the massive mob not in line, and then when we kept walking, we realized that a second line started again, wrapping around the block on the other side. I swear it seemed like 10,000 people, but it might have been much less. I was astounded. I can’t even begin to imagine how long those poor people had to wait. Here’s Diana going “What the f&%*!?”
Heather actually came out very quickly. We were impressed with the speed, and she said she’d never been a line that moved that fast before in her life. Once we got the book, we were immediatly attacked by a guy with a camera. He asked the weirdest and dumbest questions ever. But finally here we were with the fruits of our patience:
I actually put my ear plugs in for the ride home, because no matter where I was in the subway, there was at least one other person reading the book beside me, and I was so scared they would talk to me. All the way up to 116th street, even! It was really funny. I’ve never seen so many readers on the subway! And all of them holding the same book.
I was so busy that I didn’t have time to read much at all this weekend, and so I’m only about 150 pages in. Hope to fix that soon!
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2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 24, 2007 5:54 pm

    Vestral… you mean thestral? I would say that, too, but for the wings. I have no idea.That sounds like a really fun time! I’m really impressed by all that went into it. There were parties at several places around here, but Aaron had to work, so we didn’t go. That, and we have kids and all. =)

  2. July 26, 2007 11:09 pm

    They say that towards the end of the book you learn that Bruce Willis is actually a ghost.

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