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My Book Tour: The First Week

This past Saturday, I returned home after a week on the road promoting Left Bank of the Hudson. I started in my native region with events in Olean and Buffalo, New York and then headed to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Everyone whom I met expressed genuine interest in the topics of cities, gentrification, artists, and historic preservation. Residents of both small and large cities recognized the change currently unfolding in urban America and its ability to affect their own communities and lives.


Introducing the story of 111 1st Street. Olean Public Library, Olean, New York, October 10, 2017. (Courtesy of Kelsea Shick)

The Olean audience was eager to discuss historic preservation and reinventing an urban core.


This two ladies shared many incisive questions and comments throughout the evening. Olean Public Library, Olean, New York, October 10, 2017. (Courtesy of Kelsea Shick)

Buffalo, New York is experiencing a “rediscovery” of its architecturally-rich downtown and other neighborhoods. Stories detailing inclusionary zoning and historic tax credits appeared in the news during my short visit.

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My event at Larkin Square. This beautiful venue is nestled within a restored industrial space. Buffalo, New York, October 11, 2017. (Courtesy of Cara Wilson)

The Buffalo crowd peppered me with tough questions, forcing me to rethink and hone my arguments. The event manager politely reminded us that our time was ending. This was a very engaged and participatory audience.


Enjoying a beer courtesy of Larkin Square and selling books with Talking Leaves Books. Buffalo, New York, October 11, 2017. (Courtesy of Matthew Smith)

My temporary personal assistant–an old college friend–and I traveled to Pittsburgh for the final event of the first leg of my tour. We were excited to see the much-covered gentrification and rebirth of the Steel City.

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My name above Lovecraft’s. Nine Stories, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, October 13, 2017. (Photograph by author)

An enjoyable, thrilling, and instructive week. I loved meeting the many different people and hearing their thoughts on my work and its larger themes.

Next stop, Durham, North Carolina.

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