Sunday, March 20, 2016

Noir at the Bar in words and pictures

Edward G. Pettit
I served as MC for Saturday evening's Noir at the Bar Society Hill Playhouse: The Final Curtain,  and I spent the rest of the event with a hunk of metal, glass, and plastic pressed to my right eye snapping the pictures you see here. Not only that, but I inadvertently threw away the one page of notes I'd taken, so regard the following account with due skepticism.

Rick Ollerman
First we slipped our out-of-town visitors the Bavarian pretzel at Philadelphia's Brauhaus Schmitz, but we had to cut short the convivial piss-up before Adrian McKinty had sampled anything beyond a tiny fraction of the establishment's hundreds of beers. Over at the playhouse, nearing the end of its 57-year-run so it can be torn down for condos, we'd set up for what I believe was the biggest Noir at the Bar since I started Noir at the Bar in 2008: seventeen authors reading from their work, plus a staged reading of selections from a play about David Goodis and his brother.

Adrian McKinty

T. Fox Dunham
And we got through it all two minutes early, with the help of strict time limits and a boot in the ass from the theater's owner, Deen Kogan. The readings were a good mix of old favorites, samples of new work, and short stories by authors whose work I know from novels. I liked Ed Pettit's slice of Dickensian noir and Scott Adlerberg's version of the psychopath who is, by his lights, a perfectly normal guy. Ed and Scott are good readers, which only enhances the appeal of their writing.



Duane Swierczynski
Jen Conley, Ed Pettit
Jen Conley's reading verged close to horror, and she said afterward that her writing partakes of that genre as well as crime. William Lashner appears to have a sprawling piece of humorous noir on his hands. And Tony Knighton, a writer and Philadelphia firefighter who joined Noir at the Bar because I met his publisher in Bangkok in November, read a piece that invoked Northern Ireland shortly before McKinty left the premises to catch a bus back to New York.

Dana King
Tony Knighton
David Swinson
Duane Swierczynski and T. Fox Dunham were just two of the authors whose readings invoked real Philadelphia locations, and Erik Arneson gave fellow author Jon McGoran a place in his story in the guise of an orangutan. (McGoran returned the favor, though the fictional Arneson was human.)

Mark Krajnak, fellow shooter
and crime-scene fixture.
Richie Narvaez
The rest of the readers were old Detectives Beyond Borders favorites, with the accent on favorites: Dana King, Richie Narvaez, Rick Ollerman, Joe Samuel Starnes, Wallace Stroby,  David Swinson, Dennis Tafoya.

Dennis Tafoya, Deen Kogan, Wallace Stroby
C.J. Carpenter
It was all good fun, and we'll see you soon in Bristol, New Orleans, Philadelphia, and Boston for a start.

© Peter Rozovsky 2016

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17 Comments:

Blogger pattinase (abbott) said...

Wish I had been there.

March 20, 2016  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Your name was mentioned. Dana read a story he had written for one of your challenges.

March 20, 2016  
Blogger seana graham said...

I am impressed with how fast you got all this written up. Sounds like a night to remember.

Your rival photographer looks like he could BE in a crime novel, though whether has villain or detective, I'm not sure.

I trust Rick Ollerman made it home without any planes landing on him?

March 20, 2016  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Seana, caught short, with no notes, I had to write off the top of my head.

Mark has taken quite a number of noirish shots, some with himself in them. Your assessment would no doubt please him.

If any planes fell on Rick on his way to Philadelphia, he neglected to mention them. I can't vouch for his trip back home, though.

March 20, 2016  
Blogger seana graham said...

Mr. Ollerman has just posted over at Adrian's Noir at the Bar post, so I think all is well.

March 20, 2016  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Much obliged. Maybe the planes were grounded because of that inaccurate snow forecast.

March 20, 2016  
Blogger Rick Ollerman said...

No planes, just New Jersey state coppers. I got pulled over for not wearing a seat belt (we don't have a mandatory seat belt law in New Hampshire).

He also tagged me for not reading a highway sign, though I'm not sure how he could tell what I'd read or not. What sign, I asked.

The one saying you have to wear your seat belt in New Jersey.

Seems kind of lousy, but I neither saw the sign or wore the seat belt, and I get to contribute to the revenue generation of the great state of New Jersey.

And no planes were harmed in the course of this transaction. Thank you for asking.

March 20, 2016  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Cash on the barrelhead, I suppose. They don't like out-of-staters coming to New Jersey with their New England sign-ignoring ways.

But I'm glad you made it, I hope to shoot you again at a future Noir at the Bar. (The Bosotn one happens two days before I leave for Bristol, so I'm out for that one.)

March 20, 2016  
Blogger seana graham said...

Well, that kind of sucks, Rick. But considering the other more nightmarish scenario involving plane crashes, maybe the gods had to be appeased in some way.

Glad you all had a good turnout.

March 20, 2016  
Blogger Prashant C. Trikannad said...

Peter, I'd have enjoyed sitting through Noir at the Bar and listening to so many wonderful authors I often read about. Thanks for the roundup.

March 21, 2016  
Blogger adrian mckinty said...

Peter

I tried 3 different beers and I have to say they were all very good. I was little bummed that there were no Russian River beers there or in another place I tried along the way. I'd been told that Pennsylvania was one of the few places in the east coast to carry the Russian River stuff...

Oh well.

And yes it was a fun night regardless!

March 21, 2016  
Blogger Dana King said...

Lou, Deen, and Peter pulled off the perfect event. Great fun to attend and an honor to have been asked to read. I'm sorry to see the Playhouse go, but at least we took it out in style.

March 21, 2016  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Prashant: Thanks for the kind words. Who's to day there won't be one in Mumbai one day?

March 21, 2016  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Adrian, were you there long enough to have studied the entire menu? I don't know much about Philadelphia and beer, but I do know that the area is supposed to have a number of small breweries. A few small distilleries, too, naturally.

We were glad to have you, and your reading went over well.

March 21, 2016  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Dana: Are you coming back for NoirCon in October? I haven't seen the new site, but Lou is pretty excited about it. It's also a few blocks closer to the heart of things, including the convention hotel.

March 21, 2016  
Blogger Dana King said...

Peter,
I don't think I'll be able to make it this year, as a family trip and some Bouchercon-related travel are tearing off large chunks of my time off from work this year. I'm not completely ruling it out yet, though.

March 21, 2016  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

We're already going to kidnap Charlie Stella for Bouchercon next yer so we can teach him what a good bagel is. Maybe we can do the same for you for Noircon.

March 21, 2016  

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