Saturday, June 7, 2008
What time is it? It's almost time for a cheesesteak
As I wrote in the previous two posts, I'm in Philly for the AAN convention.
I've been holding off on getting one of the local sandwiches, but that's about to end.
But first, a brief update:
Yesterday's sessions were pretty flat, but the nightlife was good. My buddy Julia Goldberg, who edits the Sante Fe Reporter, scored tix to see The Roots in a small theater. The Roots are throwing what they call the Roots Picnic today (Gnarls Barkley, Sharon Jones and lots more) and last night was a last-minute bonus show for the Roots' homies here in Philly. Several local acts and artists, including Santo Gold, performed before the Roots went on at 1:15 and did a smoking 75-minutes set. I am no aficionado, but it's totally cool to see hip hop/jazz/funk etc. played with real instruments. And yeah, ?uestlove is a bad-ass.
I had optimistically signed up for a tour of the Liberty Bell and Constitution Hall. The Philly tourism folks arranged for a private tour for AANers (AANites?), but the catch was that it had to be early. So, being a stickler for keeping commitments, I caught the bus at 7:30 a.m. It was totally worth it. The park that contains all of those sites offers the most historic bang for your buck of anywhere in the States. And, yeah, it's moving to contemplate the origins of our nation, how much was at stake, how radical an idea it was to seek liberty for every person. Everyone should see this stuff.
Then I made the first session, led by former AAN editor David Carr, who's now the media reporter for The New York Times. Besides being a hilarious person in general, with dry wit, he's full of insights and has a good grasp on the tenuous nature of contemporary journalism. Carr's talk was about the latest iterations of the intersection of print and multimedia, and he basically said where all this ends up (Is print dying, and WHEN?) is s still an open question and probably will be for a long time. He also noted that the Times has a huge audience, but with so many people reading it on the Web, it's struggling to make money. You can read Carr regularly in the Times, but you should check out his blog, which includes some pretty funny video from the Sundance Film Festival and the Oscars.
OK, sandwich time. Peace out. —CARY STEMLE