Archive for the 'Community' Category

Keeping Sag Harbor Salty

Sag Harbor without its cinema, is one thing. A very big thing. We hope the cinema will be rebuilt soon. But now the pizza place? Word is out that Conca D’Oro, recently sold to a well-known restaurateur who promises to keep the name and the general feel of this 1950s-style trattoria. We hope so.

All this change makes us only more committed to keeping Sag Harbor a little bit salty. To provide this village with quirky and interesting books worth reading. To bring engaging voices to the community. To be a place for people, passion, poetry, prose & yes, T-shirts. Literary ones. Our handsome midnight-blue Moby-Dick marathon 2017 issue, for example.

If you haven’t been by for a while, you’ll find not much has changed about the basic plan of the shop. The floor boards still creak and the shelves are still jammed. If you’re a frequent visitor, you know there’s always something new to discover in those stacks.

Sometimes things can get just a little too slick around here. But rest assured, we at Canio’s will do our part to keep Sag Harbor’s literary legacy going strong. Now, please pass the salt.

 

 

Not the Last Picture Show

Just two weeks ago we went to see Moonlight at the Sag Harbor Cinema. We bought our tickets from the lovely lady in the little booth, got a bag of popcorn and grabbed a few of those small thin napkins neatly arrayed on the counter. We found our favorite seats, row five, center and settled into the chattering darkness. What a heartbreakingly beautiful film Moonlight is, and how further heartbreaking that Moonlight is the last film we saw at that historic movie house.

The facade’s been torn down after Friday’s fire, piles of black rubble carted away. A gaping dark hole in the street where dreams and fantasies once flickered on the screen. The Sag Harbor Cinema, lone independent movie house on the East End brave enough to show “art” films and “foreign” films, and films that challenged as even as they inspired us. The musty smell of the old seats, the banging pipes as  heat slowly seeped into that cavernous room are now nostalgic memories.

cinema-interior-post-fire

We hope they will rebuild. We’re sure other buildings damaged or destroyed will rise again Phoenix-like from the ashes. We’re thankful no one was injured. We are all so grateful to our heroic firefighters. How quickly our compassionate community pulled together to lend a hand. A friend described a fire as something that refines, or clarifies, I put in. Just what will be refined or clarified from this December 16 fire remains to be seen. But fundraising efforts are underway and Sag Harbor will rise again! The village has endured several  devastating fires from the time when villagers lit their lamps with whale oil to as recently as just a few years back. Please show your support for Main Street Sag Harbor, this holiday season and beyond.

*Photo taken the day after the fire. (c) Kathryn Szoka

Read, Connect, Act

What now? Friends are asking in the wake of the presidential election shocker last week. What we can offer to those questioning how we got here, is more of what we so believe in: the power of books to inform and inspire. The power of community to support and strengthen the insights gained. And action, a plan for creative sustaining ways forward, to apply what we’ve gained through reading, reflection, conversation.

To that end, Canio’s Cultural Cafe will again offer a series of community discussion courses focusing on environmental issues. This winter we’ll present inspiring, engaging material to read, discuss & act upon focused on environmental activism, living simply, sustainable energy, and more. Join us for an upcoming course. Now more than ever the planet requires your participation. Find out more by contacting the shop.

We’re grateful to organizations like Northwest Earth Institute for creating and promoting these courses, and to Orion Magazine for providing inspiring articles to engage the imagination, the heart and mind in our understanding of our responsibilities toward Earth.

 

The Only Poll You Need to Know About

Undone by the relentless vacillations in this year’s presidential election polls, to say nothing of that nail-biting late-night extra-inning rain-delayed World Series Championship win by the come-from-behind Chicago Cubs (whew!), I just had to consult our Parisian pollster and restaurateur Craig Carlson.

Do you know his amazing memoir, Pancakes in Paris: Living the American Dream in France? This highly recommended read takes us on a wild ride from Craig’s “crazy” idea of opening an American-style dinner in Paris, to realizing that dream complete with pleasures, pitfalls and panic-attacks along the way. Sort of like those Cubs, rallying after near elimination! Craig is victorious with three popular Breakfast in America locations in the culinary capital of the world! Craig read at Canio’s in September, and yes, we even served pancakes with Vermont maple syrup.

So how is the Breakfast in America “presidential election” going in Paris? Back in 2012 his restaurant offered customers “an election” choice between two blue-plate specials:  the Romney Omlette and the Obama Burger. They kept count, and announced the overwhelming winner: the Obama Burger by a landslide!

This year he’s featuring a choice between the Hillary “Hot & Nasty” Hamburger served with hot sauce, a nod to Secretary Clinton’s penchant for Tabasco, and the Trump “Totally-Rigged” Wrap with a “wall” of tortilla chips.  The count right now: 34 hamburgers to 4 wraps. Voila! That settles it for me! Bon appetite and happy reading!

Just ask a bookseller!

We’re deep into tourist season, for which we’re grateful. Visitors from all points pass through our doors. We love hearing their impressions of this place, and are generally happy to answer the usual and not so usual questions we’re asked.

Need directions? Restaurant recommendations?  A place to rent?  A job,  a husband, maybe? Well, just ask your local bookseller. While Yelp,  Air bnb and GPS have satisfied most, some still prefer the personal touch. So in the course of a day, we get asked everything from where’s the Tomato Lady to what to read at the beach. It’s nice to be thought of as knowledgeable, but sometimes it’s just impossible to satisfy every inquiry.

“What do you do in here all day?” someone once asked.

Another wanted to know if a certain local author would make a suitable mate. No comment!

One admired a devotional candle we display near spirituality books. The candle’s not for sale, I explained, but could be found in the supermarket. “But which aisle would they be in?”

One sunny weekend, a woman burst in. “Hellooo?” she called.  “Where’s the best place to buy steak?” That’s a new one, we thought …and we don’t even eat red meat.  I wondered how to parlay this into a book sale. Recommend Omnivore’s Dilemma?  Instead I suggested  the butcher at Schiavoni’s Market.   I gave directions to the shop. “But I don’t regularly buy steak,” I confessed. She seemed disappointed. “Then where’s the best place to buy fish?”

Has a bookseller helped you with a non-book-related question? Let us know.

Walt is coming!

“Starting from Paumanok”, and continuing all day in Sag Harbor, community readers will gather at Canio’s on Saturday, May 21 from 10 a.m. until around 6 p.m. to read from Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass. Don’t miss a chance to meet “Mr. Whitman Long Island,” aka Darrel Blaine Ford, who in his eighties and with a long white beard bears a striking resemblance to America’s most well known poet. When he was only a child, Mr. Ford took a very long bicycle ride from his home near the South Shore to the  Whitman birthplace in West Hills.  Whitman himself trekked up and down Long Island from Brooklyn out to Montauk with regular visits to his sister in Greenport.

On Friday, May 20 at 6 p.m. learn more about Whitman on Long Island with speaker William T. Walter, president of the Whitman Birthplace who will join us at Canio’s and set us on the right path for our all-day reading on Saturday.

Finally, pick up a copy of Leaves, a tin of Whitman’s green tea blend, or if you’re reading with us, you’ll receive a commemorative button. And don’t miss our after-party, Saturday evening….after all, we’re celebrating Whitman’s birthday!

Poet Grace Schulman Honored

We’re thrilled to join in celebrating poet Grace Schulman, winner of the 2016 Frost Medal, the highest award given by The Poetry Society of America. Grace has been a frequent reader at Canio’s Books, and we can’t think of a better person to receive this honor. Her poetry, essays and literary criticism have long been among our favorite works and are always highly recommended by our staff. Her poems about the East End landscape, about New York street corners, about jazz, aging and love are living examples of what poetry aspires to: transforming the lived experience into art.

Grace joins highly esteemed previous winners of the Forst Award: Wallace Stevens, Marianne Moore, Gwendolyn Brooks, Allen Ginsberg, Lucille Clifton, Charles Simic, Marilyn Nelson, and Kamau Brathwaite, the 2015 recipient.

Grace Schulman is author of seven volumes of poetry including Days of Wonder: New and Selected Poems, The Paintings of Our Lives, and most recently Without a Claim.   She is editor of The Poems of Marianne Moore. Her essay collection is First Loves and Other Adventures. Grace has also received a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Aiken Taylor Award for poetry, the Delmore Schwartz Memorial Award for Poetry, and  a Fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts. She is Distinguished Professor of English at Baruch College, CUNY, the former director of the Poetry Center, 92nd Street Y, 1974-84, and former poetry editor of The Nation, 1971-2006. A lifetime of achievements, indeed! But what’s more, Grace is someone who lives out her name. Congratulations, Grace!

 


Canio's Books is located at 290 Main Street, Sag Harbor, NY 11963. You can drop an email to info@caniosbooks.com, or even check out some of our stock online. Thanks for visiting our blog!

Vanishing Landscapes