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Home > Harry Potter News

Harry Potter Eve in New York City

by Barbara Hanson, Wizard News New York Correspondent

As I walked into Barnes & Noble at Union Square in New York City, and saw the broomsticks dangling overhead, I knew I was in for something special. First floor was check-in, at which I received a wristband which reflected my place in line (208), an excellent idea that left plenty of time for roaming around before the lineup began at eleven.

The second floor's activities involved face-painting, wand-making, animal trainers (with owls), and potion making. Many people were strolling through the store clutching bright-green potions that smoked and hissed (and were said to taste like Gatorade).

Third floor, the B&N; cafe was done up in Potter theme, but that was about it. Fourth floor was where we saw JKR's broadcast from Edinburgh, and where Jim Dale would later read excerpts from the five previous books. In between, there were trivia contests, a magic show, and also plenty of time to stroll over to the other side of the floor and take a Divination class!

After we were lined up (and far too close for comfort in the extreme heat), we chatted and speculated for a while, then just stared at the time, waiting...waiting. Ten...nine...and then it was time. Jim Dale read aloud, very briefly, from HBP, then I was out the door, book in happy hand!

It was an evening of great joy, I was there for six hours, and never heard a cross word. Fans' ages ranged from the tiniest wizards-in-training imaginable to the oldest and wisest wizards. The crowd was as diverse ethnically as could be imagined. And everyone, but everyone, grinned all night long! What a delightful break from the uncertain, so-called real world!

Published July 17, 2005

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