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The last Nerd Nite of 2013 features presentations about how to survive as a teen at Sweet Valley High, how to be a charming and knowledgeable NYC tour guide, and whiskey. Trivia is back too – no one has beaten the all-time record this year so here’s your last chance to form a team and kick some mental butt and win some decent-enough prizes! Buy tickets.
Friday December 13, 2013
Presentations+Trivia at 7:30pm ($14 – doors at 6:30pm)
Presentations-only at 9:15pm ($10 – doors at 9pm)
Galapagos Art Space
16 Main Street, DUMBO Brooklyn
A/C train to High Street or F train to York Street
Back to the Lectures At-Hand:
Colorful Characters and Gregarious Guides of New York
By Gideon Levy
Description: New York has long the been the stage of oddballs, misfits and characters and some of us have made a nice living at it! What has once been the purview of these huckster, shysters and racketeers has become the craft and career of some of the best tour guides in NYC. Back in the bad old days of Gotham, most of these “guides” were just con artists trying to squeeze an easy buck. Now we do it legally and with the rubes’ consent! With 52 million tourists coming a year, learn how the craft of the NYC Tour Guide evolved.
Aqua Vitae or Hooch? The Secrets of Great Whiskey
by Nicole Austin
Description: Whiskey loyalty runs deep amongst lovers of brown spirits. Devotees of particular types, regions, and brands will defend the primacy of their favorites to friends and professionals alike, especially after enjoying a few. But what really makes a whiskey great? We’ll follow the process from grain to glass in search of an answer.
Bio: Nicole Austin is a Master Blender, Engineer and Distiller in the growing US craft spirits industry, the newly elected President of the New York State Distillers Guild, and is a seasoned imbiber of spirits.
The Training Bras of Literature: The ‘80s as seen Through Sweet Valley High Novels
By Amy Benfer
Description: In the 1980s, Ronald Reagan was our president, Christie Brinkley our supermodel, and Francine Pascal’s Sweet Valley High novels starring Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield, twin sisters with sun-streaked blonde hair, blue-green eyes the color of the Pacific, and “perfect size six figures” told teenage girls what to covet, envy and despise. Discussion includes: the marketability of hot blonde twins, fiction written by syndicate, maintaining one’s girlish figure while gorging on baked clam specials, and the inherent villainy of scheming New York City brunettes.
Bio: Amy Benfer wrote her first story about nostalgic books of her youth on Kay Thompson’s “Eloise” for Salon. com in 1999. Her stories on things some teenage girls like include Nancy Drew novels, “Love and Rockets” (the graphic novels, not the band), punk rock (including Love and Rockets, the band), the Gilmore Girls, John Hughes movies, and why teenage girls go through an Ayn Rand phase (a topic she does not advise to anyone who does not wish to see their personal life dissected in perpetuity on Objectivist blogs). She has been a staff writer and editor for Salon.com, Legal Affairs, Paper magazine and Metro newspapers and regularly reviews young adult literature for the Barnes and Noble Review and the LA Times. Her writing has also appeared in the New York Times, San Francisco magazine, the Believer and Mother Jones. This talk is based on a story she wrote for the Believer in 2003. She was born in Palo Alto, California, but has lived as a scheming New York City brunette in Gowanus for eleven years.