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May 05, 2008

Thomas Pynchon Birthday Bash at Freebird Books

Red Hook, Brooklyn.

Peter Miller, owner of Freebird Books & Goods, pours me a Moxie soda.

The Moxie was part of the menu for Sunday's Thomas Pynchon birthday bash and fax-a-thon. So were the pickles. Everything on the menu was listed as having been vomited up by the main character in Gravity's Rainbow, Tyrone Slothrop.

Revelers had a chance to send birthday greetings to Pynchon by fax.

Miller assured me that the faxes weren't going to impinge on Pynchon's privacy. He wouldn't say exactly who would receive the birthday greetings, but I got the sense that it was some third party in Pynchon's orbit who was accustomed to fielding such communications on the author's behalf.


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Moxie? That's funny, I'm a moxie man myself.

Moxie????/ Blarf!!!!!

That and a Chinese sorghum rotgut are the two worst things I've ever drank.

Moxie's pretty good. It's like root beer with more malt. Peter mentioned that Moxie was originally marketed as a tonic to cure alcoholism, and only later became popular as a beverage in its own right. I don't know if it ever contained anything stronger than caffeine.

I'm totally with Matthew on the Chinese sorghum rotgut, though. Ugh.

I. Love. Moxie. My favorite soft drink, by far. On the rare occasions when I find myself in New England, I always look for it. Is it available somewhere in NYC?

It's main flavoring is gentian root, which is also the main flavoring of Angostura bitters.

I read a book years ago that lists Diet Moxie as the worst soft drink in history.

However, I find the idea of celebrating Thomas Pynchon -- or even giving him and his alleged writing any attention at all -- makes me twitchy.

Freebird sells Moxie. They're at 123 Columbia Street in Red Hook, Brooklyn. Check their website before you set out, because they keep somewhat non-standard hours.

In addition to being New York's only official Moxie outlet, Freebird's a great used bookstore and a frequent hosts of literary events and community happenings.

For me, one of the unexpected benefits of the Pynchon party for me was learning about FB's operation. They took over the bookstore from its former operators relatively recently. I hope they thrive, because they're a great addition to the neighborhood.

Oh you crazy, nutty, adorable Pynchon freaks.


Nice bg, LB. My pipe dream is to own a cook-book store with a kitchen-theater for authors.

Thanks for the link, Lindsay! I have family in Manhattan -- I'll try to scheme some kind of outing to Red Hook next time we visit...

In addition to being New York's only official Moxie outlet

Now I'm curious -- are there other, unofficial Moxie outlets in NYC, like some kind of Moxie underground? Blind pigs where immigrants from Vermont can congregate outside of the watchful eye of the Law to enjoy their Moxies and frappes and grinders and Necco wafers and maple candy and hotdogs with weirdly-squared-off buns in peace?

We have an eccentric Moxie distributor, along with other esoteric soft drinks, out here in L.A. - but only one.

Nice photo, Lindsay.

Anyone else notice but me ever notice that "Pirate Prentice" is an anagram for "preterite panic," and GR opens up with Prentice's nightmare?


OK, next year I'm making this bash. Someone remind me! Get me my pig costume!

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