May Day is coming, and, though you might not have heard of it in today’s America, it’s one of the oldest holidays in the northern hemisphere–and one of the newest.
It began in the Roman days as a spring festival, and even then it was probably an older holiday absorbed into the dominant culture of the time. As Europe changed, so did May Day, the most common image of which is the Maypole and May Queen of English country habit–reflected in the structures of Renaissance Faires to this day. In any case, the holiday persisted even as Europe devolved into a rigid theocracy, and was still often celebrated with drunkenness and sexual abandon.
More recently, the holiday became associated with workers’ solidarity movements, which is why it is studiously ignored in America.
Both traditions are among the reasons we’re holding my little book signing at Northeast Los Angeles’s Flying Pigeon LA bike shop on that date.
Yes, as you may know, I have gathered a number of the essays I’ve published over the last seventeen years into a book called “Our Own Day Here,” which explores the meanings and functions of community, transportation, work, love, wildlife, and neighborhood in the modern city, and which does not disdain making statements about government, the economy, the corporate world, and how it all relates to the ways we get around on our streets and sidewalks (and, in LA’s case, how we treat our river)
I’ll be reading from this book, and signing copies (which you can buy at Flying Pigeon LA) for anyone who wishes to increase the value of their purchase by the value of the ink deposited in the signature.
I’ll also be signing copies of, and possibly reading from, my urban noir mystery novel, “The Dust Will Answer,” which is set among the homeless camps and abandoned warehouses of the LA River where it passes through downtown, an area huddled under the shadow of creeping gentrification at the time of the story.
I’ve even figured out a clever way to “sign” e-book copies of either work, which you’ll be able to order through your smartphones right there if you wish. (I’ll sign little gallery-quality cards with the cover image.)
However, if you want a signed material copy of the mystery, which is not part of Flying Pigeon’s inventory, you have just enough time to order the paperback if you, as the radio ads like to shout, “act now!”
So come on down to the legendary Flying Pigeon LA on May 1st at 6:30PM, indulge in some old May Day wine and some new May Day comradeship, listen to some urban yammer, and maybe buy a book to get autographed.
It’s spring, and time to renew the world yet again.
Richard Risemberg Book Signing
Flying Pigeon LA [map]
3404 N. Figueroa St.
Los Angeles, CA 90065
May 1, 2015, 6:30pm to 8:30pm
Wine & nibbles
I plan to lead a bike ride to the Pigeon from Union Station that night; just show up in front of the courtyard entrance by Alameda before 6PM; I should be there.