Inspired by the Wall Street Journal article earlier this summer, CBS News contacted me to be the “seltzer expert” in their piece expected to air tomorrow morning, Saturday, on CBS Morning Show (8:15 a.m. in NYC). It was flattering to be asked and awesome to be part of yet another of what I am calling the “seltzer resurgence” meme in the press this summer.
I met them on 11th avenue and 45th street, at a bar that serves seltzer from The Brooklyn Seltzer Boys. I sat at a table with Mark Albert, glasses of seltzer between us, and for a half hour or so we talked seltzer.
I look forward to watching it tomorrow and sharing it with all of you. If you watch, let me know what you think!
I’m going to be in Pittsburgh in two weeks for a work related conference. A few months ago, I reached out to the Center for Postnatural History, as I was excited to visit them. After some back and forth, we decided I would do a reading from the book, and called it “The Science of Seltzer”. You can read more about it here.
This will be my first time doing a reading now that I have an agent for the book and the first time I will be doing a reading in the city that plays such a central role within the narrative. I’m super-excited.
And since it’s a science-related talk at a (post)natural history museum, I made a fun promotional photo wearing my work shirt:
The following is an Egg Cream Reading excerpt, at the In-Between Club on Long Island April 2011.
This will remain available only through April. Enjoy and please leave comments (not here but on the Give Me Seltzer’s Facebook page.
At 10 p.m. EST this evening, if the fates allow, I will be reading the draft of the opening section from my book project, Give Me Seltzer.
More information on the event, and a link to the text, here.
Below will be the live video of my reading, followed by a space to chat with others during the reading.
The video will remain posted, in archive, for one week, and will then be removed.
And if you want to watch it while participating in a live chat with other listeners, go here.
I recently finished a draft of the opening to my book, Give Me Seltzer, and I am excited to be sharing it, for the first time, this Thursday, at an online book reading. I will leave up the video of the reading, and the full text, for one week.
If you would like to attend, and get more information, please RSVP here. I hope you can join us and offer me your feedback.
Until then, let me tease you with the opening lines:
I think most who meet him would be inclined to agree: Eli is a myth-making machine. He greets one client, “Hi Sweetheart. How ya doing?” before explaining my presence: “This is the Daily Forward. He’s doing a story about me, about my clients.” He speaks with a crisp Brooklyn accent, with each word highly articulated, as if performing a radio show. “He’s gonna ask you questions about me. Ya tell him I’m a living legend.” To which the husband responds, with a smile, “At least in his own mind.” But after 50 years delivering seltzer, door-to-door, Eli Miller has well earned the right to tell it like he sees it. He’s one of perhaps a dozen active seltzer men (and a few women) in the country. In fact, at 77 years, and with two heart stints, he’s most likely also the oldest. Eli still has over a hundred and fifty clients to whom he regularly delivers seventy pounds of siphon-filled wooden cases, across Brooklyn and occasionally into Manhattan. I had the good fortune of being present at the first delivery for a new client, a young mother in a fashionable sundress with white wedge heels. “I’ve been wanting it for a long, long time,” she tells me. “I love seltzer.” Eli interrupts her from behind me, maneuvering his hand-truck. “I’m the product. It’s not the seltzer,” he jokes. “It’s all about Eli.” It was her first day, but she’d already learned the routine. “It’s all about Eli,” she repeats, “Sorry.” But then, to me, in all sincerity, “The man is renowned in Brooklyn. When I met him, I felt like an angel came.” The day I met Eli was during his slow season, what he described as “the tail end of August.” When Eli spins stories about his life as a seltzer man, he’s speaking on behalf of an entire industry approaching its own tail end. He speaks to the work of bottlers who carbonate the water, the desires of housewives and other clients that cause it to flow, and the back-breaking labor of delivery men like himself who weave invisible webs connecting them all. When Eli talks himself up he’s claiming a space in our collective consciousness for a dying profession. When he quips, “I’m an anachronism, what can I tell ya?” it feels like he’s almost pleading, “Remember us, for soon we’ll be gone.”
I recently spoke before a wonderful congregation in Great Barrington, Ma. Here are two excerpts from the talk. The following is an excerpt from Give Me Seltzer at a reading I did in August of 2010 in Great Barrington, MA. It’s called The Blizzard of 2010. It was the first time I read it to an audience, to see how they’d respond.
The following is from the start of a talk on seltzer I gave on August of 2010 in Great Barrington, MA. It’s from an old children’s book and, of course, about seltzer.
So what was my recent surprise news? At my upcoming seltzer talk in the Berkshires, I am so excited to be premiering Jessica Edwards’ excellent short film Seltzer Works, which is now listed on her web site’s screening’s page.
Not only am I honored for her to let me include it in my presentation, but she will be there in person as well and available for me to ask a few questions before the audience. A night not to miss.