Last night, we held our first event in our new Community Room. We wanted to open with something big...something unforgettable. What would bring folks out on a cold January afternoon? Pete Hamill!

The house was packed for this special event. Hamill was superb -- he is the perfect mix of intelligence and street-smarts, eloquence and ordinary,  philosophical and realistic, sophistication and homespun, which is probably why everyone seemed to greet him as a friend.

He talked about  his life, his work, the state of the world today, and he talked about libraries(!). His stories were full of pride, hope, humor, and history...a lot like him.  Wow. We were so fortunate to have heard him speak and to meet him!

He was thoughtful and generous with his time and his remarks throughout the afternoon and evening. After the presentation, there was a long line of people waiting to have books signed -- he thanked them for their patience and was attentive to each individual that approached him (he gave what I'm sure was precious advice to a young journalism student and a kiss to a woman that asked(!))...there were so many memorable encounters.

This event was the perfect high note in our Grand Opening crescendo.

A huge thank you to Pete Hamill. New Yorker. Gentleman. Craftsman. Icon.