LG Obession: Idlewild

Shopping & Style, Travel Books & Movies, Travel Products & Services, Wifi & Internet Cafes — By on September 9, 2008 at 2:31 pm

Travel BooksI didn’t think it was possible to love bookstores even more than I already do (the scent of freshly printed paperbacks mixed with coffee grounds practically makes me high) until the random Thursday morning I stumbled upon Idlewild in New York City.

I’d been granted a full day off work, and I must have been in quite a mood, as I was actually gazing upwards at the buildings instead of down at my feet in a typical gotta-get-there beeline. On the second floor of a nondescript building in the Flatiron district, I spotted what appeared to be a new specialty bookstore travelers.

I couldn’t believe it. In a city where many of the cool mom and pop bookshops have bowed out to the big Barnes and Noble-type superstores (You’ve Got Mail wasn’t entirely a fictional tale), some maverick had opened up a shop designed exclusively for travel and literature junkies. Who would be so reckless?

Apparently, that man would be David Del Vecchio. A former United Nations press officer with a penchant for all things travel, Del Vecchio got his passion project up and running just a few months ago. He named the shop Idlewild as a nod to the original name for New York International Airport, which was renamed JFK in December 1963.

There’s oh so much to love about this shop, which is located on the parlor floor of an 1880s-era home. Charming to the hilt, the 1,000 square foot space contains stained glass and chairs from the original Idlewild Airport. It’s filled with globes and maps and of course, row after row of travel guidebooks, cookbooks, memoirs and children’s books, all grouped geographically. The shop also carries travel accessories, including international power adapters, disposable cameras, carry-on bags, luggage tags, and, of course, itty bitty book lights for long-haul flights.

Check out the website to learn about upcoming book launches and signings–according to The New York Sun, Del Vecchio’s goal is to develop a set of regulars (which he already sees forming) and to create a sense of community. Since opening, he has hosted a number of discussions and signings, including the American book launch and reception for “A Town Like Paris” by Bryce Corbett.

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  • Donna says:

    What a great store! Reminds me of that travel bookshop that Hugh Grant’s character owns in “Notting Hill.” Glad to know there’s still room for specialty book shops in the real world.
    Donna @ BootsnAll.com

  • Christy says:

    Oh my gosh I would LOVE to go to that store. I would probably get stuck for a whole day.

  • ken (your agent) says:

    We love this store. Lock and I thought it would be a great place for a book party–even a launch party, and for sure a signing. We already have told David about you and the book. Very cool.
    xox, Ken (your agent)

  • Annette B says:

    I’m putting it on my list of things to do when I’m in NYC for thanksgiving week…what a find! thanks for posting about it.

  • jarrod says:

    Wow. As a New Yorker, I have to check this place out. Love you blog. I am putting a link to it on my travel site: http://www.pyrodes.com. Safe travels!

  • Lauren K says:

    I’m right there with you. If I’m having a bad day, it’s to the bookstore I go for a pick-me-up. Great post. Next time I’m in the city, I’m there.