Home    Site Map    MySpace    Contact    Share    RSS Feed RSS Feed Icon     



Photo Gallery | Recap | Discuss


For years, I had received e-mails from Matt Sherman about Bond Collector’s Weekends and my reply was always the same, “I can’t make it this year, but have it in New York City, where I’m from, and I’ll be there in a heartbeat!” Needless to say, when it was announced that Bond Collector’s Weekend 8 (BCW8) would, in fact, be in NYC, the wait was finally over.

Day 1 Begins:
Bond Collector's Weekend 8
A group shot on the first day

(click image to enlarge)
Since I have family to stay with in New York City, I met up with the BCW8 crew at their hotel in the early afternoon for some “bonding,” lunch and chatting. Once the tour began, our first stop was the Ford Theater, which is the current home of the musical Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, originally written by none other than Ian Fleming. This was my first taste of just how in-depth this tour was going to be. While we all know about the locations from Live and Let Die, I would soon learn that New York City was home to a whole slew of places from the novels, comics and Ian Fleming’s life.

Homecoming and the Death March:
Our next stop was a complete surprise; a trip to Roosevelt Island, where both Matt and I grew up (at separate times), for spectacular views of New York City, including the United Nations building used in the pre-title sequence of Live and Let Die. After that, we began what Athena Stamos of CommanderBond.net lovingly referred to as “The BCW Death March,” which basically entailed the group walking miles around the city as Matt pointed out various spots of Bond interest. Highlights of the march included a portion of a road in Central Park where Bond’s taxi drove past en-route to Harlem and the building Felix is monitoring when Kananga, Solitaire and Tee Hee walk in to change into their pimp-clothes. However, these were just the warm-up for the location I was most excited about: the O’Cult Voodoo Shop.

Bond Collector's Weekend 8
Me outside the O'Cult Voodoo Shop

(click image to enlarge)
Despite the fact that the O’Cult Voodoo Shop is now a Michael Dawkins jewelry shop, it was still the same place that Bond walked into more than 30 years ago. And right next to it, just as seen in Live and Let Die, was the alleyway where Bond chases after Mr Bigg’s car.

More Than Just Live and Let Die:
Taking a break from Live and Let Die locations, our next stop was Thomas Crown’s apartment building from The Thomas Crown Affair, followed by a visit to the real-life residence of Sir Sean Connery...and no, we did not go in or ring the bell. Next up was Raymond Benson’s former apartment, which was also James Suzuki’s apartment in Benson’s short story, Blast From the Past. A quick refresher: James Suzuki was James Bond’s illegitimate son from the novel You Only Live Twice. Mothered by Kissy Suzuki, Bond was never aware of his son’s existence until Benson’s short story.

Back to the Movie:
Next up was the building formerly known as the Fillet of Soul restaurant in Live and Let Die. Matt informed us that, despite the building’s uptown location in the movie, the actual facade used for filming was located far away due to the dangerous environment in Harlem at the time. However, as Harlem is no longer the unsafe place of the 1970s, our next destination was that famous neighborhood.

Tired Yet?
Bond Collector's Weekend 8
The Fillet of Soul location

(click image to enlarge)
Because by this point, we all sure were! I’d say we did at least 8 miles of walking on that first day, and it was worth every step. The trooper of the day was by far Matt’s young daughter, Alex, who kept pace all day with nary a complaint. Another great byproduct of all the walking was the large amount of time we all had to meet each other and chat about Bond and life in general.

I was thrilled to finally meet Matt Sherman (organizer of the BCWs and owner of 007Forever.com), as well as my new friends from CommanderBond.net, John Cox and Athena Stamos, all of whom I had e-mailed with at some point or another over UniversalExports’ nine-year existence. Also in our group was Deborah Lipp, who was just finishing her new book, The Ultimate James Bond Fan Book. All-in-all, it was a great group of folks with one common “bond.” Sorry...I’ll try to keep those jokes to a minimum!

After showing us a few more spots, our final stop of the day was the top of Central Park where Bond’s taxi came out of en-route to the fictional locale of the Fillet of Soul. As the rest of the group hung out there chatting away and waiting for Max Vesterhalt of For Your Eyes Only, I took my leave...because it was my birthday...and drinks awaited me!

Bond Collector's Weekend 8

Bond Collector's Weekend 8

Highlights of the costume party

(click image to enlarge)
Day 2:
Our second day of touring began at the United Nations, a place I had last visited during elementary school and one that had great importance to the pre-title sequence of Live and Let Die. While the tour of the U.N. was not led by Matt, we did stop in the room where the UK’s representative was killed. Also present in that room were newer versions of the earpieces all the delegates wear, which everyone in the group enjoyed putting on and making “I’m being electrocuted” jokes.

After a two hour lunch where we enjoyed oyster stew at the Oyster Bar in Grand Central Station, a dish that Ian Fleming referred to as the best meal in New York City, it was back to the tour. The rest of the day took us to various sites from the books as well as the graphic novels, culminating in a visit to Times Square.

The Costume Party:
On Saturday evening, the BCW8 crew met up at CommanderBond.net team member Charlie Axworthy’s suite at the Waldorf Astoria for the annual costume party. In attendance were two Tee Hees, a Bond and Wai Lin couple (complete with BMW bike and handcuffs), Octupussy, Magda, Mata Bond, Jimmy Bond, the Liparus Captain and more Bonds and Bond girls than you can shake a stick at. All-in-all, a successful night for creative Bond fans.


Day 3:
Highlights of the third day of touring (a short day) were Felix Leiter’s office building and the stairs that Bond’s driver crashed into after being assassinated by Whisper in Live and Let Die. However, the real treat began when we got to Rock America and met with the weekend’s special guests. For the rest of the afternoon we listened in glee as Geoffrey Holden (Barron Samedi) regaled us with stories of filming Live and Let Die as well as taking some time to wax poetical about the state of the world today.

Bond Collector's Weekend 8
Me with Geoffrey Holden,
aka Barron Samedi

(click image to enlarge)
Next, Max Vesterhalt (a Bond Girl in For Your Eyes Only) told us of her time spent with Roger Moore as well as Cubby and the rest of the Bond crew over the early 1980s. It was fascinating to learn that the reason there was so little romance in For Your Eyes Only was because John Glen had no idea what he was doing with personal scenes. We then heard from Michael DiLeo (author of The Spy Who Thrilled Us and John Griswold (author of The Annotated Ian Fleming who spoke about their books and their love of James Bond. The rest of the day was spent chatting with the guests and other BCW’ers and saying our final goodbyes.

Until Next Time:
Should you ever have a chance to attend a Bond Collector's Weekend, I highly recommend it. They are a blast and you will never feel more at home discussing every nuance of the Bond series with people who actually understand what you are talking about and where you are coming from. For more info on BCW 8, check out CommanderBond.net's summary of the event. Lastly, be sure to stay tuned to Universal Exports for details of future BCW's.

Image Gallery:
BCW 8 Photo
The Group in Times Square
BCW 8 Photo
Matt Leads a Talk
BCW 8 Photo
United Nations
BCW 8 Photo
On the Tram Plaza
BCW 8 Photo
Bond's Cab Drives Past Here
BCW 8 Photo
Bond's Cab Drives Past Here
BCW 8 Photo
The Building Kananga Goes Into With Solitaire
BCW 8 Photo
The Building Kananga Goes Into With Solitaire
BCW 8 Photo
The O'Cult Voodoo Shop
BCW 8 Photo
Me outside the O'Cult Voodoo Shop
BCW 8 Photo
Thomas Crown's Apt
BCW 8 Photo
Raymond Benson's Apt & James Suzuki's Apt in Blast From the Past
BCW 8 Photo
Filet of Soul
BCW 8 Photo
Filet of Soul
BCW 8 Photo
Filet of Soul
BCW 8 Photo
Harlem Where Bond's Cab Comes Out
BCW 8 Photo
Top of Central Park Where Bond's Cab Comes Out
BCW 8 Photo
United Nations
BCW 8 Photo
UN Delegate Room
BCW 8 Photo
UN Translator Booths
BCW 8 Photo
The Group Relaxing Across the Street From the UN
BCW 8 Photo
The Group Relaxing Across the Street From the UN
BCW 8 Photo
The Clock in Grand Central Station
BCW 8 Photo
Oyster Stew at the Oyster Bar in Grand Central - Bond's Favorite Food in NYC in Thrilling Cities
BCW 8 Photo
Eating Oyster Stew
BCW 8 Photo
At the Oyster Bar
BCW 8 Photo
Matt Talks on About Some Buildings
BCW 8 Photo
The Astoria Waldorf Where We Partied Saturday Night
BCW 8 Photo
The Drake Hotel Where Bond Stays in Blast From the Past
BCW 8 Photo
MGM HQ in NYC
BCW 8 Photo
The Internet Crew
BCW 8 Photo
A Resturant With the Bond Name
BCW 8 Photo
The bike from TND
BCW 8 Photo
A bunch of Bonds
BCW 8 Photo
Bond and Wai Lin
BCW 8 Photo
Tee Hee
BCW 8 Photo
Matt and his wife
BCW 8 Photo
The ladies of BCW8
BCW 8 Photo
Bonds and the ladies of Octopussy
BCW 8 Photo
Strobmerg holds Bond while Bond shoots
BCW 8 Photo
The Internet crew
BCW 8 Photo
Group shot in the Waldorf Astoria lobby
BCW 8 Photo
Recreating the Octopussy poster
BCW 8 Photo
Geoffrey Holden (Barron Samedi)
BCW 8 Photo
A table of Bondian goodies
BCW 8 Photo
Me With Barron Samedi
BCW 8 Photo
Me With Michael DiLeo - Author of The Spy Who Thrilled Us
BCW 8 Photo
Matt shows us a magazine
BCW 8 Photo
Me With Max Vesterhalt of For Your Eyes Only
BCW 8 Photo
Me and Matt Sherman
BCW 8 Photo
Stairs Where Bond's Driver Crashes Into
BCW 8 Photo
Stairs Where Bond's Driver Crashes Into
BCW 8 Photo
Felix's Office - Greenish Building in Background, It has since been rebuilt...not the original Building
BCW 8 Photo
Felix's Office - Greenish Building in Background, It has since been rebuilt...not the original Building





 Home      Contact      Discuss      RSS Feed    



Univex Mall




Advertisements (more)