March 12, 2002

Jersey City History Alert, featuring Swindlers and Bookies!
The "Five-Finger Discount Walking Tour," conceived and sponsored by the Jersey City Landmarks Conservancy, in collaboration with the author, Helene Stapinski, will occur on Saturday, March 16th, 2002, at 1:00pm, in celebration of the March 12th release of the paperback edition. $5 suggested donation to the Jersey City Landmarks Conservancy. Please e-mail to register and for meeting details.

A funny, tough-minded memoir, Five-Finger Discount was nominated as one of's "Best of 2001." With deadpan humor and obvious affection, Stapinski weaves the story of her unforgettable New Jersey family of swindlers, bookies, embezzlers, and mobster-wannabes with the checkered history of her hometown of Jersey City, a place now undergoing a remarkable renaissance.

The tour will feature Stapinski reading passages from the book and will include such Jersey City landmarks as City Hall, Journal Square, and the Loew's Jersey Theatre. At the end of the tour, participants are invited to have their book signed by the author, then join the JCLC for a drink at the Canton Tea Garden.
It doesn't specify, but I think the tour leaves from the Journal Square Loew's Theatre. Here's a link to an excerpt from Five-Finger Discount, which begins "The night my grandfather tried to kill us, I was five years old, the age I stopped believing in Santa Claus, started kindergarten, and made real rather than imaginary friends." How can you not read more after that?

Date & Time: Saturday, March 16, 2002, 1pm.
Meeting location: In front of statue at City Hall, 280 Grove Street (between Mercer and Montgomery).
Public transportation: City Hall is three blocks south of the Grove Street PATH station.
Price: $5 suggested donation to the Jersey City Landmarks Conservancy.

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