Al Franken is a big fat success in New York

Al Franken at Borders Books this afternoon

So I wandered downtown to Wall Street again this morning. This time the attraction was the possibility of encountering and photographing bankers and brokers screaming as Al Franken entered their neighborhood Borders Books for a signing of his latest tome, already an over-the-top (in both senses) Best Seller titled, "Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right."

I was disappointed, since there was not even the hint of an altercation, and the friendly Borders people were outfitted in smart "TEAM FRANKEN" t-shirts. One of the people waiting to greet the great man, a middle-aged Lefty intellectual who had already read the book, suggested that the Republicans don't read, so they had not heard what was going on just 100 feet from the Stock Exchange.

The crowd was a pretty mixed, although remarkably white, group of bookies, several hundreds of them in fact. I had missed the photo-op that I had come for, so I decided to buy the book (a totally unnecessary purchase in my case, but it was a good cause, and good for me too at a special 30% discount today) and get in line myself. Besides, the fact that a lot of them were very cute made for a pleasant market area visit. Those of us in the line unfortunately missed Franken's brief remarks delivered on another floor - bad organization on the part of the special events people at the store.

Some will have another chance tomorrow, as he will be part of a large Howard Dean event at 7 o'clock tomorrow to open the new club, Avalon, once known as The Limelight. Performers and speakers include Franken, Dean, Whoopi Goldberg and Gloria Gaynor, who will be performing "I Will Survive". Yes, that's right.

It sounds like the space is being re-consecrated in noble purpose, perhaps suggesting an attempt to exorcize the spirits of owners, promoters and club-kids past. Not a bad start, but it's not likely to determine the course of Avalon nights to follow. Nor should it.

Sounds like a certain amount of fun tomorrow night, possibly even for Dr. Dean himself.