Scenes from The New York City Spelling Bee at Housing Works


Housing Works Bookstore Café is celebrating its 10 year anniversary, and the downtown cultural institution is keeping the good times going with lots of offbeat interactive events for weeks to come. This past Saturday, we hit their New York City Spelling Bee, a hilarious adult spelling competition hosted by comedian Jennifer Dziura and musician bobby blue. Although anyone can enter, the Bee means business. After a first round icebreaker in which all spellers advance, competition heated with words like “selenology,” “gesundheit” and “perchlorate.” In the end, second place went to former Daily News scribe Jo Piazza (who got stumped on “ochlocracy”), and contestant and Brian R. triumphed after knocking out a series of polysyllabic puzzlers.

We’re totally coming back for next month’s match. Having learned that “tobogganer” has two g’s as opposed to one, we were feeling pretty smart after the Bee. Even better, though, was knowing that all Housing Works’ profits go towards providing housing and supporting people with HIV and AIDS. Check out their site for more fun literary events to come.