Later today, as you're stumbling to the next bar, when you pass the little kids and somewhat bigger ones who have the middle-age spread wearing taped-up spectacles and wizard hats, you'll know that you have entered the Harry Potter Zone. The sixth book,
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, is being released tonight at midnight, and as there is nothing that the media likes better than getting quotes from kids, don't expect to escape unscathed. What better fun is there than seeing Jon Stewart trip over the word "Muggle" on The Daily Show or Rob Corddry's excellent report on Harry Potter book security? And there are a ton of Harry Potter parties this evening, from the children's book haven Books of Wonder, where illustrator Mary Grandpre will be on hand to autograph books, not to mention owls (!!!), to the corner Barnes & Noble. And for adults, McNally Robinson in Nolita is going to have food and Hufflepuff Hooch, palm readers, and Zach from the Fresh Kills DJing. Gothamist hasn't been keeping up with the Potter books, but we are eager to hear who will die, just so we can win a future game of Trivial Pursuit: The Harry Potter Edition.

Are you excited about the new Harry Potter book? Did you order via Amazon or are you headed to a bookstore tonight? And Gothamist would be remiss if we didn't mention the Hitchcock film, The Trouble with Harry, with a young John Forsythe and Shirley MacLaine, not to mention Jerry Mathers, as New Englanders who try to figure out what to do when a man's body appears. And since we're on the obsessive fan tip, Twin Peaks fans, Royal Dano, who played Judge Sternwood on the show, is also in the movie.

2005_07_welcomebackpotter.jpgUpdated: Verbose Coma has photographs of the madness that Harry Potter's U.S. publisher Scholastic (headquartered in SoHo) is wreaking downtown; Gawker calls it Harry Potter and the Prisoner of SoHo.

And the Daily Show segment about Harry Potter Terror is now online. Check it out.