I’ve just returned from a fantastical weekend in New York City. I collected some details during my wanderings: the gorgeous woman in times square with fair skin and black hair and the port-wine stain like a fingerprint on the tip of her chin; the nine year old girl swivel-swiveling on her figure-8-shaped skateboard through the crowds; the waiter who mixed our guacamole in a little clay pot with a swirl click click swirl; the woman walking down the street in Brooklyn carrying an enormous poster of a deer, followed (the woman, not the deer) by grinning children; the mariachi band that entertained us on the subway… There were so many details, but these rise to the surface as I type.
I visited with my wonderful writer-friend Lauren, and the always adorable Amanda and David. Overall, there was much talking, much ravioli and salad and Indian food ingested (though not all at once) and a lot of walking.
Lauren and I found The Strand bookstore and I’ve decided that Tom and I need to move in there. It could be like The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, but with adults hiding in a bookstore. The place was amazing. It filled me with bookish glee and made me feel like this world is full of fascinating things that I’ve yet to learn about. I spent most of my time in the mythology (bought three books) and young adult sections. I pointedly stayed away from history knowing that I would emerge with several heavy books I would have to carry around all day. They had The Blood Confession in the YA horror section and I signed it for them. Aces! Lauren and I crouched on the floor and talked about our works-in-progress. Surrounded by those towering bookshelves I felt somehow safe, protected, lifted up from my writerly woes.
Another highlight was my second visit to The Cloisters museum. The museum has a lovely flowering courtyard in the midst of all the medieval art.
But I spent most of my time with the unicorn tapestries, getting lost in all those billions of tiny stitches. I simply could not tear myself away. I’ve been familiar with these tapestries since poring over pictures of them when I was a kid, so it’s wonderful to see them in person. They are overwhelmingly amazing (As the group of older women exclaimed upon entering the room: “Well would you look at this, how beautiful!”) so I wanted to spend some time with them. Like visiting an old friend.
I would live in the Cloisters too but there is no place to really hide in the unicorn room (I looked for a crevice but there was none, and I had been there so long that the security was keeping an eye on me). I’ll just have to plan another visit.