Thursday, March 30, 2017

Wednesdays with Carol

A Table for Two
Lunch with Tobi
My second free Wednesday dawned beautiful and bright. A lovely, sunny, cool day. Camille arrived on the dot of 11. After showing her the lunch I had prepared for Richard, I was off on the F train bound uptown. Of course, when the train pulled in to the East Broadway station, it was an A train. Dear MTA: Why is there an A train on the F track? So the conductor kept saying, this is an A train via the F line. Until it got to West 4th Street. Then it was just an A train and would veer over to 8th Avenue. I got off.

Taxi time to 23rd and 6th. I was headed to meet my friend, Tobi, for lunch at Giorgio of Gramercy, not to be confused with Sergio of Soho, on 21st Street between Broadway and Park.

On the way to the restaurant, at the corner of Park and 21st, I spied a fun store from Denmark called Flying Tiger. A quick detour took me through it's aisles filled with bright, inexpensive, fun stuff.

 Easter Bunny Stuff.
 Sheep and Bunnies.
Plastic Chick Thingies.
Better than live ones, which the parents
will have to send to a pretend farm
in the country after Easter.

When I reached the restaurant, Tobi had already arrived and claimed a cosy corner table, so I gleefully joined her, ready to indulge in at least an hour of good conversation, good food and a glass of Sauvignon Blanc.
The waiter took our picture.

Over lunch, Tobi told me about her recent honor of being invited to the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts for a three-day residency. Tobi sat in on several classes and gave a gave a speech entitled: "Lies, Hoaxes and Nonsense: Truth on the Battlefield."

Tobi is a writer and teaches at the Columbia School of Journalism. She was formerly National Writer and Arts Editor of the Associated Press.

I would like to quote the final words of her speech in Massachusetts because the message in so important in our Trump world:

We can stop calling this trend fake news and start calling it what it is: Lies.And we can educate ourselves and others.  It's up to all of us because truth is on the battlefield.  And when we lose truth, we lose our humanity.
A gorgeous display of Forsythia
at Giorgio's.
I had the soup du jour, lobster bisque.
It was delicious, as were the olives,
marinated in olive oil, honey and lemon zest.
After lunch, it was time for a bit
of exuberant mugging at the
barbershop next door.
The revelation of the sky
in Manhattan.
Fifth Avenue and 23rd Street.
The Empire State Building
 We stopped at Maille, the
mustard purveyors depuis 1740.
The sales lady sported a mustard-yellow
scarf as she pointed out
the Maille picnic basket
on the back of a spiffy bike.
Yes, I will take it for a spin to
Madison Square.
Final stop: Marimekko.
This outfit reminds me of  the hippie
look from the sixties,
particularly Portobello Road in London.
Love the flying caftans too.

À Bientôt!

À mercredi prochain.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Wednesdays with Carol

A Date with Myself
Wednesdays will always be with Carol

I have been remiss of late in not publishing more frequent posts on Femme et Fleur. To offer a frank explanation, I have not been inspired to write because my world is now circumscribed by a need to stay close to home with my spouse because he needs my help. We no longer travel to my beloved France. Visiting with friends has been curtailed. We still do a lot. We go to museums. We dine out. We will once again go to Orient in August when Lazy Girl will make an appearance. But too often I must beg off seeing friends or hurry home.

So at the urging of my interventionists, my sisters, Susan and Jeanne, and my friends and with the encouragement of my step-daughter, Dianna, and her husband, Michael, I have decided to hire an aide to be with Richard one day a week. This will be my day off. We started this week when a lovely, professional woman named Camille came to be with him.

I will plan wonderful things to do. I will wander and flaneur. I will see friends. I may even sip an elegant cocktail or two. It will always be Wednesdays with Carol.

This week my Wednesday began with a visit to The Morgan Library to see an exhibit about the American poet, Emily Dickinson. When I was in high school I had a slim volume of her poems and brought it to Ms. Sheila Saferstein's English class to read aloud. Ms. Saferstein was a great teacher and quite a looker. She had short, dark hair swept back from her face, wore pencil skirts and heels and was thrilled to have a class full of smart-alecky first-trackers at North Shore High.

For our final exam, Ms. Saferstein gave each student a copy of the hardbound, cultural magazine, Horizon. My issue was devoted to Emily Dickinson so I wrote an essay based on her.
Emily Dickinson was born in Amherst, Massachusetts,
and except for one year which she spent at
Mount Holyoke Female Seminary in
South Hadley, Massachusetts, lived in
Amherst her entire life.
 The glass elevators in the Lorenzo Piano
atrium addition to The Morgan Library.
 The sun-filled cafe in the atrium.
My perfect afternoon tea.
Earl Grey.
Loved the deviled egg and sandwiches.
 Emily Dickinson was born in 1830 and died in 1885.
Particularly in her later life, she was
enigmatic. She dressed only in white and avoided people.
Her poems were enigmatic too.
Short, eccentric and sometimes
difficult to parse.
 She would hide behind doors. She did not visit others,
but sent letters instead.
She would send a bunch of flowers from
her garden.
She said that people might prefer a posy to a poem.
In her later years, Emily Dickinson created hand-sewn books 
of her poems that she had hand written.
These are called fascicles.
Her fascicles contained 800 poems.
 A portrait of Emily (left), her brother, Austin,
and sister, Lavinia.
 Only 12 of Emily's poems were published
during her lifetime.
Her entire oeuvre was 1,800 poems.
 Amherst College, founded by Emily's grandfather.
Her father was a trustee of the college.
 Emily loved flowers.
When she died her coffin was carried through 
a field of buttercups to the graveyard.
She was buried with vanilla-scented heliotrope,
a Lady's Slipper and a knot of blue field Violets.
 Emily had an herbarium of over 400 dried flowers.
This is one of Emily's more accessible poems,
which is perhaps why it was used as a title for the exhibit.
She was an intense poet of mystical proportions.
She was hardly a "Nobody".
When a friend named Thomas Wentworth Higginson
visited her he said,
"Without touching her she drew from me.
I am glad not to have lived near her."

À Bientôt!
Je vous verrai tous les mercredis.