03 January 2008
What I found on my way home from work
I'm enjoying this new thing: actually being treated with respect. And also trying to ingrain the idea that respect is something that should be expected and not something for which I should be grateful. I feel like I'm taking concerted steps to put my life back together. Also making a conscious effort to notice the places and things I see that I think are beautiful. I used to do it all of the time, stopping to look at the little girl in her enormous parka outside my apartment every morning, her cable-knit tights barely visible beneath a coat entirely too big for her. Her mom would somehow always choose my apartment stoop as the site to tug up her little girl's zipper and pull her mittens over her cuffs. It would make me smile everyday that I saw it. Hot chocolate with plump marshmallows. Spatters of French in the air. Dogs with curly ears. And a few more things I glimpsed today:
* Roslyn at 73rd and Columbus. Whoever is arranging the window displays should get a raise at this upscale shop specializing in vintage jewelry and fabulous hats. Among items in the window are cushion-cut diamond rings from the 1930s, tree of life pendants, opal necklaces, and drop earrings resembling a cross between clusters of grapes and upside-down tulips. I could have lingered in there for hours...but it would have been too depressing to look at so many beautiful things so far out of my price range!
* Next door we have Arte Around the Corner, the sister restaurant to Arte Cafe. Pear-ginger bread. Nutella fingers. Berry sprinkled oatmeal, fine wines, European style bushels of cookies and shelves of jams. I saw people perched on tall stools, drinking a glass of wine and typing away on laptops. A new GRE study place? Perhaps, if I can convince myself to cross the park.
* On Madison, we have the MarieBelle Cacao Bar and Tea Salon. It's a tiny, second-floor cafe with twinkling lights and lush furniture, an ode to tearooms in Paris, Budapest, and Vienna. I noticed it because as soon as I looked up, I noticed that their chandelier was the very same one that I had admired in Catherine's apartment! I could see the sparkle from the street. It looked like the type of place where I would spend the entire day with a cup of cocoa or another revitalizing beverage....
Have you noticed that none of the places I noticed are bars? Maybe it's the cold weather, maybe it's getting older, maybe it's still being in recovery mode, but I cannot think of anyplace I would less want to be than a crowded bar filled with girls in skimpy tops and men who think way too much of themselves. I would rather spend time with the people I already know and like, maybe in front of the fire, with fondue and good wine, great stories and an old movie, blankets and argyle socks... I prefere culture and comfort over crowds.