27 March 2008
Yesterday was such a gorgeous day-- 60 degrees, sunny, perfect for exploring the city. Of course I had to visit the greenmarket for some hot cider and an apple cider doughnut. But mostly I just enjoyed taking pictures of the light hitting the flowers, and of how happy the first real day of spring seemed to make everyone.
I walked across 14th Street and visited what I like to call Little Britain (and I'm betting that it actually is called that)-- the span of shops and restaurants that includes A Salt & Battery (the fish & chips shop) and Tea & Sympathy, the quintessential British tea room transplanted to American shores. I sat by the window with a pot of black currant tea and a dish of sticky toffee pudding, and amid spoonfuls of pudding and sips of tea, I actually found myself forgetting that I was in the states and not having a lazy afternoon at Joe's, Jenny's and my favorite restaurant in Oxford. I remember last November, when my Oxford friend Ben visited and, after saying goodbye to him, I went solo to the movies to see The History Boys. When I walked out, it was dusk, and I was surprised not to hear British accents surrounding me or to get my heel stuck in the cobblestones outside The King's Arms. At Tea & Sympathy I was amazed my the rapore and relaxed atmosphere-- if the staff (all British) needs to seat a newly-arrived party in the 28-seat establishment, they may ask current customers to shift to another table, and the customers were only too happy to oblige! I guess occasionally getting away from the stuffiness of uptown can be liberating, although it is my belief that the more you get into hipster territory, the more exclusive it becomes. But I digress. I chose as company during my tea-time the Thomas Hardy biography, which is becoming more and more interesting. I'm reminded why I find such affinity with Hardy's female characters. As I get older, I find myself finding things in common with the heroines I previously found baffling-- like Eustacia Vye.
Afterward I strolled through Chelsea Market and pretending that I was in Hardy's Wessex.
The trouble with such a lovely day is that I can never make myself want to go back to work. I went to bed with a migraine and woke up with one, yet I forced myself to go to work because there was simply too much to be done. Throughout the entire day, though, I battled nausea. I cheered myself up a bit by looking at the puppies in the shop window-- I held a beautiful chocolate brown cocker spaniel, who shared a cage with her brother (whom I named Rupert, do to his wrinkled face, droopy eyes, and general old-man appearance). My adorable baby girl puppy? Well, I can't afford to have a puppy, but were I to buy her she would either be Lacey or Decca. Decca for her spunk, but she just looks like a Lacey. (neither of these little guys is Decca/Lacey, but how sweet!)