...in the bottom drawer
I knew I'd lose it so I put it in a safe place, and now I can't remember where it is.

currently stashed in: Cheshire Street, London
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November 29, 2004 || 3:19 pm

Apologies for lack of posts. The big Thanksgiving travel thing where the whole country decamped to somewhere else involving a really long and tortuous journey, ate turkey and then went home again, also swept me up, decamping to New York for what in Europe we call a 'mini-break'. A big culture shock from Alabama. Things to buy, everywhere, a strange and rather illogical thing after the total lack of consumer luxuries in the Black Belt (apart from big trucks). While it was rather wonderful it did also make me feel slightly queasy, the analogy of a kid in a candy store being more than apt and the consumption (or even availability) of quite that much candy giving me literal stomach pains. Bright lights, big city, we walked in Central Park (easily consumable beauty), ate oysters and Guinness for lunch at Grand Central Station, took a lot of yellow taxis (easily consumable transport), went to the new MoMA (the ultimate art candy store - ooh, look at how many Matisses they've got - ugh, I can't eat any more good art, I feel sick), stayed in a hotel.

It was, of course, really fun to hang out with English expat friends, with English sensibilities and lots of intelligence. And, unforgettably, the post-prandial invasion of New York neighbours into our English Thanksgiving dinner - the most quintessential New Yorkers imaginable - all Jewish mama and her late-teenage kids, wannabe rock star with a one-hit-wonder dad, stories about getting arrested for letting a dog off its leash and three thousand words a minute. Woody Allen would have been proud.

But my reversion to small-town life must have gone deeper than I thought, because I'm happy to be back in my town of two grocery stores and one licensed restaurant.

PS. The new MoMA, for those of you interested in architectural gossip, is really big and boring. Too crowded (with people and art), too many shadow-gap details, a crap foyer. A green marble floor which saps the life out of the beautiful Monet that they hung above it.

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