Tuesday, April 12, 2016

from seat 26F at 30,000 feet



Above a sea of clouds, Monday afternoon.

Mighty Reader and I have been away, to Our Nation's Capitol and to The City That Never Sleeps. I finished Treasure Island in a studio apartment in beautiful Capitol Heights and began reading a collection of Abraham Lincoln's letters. In beautiful Brooklyn I purchased a copy of Clarice Lispector's Near to the Wild Heart, which I have not begun to read yet. There were a number of Lispector novels on the shelf at Greenlight Bookstore, and of course I bought the one with the James Joyce reference in the title. My attorney, Salvatore, had read the novel long ago and could not vouch for it, which I also took as a sign. Salvatore and I bonded over the complete stories of John Cheever a million-and-a-half years ago.

While in DC and NYC, Mighty Reader and I gazed long at several Vermeers and Turners. I appreciate a Vermeer, but I find that I am increasingly smitten with the works of Mr Turner, especially his later paintings when he moved away from figurative art and focused on light and color. Though I am a sucker for his maritime subjects once he got past the Dutch influence of ships tossed by a storm. The thing about Mr Turner, though (and I've said this before), is that he teaches the viewer that the sky is the largest part of any landscape, that the works of Nature and of Man are tiny things at the feet of the heavens, nearly invisible from the great heights of the clouds.

We took in a show in Brooklyn: the Anbessa Orchestra in concert (a gig in the tiny tiny tiny backroom of Barbes, a sweet little club that Mr and Mrs Salvatore could vouch for). The Anbessa Orchestra plays a sort of 1960-70s Ethiopian horn-based pop music. Very nice indeed.

7 comments:

  1. Sounds like a perfectly lovely getaway! Art, music, books, and clouds.

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    1. Yes, it was a good time. We also spent a lot of hours eating, drinking, and talking (other favorite activities, that is). We did not see the feral Brooklyn parrots, alas. Next time.

      Also, I was poking around on your blog. "Pretty Things" is a great poem. It has nice movement.

      Also also, on the flight back we glimpsed, briefly through the clouds, a couple of the Great Lakes. I can't swear which ones they were, though.

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  2. Traveling to enjoy museums and bookstores--a man and woman after my own heart.

    Hope you had a good time in D.C. It's a city that never stops rewarding you if you ignore politics and immerse yourself in art.

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    1. DC is a great town, absolutely terrific. We only had 3 days there, so we have to go back. Nine Smithsonian museums, after all. We never made it into the Library of Congress, the National Archives, etc etc. I think next time we'll take a day or two to visit Baltimore as well.

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  3. Sounds delicious. Don't forget the Freer next time! And when you want to sit down, it's pleasant to go slightly off the mall to the Botanical Gardens. A nice bench in a lovely old glasshouse is a great place to read a bit in your museum purchases.

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    1. We walked right by the Freer (we took a turn in the Castle's garden) and didn't even see it. I will remember the next time we're in DC.

      I can't tell you how nice it was to be in a city where you can get grits with breakfast at any restaurant. And red-eye gravy.

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    2. One time in my life I have been in a Denny's--with my in-laws, who wanted to go there for breakfast. I was stupid enough to order grits, even though I was in the state of New York, which knows not grits. They brought me a little bowl of brownish-pink sand.

      One version of the ideal Southern breakfast: grits and shrimp and scrambled eggs and fresh tomatoes. Charleston!

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