I got so many kind responses from people on that last post - some, it must be said, of frustration from loved ones, but I think you guys know what I was getting at, yes? In any case, I want to talk about it more in future, and with permission, quote some of your remarks? You said some things far better than I could.
Weekend: Saturday I covered a Brooklyn wedding fair, which was a lot of fun and, while I alternated between despair (at the knowledge that I'd never have the energy nor money to give each one of my guests an NYC Moleskine notebook) and elation (at all the delicious samples and gorgeous flowers), it was extremely useful: Slim and I loved the old-fashioned camera setup one of the photographers had, and I like the picture of us enough that I will even show it to you, here.
And Sunday we did indeed get to Philly, packing a book on tape, to catch the Gorky retrospective at the Philadelphia Museum of Art which, you will be glad to know, does indeed sell a $500 foot-high sculpture of an exultant Rocky-in-training. The Gorky was okay. I mean, the exhibit was great, and if you're a fan, it's probably essential. I liked some of his early work very well, but the evocative descent into crippling depression and suicide was not really to my taste and probably not what anyone fragile-minded should see (along with Nick Drake's "Place to Be.") So I sort of rushed through the last two rooms and examined the thoroughly baffling exhibit gift-shop, wondering at the Gorky-print kimonos and long-sleeved tees (of the semi-transparent varietal favored by Julie on Felicity)and then overheard two older middle-aged ladies exclaiming over a little "make-your-own shrine" kit that came with a selection of little Gorky prints for one to, presumably, revere at home. "That just looks like a fun, creative thing to do," said one.
"And I don't need to use their picture," put in her friend. "I could use one of my kitty!"
"Absolutely," said her companion encouragingly.
We made it to the Rosenbach Collection with barely an hour to spare and so, said the eccentric docent with the chestnut-colored toupee, he would give his spiel in double-time. He was as good as his word. It was impressive, albeit unintelligible. I didn't get much time at all in the Mary Ann Moore room, which was really the purpose of my visit, but did manage to lie down on the floor and take a closer look at the slipcovering on this one sofa before we were ushered out. The room (which was recreated wholesale from the West Village home where she lived out the end of her life after Fort Greene became dangerous) is wonderful: equal parts family things, un-self-conscious mid-century and the animal figurines that friends gave Moore to accompany her fauna-themed poetry. Altogether cozy, elegant, full of personality and perfect for both intellectual spinster living and literary salons.
I was eager to either follow-up on a friend's rec of a nearby Turkish place or try out some dingy Little Italy joint, but Slim had his own ideas: he'd read about, and fixated on, some highly-dubious sounding spot that combined Peruvian and Chinese cuisines. He claimed this had a basis in historical, ancient trade routes, but I know Asian Fusion when I hear it. Nevertheless, it's rare that he gets so excited about a place, and I supposed I could stand to eat somewhere under 75 for a change, and plus we've never been to this "silk road" spot he's always wanted to try in Gravesend, so I acceded with poor grace and we found the restaurant pretty easily. Worst fears immediately confirmed: a red-lit bar, black-clad waitstaff, a youthful "professional" crowd and some low-pitched thumping music. I turned furious, accusatory eyes upon my dining companion, who said he'd "thought it would be more historical." We ordered - oh, did I mention it was "tapas-style?" - a selection of innocuous-looking stuff (which is good because we were perched at a very tiny laquered table) and Slim was dissuaded from getting some awful-sounding kimchee and crab empanada. I was, it must be said, extremely bratty, asking snidely if afterwards we'd be hitting some velvet-roped club and getting bottle service, whether he wouldn't care for a lichee martini, and to be sure and finalize that Buddahkan reservation for Valentine's Day. I was somewhat mollified by eating (I am furious when hungry) but maintain that the pork belly bun was a pale shade of Momofuko, that the lamb thing really could have done without that wasabi mayonnaise, and that, well, okay the shrimp ceviche was fine, actually.