I am in Washington, D.C. right now – not just another country but another planet. There’s a glossy magazine on display at my inn called “Gardens and Guns.” Here, that’s not an anomalie, and it’s not a joke.
But here at the Jewish Community Center, where I have borrowed a computer, all is happy and busy as the stockmarkets melt around us. My talk – well, may I boast? (I can’t hear you if you say no.) You know that I am a humble sort, but I have to say that it went extremely well. The Wexler Lecture has been going on for 11 years, and I was told that my talk was the best. It was also the best attended – we had over 80 people and sold out of books afterwards. The play readings by the actors were terrific, and I relaxed in front of a big, receptive crowd and told my stories. Afterwards, as often happens, many people came up and told me their stories – about their family’s immigration trials, about their great-grandmother who was in the Yiddish theatre. I loved it all.
The next day I discovered a great bookstore, Politics and Prose, left them a copy of my book, wandered around trying not to buy a ton, and had lunch with a fellow writer. Then my intention was to go to one of the Smithsonians and see some culture, but my bus passed close to … Filene’s Basement, and I was lured to my doom. What a great store – if you want to buy retail, instead of second-hand which is how I acquire most of my stuff, Filene’s Basement is the place to do it. I am wearing a new pair of shoes and a new cardigan right now. The sweater is light green cashmere and was 75% off. Mmmmm. All day I proudly wore my Obama button, and in Filene’s, I made a secret friend with a saleslady who whispered that she was not allowed to wear hers at work. We shook hands. Let us pray, my friends.
Last night I had dinner with my first cousin once removed George, and his two handsome young nephews whom I’d never met, Zack and Jake. We had a drink at George’s apartment first and admired his superb art collection, so I did get my fix of art and culture. And then we went to a wonderful Italian restaurant and ate vast quantities, while I found out about the lives of these young Americans. Not so different from my young Canadians, except that Jake is a 20-year old art student driving his dad’s old Lexus. I don’t know too many of those in Toronto.
And now, on to NYC on the $20 bus. The weather is great, my work is done and playtime begins. And where better to play than the greatest city in the world? More anon. I’m waving as I whiz by. My best to you all.