And here I am; the cat is still alive, the plants look good, and the termites, I do believe, are dead. My own bed awaits, but first, pottering and, if I can stay awake that long, Jon Stewart. The internet and the TV both work! Amazing. My mother is fine. I went for a walk around my neighbourhood – so beautiful, peaceful, the air so sweet. Blessed.
A few notes about NYC: I really felt conspicuous with my big Obama button, the only button of any kind I saw. I felt like an ambassador for him, always tried to have a pleasant expression on my face, especially on the east side, where I think his fans are not legion. The guard at the Jewish Museum, like the saleslady at Bloomies, appreciated my button. “The other guys are just for the rich,” he said, when we were alone in the room. “The poor are forgotten.” Amen brother.
After Lola’s event on Saturday, I got the bus down Fifth Avenue – my God, the busses and subway are freezing in NYC, as is almost everywhere, theatres, restaurants, freezing. I always had a sweater, scarf and even socks with me. Insane. Watched the hippies in Washington Square, celebrating the first anniversary of Occupy Wall Street, the folk festival a minor event in a corner in comparison. And then I wandered through the village – Bleecker Street, Hippy Central in the sixties. There was a street festival and market, and I ended up being wrestled into a massage chair for a ten minute massage, $10. Would have been great if my face hadn’t been mashed against the plastic.
Found a quiet French bistro for dinner, sat facing the crowds passing in the street, had a nice chat in French with the waitress and then with the French couple sitting behind me, here from Paris for a week. There were tons of French people in NYC. Off to the Barrow Street Theatre to see “Tribes,” another British import with American actors using British accents – in fact, similar in other ways to “Cock,” another disputatious group sorting things out. But this group was loud and unpleasant, I found, and I was just too tired to take it in, knowing it would take me ages to find the subway in the winding warren of Village streets. I left at the intermission. Andrew Garfield, the young movie star, was there. He is very skinny but good-looking, there with an actress whose name I forget, quite a bit older than he. This is your gossip sighting for the week.
Forgot to mention that at my talk, the reading from “The Jewish King Lear” was wonderful – five actors, two scenes, just a taste of a much bigger play with a bigger cast, but it was well received and thrilling to watch.
On the plane, I started to read an article in the NYT Magazine about Glenn Gould’s Goldberg Variations, the first one, then his decision to make the second, and then only a few days after the record came out, his sudden death at the age of 50. Just reading it made me cry. At my first dinner party in heaven, I’m inviting Glenn Gould and Pierre Trudeau. For Pierre a gourmet meal and for Glenn – arrowroot cookies.