A postcard in a New York minute…

Visiting the city was fantastic. Loved that nobody is stumbling around the Frick taking phone photos like they do at the Met. Loved walking through Central Park every day. Loved staying with an old friend who I am now going to model a character in the novel on, who demanded we take a walk in a nor’easter — preparing me by strapping a Paddington Bear hat under my chin — so I could get a sense of the neighborhood. I slept in this room:

And quietly waking would pass through the huge apartment on my way to the kitchen and spy this as I sipped my tea as the sun rose over the river. Which river? I don’t know!

One night my friend took me to dine at her husband’s club (and since I am used to a certain amount of discretion from living and working in Hollywood, it shall remain nameless) — that was lovely — so collegial, so steeped in history and the city… No pictures as they take your coat and purse in the cloakroom. The paintings in the dining room were night scenes of Manhattan on a mammoth scale, all blue, and the glow of golden incandescent light against the silhouette of an architectural canyon – a little WPA, a little Ashcan, a little Rockwell Kent, gorgeous, and I think they were modern.

How did I cross from Los Angeles to New York? By rail. I loved taking the train. I loved seeing this from my window:

On the train I met pastors, an octogenarian translating the ancient philosopher Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching, into a narrative/historical form, retired lunchroom ladies, romance authors, coders, and even a marathoner from Australia on his way to compete in New York this Sunday.

I loved sitting down to dinner with strangers because no matter how different our outlook, our backgrounds, our beliefs, or our political stance, we found accord at the table. It’s very primal. It goes back to one of the things I think is most basic and most heartening in our natures, finding connection while breaking bread. If there were a political movement where people shared a meal once a month under similar circumstances it might solve a lot of problems. As it was it reminded me that humanity isn’t really so bad.

And while I’m on the subject of what is best in our natures — what brings us together, and what will define our future — don’t forget (if you haven’t already) to vote on Tuesday.

11 Comments

  1. November 4, 2018
    Reply

    Delicious! A trip to revive heart and hope, it would seem.

    • November 4, 2018
      Reply

      Restorative, and now I am happily with my husband on the east coast while he finishes up a project — which might have a lot to do with my brightened attitude 😉 .

  2. Very nice. In the 70s I would ride the near-empty, always late trains out to Missouri. Hard to find anyone but nuns and soldiers.

    • November 4, 2018
      Reply

      I can’t remember the last time I saw in a nun in a habit, the only instance that’s coming to mind is seeing three in wimple and veil piloting a station wagon in downtown LA…that might have been twenty years ago!

  3. November 4, 2018
    Reply

    DONE AND MAILED!
    TAKES TWO STAMPS………and if you forgot the stamps they deliver it ANYWAY!!!!!!!!!!XX

    • November 4, 2018
      Reply

      And now I am in the home of your ancestor, I will keep you posted! XOX

  4. November 5, 2018
    Reply

    You went across the country by rail?! Awesome! That is a marvellous thing to do.

    Also: Loved your photos of New York. It’s been too long since I’ve visited there.

    • November 6, 2018
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      I did! It was wonderful. I had a five hour layover in Chicago and I walked straight from Union Station to the Art Institute and spent those hours visiting with the Impressionists. xox

  5. November 6, 2018
    Reply

    You crossed the country BY TRAIN?!!?? Look at you rocking it like it’s 1941! That gets two big thumbs up from me!

    • November 7, 2018
      Reply

      Katharine Hepburn told a story of rolling into town for the first time in 1932 and catching a cinder in her eye from the rails, so she appeared to the welcoming RKO brass as either drunk or ill — don’t know if it’s true — but it’s very dramatic.

      • November 7, 2018

        I’ve read that story somewhere too and decided that ultimately it didn’t matter if it was true or not because either way, it was an allegory for KH’s own career. She arrived in Hollywood and poked it in the eye!

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