EDIT: I was dissatisfied with the Bergdorf window pics so I replaced them with better ones and included a few detailed shots. Quality control!
Not long ago, I reread Lolita. When I first read it in my 20s, I found it to be a well-written, comedic romp across America. Now that I have an 11 year old daughter, I didn’t think it was so goddamn funny. Mostly, I was mortified that I once laughed at it. At a recent appearance by author Zadie Smith, I related that story to her and asked if she was a “one-and-done” kind of reader or if she revisited books from her youth. She said it’s important to reread books from time to time. She teaches the same titles in her class each semester (she’s a Lit professor at NYU) and gets something new out of them each time. For her, a subsequent reading of Middlemarch revealed Dorthea to be a bit of a whiner!
I’ve been putting off rereading To Kill a Mockingbird for decades. Long-time readers know that if it weren’t for that book, I wouldn’t be the man I am today. I wouldn’t be typing these words and probably never would have lived in New York City. I’d be something more tragic and sad. I once wrote as much to Harper Lee and she immediately responded with a heartfelt note of thanks. I didn’t want to reread Mockingbird because I was afraid that, over the decades, I had blown it up to mythical proportions in my mind’s eye. What if it wasn’t all I remembered it being? What if it was merely good and not life changing? Wouldn’t that degrade an important memory? That can happen, you know.
I finally pulled it off my shelf last week. I got 18 pages in and Scout said this:
…I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.
Look, I don’t know about you guys, but that really floored me. I sat there with a big, stupid grin on my face and read those lines over and over again. What a relief. I might write another note to Ms. Lee.
We decorated our Christmas tree over the weekend. Look where 6-Year Old Daughter hung my Shakespeare ornament:
William the red-cock playwright
Had a very shiny…okay that’s enough of that.
Here are a couple of holiday windows at Bergdorf Goodman. Strangely, they have nothing whatsoever to do with the holiday. The theme is jazz-era/art deco and while lacking in ho-ho-ho-ness, they’re pretty impressive, just the same. You should click on these and blow them up. They’re interesting. This first one should appeal to the white-plumed fetishist in your life.
These are best of the bunch. A high society, all-girl jazz band. It’s like a Robert Palmer video from 1929. The display was mounted up against the wall so that your view is looking down on them. Pretty brilliant. When I lived in downtown Brooklyn, I had a kitchen floor that looked just like that.