Saturday afternoon we drove to Coconut Grove and went straight to CocoWalk to check out the Pan Am memorabilia at Palm Produce. I thought one of the 50s era travel posters would make a nice birthday present – especially for someone born in that decade. But we learned, sadly, they’re still not for sale.
We got back in the car and drove north on US 1 before cutting over to S. Miami Ave., which was red with royal poincianas. Growing up in New Jersey, I never realized that my birthday coincided with the flowering of flame trees.
Dinner at the River Oyster Bar: a dozen oysters followed by two fishes, one – mine – wrapped in bacon. Then a postprandial stroll through Mary Brickell Village. Three young women stood in Perricone’s parking lot in short beige dresses and matching mortarboards.
“What happened to the gowns?” we asked them.
“We had to give them back,” one of the graduates said.
But, they explained, they got to keep the caps. They made for a smart, educated look.
When I didn’t have a job, weeks seemed to go by without my seeing a New Yorker. Now it feels as though a new issue arrives every few days. The proverbial pile of New Yorkers has gotten so big it’s intimidating. I may just choose to ignore it. I may end up doing to The New Yorker what The New Yorker has been doing to me all these years.
Went to see Something in the Air (Apres Mai) Saturday night, which is about a French high school student in the early 70s. It took me back to my year in Aix-en-Provence, an account of which, I've always said, would never be a bestseller because few Americans would be charmed by a story of irregular verbs, cafeteria lentils and anti-Americanism.
The film seemed very faithful to the period with one exception: all the music was in English. Other than my neighbor in the dorm, who played The Who nonstop, everyone else that year seemed to be listening to homegrown artists: Leo Ferre, Jean Ferrat, Georges Brassans and of course Georges Moustaki. They helped make me feel ever farther from home and gave me a love of the French chanson, which led eventually to my fascination with The Great American Songbook.