Despite yesterday’s rain/slush/snow, I got out to the Brooklyn Bead Box where I’ve been making and remaking the same necklace for about two months, wandered in search of the Cobble Hill Cinema, which I briefly feared was actually a Brigadoon-style hallucination, then I realized it was just on Court Street and I was on Smith street, and saw that the next screening of A Serious Man wasn’t still 8.
So I meandered around for as long as I could stand it. I saw a big hanging sign that said "Cookies," but concluded from the fancy writing it was probably a stationary store and got really annoyed with the type of people who mislead cookie enthusiasts with their frippery and….found that it actually was a cookie shop, and repented. Until I found that the "cookies" were about the size of a half-dollar and cost a whole dollar apiece. I eventually settled on two whoopie pies, which were substantial and yummy looking and only cost $1.25. Then I got Thai food at a restaurant with great ambiance and kind of annoying clientele – the couple I sat down next to with my book were so miffed at having someone within a 3 table radius they switched to speaking Spanish where they’d previously been speaking English. Joke was on them, as I both lacked any interest AND possessed enough Spanish vocabulary to understand everything they said.
When I’d sampled some cutely-named entrees (usually I hate things with names like "Nightingale’s Nest"…but then my chicken, pineapple and cashews actually came in a little basket made of shredded carrots and I was too charmed to be annoyed) and discovered that there is such a thing as chocolate creme brulee (. . . . I’m sorry, what? I was lost in reverie) I tried to go be ridiculously early for the movie only to find out that one shivering rain soaked woman standing by the candy crane is a fire hazard. Declining their offer to let me stand under the marquee’s one meager heat lamp, I walked back to a Community Book Store a few blocks down and was soon lost among narrow aisles, high unlabeled piles of paperbacks and all my YA fiction favorites. $20 and four books lighter, I caught the movie (Very funny, latest Coen bros, excruciatingly painful about a Jewish community in Minnesota. The audience was so perfectly reflective of the movie’s demographic one guy actually said "oy" nonironically whenever the protagonist got a particularly harsh blow) and walked myself home.
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Today, Ultimate Playlist* in ear, I set out today in pursuit of some hewn plant life to adorn my living room.
In front of the Key Foods five blocks down 5th ave a couple of Russian-sounding women were helping families and couples and singletons like myself pick out trees, giving price quotes based on a totally inscrutable colored-with-polka-dots tagging system. I picked out a tree that, with my luck, looked full because it was in fact tied to another tree. Fortunately once the Charlie Brown tree had been extricated, my chosen tree was still pretty great – short, but full and found and non prickly. We loaded it into my granny cart, I bought a stand to go with it, and wheeled it proudly home.
Quick stop to the hardware store for lights and some augmentary ornaments (my collection ranges from the sublime – a gilded scene from Grand Central Station – to the ridiculous – an Easter bunny wearing a Bah Humbug sandwich sign), before heading home haul my tree out of the cart and prop it against the wall since it’s physically impossible to hold a tree up straight while screwing in the ridiculously complicated screwy things.
While I was looking over the store’s collection of jingles and trinkets etc, I resisted the urge to get a light up florescent wreath, a giant plastic snow globe for the balcony, and even an inflatable scene of Santa sitting around a campfire with some reindeer eating smores that makes me think of nothing but the easiest way to get Reindeer Stuffed with Marshmallows on your Christmas dinner menu. I also got sucked into a philosophical discussion of whether life is always good, whether reincarnation is real, and how funny it is that everybody the cashier clerk tries to ask about this just says "I don’t know." He didn’t seem to recognize that people say "I don’t know" when they don’t want to engage in deep religious debate with a guy at the corner hardware store selling them two dollars with of candy canes. But he wished me happy holidays nonetheless.
Now back to the Home Alone screening in progress. Tree decorating pics to follow.