We stayed in a fancy, new, boutique hotel that didn't have heat because of a steam pipe explosion. They gave us a space heater instead. We didn't mind. We're not babies. On Sunday morning, I walked up Smith Street to buy The New York Times. When I lived there, Smith Street wasn't so nice but now it's become a destination. We had a scrumptious lunch at a Portuguese restaurant the day before. En route to get the paper, I saw no fewer than four strollers. Those expensive Quinny models. It would seem that even at that young age, there's a strict hipster dress code that must be adhered to. I wonder what happened to all the Latinos who lived there?
I saw Zadie Smith read a couple of months ago and she was discussing the gentrification of Holborn, her old neighborhood in London, as it relates to a plot device in her new book NW. She had this to say, and I quote:
(Gentrification) is a global experience. People get priced out of their own neighborhoods. The thing I find funny is that there are all different waves of immigration but there's only one community who moves into an area and feels they're a great boon and that's middle class white people. They always think that everybody should be so happy that they've arrived in droves with their cupcakes and all the rest of it. And that interested me, that state of mind that imagines that when you arrive en masse that you're only bringing good. That you're a benefit to an area. That was always quite funny to me.She's right, you know. Sorry, cupcake-bearing middle class white people. The entertainment at the reception that evening was quartet of virtuosos who played American popular standards and a few French chanteuse selections. A stand-up bass, vintage guitar, violin and singer who looked and sounded the part. Here's a brief, crappy video. Try to ignore the background noise.
The performances were mesmerizing. I'd love to hear them again will seek them out. I heard a rumor they play a wine bar on Friday nights. Look at that great microphone!
Here are just the boys warming up. Beautiful. Listening to this music and then walking out onto the cobblestone streets below the Manhattan bridge on a cold, clear night was sheer poetry to me.