Friday, July 25, 2008

Back from NY


Greetings! I'm back from a week long trip to NY (Manhattan). For those of you that don't know, I grew up in NY, but have lived in Southern CA for many years now. NY is such an energizing city. I love walking around in NY, and dining in its unique, ethnic restaurants. Every nation has a restaurant in NY--it's amazingly diverse! This time we had brunch at a Japanese/Brazilian restaurant in the West Village, and a dinner at a Turkish restaurant on 9th Avenue between 44th and 45th St.. There's always so much going on it NY that it's truly hard to decide what to do and where to go. Thanks to my family and friends for putting up with me!

I finished The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency on the flight to NY. What a charming book! Now I want to drink the African red bush tea, rooibos, mentioned so frequently in the book, and find the next book in the series, Tears of the Giraffe. Precious and the other characters drink rooibos throughout the day in The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency. I bought some red tea today from Trader Joe's. Perhaps this brew will help me to figure out the little mysteries in my own life.

On the flight back I read a great deal of the book by Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love, the story of her enlightening trips to Italy, India, and Bali. It's really a celebration of life and shows the writer's great love of people. I think you have to genuinely love people to be a good writer. Reading on flights makes the time absolutely fly by (pardon the pun) and adds pleasure to a vacation or trip, don't you agree?

6 comments:

  1. Hi Susan. I am glad you loved NYC (and NYC loved you.) It is all about the energy of a place, or time, or moment, or person. NYC, as you know since you grew up here, has a special and I think, rather unique energy.

    I love your blog. You have a breezy and calm style of writing that entices readers and encourages them to continue on reading. Just like a good book! I look forward to reading more of your blogs and recommendations of books to read.

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  2. Thanks, Karen. Your kind words made my day!
    (Just a note ~ Clicking on post photos will enlargen them, while clicking on links will bring you to various websites.)

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  3. What a great topic! I'd meant to respond a while ago, since I recently took a less-than-thrilling business trip to a city that shall shall remain nameless. The flight was 3 hours long, so, as is my custom on these trips, I brought along some reading material. Since I bring these books on board, the books have to be smallish in size and light (paperback). I bought a total of four books, earmarking two for the flight out and two for the return flight home.

    I love biographies and the books I bought for the trip were: Wonderful Tonight, by Pattie Boyd; The Rivals, about the rivalry/friendship of tennis legends Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova; Obama, by a Chigago Tibune reporter who's covered the Senator for years; and finally, Chasing the Dream, by Joe Torre. In retrospect, I noticed that all these touch upon a period in American culture I'm especially interested in, the 1960s.

    So...on the flight out, I started with Boyd's book. For those who may be unaware, she's the ex-wife of George Harrison; she left him for Eric Clapton (Clapton immortalized her--or at least his longing for her-- in his song "Layla"). I thought I'd get a look at the repressive 50s, the swingin' 60s, and beyond, and I did--but this book was so poorly written I stopped about halfway. I don't care how much she considers herself a mover and shaker in the cultural revolution that was going on back then, it's pretty apparent from the start that Boyd is not a contributor (or even a thoughtful observer) but essentially a glorified hanger-on. Kind of sad, but I guess that's how women saw themselves, as appendages to powerful men. Perhaps if the book were better written with some attempt at analysis it would have held more interest for me, but it was just the same thing over and over again ("We flirted...We felt a powerful connection...We got high..." etc., etc.) One day I'll pick this up again to see how it all turns out (I'm sure she discusses George's last days and Eric's addictions).

    Next was The Rivals--no, not the Sheridan farce, but, as mentioned, an examination of the Chris Evert-Martina Navratilova tennis rivalry and friendship. I remember first reading about Chris Evert in Sports Illustrated back in 1971 and thinking how cool and collected she looked. She got me--and others-- interested in tennis (as a spectator sport) and I followed the major tournaments on TV for a few years. Other than her autobiography (which I'd read about 15 years ago) I didn't know much about her and this book did a good job in filling in the gaps. I knew less than nothing about Martina and this book opened my eyes to her really independent spirit and courage--defecting from Czechoslovakia, her openness about her sexuality, etc. Remember, she basically came out in the 80s, when it was not acceptable or fashionable to do so. But this book is so much more than a biography of simply these two; among other things, it paints a detailed of the history of women's pro tennis and the struggles involved in achieving parity with the men's tour. A fascinating social document. The book is by Johnette Howard and is highly recommended. I could not put this book down and before I knew it, the flight had reached its destination.

    A few days into my trip, I was watching ESPN and they had a feature on the PGA Masters and were spotlighting an older player, Greg Norman, who was making a comeback of sorts. They mentioned his new wife--Chris Evert! Apparently, the two had left their spouses (about a year ago) and had just gotten married (about a month ago). I hadn't heard or read anything about Evert in years and all of a sudden, here she is!

    Well, this post is kind of long so I will save my comments on the other two books for another post.

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  4. Times flies, when you're reading a good book. I know I said this already in my post and hope I'm not being too redundant, but I want to emphasize this.
    Thanks so much for your thoughtful comments, Sharon. I 'll look for The Rivals. I'd love to hear about the other two biographies, so please write again when you get a chance!

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  5. LOVE that photo!!!! Great view! Thank you for bringing this particular entry to my attention! BRAVO!

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