September 10. 2000
more south street sights:
The Oaklane Diner
A mural in progress, on South Street
A small voodooish figurine, part of the mosaic sculpture
statue in a plant shop
The lion at the entrance of A Garland of Letters
The Book Trader...how I love it
John came to visit for the first time this weekend. I had to work on Friday night (there's a whole other entry for that experience), so I gave him an extra key and directions to my place so he could let himself in and wait til I got home. About ten of 8 I get a call at Barnes and Noble from a pay phone - John says the subway station is closed. So I give him an alternate route, by bus, and spend the rest of the night worrying that my boyfriend is going to get jumped in his first hour in the city of brotherly love. But I arrive home to find him safe and sound in front of my computer.
For lunch on Saturday, we went to the Oaklane Diner, which is about five minutes away from where I live. I have a love affair with diners that I can't quite explain. The greasier, the better. Stainless steel and red vinyl seats a plus. Diners are the perfect, and indeed the only, place to go at 3 am with your friends and discuss the meaning of life, or at very least, the state of your love lives. The only places where you can sit for hours and make designs with salt on the tabletop and plug quarters into the cheesy jukebox to play Michael Bolton and Mariah Carey.
I think John liked the elegant shabbiness of South Street (see pictures at right). I took him through all my favorite stores, including A Garland of Letters. Once again I drooled over the leatherbound journals. I ventured to ask how much the red one with the dragon on the cover was. $56. Yeewoch. I'd be too afraid to write in it.
We went into The Book Trader, and John made a beeline for the mysteries, while I wandered around and peeked at him through the bookcases. I had quite forgotten there was a back room with vinyl records and CDs, so I went back there, idly looking for "Hejira" on vinyl. Flip, flip, flip...and suddenly I was staring at it. It was in pretty good condition, with a little cutout notch on one side and a litte dirty on the back. I also found "Don Juan's Reckless Daughter" as well. I couldn't believe my luck. After I calmed down, John and I sat and read for a while, listening to the sounds of the street through the open door, several bookstore cats loungeing at our feet.
I think this is my heaven.
So, Sunday was the big day. The parents meeting the boyfriend and vice versa. Since all involved parties read this, I'll keep the summary short and sweet: It was understandably a bit uncomfortable, but no one killed anyone and the conversation was civil. No, it was really better than that. My father pontificated on everything from the state of the nation's education system to gun control in his usual manner. My mother was her extremely friendly and pleasant self. John was extremely charming and suave (though that opinion may be a little biased), and all I could do was sit there and watch the proceedings, shivering from the effects of a frozen pina colada and the overzealous air conditioning in the restaurant.
Mom and Dad also brought a whole shitload of some of my much needed art supplies and also a couple of framed posters that I had picked out before school started. These included a full size Star Trek IV poster, a poster of Ella Fitzgerald, Benny Goodman and Duke Ellington, a poster of Grand Central Station in the 1930s (a nod to my public transportation obsession), along with several drawing and photos by my mother.
I had to work on Sunday night, so I dragged John along with me (though not at all unwillingly, I will admit). He kept himself quite well occupied with books, writing and various treats and drinks from the cafe. I kept myself well occupied trying to run the damn cafe all by my little self. I didn't realize it took so much work to keep the place up and running. One must clean, bake cookies and such, wash dishes, and all the while wait on stupid yuppie customers who know you can't make a double espresso right.
Ahem. More on that later.
So we had a very nice time. John taught me style sheets, I showed him the sights, he met my parents, we spent some quality time at Barnes and Noble. This apartment just feels a little lonely and empty now.
One Year Ago:
all writings, (c) 1999-2000, BRR