Saturday, June 17, 2006

My Bloomsday, with links and a fuzzy photo

I still have never managed to get to a Bloomsday reading on June the 16th, but oh, well, God willing, there will be many more chances. Perhaps next year I'll have finished Ulysses and will actually make it to such a celebration. My Bloomsday, like most days, included travels all across the island of Manhattan. I began the day, as I almost always do, near its northern peak. Before midday, I'd made it to the bottom of the island. At lunch—a rather late one, mind you—I found myself right by the water's edge, the meeting of the East River, the Hudson River and the harbor. Evening, I walked up Broadway to Soho. Ate a light dinner at Le Petit Cafe, chatting up a French couple who's actually lived here for a year or so, the guy working for E&Y, the woman stepping out through the storefront window to smoke. (And here I'd imagined them to be French tourists, happening upon a cafe that plays French music on the sound system and serves French baguettes filled with mozzarella, tomato, and basil, just like I had in Paris and Nice. Turns out it was their first time there, and they live in the neighborhood.) And the guy even ordered a Coke ("un coca," if you will). When he asked if I'd like to practice my French, I demurred, instead paying my bill and hurrying off to meet J. for a show around the corner at the Ohio Theater, one of those where you have to walk across the stage to get to the seating. The play: Alice the Magnet. Flashbacks to public speaking class. No drinks afterward, as we'd considered. Instead, up to either side of the park for us, separately. Remembering how I'd suggested to L. that I'd see her at her new Thai resto/bar, Rain. A Thai Blue Julep and a Lychee Sunrise for me at the bar. Chatting up the middle-aged couple next to me, recognizing Matthew McConaughey on TV, wondering at how Roger Clemens has been playing in the minors recently, talking about how so many of our friends weren't actually born in New York. Then off to North West, across from the A.M.N.H., where we saw Liev Schreiber eating with a clan of people. Liev (above, wearing a baseball cap and climbing into a Mini Cooper parked outside the restaurant), who is currently playing Macbeth with Shakespeare in the Park. L. had a martini, I had a drink called the Langham, and we shared a plate of calamari, my first in a while. Later, we hit up a deli for some beer and wine, and joined a small gathering on the roofdeck of a luxury apt. building on West 89th. The river, the places all along CPW, Midtown in the distance. The Flaming Lips (for the second time that night) on the sound system. Stella, kindergarten, real estate. Finally, after 2:30, catching a cab from the UWS to the homestead. Good to be home. Great day after all. Yes I said yes I will Yes.

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