Sunday, 11 July 2010

Suitcase? What suitcase?

Mainly sunny, hot, temps 31

As you can see by the celcius, we're back in Canada. Montreal actually. Came here instead of the country house because Michael has a dentists appointment Tuesday, so we thought we'd just come straight here.

Had breakfast again at Friend of a Farmer. Got an outside table again, on the terrasse. I realize there might be one or two other places in NYC for breakfast - and I'm sure we'll find them in future visits...but I know I'm a creature of habit. I adore finding places I enjoy in a city, and making it my 'local'. Makes me feel part of the community - like I belong.

And it was a great breakfast. But I have to tell you - the BEST meal Michael and I have had in years was Friday nights Lebanese meal at Ilili - on Fifth Avenue. We walked there...lovely evening, and so thrilling to walk by the Flatiron (where my publisher is) then up fifth ave, the Empire State Building in view. Gives me chills. I think of all the films I watched over the years...the old black and whites, from the 30's and 40's...The Thin Man, the Tracy/Hepburn films- the Hitchcock films...Gentleman's Agreement - etc, etc. it's so thrilling to be in the same city.

And it gives me chills to be there, and be to be a writer, in new york city. I just floated. Amazed at my good fortune.

Anyway - I was telling you about the Lebanese restaurant. It was fabulous. They serve the food like that we order a number of small dishes and share. I can't begin to tell you what we had, except that it was delicious and the waitress helped us a lot. it also was a very cool atmosphere...modern, great design. A terrific experience all around.

When we left one of us noticed across Fifth Avenue was the Museum of Sex.

We went in. Didn't make it to the MoMA or the Met or the Frick...but we made it to the Museum of Sex. Sadly there were more things there neither Michael nor I recognized or could even guess what they're for. A rubber duck??? Don't tell me. I don't want to know.

Then walked back through the magical city - pondering the sights, the lights, the rubber duck, the food.

Woke this morning, went to breakfast, then headed to the airport. And there had the strangest experience.

As you know, we travel a lot. Fly alot. This time it was one of my favorite airlines...jetBlue.

In fact, here's part of an email I sent from the airport lounge...

"So far the trip has turned out to be too easy. We're at the gate at the airport - checked through security etc - and still have our suitcases!! Not carry-ons, mind you, but full size mama and papa suitcases.

At security, when it came time to put the cases on the belt with shoes, purse etc, Michael and I turned to each other and said, 'this is odd.'. But the bags got through - no one stopped us - and we just figured they'd changed the configuration. That the bag check was now on the other side of security. But... Nope.

So now we're at the gate and all the other passengers (like the reindeer) are looking at us oddly. I don't blame 'em. I would too. I'm actually looking at Michael oddly, hoping they figure we aren't together. But he keeps talking to me and offering me sips of his diet pepsi, so the strategy is failing badly.

Thankfully the jetBlue woman at the gate says we can gate check them, at boarding time. But she seems a little shaky on that.

We'll see.

Oh well. We learn. And now we're watching espn, who have decided to broadcast bowling instead of the World Cup.'

That's the end of the letter, more or it turns out the jetBlue woman was able to check the luggage, so all was well. But between us??? What was security thinking??? And those bags had tons of stuff that should never have made it through screening...nothing illegal, but when we were sitting at the gate thinking about it we realized there were bottles of cologne and eau de toilette, and toothpaste and scissors and all sorts of things that security and the scanning machines should have picked up.

Oh well...they didn't. And here we are, happily lying on the bed in Montreal...eating pizza and watching 60 Minutes.

What a fun few days in NYC. And thrilling to finally feel for that city what I always thought I could, and should. But never did. Until this visit. Michael started falling for NYC a few months ago when he visited with his sons and they had such a fabulous time. So he's helped lead me, and inspire me. And now we're both discovering, late in life, the wonders of New York.

But we're happy to be home.


Nikki B said...

LOL on the Museum of Sex! Just out of curiousity, what did the other spectators look like?

Louise -- given your shady border history I think you'd better be more careful...

;-) Nikki

Jodi Kaplan said...

That rubber ducky comment has me wondering exactly why Ernie on Sesame Street found bath time so much fun...


By the way, did you pop into Pete's Tavern? It's where O.Henry wrote Gift of the Magi.

Going to check out that Lebanese restaurant now. Louise, you're a food enabler! :-)

Bev Stephans said...

Isn't New York City wonderful? It's one of the best 'walking' cities that I know of. Around the next corner can be something to amuse or amaze or both (I'm thinking the Museum of Sex). So glad you had a good time and got your suitcases through security intact.

lil Gluckstern said...

Glad you're safe and over the border. Rubber ducky-ewww-I have one in my bathroom for cute only, I promise you. good luck with your third draft

Louise Penny Author said...

Ha, thought you'd like the museum of sex. The otehr patrons and the women taking tickets for a show we decided we didn't really need to see - looked perfectly respectable. And except for the middle aged couple with the rubber duck, everyone seemed to be behaving themselves.