diana vreeland’s address book and the beauty of insomnia

so, darlings, yesterday we took a stroll through greenwich village as the sun warmed the morning-after-the-night-before landmarks……

and then, later, as the sun set over the trees, coming home.

and in between there was a lovely conversation at the day job which involved us blowing bubbles against the manhattan skyline (after all the important Talking was done, of course).

and – Quite by surprise – we got the opportunity to see Diana Vreeland’s address book (there was an event to celebrate the documentary which, naturellement, we are seeing on Saturday)


Oh, darlings, how we Wish we could have peeked inside.

Can you imagine?

Probably lots of naughty little anecdotes and annotations in the margin by each person’s Home Telephone Number like:

wears awful hats.

and comments such as:

adores Chinese blue.

of course we do the same (but in a Much Kinder way):

has lovely long-haired golden labrador called Max

and Where we Met:

that dreadful conference somewhere outside San Mateo, 1999 – met in the elevator – talked about Auden.

doesn’t everyone?

we also note names of books published, gallery opening nights, pets, children, partners (hmmm, probably should be in a different Order, oh well).

and moments of kindness – especially noted. always.

on the subject of the beauty of insomnia (as promised in the Title of this post) – we have found it has its “upside” as the americans say.

we’ve read a Lot recently (and we read constantly as you’ve probably guessed)

and the apartment is Very Neat (that’s sort of tous jours anyway – we abhor mess and own no clutter as you know)

but we’ve also been so Tired during the day that we’re drifting through some painful moments with something like equilibrium (Very Rare) – not too exhausted to care – but in some beautiful netherworld of below the surface calm-ness-and-joy.

it’s odd.

but quite Lovely actually.

and this is manhattan (for now – we mean it will always be Manhattan – but we’re heading To The West by the end of the year or Very early next – or perhaps a tiny bit bi-coastal until we’re sorted…..) so there are places to hang out and talk to a friendly chef (we adore chefs) in the late hours while looking up from one’s book (we took Paul Auster with us – in paper-pages, we didn’t have the Actual Paul Auster with us, in corporeal form) to speak a few words of Italian (just a few but we’re Very Charming and lilting in our use of the ancient floral language of Venezia and the crime families of Sicily) and order a little more Pellegrino, grazie – prego – bene – amore.

it’s delicious.

reading – late night conversations with chefs – a little Italian – a long walk around the well-lit bits of soho to burn off some energy of-the-day and then, a soothing bubble bath, radio 4 – yes, still Awake…..so finishing Auster and picking up Rick Moody (again, metaphorically, darlings) and suddenly seeing words on the page that help one feel Completely Understood.

well – isn’t that the beauty of words and writers and ideas and the beauty of insomnia?

a deeper understanding.

empathy reaching through paper-pages, written years ago, perhaps not far from where we read (many writers live Nearby, we’ve heard and sometimes seen).

New York City, noteworthy for its insomniacs. Light upon all the insomniacs, across this city, metropolis of insomniacs. They are there, in the despair of another night, out on the couch in the living room to avoid waking their husbands or wives, or insomniacs are in the tub, and they are reading, or they are thinking, or the insomniacs are regretting at the instant of dawn. No one asks how they spend the middle of the night, no one who doesn’t suffer with insomnia wants to know. The insomniacs are the witnesses to the dawn, they are in the tub and looking out on the air shaft, through the one tiny window, where a tiny patch of sky is visible…….

Rick Moody, The Diviners P. 13 – 14

sod the insomnia – we have a new literary crush-ette.


(all we can say is thank Goodness for YSL)




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