re-shelving nancy mitford @mcnallyjackson

darlings

does it still count as the dog days of summer*?

or now that the (fake) fur collared chunky knit sweaters are in the shop windows and the light dimmed a little earlier than we expected this evening, surely this means fall (or autumn) is on its way?

we had a lovely day. did you?

it started later than usual (jet lag/L.A time) but there was a lot of reading, some excellent swimming (so odd to be back in the lane with a slick black swim cap on, next to thrashing young athletes in goggles, after a week of rooftop, long’ish hair back in a low ponytail and the freckles joining up, blushing at the sun’s attention, creating a light yet attractive tan), just a small amount of socializing and then some hunting for a new book to read.

amusing dialogue in the bookshop just now.

man-at-information-desk: “have I read The Ice Storm?”

teamgloria: “no. who wrote it?”

(although we were then dying to ask – well, yes, have you? and did you see the movie first and then buy the book – like we did? wasn’t S Weaver Extraordinary in her mid to late 70s carmen roller-done-hair-do? have you ever been to CT and been stuck in an actual ice storm? we have. a few years ago. on boxing day or st stephen’s day or the day-after-christmas-day. there – on the train platform – a bloody great ice storm started chucking it down and we ducked onto the train as soon as it arrived, grateful to be drying off and out of the dangerous ice floes falling en route back to manhattan)

man-at-information-desk: “Oh.” (unless he was psychic – and that is possible – this is a Very Good Bookshop – he heard none of our intense in-head-dialogue – he checked the computer instead) “Rick Moody”.

teamgloria: “Right!” (looks around slightly helplessly, with jet lag).

man-at-information-desk: “Rick Moody: The Ice Storm: American Literature, Rick Moody: The Diviners: American Literature…” (he reels off all of the Rick Moodys in the shop).

teamgloria: (bit desperately now) “Where is American Literature?”

man-at-information-desk: “I’ll show you.” (he stands up – a tall glass of water indeed, as they say in TX – and marches off towards the back of the store).

teamgloria (much smaller legs, hurries behind) and they stop short in front of all the Rick  Moodys on offer.

and – bizarrely – a Nancy Mitford.

we picked The Diviners and then (helpfully) re-shelved the Nancy Mitford, back in English Literature (although if there were an Expat Section, we would have placed her there as she lived mostly in Paris, as you know. That’s Paris, France, not Paris, Texas).

gosh. just noticed. British and Irish Literature. That’s odd. in NYC there’s such a focus on Irish Ancestry that an entire section is usually given over to the Emerald Isle. Hmmm. Interesting.

we had some more amusing (to us) dialogue on the way out….

cashier: “would you like a bag?”

teamgloria: “no thank you” (pointing helpfully to swimming bag and across-the-shoulder-messenger-bag in black from elizabeth street)

cashier: “here’s your receipt – would you like a bag?”

teamgloria: “um, no thanks” (mad pointing again)

cashier: (hands over Rick Moody book) “oh god, I was just going to ask you if you wanted a bag again”

teamgloria: (backing away gently) “i’m going to go now”

cashier: “have a beautiful night!”

teamgloria: “you too!”

(clearly he was from California – probably Santa Cruz – he had that sort of sea-salt-sun-bleached curly hair – New Yorkers are firm and dismissive with the traditional parting shot of “Have a Great Night” which is sort of a demand and quite clipped – but we could be reading too much cultural significance into this exchange and, let’s face it, that wouldn’t be the first time we have.)

the heat was stifling today so we’re sure the bookshop people were quite frazzled and tired (and the lovely thing about mcnally jackson is that it stays open Very Late which is so useful when you’re lying at home on the sofa and it’s too hot to sleep, even with the AC on full blast which feels so Awful for the Environment and life Would Be So Much Better with a copy of an Italian fashion magazine so one pops down there and buys one and sips an Italian soda with a slurp of raspberry cordial in it – refreshing, both).

Then with all that thought of Paris (Nancy Mitford and her place of residence for many years), we went to Cafe Gitane, sat at the zinc-top-bar and had a delicious frothy coffee (we can do that late in the day because tomorrow is another holiday in the USA and we can stay up into the small hours should we so desire – of course that will make tuesday hard – but to quote the one in the red shoes – right? – (Tuesday) is another day)

on the way home we saw that someone with a delicious sense of fun (or vandalism, depending on your Voting Pattern) has been In Town while most of the middle classes (and those with actual money) are far away in the beach towns and expensive-handbag-shops, trying to get a reservation for supper before a last hurrah by the ocean with the liberal application of aloe vera on that sunburn.

we’re sure Nancy would have stifled a giggle as she was walking a small dog, a bag of books from the Lending Library in a cloth bag from Marseille, hanging loosely over the crook in her left arm.

*talking of the dog days of summer: our lovely friend and concierge-to-the-hip-chic-and-time-pressed, Jonathan, told us about a short story competition – the details are here – we’re going to enter – are you? it’s not the prize so much (although we Adore a Prize) but the idea of being in a short story collection that is left in every room at a Standard Hotel (where such rock star types stay) is truly delicious.

the only problem (and let’s face it, it’s a luxury one and Quite Modern as William would say) is which name we’ll use…………gloria nimbus (for tis the name on one of our emails), or teamgloria (which is sort of becoming an actual Brand – if the book deal comes off) or the original name we were published under as a journalist (which we don’t use at all anymore but is the one on our British Passport) or the name we use professionally in our soon-to-be-ending Corporate Job in Corporate America?

gosh.

such choices.

and such a metaphysical and modern dilemma.

;-)

off to see some unfeasibly good-looking-french-people now.

riding the bus and jazz hands in the swimming pool

sometimes the subway is just too fast (noisy, dirty, lack of personal space – you know the idea) to take……

so we took the bus back downtown after therapy, swimming, and picking up some replacement wardrobe basics (yes, stretchy-black-manhattan-executive-yet-vaguely-60s-silhouette-fabric-ness) for PARIS (red eye, monday night – Can’t Wait).

the bus is great for people watching (attractive teutonic tourists with actual maps in Moncler) as is the swimming pool, on a saturday lunchtime – Who Knew?!

Jazz-er-cise was Taking Place in the slow and medium (merged) lanes.

dead exciting.

All jazz hands, noodles/brightly-hued-polystyrene-tubing, resistance-training (whatever that is) and Pumping the Air to a Vibrant soundtrack of Michael Jackson and other greatest hits of the discotheque circa 1975. Don’t stop til you get enough and more, baby.

Fascinating.

But wait!

There’s more.

The teacher was GLORIAous. – a former dancer/breakdancer/clubKid with fearsome moves “MOVE IT, LOLA!” in his probably important vintage sneakers/plimsolls/sportsfootwear and – hold your breath love – an Arena t-shirt – yes, The classic night-decadence-club of its day. Wow.

Here’s some background, darlings from those mysterious folks at wikipedia:

Nightclub

The Palladium was converted from a music venue into a nightclub by Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager, and they hired Danceteria DJ Richard Sweret who saw the possibility of a much larger audience for a downtown ‘New Wave music’, Euro and house music oriented club. From its celebrity-studded opening in May 1985, through the end of the 80s it was one of the major features on a vibrant New York club scene. The club was a mainstay on the New York club scene until it was bought out in 1998 by New York University (NYU) and demolished for a campus housing project.

Junior Vasquez’s Arena party, held Saturday nights and Sunday mornings at Palladium between September 1996 and September 1997, was one of the most popular parties in the New York club scene at the time. Although the promoters billed Arena as “The Gay Man’s Pleasure Dome,” the party drew an eclectic mix of gay and straight from Manhattan and far beyond. Vasquez commemorated Arena in the titles of the remixes he produced that year.

More Here!

Now.

If that isn’t an Interesting juxtaposition on a saturday morning in the big apple……………the past colliding in the medium lane in a high-end Corporate Warriors’ health club/gym/survivalModeJoint

Right?

By the way.

We’re riding the bus for free.

Yes.

Our metrocard had run out and our look of Pure Defeat and possible mascara-tinted-tears due to immigration stress did the driver in – “get in, lady” he said, jerking his head to the back of the bus.

We smiled, softly, gratefully and reveled in a moment of kindness in a big cRaZy city like NYC.

have a beautiful saturday, darlings —-

what i’ve learned from hosting tobias the tumor/tumour

in our day job – a few years ago – team gloria once participated in one of those curiously named “vendor evaluations” (code for “would you want to hire this agency to do the project?”) and the discussion turned (as it sometimes does) to “new, cool, ideas” (code for “how in touch are you with what’s going on out there?” aka “a pissing contest” – gosh – apologies for rudeness! am being brutally honest since the arrival of tobias the tumor/tumour and also all hyped up after my morning swim ;-)

so one of the “new cool ideas” was this: a mobile app (yawn) that allowed you to upload your about-to-be-consumed-meal for an expert to give you the calorie/nutrition diagnostic.

ha! i couldn’t stop giggling (not recommended in day job). but then looked around the room and realized everyone else thought this app (yawn) was a GENIUS idea.

so i piped up: “but women will just hide chocolate under the vegetables”

and the room got very quiet.

team gloria realized something very swiftly. we were the only people in the room with bosoms.

the chaps looked horrified. who would hide chocolate under vegetables?

sometimes team gloria wonders how men get laid in this town.

btw, there is no chocolate hidden under these vegetables (see picture) but the cunningly disguised “cheese sandwich reinvented between two brown rice – sigh – crackers” is completely oozing with rich olive oil. so there.

ok: what i’ve learned from having a tumor/tumour……

a. croissants don’t soothe the being scared about having a tumor/tumour (and they are surprisingly flakey so one can’t eat them walking down the street while wearing black)

b. it’s good to be honest and tell people because then they are awfully nice

c. crying in someone’s office is kinda refreshing. but if the office is a glass cube, keep your back to the rest of the space as most people have never seen team gloria cry

d. a stack of british magazines and newspapers and a pot of tea work better than a croissant

e. it’s good to focus on one’s health. not just when one has a tumor/tumour but, you know, generally.

f. swimming in the slow lane while thinking up plots for screenplays is good for the psyche