Well, I'm not so sure what's happy about it, but it's not a bad one.
I went to the farmer's market at Cadman Plaza (Brooklyn), and while it's not as big as the Union Square one, I managed to score some nice stuff: arugula, heirloom tomatoes, nectarines, kirbys, a red pepper, and some colby cheese from the Amish. The tiny plums and the peaches were kind of hard, and we're due to get some basil from the landlord's garden. The landlord has a little garden in the backyard, which is off-limits to the tenant, but a guy who lives downstairs is kind of in charge of distributing the overage. We got some fresh figs today...I wait all year for them. I can see the fig trees from our bedroom window. What's better than fresh figs?
After the market, I took a nice stroll down Montague Street. I mostly grew up in Brooklyn Heights, when it wasn't entirely obscenely expensive. Most of the old-time stores are gone, of course. But what's a drag is that when I was there a couple of years ago (serving jury duty at the court that's right behind the farmer's market), there was a wonderful used book store in what used to be Kleinman's Pharmacy (where I bought my first tampons and first make-up). The bookstore guy and I were convinced that we knew each other, but couldn't figure out from where. Anyway, the bookstore's gone now. Shit. We do have a good used bookstore on Coney Island Avenue, near Kings Highway (it's called Here's A Bookstore, which I love), but I hate to see a used bookstore go out of business.
I listened to my mp3 player the whole way there and back, and am particularly enjoying songs from the new Los Lobos album, Tin Can Trust (I downloaded it from Amazon). Also loving this song:
I'm not sure I've heard anything else by this band, but I love love love this song.
My uncle and his wife are coming in from New Jersey (they live near Princeton) on Sunday, to try a brunch spot in preparation for a big family get together in October, for my dad's 80th birthday. We're going to Colicchio and Sons...I'm psyched about seeing Howard and Tina, and also about eating at C&S. I haven't eaten at any upscale restaurants since Penguin -- we occasionally went to Blue Ribbon for a birthday or an author lunch.
And of course there was the famous private-room luncheon at Gramercy Tavern when David Lynch was in town the first time, with some Penguin sales reps and buyers from Barnes & Noble and such. The food was amazing, and let's face it, just having lunch with Lynch was amazing. He was easily the most fascinating of all of the authors I worked with, though not necessarily my favorite. He was certainly one of my favorites, along with John Strausbaugh and Marc Hartzman and Martha Frankel.
My uncle is certainly one of my very favorite blood relations. He's actually closer to my age than to my father's -- my father is 15 years older than Howard, and Howard is 13 years older than I am. He's very intelligent and very well-read, which my father is as well, but also very generous.
My brother is not in touch with anyone, and we're all kind of pissed and scratching our heads. We're not even sure if he's coming to dad's 80th birthday. I wouldn't mind so much...my brother's been more and more distant since he got married, and even more so since he moved away. But I basically have no contact with my nephew, with whom I was hoping to have a close relationship. They had already moved to Riverdale when he was born, which was enough of a hassle, but now they're in Providence, RI, and I've basically missed Walter's childhood. He's eight now, and we've never been invited to visit in Rhode Island, not once. Family can be a huge pain...sometimes a pleasure, sometimes a huge pain. Barry's family was at least nice enough not to move away from where they all lived and grew up. Mine all left Brooklyn or Manhattan. (My uncle grew up in Philly and lived there for many years, until he and Tina moved to New Jersey, which is actually a good deal closer to us.)
Well, I think the brunch should be great fun, anyway.
I've changed the template for this blog, and I think it's more attractive and easier to read. All comments welcome.