December 15, 2010
New York, New York
Astro Gallery. Follow the storylines of window displays at Macy's, Lord & Taylor, Saks Fifth Avenue (which for once really is on Fifth Avenue). Prowl the holiday shops in Bryant Park, watch the ice skaters. Drink margaritas made with hunks of watermelon and split the marinated-eggplant and lentil entree at Toloache. The Lion King, complete with an elephant clambering down the theater aisle. The Abstract Expressionism exhibit at MOMA. More walking Fifth Avenue, this time with a bag of roasted chestnuts in hand. Rockefeller Plaza. "A Tuba Christmas." Convince my mother to try a martini at the Algonquin Hotel. Break the news to my dad that I'll be in Mississippi come December 25. Max out on the luxury of a television in the room: watch The Town, then Inception. Snack on hunks of Zabar's sesame-coated baguette, purchased at Grand Central Station and slathered in harissa and balsamic vinegar. Take my mother up to Crown's office and introduce her to my editor, then the head of publicity. Watch as my mother deftly finagles a copy of a Frances Mayes book instead of the tome with a pink breast-cancer ribbon embossed on the cover that they are trying to give her. Head down to Union Square's farmer's market. Slivers of upstate apples. Tea to sniff. A bouquet of dried blooms to brighten my studio in the coming weeks, when I won't be in one place long enough to buy fresh flowers. The long drive home, sun blazing through the windshield as we race down the turnpike, my sister once more curled up and asleep in the backseat beside me. There's never time to make these trips. There's always time.