Wednesday, January 07, 2004

This morning I had to walk Sophie a little before seven. Because the streets are coated with a thick white layer of salt, I opted to take her to the golf course. The full moon, an enormous pale orange dinnerplate, hovered close to the horizon as we arrived. Soon a brilliant gold topped the treeline surrounding Ponkapoag Pond. So beautiful!

My gym read right now is Morningside Heights by Cheryl Mendelson, a novel that's really focused on the world of the New York neighborhood. I love fiction with prominent New York City settings, mostly because I have fantasies of living there. Even though this is something I will never do, I have fun imagining what my life would be like. Coffee in intellectual cafes with one or more of my circle of writer and journalist friends, research in the dreamiest library of them all, the New York Public Library, afternoons at the Metropolitan Museum, exploring Central Park with Sophie, dining on exotic food by night, thought-provoking theater, sounds too expensive a lifestyle for any writer I know.

While focusing on the trials and joys of the Braithwaites, of whom both husband and wife are well-educated middle-class musicians, Morningside Heights evokes the essence of this microcosm. That's as much as I can tell so far, given that I've only arrived at Chapter 3. Mendelson is or was a professor of philosophy, so don't expect a fluffy read. It's got substance, and, less fortunate, a tendency to be slow in places.


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