Sunday, February 19, 2006

"Hooded Nightbirds... /They Knock on Their Own Doors," or The Dakotas, Martinis, and Me

Once upon a time when I lived in a warm climate state that does not consider itself to be "the south,", I could not adapt to the climate. As "fall" rolled around and "winter" came upon us, it seemed that there was just something so wrong with putting up your Christmas lights with shorts on and seeing the Salvation Army Santas sweating out the eighty degree weather in their thin cotton Santa suits. Having grown up in a four season climate, I began to dream of snow. I even wrote to International Pen Friends and requested to have penpals in northern countries. Finland, Norway, Russia... no shortage of people who still want to write letters. So I was happy to move to the midwest, the glorious frozen coziness of fall apple pie baking, romping in the winter snows, the true act of sacrifice of having to take off your glove to put money in the little red Salvation Army can.

Alas, I have discovered that a blog I had listed on my blogroll is no more: The Dakota Pundit is gone, not even available in any kind of archived version. If anyone knows what the author is up to, please leave some info. There was some very thoughtful writing there and it is a shame that it has all just evaporated into thin air.

Thinking of good writing, warm cafes and better times, here are the virtual imagos of this nostalgia. Those craving the pinpointing, gps-driven geographical specificity of les blogs regionals (maintenant officiellement " les blocs notes regionals)" will have to bite and bear it:

The best martinis in town and a wonderful menu. The upstairs bar, open before the restaurant, feels like a secret aerie in the late afternoon. Over appetizers and a wonderfully stiff drink, discussion of all genres of byzantine maneuverings feels safe.

The worst martinis in town, but its non-alcohol serving original (a coffeehouse) is the best place to nab a table with your books, laptop, and notebooks on a stolen afternoon: great coffee and teas, WiFi, occasional pottery by the owner, and an interior as inviting as this one, though more snug and less drafty.

Many a happy and cozy winter day were spent in one of these two places. I think of them often. I have a whole post's worth to say on friends who comment that one is "better off" not being where they are still going about their lives. Perhaps it is the fantasy of our peculiar profession; certainly a number of people were quick to envy the fact that I left or to tell me what I was leaving was not fine enough for me. They, still happily (?) there, grousing away. I leave you tonight to ponder the fact that I have had no decent sushi since leaving the midwest.

The title of this post --- the quoted part--- from "Easter," a poem by Jeanine Hathaway. Deeply out of context, there I am: a hooded nightbird.

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