Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Since last time...

As promised, blogging is more sparse, due to studying and panicking. Some excitement, though, from the last few days:

1) In almost one sitting (but the NYPL closes so early!) I read Michael Sebban's Lehaim. It's fascinating as a portrayal of contemporary French Jewish life, of what happens (or doesn't) when Zionism and Republicanism both fail, and of how amazing North African cuisine must be. It's also a bit of the Sartre-La Nausee school of I am profound and intellectual and no one else will ever understand me and so I will intentionally seek out dull, conventional types against whom to compare myself. Protagonist Eli S.'s romantic interest for much of the book, Chloe, is a less-interesting version of Brenda Potemkin from Goodbye Columbus. A rich, spoiled, beautiful Jewish princess who exists mainly to make the author-alter-ego narrator look good.

2) Jo and I took a day trip to Southampton, just to make ourselves look good. Some things you see there that you don't see elsewhere include massive houses with their own "service entrance," coffee shops that have, along with the usual flavored options, a "Private House Blend," book stores with volumes in the window listing however many places to sail "before you die," and much, much more. Most of which we probably didn't see, because without a car you see Main Street and Job's Lane; presumably the dining and nightlife Hamptons one hears so much about is less accessible to grad student tourists. But still, it was a fun day and a chance to remember what life is like outside of the vacation community of Park Slope.

3) I learned that the 42nd Street library is never open when you imagine it would be, and that looking it up beforehand, rather than using your imagination, is the way to go.

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