Thursday, July 10, 2014

fur hat, fur coat

One knows that one's no longer in the West when one passes a big, big shop selling fur coats and hats: this betokens somewhere that's decidedly cold in winter, and that doesn't have quite the same ideological sensibilities as Santa Fe (where, of course, it's also quite cold enough).  Maybe there's also a sizable population of elderly Russians in Bethesda?  I was hoping against hope that Gartenhaus was the furriers that may have a brief bit part to play in Alice's current writing, but I think that this might be too much coincidence to wish for ... 

It's more or less 35 years to the week since I landed in the US for the first time, to do research in the Library of Congress (anyone else remember Laker Air?) and had my first encounter with the beltway - and there was a whole lot less traffic on it then.  A penniless graduate student, I was wonderfully hosted by a couple who gave me a gin and tonic (with lime in it!  lime!  I'd never encountered that in G&T before) when I arrived, in order to revive me.  What I never let on to them was that I'd revived myself before I ever called them to say that I'd made it through immigration - I found a Baskin Robbins outlet in the airport.  Exotic ice-cream!  So much more exciting than Walls!  I can't remember, alas, what flavor I had ... but I do remember that it was extraordinarily humid.  Today the humidity had converted itself into full-blown downpour.   So a raincoat would have been a more appropriate garment to be cutting and hemming than the one represented in this strange window set-up.

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