living in a city that never sleeps
Entry for February 21, 2007

Don't tell anyone, but I escaped from working to an afternoon at Nona. I'm going to miss this place so much in the spring. That's when they tear up the street and sidewalk, and for a sidewalk cafe that's a bummer. Even though I rarely sit on the sidewalk. I prefer to sit inside by the window and watch the people outside.

Today we had stuff not yet on the menu - i had liver and potatoes and Sharon had the chicken curry. It was as good as their lasagna - which means a lot if you've been following my love affair with food.

Why are they digging up all of Ibn Gvirol? To put the light train in. Not to get under Al Aksa.

Of course by the time that train gets going I'll be in a wheelchair and won't need it.

February 20, 2007

It's perfect weather for the beach. The sciatica i thought I had under control took me over, so i won't be going to the book fair or the Holtzman reception in Jerusalem, but a little walking on the sand might be the perfect thing. I really want to get be okay for the trip we're taking on Saturday to learn about the Beduin life. My ignorance, the conflicting facts -- this kind of trip is essential.

Didn't make it to the beach either.

Coming out of the opera, we face a man playing "Moscow Nights" on the sidewalk. Tonight we were on our way to see "Tales of Hoffman" which takes you into another world entirely, and we were late because of the traffic because of a suicide bomber in the neighborhood. The combination was unbelievable.

The international Book Fair in Jerusalem opened. The English writers have a booth thanks to Irwin Holtzman:

And the new Jerusalem Review is also being sold there.

sorry about the size. i can't get anything right on either site nowadays.

The book fair is a very big event for us, and while i was manning the booth i heard all kinds of press conferences and parties around us. But when I wandered around, i didn't see much. I guess I wasn't focussed but I also have this powerful memory of one of my favorite books - Johnson's Lives of the Poets. Johnson didn't think much of the depth of William Shenstone, and in his delicate way, shows it in a delicate biographical sketch: "He learned to read of an old dame... and soon received such delight from books, that he was always calling for fresh entertainment, and expected that when any of the family went to market a new book should be brought him, which when it came, was in fondness carried to bed and laid by him. It is said, that when his request had been neglected, his mother wrapped up a piece of wood of the same form, and pacified him for the night."

I still roll around the floor with laughter when I recall that anecdote. And I couldn't find it anywhere on the web.

But it reminded me of the danger of a book fair like this. On the one hand there are amazing people to meet in the book industry (I of course hid in my booth) and amazing books to be seen. But one shouldn't get confused. Books can only been respected and love by reading.

2007-02-21 11:14:55 GMT
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