Monday, March 1, 2010


WE were very tired, we were very merry—
We had gone back and forth all night on the ferry.
It was bare and bright, and smelled like a stable—
But we looked into a fire, we leaned across a table,
We lay on a hill-top underneath the moon;
And the whistles kept blowing, and the dawn came soon.

We were very tired, we were very merry—
We had gone back and forth all night on the ferry;
And you ate an apple, and I ate a pear,
From a dozen of each we had bought somewhere;
And the sky went wan, and the wind came cold,
And the sun rose dripping, a bucketful of gold.

We were very tired, we were very merry,
We had gone back and forth all night on the ferry.
We hailed "Good morrow, mother!" to a shawl-covered head,
And bought a morning paper, which neither of us read;
And she wept, "God bless you!" for the apples and pears,
And we gave her all our money but our subway fares.

-Edna St. Vincent Millay
(From "A Few Figs from Thistles," 1922)

My friend C was telling me about her last-minute late-weekend rendez-vous in NYC with her Manhattan-ite boyfriend (she spontaneously hopped a train on Sunday morning and played hooky from work the next day) and it made me all starry-eyed for my long-lost city life. I haven't spent a whole lot of time in NYC (two high school band/chorus trips, though fun & exploratory, don't exactly count) and I am conscious of my tendency to romanticize the dirty (and perhaps overly pretentious) city into a mecca of creativity, excitability & amourous activities. I blame you, Woody Allen.

Still, the truth is, there is something about New York (as a concept?) that really tugs at my heart strings. It seems so... lived in. The old brick buildings with their fading facades seem weathered and worn out like the cracked and crumbling spine of a beloved book. At night, the thousands of little illuminated windows hold steady their lights--a reminder that everybody else exists too, here, in this moment, on this Earth. How can you keep from finding comfort in that? There is something about New York (and any city) that eases the effect of personal alienation. You really can never be alone in a city so massive & full of life.

It's difficult for me to love the quiet country all the time. Dark & deserted silent snowy streets, entire towns shutting down when the clocks strike six, communities disconnected by distances so great they must be driven... it's hard for me to be inspired by silence&separation. Anyway, when I get in a rural-life slump there is only one thing to do--simulate city life! On Saturday morning I got up relatively early and drove the three miles into town for a bagel, a chai latte, and a solitary sidewalk stroll. I now present you with Waterbury's urban landscape:

(leather jacket: ALDO; scarf: gift from mom; shirt: Marshall's; jeans: PacSun; booties: GoJane; chai latte: GMCR cafe)

I hope you all had wonderful, exhilarating weekends! Welcome back to the work week :)

Oh, PS: The Millay poem (Recuerdo, above) is one of my favorites, and always reminds me of all-nighters in the city with good friends (it's been a long time since I've stayed up to watch the sun rise... count yourselves lucky if you don't have full-time jobs, and maybe experience the dawn for me?). I had been getting really into Millay while working at the coffee shop in Portland and a co-barista introduced me to this particular poem... so now I pass it on to you! If you have any interest, I also loved her biography Savage Beauty by Nancy Milford.


  1. Oh, I LOVE LOVE LOVE this outfit. You look so super cool!! Love those grey skinnies! I used to watch the sunrise all the time when my son was littler and would wake up to eat at 5 am! It was actually kind of nice ;-)!

  2. how do you like infinite jest? (random, i know) this guy i'm into keeps talking about it but i've never met anyone else who's read it!

    lauren @