On a snowy day in January, a writer-friend with a new book to sell, Romalyn Tlighman from California, was in New York for a conference at the Hilton. Romalyn's book, To The Stars Through Difficulties, is a fascinating look at the development of the public library system in Kansas in the early twentieth century under the influence of Andrew Carnegie. Now available on pre-order on Amazon, it will likewise be available at book stores nationwide in April.
We met for lunch at what Zagat calls 'a perennial favorite,' the Trattoria Dell’Arte, on Seventh Avenue. Seated at a table with a view of the street, it was magical watching New Yorkers and visitors slipping and sliding on the slick pavements, while across the street, Carnegie Hall, named after the great American philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, loomed as unperturbed as ever. For Romalyn, there was a special connnection.
By the way, you can tell the native New Yorkers when it snows by the umbrellas they carry! Whereas hardy Nordic types, don their woolen skis caps with colorful patterns and tuck their chins deeper into their lambskin collars.
Close by us that day was a table of five, enjoying themselves immensely, apologizing for the glee, explaining they were up from Texas where it never snows. Their enthusiasm was infectious. As it it, cloudy days, rainy days, grey days, and snowy days are my favorites; I never take them for granted. Still, it was lovely listening to the gusto they brought to the lunch-hour white-out, which, if making the city less discernible, was likewise making it even more enjoyable. In short, it was an enchanted day.
So, when it snowed this week, with great sheets of white whipping in from the north, I donned my knee-high Hunter boots and my plush soft Hunter socks, to walk in the snow and enjoy that snowy day magic all over again. Time was of the essence, I knew, as it doesn’t take long for a coverlet of white to turn into a slushy grey mound at a crosswalk.
And it didn't take long before I decided the wind was too nippy, that I needed a respite. A snowed-in blackboard on a sidewalk caught my eye: If the brussel sprout soup didn't do it for me, the quiche sounded about right. Ducking inside a neighborhood charmer, Demarchelier on East 86th Street, near Madison, I found all in readiness. Snow or no snow. Including the soft lighting, which I have always appreciated. You can see for yourself the results: a challenging book, a soft, full-boded pinot noir, and a quiche Lorraine. Take a look at that crusty bread, what's not to like! And there's madame, totaling up the bill...
Have you a snowy day favorite place where you like to linger long? Drop a line and tell me about it. Hope to see you next week when I'll have the coffee ready...