01 October 2015

Thursday adventures in Rochester

Thursday is usually one of my days to work at Scholes Library but I had a visit to the dermatologist in Rochester today. So it was off to the big city for a bit of adventure. I wanted to check the used bookstores to see if I could find of copy of The Gallery by John Horne Burns. I had finished not long ago the new biography on Burns entitled Dreadful: the short life and gay times of John Horne Burns by David Margolick. Imagine my delight that Greenwood Books had a copy and the added bonus was that it was a copy of the original 1947 Harper & Brothers edition that had belonged to the composer David Diamond. Franlee, the owner of Greenwood Books, said that she had bought several thousand of his books when his library was being cleared out. Normally I'd rather not have a marked copy but this copy had the marks of someone in whose notes I might be interested. On the way from the East End to the dermatologist, WXXI announced that they were going to be playing his fourth symphony tomorrow, 2015 being the centennial of his birth.

After I bought my book, I went over to Spot Coffee which is located in a former Chevrolet dealership.
I had last Thursday's New York Times with me, to read as I had a bagel snack and coffee. I was saddened to see the obituary for Phil Patton. I have enjoyed reading his essays and books since I was reading the chapter on Route 66 in Open road: a celebration of the American highway (1986) while sitting in a cafe named Route 66 in Amsterdam (yes, the one in the Netherlands). And I even saw a small version of the route sign on someone's mailbox post as I drove home.

Another article in the paper that especially caught my eye was a profile of fashion designer Nicole Hanley Mellon. She had been on a trip to Cuba in the spring. The article states that she "was initially confused by the Cuban capital. 'The first day we were there, it felt like there was no commerce. Each day, through conversation and observation, you peel off another layer.' She met a college student who was 'pretty candid and spoke about the way you're taught art to express a social issue or a political issue more than being personal, which I found interesting.'" This sense of the importance of social welfare and equality was something that seemed alive to me too when I was in Cuba in May. I just hope that Cuba doesn't become just another Caribbean island.

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