Friday, February 10, 2012

The Height of Discombobulation

Marelybone High Street from the top.

I have begun to like New York.  There is a certain familiarity in its demanding rush and efficiency designed around allowing busy people to get work done.  I often will puzzle over how to get more done more efficiently and try to limit the amount of time, attention, and money I pay to the menial tasks of life.  It seems all of New York agrees with this sentiment.  There are grocery stores and drugs stores it seems on almost every block.  There is a dry cleaner, tailor, and launderer, at least where I live, on the ground floor of every residential building.  I need hardly leave my building let alone a one-block radius of where I live to run all errands.  All restaurants deliver.  Scratch that—everyone, restaurant or no, delivers.

I also appreciate the professionalism, even in small matters, although I’ve cringed a time or two at its implications. When the delivery of a few bowls and kitchen odds and ends were a day late, we got the distinct impression that the poor delivery man was excoriated.

Yet the moment I got on my British Airways flight this Monday evening for a quick trip to London (I’m helping to organize a chapter of a legal society at Oxford and was, before we moved to NYC the last week, going to use this as an excuse to see Lance, now to find a sublettor), I also had an overwhelming sense of familiarity I usually only associate with Utah and all things home.  I was warmed by the stewardess asking if I’d like a spot of tea.  There was a polite and kind formalism to all of the Brits around me, and I felt I knew them, or at least why they had such a difficult time being known. 

Once I had landed, the sensation continued as I headed to my dentist appointment (don’t ask me why I go to a dentist in England!).  On the way there, I enjoyed a leisurely stroll in the early morning down Marelybone High Street, one of my favorite London High (or Main) Streets, speckled as it was with delicious design shops, food shops, and, one of my favorites, a button shop.  All of this low-lying charm was familiar, too, and I let out a sign of relief that I was in no rush.

So, who am I and to what city do I belong?  Have I become a stateless person?

Love the classic black bookshelf with the turquoise inside.

Brittany, this was for you, love. Hand-painted plates!
Hard to convey here how wonderful this bookstore is.  The sign inside painted on the crown moulding reads
"Through to Books Arranged by Country.

Is this the first Waitrose?  Love the clock.

Can you see my reflection in this one? Finally arrive while the store was open,
wearing exactly the suit and dress coat for which I needed to match buttons...


  1. love all the pictures , you are very lucky to travel all over the world , nice clear pictures :)

  2. I've really enjoyed reading through your blog. That sense of having multiple "homes" adds so much texture to ones life. We've lived in a few locations and try to travel internationally as much as possible to add perspective to the lives of our typical "sheltered, blonde kids from Utah." Thank you for sharing and hopefully you enjoy your time in New York.

  3. you know I love them. Actually, those are by the same artist who did the plates that we have.