07 April 2008

beshert; or, an excellent adventure

A Rabbit, a Penguin, and Betty Boop walked into a bar - No, actually, they walked into a bookstore and visited a Harlot, but I'm getting ahead of the story.

Betty Boop (my penfriend Terry from Idaho) flew to Manhattan for a visit last week, and Rabbit (that's me) spent two days with her. We indulged ourselves shamelessly. We were gluttonous, greedy women -- but neither for food nor jewelry. Oh no! We went for yarns, pens, and books!

Cross Century 2 Starlight fountain pen (Oy, did we indulge ourselves on pens and ink. I bought two pens, including this beauty, and enough ink to [insert writing goals here].)

If you are not a letter-writer, you probably are wondering whether two women who never met in person are really friends. Yes. Terry and I have been corresponding for 20 years, conversing and sharing as close friends do. Do not confuse the medium with the message. The medium -- pen and ink, e-mail, teletype -- is incidental. We are who we are. In our case, our favorite apparatus occasioned the splurge.

Where was I? Oh yes. Rabbit and Ms. Boop had a vegetarian dinner at Zen Palate. Then, they decided to visit the Yarn Harlot at Columbus Circle. They should have taken a taxi. By the time they reached Borders, the Harlot had finished her talk, but they bought books to be signed anyway.

"Look!" said Rabbit. "There's Helen of Troy!" Seriously. Helen (of Troy) was there to see the Harlot, too. I introduced my friends, and looked out at the crowd of knitters waiting to have their books signed.

Penguin Girl (Penny) had e-mailed to say that she might visit the Harlot that night as well. We had never met (in person). I'd seen pictures, but I'm not good at translating from 2-D to 3, and I do have the typical Rabbit skittishness about crowds. But I saw a small woman wearing a beautiful Logan River Wrap, and I intuited - and I was right! - that the woman was Penny.

So the Rabbit, the Penguin, and Betty Boop walked into a bar - no, actually, they walked into the Borders cafe, where they were joined by Helen of Troy and Helen's friends. A chatty and companionable time was had by all. My Rabbitty skittishness was eased greatly by a ginger cookie, British Breakfast tea, and the unmistakable scent of synchronicity: the near-random meeting of women, knitters and friends, occasioned by the witty and encouraging writings of The Yarn Harlot. It seemed, as they say, beshert.

What else did Terry and I do? We visited the Museum of Modern Art, where we met up with Penny, had another delightful tea-and-talk, and saw two exhibits. One, "Color Chart," did nothing for me. Except for Andy Warhol's inspired portraits of Marilyn Monroe, the entire exhibit looked (to me) like paint chips from Home Depot.

Honeycomb vaseThe other exhibit, "Design and the Elastic Mind," is described as an examination of "disruptive innovation." Just that phrase is enough to delight me, and I remain utterly enchanted by the honeycomb vase, created by one designer and 40,000 bees.

I don't allow any visitor to NYC to leave without a visit to Tiffany's. I love Tiffany's. I've never bought anything in the store, and probably never will - but - the old-world, easy elegance of that store charms me and amuses my abductees. As Terry said, "There's a little bit of Holly Golightly in us all." Definitely so.

Betty Boop has flown back to Idaho. The Penguin has returned to Brooklyn. Rabbit is back in her warren, but maybe now she'll be a little less reluctant to emerge.


KSD said...

Sounds positively delightful. Good for you all!!

nonizamboni said...

'the unmistakable scent of synchronicity'
Could my enjoyment reading this be considered beshert too? What fun you all must have had!

kadezmom said...


KnitNana said...

Wonderful! I hope The Rabbit will indeed decide to emerge from the warren again, soon, and perhaps meet up with a certain Knitnana!?

Aunt Kathy said...

Great adventure... now if only I could have found a way to get there too, but alas gimpy is still gimping.

Bridget said...

I was just thinking to myself yesterday that you hadn't posted about your adventures. Sounds like it was absolutely fabulous, I'm so jealous!

So where is your next adventure going to be???

Donna Lee said...

That sounds like synchronicity to me. What a terrific outing. I heard the yarn harlot when she was in town and had the most wonderful time talking to the knitters around me before and after she spoke.

sunt_lacrimae_rerum said...

Wot larks! It really does sound absolutely delightful. How great to have such a pantheonistic time!

Khadijha Caitlin said...

Wow I am so envious.....how much is a round trip ticket to Manhattan? Oh and Tiffany's sounds divine!

adrienne said...

Sounds like a Wonderful, Fantastic time was had by all:)! I'd love to be abducted into Tiffany's!

That vase is amazing.

Jennifer said...

What a fun visit!

Raven said...

What a fun trip. I love that pen. There is something so calming about writing with a fountain pen. I simply adore it.

Anonymous said...

This sounds wonderful. I can only quote what was said to a group of friends and myself one evening at the end of a particularly good wedding breakfast (long story) by someone else in the restaurant, "Why wasn't I invited!"

Penny said...

:) Thank you. I've been trying to figure out how to reply to such a wonderful post and convey how it great last week was. It was quite very wonderful to meet you in person and spend some time with you. I hope that we both can emerge from our warrens & nests and meet up for tea again soon. there was blue sky and warmth today, so perhaps soon it will be more pleasant and desired.

tfhouston said...

I've been a little slow responding playing catch up after my wonderful week in New York. I told family and friends I was visiting a friend I have known for 20 years but never met. They don't write letters or even e-mails so they didn't quite understand. Rabbit is wonderful. Just like her letters. I enjoyed meeting Penny and other friends. Some day I hope to make another visit. Yes, we spent a fortune indulging ourselves on pens and ink. And yarn. And MOMA is wonderful. I spent over five hours at the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art and didn't see everything. I rode the Staten Island Ferry twice . . . a week isn't long enough. Hopefully I can make another trip before another twenty years pass by.

Maven said...

Sounds like you had an utterly wonderful time!

For my next foray into NYC, I'll be meeting a friend and having lunch at the Candle Cafe. I can't wait!

PS: The following time I'll be in NYC will be 8/19... hint hint!

Paula said...

Wow! What a wonderful adventure!

and seriously, I agree, there is a little Holly Golightly in us all!

kataish said...

That definitely sounds like a fun time. Next time I'm in NYC, we should do something! I anticipate it will be next April.

I have one of those fountain pens, that I LOVE but I don't have the right ink for it. An art store around here sells Speedball ink for fountain pens, but it seems to be thicker. I think I need to order some from eBay :(