September 5, 2008

Hurricane's a-comin'!

So they say.

I went out and bought milk because that's what you do when there's a storm coming. I also bought Lipton tea bags (we've been out all week, can you believe I let it go this long?), decaf tea, and pancake mix, the just-add-water kind. Prior planning prevents poor performance.

At lunchtime today I strolled down Fifth Ave. to Books of Wonder/the Cupcake Cafe because all week I've been feeling nostalgic-like. My morning walk to the subway coincides with the parade of elementary kids in their empty-looking backpacks with their names written in thick permanent marker down the straps: Jasmine F.; Alex B.; Emanuel D. 

On Tuesday they were all with cheery parents who made them stand by the fence and take first-day pictures. They looked petrified, or maybe just embarrassed. It made me feel that horrible new-thing nausea that made me cry each morning for the first two weeks or so, until I realized that my new teacher wasn't actually Miss Viola Swamp, and then I loved it. Until there was a spelling test or field day or something else to keep me up at night.

So I was thinking about the alphabet reading rug in Mrs. Sager's classroom, and the plywood Terabithia in Mrs. Bivaletz's, and I desperately wanted to be surrounded by safety scissors and thin books with large print. So I went to Books of Wonder.

I think if someone were to ask me, "What's your favorite place ever in the city?" I actually might say, "Books of Wonder the Cupcake Cafe."

Spent my entire lunch hour browsing the aisles, found the NEW CLARICE BEAN BOOK (Clarice Bean, Don't Look Now), and I bought it! Children's books are much more affordable than adult ones, you know. Put me in such a good mood that I went back after work for a cappuccino and some quality time in the ladybug chairs with my new read. As I was sitting there minding my own business, two bakers came out of the back with four gigantic trays of cupcakes that looked like huge dahlias. 

They had to use my table to box them, which I didn't mind one bit because I got a FREE cupcake as a thank-you.

That place is magical. 

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