rlbourges

Ode to a building

In Current reading, Music, Ridgewood, RLB trivia, Tea on September 7, 2009 at 8:15 am

DSCN3034There’s a lot that’s wrong with the town where I now live. This building isn’t one of them. It is one of the rare tanneries to have been saved and put to intelligent use since the leather trade collapsed – actually, since the majority of the tannery owners sold the knowledge and the machinery to China. As one man once said to me, as he fingered a paper thin and poorly dyed leather jacket on the marketplace: “To think somebody in China probably stretched that leather on the machine I used to operate.” Makes you pause and think, indeed.

But the tannery above was saved and transformed into the town’s public library. The director and his staff are young, excited about books, music, theatre, and every other form of creativity.  Despite the  decaying buildings and the prevalent dumb-glum mindset in entire neighborhoods of the town, the people in this place are so pumped they even oversee the administration of the regional structure responsible for a total of seven municipal libraries.

On this blog, I don’t  talk much about the place where I live. Consider this an exception prompted by an email and a voice message telling me Pablo Neruda’s memoirs were back and on reserve for me. The copy at the library is the original French edition which I photographed months ago. I like the cover so much, my readers get an extra photo this morning:

DSCN6423

(I see the book is available in English under the simple title of Memoirs. Totally different artwork on the cover, but more effective than the one on the French paperback version, in my view.)

And now, the usual mantra: tea* and back to story.

* I save Monkey King Jasmine for afternoon cuppas. Mornings are usually Irish Breakfast or Blue of London (a bergamot scented black tea). It’s Blue of London today.

***

17:50 OK. I’m almost done on the first draft of Ridgewood. Looking forward to working on something a bit lighter, maybe? Still, the roughest part is the first draft on some stories. Revision is the reward for  having done the footwork.

For now, a bit of Sonny Rollins, a cold beer and we’ll see later about the rest of the evening.

Best to all.

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