‎"...a little 'trouty', but quite good" ~ Eve Kendall, North By Northwest

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Newbury Street

As the story goes, our friends' daughter saw a field of flowers and asked if she could run through it. Given permission, she frolicked in the flowers and then returned, hot, damp and covered in burrs. "It's not as much fun as it looks," she declared.

I feel that way about a lot of things, specifically, at the moment, Newbury Street.

Don't get me wrong, I love Newbury Street. But somehow it always leaves me feeling vaguely unfulfilled. It would be so much easier if I could just smash it all down flat and roll in it. There's so much to wallow in, and no real way of wallowing if you don't slap down some coin and get yourself a pied-à-terre. It is not possible to soak it all up in one afternoon.

People watching alone is a full time job. Newbury Street is full of young hip things in very short skirts. Some skirts, in fact, were so short as to be inconsequential. Oh I do miss the short skirts. I forgo wearing them now as a public service - as did the Newbury Street women who were formerly young hip things, all looking very smart and toting shopping bags. These are the women I would emulate now, if I were a Newbury Street Regular. I reinvent myself with every passing block. I decide which salon I would go to if I lived there, what I would wear, where I would shop.

But at the end of the day, I am still me. Just a little stickier from all that jam and whipped cream.

I think when you run through a field of flowers your wish is, for just a moment, to BE a flower. And when you are not somehow magically transformed into an explosion of pink petals, there is a touch of something bittersweet. A little "why is it I'm doing this again?"

And then you see a man holding a paper cup out to passersby. You brace yourself for your turn, but instead of asking, he offers. "Your hair is so pretty," he says. "and will you look at those children! Beautiful. God bless you all." And suddenly, you are an explosion of pink petals, and it doesn't matter even a little bit that you do not have your hair cut on Newbury Street.


JAbel said...

I haven't been on Newbury St. in years.Back in the day we hung out at the old Fridays on 26 Exeter(I think it closed a few years ago) and Newbury.Some frat brothers and I even removed the huge old stuffed bear in the entrance lobby one morning in the wee hours as we had inside help.He was in the frat house for a day before we brought him back before charges were lodged and jobs were lost.I also recall spotting Tim Dickey on Newbury one year late fall before the Jug Band played a show at our house.He was always a fashion plate!

Sturdy Girl said...

Absolutely fantastic post.

e.m.szuplat said...

just beautiful!

(i used to work at bookstore cafe on newbury, i think it's still there. i used to water the bonsai's in the morning.)

Debbie said...

You are such a talented writer. I just love to linger over your posts like this one.

fatkidjames said...

Dude! Where'd you go? We had FREE COOKIES in Cotuit yesterday! A free cookie party, the whole town was there. And people wonder why I wanted to move back.

Laggin said...

I haven't been to Newbury Street, ever.

Now I wanna go!

Susan said...

jabel - When I referred to "hip young things," I meant Tim Dickey.

sturdy - thanks!

e - I think I knew the owner of that cafe - pierre?

debbie - that's why I sat around and didn't write for awhile. You know, to allow for more lingering. (thank you, btw)

fatkidjames - I can't even tell you where I was because you will be SICK with jealousy.
Okay, I was at Boston Ballet's Nutcracker. I love the nutcracker even more than I love free cookies.

Laggin - that is just plain criminal. I'll go with you!