March 21, 2010

First Day of Spring

Atlanta and New York were my stops this week.  Blissful weather in both places and I met many wonderful people. If you’re in or near Atlanta, the Botanical Garden, where I spoke, is such a serene place to wander.  My cousin is taking classes there in shade gardening and hydrangeas.  Several Dale Chihuly glass sculptures adorn the place, their vegetal glass shapes rivaling the flowers.

In New York, I stayed at the artful Gramercy Park Hotel. Danny Meyer’s newish restaurant there, Il Maialino served up a taste of Italy. The malfatti pasta with roasted pork was so tasty.  My editor had a toast for me at The Italian Wine Merchant, so I had a chance to meet Sergio Esposito (whose book Passion on the Vine I liked), and to have a sip of Italia.  The bottles on the shelves are displayed like art objects and the lighted votives between them give a little flame of religious fervor to selecting a good vino nobile for dinner.   At this gathering I was able to thank some of the committed and talented people who are behind publishing Every Day in Tuscany. At Barnes and Noble, I had brief visits with several old friends, including a childhood friend of my daughter.  One thing I love about the book tour is these surprise meeting.  My visit North ended at a library event in lovely New Canaan, presided over by the excellent Elm Street Books. Someone gave me two loaves of freshly baked bread, which we sampled in the car en route back to the city.

Yesterday, when I flew into Raleigh-Durham, I could see from the plane window the Bradford pears igniting the landscape below with their white abundance.   They have burst into bloom in my absence.   Driving home, I saw clumps of daffodils and a few purple-haze redbuds.  Now I have the afternoon before I fly out tomorrow for Powell’s in Portland, Oregon, then down the California coast, then to U of GA, U of FL, then Miami–two weeks of being a wandering minstrel.  All with carry-on. I must be a clever packer tonight!

Meanwhile, a few hours to remove dead leaves from a flower bed and to fertilize my gardenias.  Still too early to plant, but time to get ready.