Like The Queen
Whatever happens to strike my fancy, but surely some sort of fiber content.


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Sunday, February 15, 2004  

Moving around pretty late this a.m. We had a simply splendid time in Richmond yesterday with D&P, touring my home town with a local guide. There is nothing so much fun as enjoying a familiar, but changed, place with sympathetic people. Good conversation, good food, and good will - what a recipe for Valentine’s Day! I am really glad I got to grow up in that southern city - it was a good place. It’s downtown is a shambles now, as are most cities’ downtowns, though oodles of $$ are being poured into it. It is even possible it will manage to reincarnate yet again, into something viable but not necessarily HighRiseGlassSheathedSteel&GirderPillarsOfCommerce. Or maybe not. It may be that it will all fade away and some new type of humanity-organizing structure will take its place.

I do like seeing the conversion of Richmond’s Ghost Fleet of tobacco warehouses into flats for trendy young things - sort of a southern version of the New York City loft. You can certainly find your choice among the restaurants scattered about Shockoe Bottom like so much confetti. My preferred city neighborhood is the section of late 19th century row houses with brick sidewalks, often found in the first, or even second, ring of suburban development around a city’s downtown core. I like quirky, inconvenient buildings with hidden stairs and funny connecting rooms. My beloved Aunt-in-Law once told me that she “grew up in the West End. I believe you call it the fan now”. The Fan is Richmond’s brownstone area that surrounds one of Virginia’s many state universities. It begins at Belvedere street, in a place once called Tumbletown, because so many toughs and roughnecks would gather there to get into fights. The old gathering spot is now the wedged shape Monroe Park, where the streets fan out in a westerly direction, giving the area it’s nickname. I got my happy chance to live there when BD and I first met. Those years linger in my memory like a sweet fragrance. Happy, happy memories. I’m mighty glad I live in the country now - fulfilling a destiny that lurked in my heart throughout my childhood, but if I couldn’t live here, I’d want to go back to a dense city neighborhood with tall narrow houses and pocket gardens and corner restaurants 2 blocks away.

While in town I did pick up a 16" clover bamboo circular. Not my favorite needle to knit with but good enough for making a swatch. I had forgotten about Beverley’s technique for making a circular swatch in the round or I wouldn’t have bought the needle. Still, a house can never have too many knitting needles in it. This one will find plenty of friends among the others lurking in cubbyholes, drawers, and beneath sofa cushions. And I shall be visiting Jennifer on Monday and she's taking me to a shop in Warrenton. Maybe they have Addi's.

I wore my fair isle socks yesterday and they were soooooo comfy. I also knit on the cuff of the second Toasty Toes sock. Soon I shall have 4 pair of hand knit socks - woo woo. Feeling pretty smug about that.

Today we have all the sunshine we didn’t get yesterday. Cold weather is on the way, but it’s not here yet. LD brought over an enormous rockfish and we’ve invited BH up for dinner. Another dear friend is expected sometime, as well, and perhaps she’ll stay for dinner too. This is one BIG fish. So part of today will be spent with the cookbooks. Broiled rockfish? Baked rockfish? Hmmmm. Time to expand my cooking repertoire.

posted by Bess | 9:41 AM