Sunday, 26 July 2009


The office calls it home leave, sending me back to where my family lives in the Chicago suburbs. It was a lovely if strange two weeks with siblings and Mom, then back home to a water-damaged kitchen. Grateful that downstairs neighbour Catherine alerted me by email, and to friend Olivia for saving my wine glasses and dishes out of the sagging cupboards.

Now enjoying summer Sunday in the city, tourists galore, yet only Tribeca's front row of tables filled this morning while visitors crowded through rue Cler, dragging carry-ons, consulting guides.

We were entertained by a pretty 3-yr-old girl in pigtails and a pink sundress, insouciantly toting around a grinning wooden pig almost bigger than she was. Plenty of colour on this sunny day - I counted four brilliant purple sundresses, a blazing orange creation, and others in yellow, blue, green. The woman sitting behind me unfolded a portable bicycle, demonstrated it for half a dozen of us, then tucked it back behind her seat. Lots of velibs passed through, as well as one homeless guy whose bike hooked up to a possessions-filled rolling cart, his dog trotting alongside. What is the definition of homeless, anyway?

Leaving the cafe, I stocked up on fruit: sun-ripe tomatoes, sweet cantaloupes 3 for 5 euros, huge deep red cherries, juicy white peaches, golden apricots, yum. But that didn't stop me from testing out Amorino, the brand new Italian gelato parlor on rue Cler. Creamy cherry-vanilla ice cream slopping over the too-tiny cone, I managed not to waste a drop. Home again, home again, jiggety-jig.