Thursday, August 31, 2006

Living Technicolor!

Well, I got a bit tired of seeing the dorky gray "no photo available" box next to my name whenever I made comments on others' blogs, so I asked my author buddy Sarah Darer Littman to help me out. Sarah, whose blogs can be found at (the family version) and (the unexpurgated edition), is a technological whiz, as befits a soon-to-be (but not soon enough!) single mom who manages two kids, a dog, a back-country hilltop estate, a writing career, and who knows what all else with Hemingway-esque "grace under pressure."

Yesterday being the first day of the academic year here in Greenwich, she dropped the kids off at school (after various adventures that you can read about in her blogs) and headed for the main library, which for all too long has remained ungraced by her presence. There, in the facing carrel, sat your scribe, surfing away on the Internet. After glad greetings were exchanged, scribe told author babe about the Picture Problem. Author babe whipped out her cell phone and pointed it across the carrel. Thirty seconds later the result hit my email in-box, and shortly thereafter I was no longer an anonymous gray blob, but more of a semi-anonymous blue blob in the Elysian Fields of cyberspace. Ain't technology wonderful?

So now y'all can see what a scribe's-eye view of Greenwich looks like. The nimbus around my head represents the Blogging Muse, courtesy of the architectural genius of Caesar Pelli, who built an airline terminal right here in downtown Greenwich and sold it to the trustees of the Greenwich Library. Notice the wide-open spaces with nary a book in sight. There was a costly retrofit of the stack area when it was discovered that the overhead spots in the cathedral ceiling made little puddles of light on the carpet, but left the spines of the books in unreadable Stygian darkness. But hey - how many other towns can say they have a library designed by Caesar Pelli? (Hint: this was his first and only foray into the bibliotechnic field - he has since returned to the Fortune 500 headquarters fold from which he erred and strayed into our pastures ever-so-green(wich)....)

Now, don't get me wrong - I like Caesar, and we had some good times together palling around Yale and environs shaking our tin cups on behalf of the School of Art and Architecture, of which he was then the dean. That was back in the golden days of the consulship of Bart Giamatti, under whose aegis Yale finally began to emerge from its financial doldrums. I'll never forget the time Bart gave a "state-of-the-university" address to a passel of formerly disaffected alums, impressing the hell out of them. You could practically feel the long-dormant pride in their alma mater rising in each curmudgeonly breast. At the end one of them piped up, "I though we'd be asked for money." Quick as a whip Bart said, "You have been." He brought down the house.

But we were talking of Caesar's house, not Bart's. Most of us have become inured to the corporate-style architecture and the zillion or so cubic feet of empty (read wasted) space. And the donjon-like excresence known as "The Jewel", which lacks only a moat to be right at home in the Middle Ages, still causes first-time visitors to scratch their heads. Was Caesar playing a little joke on the good burghers of Greenwich? Your scribe, at least, tends to think so.

And yet...and yet - would Sarah's picture have been possible in another setting, in other circumstances? Would she have been able to encapsulate elsewhere the essence of what it means to blog about life here in Greenwich, even capturing the attendant muse? Dubious, I think.

So thanks, Caesar, and thanks, Sarah, for giving form and color to the life of this humble blogger, who will now excuse himself to go post the result all over the Internet....


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