Tag Archives: Reasons to Love New York

Popping the question

My nephew got engaged last week.

He proposed to his girlfriend while they were making dinner at his apartment.  They texted me the news, including photos of the ring.  A few days later they made the announcement on Facebook.

A modern love story.

I couldn’t help but compare that to Mr. Darcy’s proposal to Elizabeth Bennet in Pride & Prejudice.  (I watched it again last night when my cable box was on the fritz.)

He proposed the first time in the rain.  They argued, and she rejected him.

The second time (pictured here) they met in the middle of a field — in the middle of the night — in their night clothes. 

Then Mr. Darcy asked Elizabeth’s father for her hand in marriage before the family had even eaten breakfast.

For such a proper time in history, that whole thing seems a bit scandalous in comparison….don’t you think?   Imagine your own son or daughter wandering into your front lawn at dawn in their PJs talking weddings.  You’d think they were drunk.

Of course, it would make a good story.

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Nose knows

The December 20th issue of New York magazine chronicles “Reasons to Love New York.”  The editors compile the list annually, and it’s one of my favorite editions.  They never seem to run out of unique reasons to heart my adopted hometown.

I concur.

Reason #16 caught my eye this year…

We’re home to not only the publishing industry, but also to a woman who spends her days smelling books.

The headline is a bit misleading.  Rachael Morrison’s full-time job at MOMA is artist, not book sniffer.  That became her lunchtime habit six months ago when she became concerned that the smell of books — one of her favorite things — would eventually die away in this increasingly digital age.

So, she made smelling books and recording their scents her personal quest. Her list of 150 books to date includes sense memories like “armpit,” “dog poop,” and “cigar smoke and tea.”

Rachael has always loved the smell of books.  I have to admit, I hadn’t given the subject too much thought. Now I wonder — has the smell of a book ever subliminally affected my enjoyment of it?

Did I read it faster because it smelled good…or bad?  Did I stop reading it altogether and blame the author, when it was actually the pages’ odor that was the culprit?

I should start a new book today.  With my cold/flu/sinus infection — whatever it is — I can’t smell a thing and will be objective about what I’m reading.

Book critics of the world, take note.