Days that stretched in the warm autumn sun. The Campbell Apartment. A Very Squeaky Train, a scone and a tea, Dutch Interiors. Words with ladies, a picnic near a pond, an Upper East Side romp of the very best sort. Learning to Like Jewels. The meandering of minds. Words in the sun and paper mache. The admiring of paperwhite shoots, the filling of jars with seeded greens. A four-day, New York sort of weekend; the kind in which to remember, the kind in which to forget.
Flow on, river! Flow with the flood-tide, and ebb with the ebb-tide!
Frolic on, crested and scallop-edg'd waves!
Gorgeous clouds of the sun-set! drench with your splendor me, or the men and women generations after me;
Cross from shore to shore, countless crowds of passengers!
Stand up, tall masts of Mannahatta!--stand up, beautiful hills of Brooklyn!
Throb, baffled and curious brain! throw out questions and answers!
Suspend here and everywhere, eternal float of solution!
Gaze, loving and thirsting eyes, in the house, or street, or public assembly!
Sound out, voices of young men! loudly and musically call me by my nighest name!
Live, old life! play the part that looks back on the actor or actress!
Play the old role, the role that is great or small, according as one makes it!
Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass, "86: Crossing Brooklyn Ferry," 11, 111-121
This is the part where the remaining leaves cling tight and the sun--what sun we have--shines through the branches. This is the part where we fill the jars and bake the bread and oil the pans and the wood. It is the part where winter winks at us across the dark evenings. In all probability, we do not wink back.
Out shopping for properly fitting pants on Saturday I was bustled and bumped in the manner of pre-holiday bustles in New York City. A man gave me tea while I waited for my takeout and I sipped from the small, round cup and swirled the lime inside it; the tea seemed the nicest tea I have ever sipped, the cup the roundest of them all. Near my house Sunday morning the fine people of Brooklyn clapped and hollered for their marathoning fellows. It gave me courage to bustle and sip and cheer alongside so many. Whitman's words echoed, then got silly in my head the way they so often do in this place: Bustle on, shoppers! Pour tea and juice limes, oh kindly and bespectacled men of Brooklyn! Ring cow bells and hoot, you bundled regarders of athleticism!
The darkness descends, most assuredly. The sun that shines through the branches does so for fewer hours than I would perhaps like. But my jars are full, my bread baked; the city alive with trundling and tea and cheers; the wood oiled and bright. It is light more than enough to weather winter's early advances.
The hardy, and we sometimes think presumptuous, writers of children's books are back this year covering a spectacular range and sinning in a multitude of covers. We are offered everything from the adventures of a bureaucratic rabbit, by the daughter of our President, to the Lord's Prayer for either a Catholic child or a Protestant child. It was the odd impact of this slice of the Bible on a four-year-old of our acquaintance that made us question the whole idea of juvenile literature: the child, ever since listening to the majestic cadences of "For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory," has been referring in his less beatific moods to a new kind of power boat known to him as a Glory Boat. Even this rather cursory experience with the working of a child mind makes one wonder how any adult has the nerve to prepare any literature for the young whatsoever.Katharine S. White, The New Yorker, December 1, 1934
From Minders of Make Believe, by Leonard S. Marcus
The neighborhood has been decorated for weeks, and for weeks the children have been wearing capes and wings. I foolishly fretted sometime Friday night and Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning that there Might Not Be Trick-or-Treaters, This Being New York. Inside, I photographed, then straightened the mess from a last-minute fashioning of wax-paper wings; cut, hung (and hung again) a wreath of bats; sniffed a pumpkin while pretending not to sniff a pumpkin. By the time I made it outside the winged hoards had descended. I helped distribute sweets for a while, then walked the neighborhood, grinning into pizza parlors and avoiding the swinging tips of sabers and sticks and tails. The leaves blew, it was cold. I picked up some peanut-butter cups and went home and watched the Muppets and finished The Witches, too. It was everything Halloween should be.