Uncle Steve was in town last week and graciously took us to dinner at Marvin, a U Street restaurant inspired by DC native Marvin Gaye. This meant Southern food with a little Belgian influence, since Marvin lived in Belgium for a couple of years. Fun fact for you. Although none of us tried fried chicken and waffles (!!) it was great to catch up and hear Uncle Steve’s stories and updates, especially about my parents and their spontaneous empty-nester behavior (they didn’t really date the first time, so it’s long overdue).
HOWEVER, when the conversation inevitably turned to books and Uncle Steve turned to me with that dreaded question, “What have you been reading lately?” . . . I didn’t have much to say. Then I felt embarassed and bashful. Here is the truth: I’ve been working on thank-you notes. More accurately, I’ve beening thinking about how I need to write thank-you notes, and that has prevented me from starting new books, and from beginning my Rosetta Stone to learn Spanish. (It hasn’t prevented my starting other projects, rearranging furniture, catching up on Grey’s Anatomy, and watching movies, so I don’t know why I’ve drawn the line so randomly.)
If you gave us a wedding gift and have not received a note, please know that we’re so grateful. You can expect a lovely note sometime in the next six months. And please no longer feel guilty for keeping me from the intellectual stimulation/escapism of delightful fiction, because this weekend I broke through the barriers by pulling out an old favorite: The Scarlet Pimpernel. It’s swashbuckling, it’s humorous, thrilling, touching– the real deal. If you love historical adventure, romance, the British, and the French Revolution like I do, you’ll love it. It makes me want to name our first son Percy. (This is a fair suggestion, since Izzy frequently suggests equally questionable names inspired by baseball players and newscasters.)
Another thought about the restaurant Marvin– this should be its own discussion, but I like the idea of a restaurant being based on or inspired by a person or a story. I just learned that DC’s famous Busboys and Poets pays homage to Langston Hughes, and its sister restaurant, which opened this week, is inspired by Zora Neale Hurston. It’s called Eatonville (named for Hurston’s Florida hometown), and I can’t wait to try it– always looking for good Southern food. I actually have read books in the past, and Their Eyes Were Watching God is one of my favorites.