I leaned over to my friend and said, “If I hadn’t gone to see the Picasso sculptures at MOMA and didn’t stop for a glass of wine at the Bar Room and didn’t sit beside Paula and didn’t eavesdrop, we wouldn’t be here tonight!”
We were sitting back in our chairs, sipping a glass of chardonnay, waiting to hear Paula Whyman read from her first published book, “You May See A Stranger” at Book Culture on the upper west side. You remember Paula from my very first post, Picasso and Paula ?
I feel so connected with this book, I keep thinking I was there at the beginning. Well, not the real beginning, Paula said during her interview that it took her five years to write the book and I only met her in April. But I was there for the finish, I’ll take credit for that. And the award for “Best Eavesdropping Finish Line” goes to….. Kay of kaysnycways! Applause, applause! And, where does Paula get some of her ideas.. …wait for it…. “Eavesdropping” she told the interviewer.
I know a couple who took eavesdropping to a whole other level by developing the art form into a game of mischief. Their targeted audience were strangers sitting near them in a crowded restaurant. They would start in low tones and then perhaps display a bit of anger or a little laugh, a naughty word, here or there, purposely allowing their eavesdroppers to catch something, look at each other and stop talking. The strangers would then discreetly listen to this couple tell their mostly lurid fictional tales. And these gamers had no shame – they began at cocktails and didn’t finish till dessert. They’d get up and leave and as soon as they were outside become hysterical and congratulate themselves on what they considered spectacular acting, knowing full well that the tables surrounding them were left wondering …”Did we really hear what I think we heard?”
I heard Paula use a word at her reading that I didn’t remember, “plotting”. It came about when someone asked the author what advice would she give to young writers, she answered, “Read.” One of her main reasons, she said, was that reading helps in plot development, “plotting”. Now I was an English major and should have recognized the word, but please keep in mind, senior moments are always popping up at the most inopportune times. I wrote the word down in my blog notebook, so I wouldn’t have another senior moment trying to remember what word I didn’t remember.
Now in summary and to paraphrase my Picasso and Paula post, “always stop for a glass of something and always eavesdrop” cause you never know where the art of eavesdropping will take you and it may surprise you when you get there.
Good to know: Museum of National History is across the street and Central Park a block away.
Where to eat: Lots – including Shake Shack down a few blocks and Isabella’s at 77th and Columbus on the corner. http://www.isabellas.com where we ate. You can eat inside or out, we shared our meal, and with tip and rose’ came to about $45 each. Nice casual restaurant.
Kid Friendly: Very – both at the bookstore and restaurants
*Disclaimer – I try for correct info on Kay’s Notes– but no guarantees people.