Back in hot Houston this AM, set off early to do errands. I was a little surprised at the neighborly connections that transpired, but maybe it's an inside the Loop thing...or maybe not.
First, take the shirts to the laundry--nice visit with the people there, one of whom reads the LH column.
Then, right after ten, to the bookstore. Nice visit with their fiction buyer and the manager. A drop-dead gorgeous young man walks in and starts to browse. There are a number of browsers, but who notices them? The manager and I start to talk about the architecture section and we fall into conversation with the handsome young man who turns out to be a recent architecture graduate from Austin. Says ours is the best bookstore for architecture in the state. Lovely to hear, even if it doesn't sell well...We ask him for advice and get some, gently given with much prodding.
A woman with a bike helmet comes in, on her way to work (moped, not bicycle). Really nice, likes the same kind of fiction I do (what I call lowbrow literary). Nice bookish visit.
I buy several books and then head over to pick up lunch at the coffee shop near St. Luke's Methodist. Run into the husband of a friend and we talk for about an hour. Mostly medical, but nice to hear what he and his wife have been up to.
And so, home. What does this say about the anonymous city life? Could this happen in New York? (Yes, of course it could...I know that.) But it felt like a small town experience.