Saturday, March 01, 2008


I need a diversion. Can’t always write about the dreariness of a never-ending season. Let me pull out two recent comments and use them as threads for today’s post.

First – on the theme “how Madison has changed!” Oh yes it has. Or, is it that I look at it differently now that I live closer to its nervy center, with more time to poke around there?

Of course, this year, people are preoccupied with the huge amount of snow. A winter like no other: cold, blustery, slippery, snow encrusted. There’s a change!

Oh, sorry. I meant to head in a different direction. So, let me take note of what’s cookin’ in this town of mine.

Any closings? Any hot prospects? (I mean hot in the nonseasonal sense, really I do…) Would you believe that the area around Hilldale Mall has become downright bubbly? Today, you could not find a parking space in the three story ramp adjacent to it and believe me, it wasn’t for the stores at the Mall. It has to be the food. Pasqual’s was packed, Dane Brewery is never quiet, Muramoto – I swear, New Yorkers will travel here for what it does with sushi. Oh, and there’s the 608 Bistro and the Flat Top Grill. Did I miss anything?

Downtown? It’s a never-ending shuffle board over there. Opened: Willie Street Co-Op; closing, or rather, transforming: Cocoliquot Restaurant is to become the new Downtown Muramoto; closing: Scoshi Women’s Apparel; opened: Sucre pastries and edibles on the Square; moving: Little Luxuries, down to where Puzzlebox used to be, etc. etc.

I admit, it’s not a great shake up at the core, but you get the feeling that Madison is like plates of rock along the earth’s faults, constantly shifting things around. But no earthquake over here. Just an ice quake. Oops. Sorry.

Second theme – how the patterns of my social life have changed. How true! And you’re surprised? Settling into a pattern is not something I do well. I can go from being out and about every night for years – to being a total recluse for even more years. I only appear to be hugely social. But you have to wonder, would a hugely social being travel alone as much as I do?

Dinner parties? Why don’t I keep forging ahead with cooking up storms? (Not the winter kind!) Hey, there was the olive party and food was definitely on the table back in December! Sure, in years past, I cooked, therefore I was. I now regard it as my period of great debauchery and decadence (okay, mild, by most accounts, but as close as I’ll get in life to either). I was feeding and wining people every month, at least.

It took me a while to see that, with rare exception, the food was flowing only in one direction.

But more importantly – entertaining is a hobby that works well when you have, here and there, pockets of time to fill. I do not have many empty pockets of time, even as my financial pockets are pretty empty. When I am in town and not working on law stuff, I’m working on non-law stuff.

There you have it: a comment on how nothing is ever the same.

Except the winter cold, the by now tiresome black and white winter forest, the ice-crusted sidewalks and pot-holed streets. I can’t help it. I go out and that’s all I see. I t could be that it’s because I am cold right now, it is cold right now and I have a cold right now. Here’s to change.

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