Monthly Archives: May 2015

Found (in Oberlin): The Place Where the Sidewalk Ends

We spent Memorial Day weekend in Oberlin for Andrew’s Graduation (more on that later) and much of the time was down-time as we waited for Andrew to do this or that. Sometimes we simply rested on the grass, other times we drove around the area. On one of our drives we drove through a new neighborhood in Oberlin, not far from Andrew’s house. In one corner of the neighborhood was a strange brick structure in the middle of a neatly mowed lot with sidewalks leading to it and floodlights pointed towards it. Dean and I discussed what it could be for (it had signs inside it that said “PRIVATE”). On the way back to the car, however, I found something more interesting. I found the place where the sidewalk ends. Right there in Oberlin*.

Where the sidewalk ends

Where the Sidewalk Ends

There is a place where the sidewalk ends
And before the street begins,
And there the grass grows soft and white,
And there the sun burns crimson bright,
And there the moon-bird rests from his flight
To cool in the peppermint wind.

Let us leave this place where the smoke blows black
And the dark street winds and bends,
Past the pits where the asphalt flowers grow
We shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And watch where the chalk-white arrows go
To the place where the sidewalk ends.

Yes we’ll walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And we’ll go where the chalk-white arrows go,
For the children, they mark, and the children, they know
The place where the sidewalk ends.

— Shel Silverstein — 1974

* It is fitting to have found this during Andrew’s college graduation weekend. Interpretations of the poem suggest that the place where the sidewalk ends is where childhood ends and adulthood begins.

RAS 1: Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons — Lorna Landvik

I finished my first Read a Shelf (hereafter to be known as RAS) book at around 3 in the morning. I started it Friday, the day I wrote the blog post.

Angry Housewives Eating Bon bonsI bought Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons at a Barnes and Noble many years ago probably because I was angry about something and because it was about a book group. I’d been thinking about trying my hand at writing a book about a book group so I wanted to see what my competition was like. It was also 20% off, according to a big red sticker that was still on the book when I began reading it on Friday I had the book on my “to read” shelf for a long time and eventually it found itself to my, “heck, I’ll never get to that shelf” shelf. The book is so old it is browning around the edges.

I think I avoided reading it because of the word “bon bons” in the title. Also I was watching Desperate Housewives at the same time and maybe I figured too many angry and desperate housewives might make me the same. (although I was working part time — it was from home).

So about the book. It was good. I was completely caught up in the lives of Kari, Faith, Audrey, Merit and Slip. Ms Landvik fleshed out their characters very well. Not so much the males in the book; except for a neighbor, Grant, and Faith’s son Beau, males were more or less one-sided, which makes sense, in a way. And the “bon bons” made sense after one of the husbands remarked that he thought the book group was just a bunch of angry housewives sitting around eating bon bons. The women liked that so much they called themselves AHEB.

The book mentioned three places with which I am very familiar, which I found interesting and put a smile on my face.

  • One of the AHEB’s daughters attends Oberlin College (where my son goes and a place I adore).
  • At a wedding reception in Washington, DC another AHEB shares a table with a developer who claims to have built most of the houses in Bethesda (where I live).
  • Finally one of the children of a third AHEB ends up living in Eau Claire, Wisconsin (a town just south of Chetek — when we got to Eau Claire we knew we were nearly at Grandma and Grandpa’s house).

The book was predictable, but that’s okay. I don’t really mind guessing what is going to happen in a story I am reading. The only complaint I have about the book is the author’s use of clichés and slang when unnecessary. Yes, the book began in 1968 but the only slang that should have been used is in conversation, not narrative. I admit this is a pet peeve of mine — and maybe it is something I need to get over.

Stats: 404 pages (paperback). Started May 8, finished May 12, 2015.

Frankly…the best pizza I’ve ever tasted!

We try to go out for dinner once a week or so. Sometimes more often, sometimes less often. Last night was our planned night out and Dean suggested a new restaurant he’d read about in the Washington Post. A restaurant in Kensington. We rarely go to Kensington for dinner — in fact the only restaurant in that area we’ve eaten at is one of Black’s eateries: Black Market Bistro.

Dean warned me that the restaurant he’d read about served only pizza. That was fine, I like pizza. We could not find the restaurant right away, so drove around a bit found parking (free!! — Kensington is NOT Bethesda) and followed Dean’s iPhone directions to the restaurant. We’d driven right past it but didn’t see Frankly…Pizza! on the awning until we were a few yards away. We walked past about 8 tables of patrons enjoying the warm spring evening, eating pizza outside, under the awning, and headed indoors to be seated. We would have preferred to eat outdoors, but got a nice table inside the eclectically decorated, but pizza themed, restaurant. At first it seemed very loud, but either we got used to it or the noise quickly died down.

Our waiter was energetic and friendly and suggested we choose a pizza each. Dean wavered between a clam pizza or a sausage pizza, settling on the sausage pizza. I chose the clam. They also served house made sodas, wine and beer on tap. I chose a NZ sauvignon blanc and Dean chose an IPA. Dean ordered an arugula salad, which was delicious, but I was keeping my appetite for my pizza.

My pizza was delicious. I think it is the best pizza I have ever eaten. The crust was perfect — thinish but puffed up at the edges — and wonderfully chewy. The toppings, mozzarella Romano, garlic and olive oil were amazing. Together the crust and toppings were heavenly. Dean’s pizza tasted more like a regular pizza. Good, but not as good as mine.

I can’t wait to go back to Frankly…Pizza. I will definitely take my daughter who thinks the only restaurant that can make a decent white pizza is Pines of Rome. She is so wrong.