Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Whimsy & Pansies & Maude

The best window shopping along my route home is found at the Housing Works Thrift Shop. They change their display a couple times a month, and I'm delighted every time there's a fresh diorama. The shop is a high-end nook that channels all of its proceeds to services that benefit people living with HIV/AIDS.

The arrangements of donated items are created with great care and whimsy, and put all of the fancy window displays of 5th Avenue shops to shame.

I've not yet brought a treasure home, but I know it's just a matter of time before I find the one thing I cannot resist.

I did encounter a treasure, a living one, while I was taking these pictures last night. An older woman, wrapped in her fur coat, approached me and pointed to this painting:

"What are those flowers, dear?" I looked at her and immediately smoothed out my expression so that I'd look interested and helpful, instead of interested, helpful and highly amused, which is what I really felt. The woman strongly resembled Ruth Gordon, the actress who played Maude in my all-time favorite movie, Harold & Maude.

"I believe they're pansies," I said.

She beamed at me. "You're right!" She looked at the painting again. "Is it a good painting?"

"Ummm... I'm not known for my aesthetic sense. I guess if you have an emotional reaction to the painting, then you could say it's good."

"I don't have an emotional reaction."

"Well, if it just seems pleasant, then maybe it's not a good painting."

She smiled. "Yes!" she said. "It's just pleasant. It's not a good painting. Thank you sweetie!" She turned and walked into the shadows.

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