Monday, June 8, 2009
At last, after seemingly endless preparations, I am sitting in my writing studio in Vermont. The transition to being here was fairly low key, once I arrived in Burlington, probably in part because I was both low-key excited and exhausted. Ironically, the first person I talked to on leaving the airport was the African taxi driver (as the majority of cab drivers here seem to be) who complained endlessly to me, in response to my question, "how do you like it here," that there are "too many homosexuals." However, that seems to have been an anomaly, as almost everyone else in Burlington was super nice and seemed to love it here.
I have been amazed, ever since the plane began its approach to Burlington, over the Green Mountains, at how lushly green it is. Spending time on the East Coast always reminds me how relatively dry it is in the West, especially this time of year. It is also quite the contrast to the fairly urban-bound life I've led for the last number of years.
Burlington is the home of the University of Vermont, and my first night was colorfully punctuated by dinner in a part of the downtown area that was made into a no car zone. A jazz festival was in progress, and the streets were fairly packed with folks wandering in the pleasantly cool night, and the packed bars and restaurants. I had very good Thai food, and enjoyed taking in the local scene. The next morning continued my adventures in food and music in the local natural foods supermarket, where I ate a decent Vermont bagel (they are sort of flat and dense, but very tasty) and listened to a trio of young blue grass guitarists who set up and began to play in the little cafe area of Good Seasons.
I wasn't sure what to expect, as they spent quite a bit of time in a "hey dude" mode, but once they started to play I really was transported. It even made up for the fairly bad art hanging in the space.
So here I am, writing in my beautiful studio that overlooks the river, visible to my right out the large window. I keep pinching myself, as it feels like such a gift to be here. More soon.