Spectacular day today – the best one I’ve had since I got here. I woke up this morning and enjoyed a sit on my new couch (!), then got ready to spend a day with an old friend. I’ve known my friend Margaux since our junior year of high school when we both lived in France for a year. We had some wonderful adventures together – our first glimpses of independence as we traipsed across the French Riviera sans chaperone at the tender age of sixteen. We’ve been separated by a lot of miles since then, but always pick up right where we left off no matter how far apart our visits.
Margaux is from Fairfield, CT and now lives in New York City. She took the train out this way and then took me on a tour of one of the most truly magnificent places I’ve seen in this country. We had lunch with her wonderful parents at the Pequot Yacht Club in Southport (http://www.pequotyc.com). From our table on the upper deck of the club, we looked over the charming harbor full of boats, the golf course that runs right into the beach, the sloping hills dotted with perfectly picturesque New England homes, the tranquil stretch of the Long Island Sound, and could even see Long Island on the other side. The clouds were dramatic and full of movement, the weather as cool and calm as California.
The scene delighted me. Before I made the trip out here today my father told me this was the sort of thing New England can do like no other place. And he was right. New Englanders have figured out how to weave nature and civilization together just perfectly. The gardens, the architecture, the sports – all have a respect for and mindfulness of the wildness of the natural setting yet have woven in beautiful ways to enjoy it. Everything here, the buildings and the people alike, have a toughness and pragmatism that can weather serious storms – but will weather them elegantly. I love the cleanness of the lines, the lushness of the foliage, the ubiquitous partnership of the rough and the refined.
The rest of the day included a tour of Fairfield and Southport, with stops at an incredible wine and cheese shop (I expected to turn around and see Ina Garten any minute), an organic farm where we picked up vegetables for dinner, the gorgeous shops in the town center, Margaux’s charming elementary school, her family’s home church, and finally to Margaux’s family’s home. Her mother prepared a remarkable feast that we enjoyed together on the porch of the pool house. What a night to celebrate an old, dear friendship and a new place. Connecticut, I am really beginning to like you.