Page's Turn

Liking my PINK bike

June 28, 2011

I spotted the tricked-out pink and green number in the window of Tickled Pink, a Rehoboth Beach shop known for its Lilly Pulitzer dresses. But this wasn’t a dress or any other cute, clubby attire. It was a bike--a beach cruiser with white and pink tires, a white seat and floral frame of daisies. One look and I had to have it.
La bicyclette (Photo by: Page Evans) La bicyclette
As mid-life crises go, this was certainly less expensive than a convertible Porsche. And it still provided me with the rush of wind in my hair and speed I seemed to crave. 
 
There’s something about a bike with no gears that is so basic and uncomplicated. In Georgetown, we need gears to climb the hills. We rush around, hitting speed bumps--real and metaphorical--along the way. At the beach, we cruise along the ocean or pedal past cottages lined with hydrangeas. 
 
Of course, I really
A bicycle, not red or blue, but pink and green (Photo by: Page Evans) A bicycle, not red or blue, but pink and green
didn’t need a pink and green Lilly bike. I already had a choice of beach cruisers--albeit, chipped and rusted ones--at my parents’ cottage. So why this one? For starters, it was just plain pretty. Having grown up with two older brothers, I spent a lifetime getting hand-me-downs in every shade of, uh, let’s see...navy blue or red. There were no dolls in our household, let alone pink bikes. So when I saw the floral two-wheeler, it appealed to my girly side.
 
It also appealed to my girls’ girly sides.  “It’s so cute, Mommy. You’ve got to get it,” Peyton convinced me. Her motives weren’t entirely altruistic, because the minute I rolled in with it, my daughter promptly took it for a spin. 
 
This week, as we head to the beach for the Fourth of July, the first thing I plan to do is hop on my multi-hued bike. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate freedom.
 


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Sometimes I hate to admit when my mother is right.

June 8, 2011

Last year, she called from the train on her way home from New York. She’d just seen “Red,” the play about the artist Mark Rothko. “I don’t care what you have to do to get there, but you simply must see this play,” she told me. “It will knock your socks off.”

She was right. It did.

Recently, she called to remind me about a poetry reading at Politics and Prose. “You will love Billy Collins. He is funny, charming, and he loves jazz.” Aside from being an artist, art-lover, and poetry aficionado, my mother LOVES jazz. 

“Sure, sure. I’ll try to make it,” I told her. You know when you say yes to things before life gets in the way. You forget there are kids to pick up, dogs to walk, meals to cook, beds to make, stories to write, bills to pay, meltdowns in the making. Some things, like attending a poetry reading, take a slight effort. It’s a detour from our daily routine. 

When the rain started and my former husband called to say one of our girls was having a meltdown over a lost lacrosse stick, I almost pulled the plug on the poetry reading. But my mother’s voice loomed over me. And when the black Suburban behind me honked incessantly because the weathered Honda Accord in front of us was ‘blocking the box” on Connecticut Avenue, I wanted to call Mom and tell her I just couldn’t make the poetry reading. I couldn’t deal with rain, rude drivers, and rush hour traffic.

But as I entered Politics and Prose, what struck me first was his voice. With all the people packed in the bookstore, I couldn’t see Collins at first. But his deep voice and deadpan delivery drew me in. His poetry was funny, poignant, and accessible. I never thought I’d laugh so much at a poetry reading.

 

Feedback 

 

The woman who wrote from Phoenix

after my reading there

to tell me they were still talking about it

just wrote again

to tell me they had stopped.

 

Aside from reading his poems that night, Collins talked about the writing process. He said he enjoys “moving a poem to a destination totally unseen.”

I thought about what that meant--whether in writing or life. Do any us know where we’re going? We might have plans, strategies, ideas. But we really don’t know where our lives will take us. 

The one thing I do know is that nothing happens without an effort. I really didn’t feel like attending the poetry reading. Frankly, what I felt like doing was staying home and watching “Dancing with the Stars.” But afterward, I was glad I’d made the effort. I left Politics and Prose that night feeling energized and uplifted. And I called my mother, giving her some positive feedback.

“Didn’t I tell you?” Mom said.

“You were right, Mom.” Then she proceeded to quote a line from a favorite poet, Theodore Roethke: “I learn by going where I have to go.”

We all do.


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BabyLove DC at Tudor Place

May 22, 2011

New York and Washington powerhouses wielded their considerable clout for a great cause on Saturday at Tudor Place. It was the second annual BabyLove DC carnival held on the lush grounds of Georgetown’s Tudor Place. 

 
Isabelle Thorp at the BabyLove carnival. Her mother Elizabeth Thorp is a BabyLove board member. (Photo by: Page Evans) Isabelle Thorp at the BabyLove carnival. Her mother Elizabeth Thorp is a BabyLove board member.
BabyLove was founded by actress Ali Wentworth, who is married to Good Morning America’s George Stephanopoulos. The organization helps Washington’s neediest families by collecting and donating baby gear and clothing. BabyLove makes it easy to donate items by providing collection sites throughout the year.
 
The popular carnival featured local vendors selling jewelry, clothing, and books. Children also romped around the grounds playing games, getting their faces painted, and listening to stories read by presidential Press Secretary Jay Carney.  And, of course, there were plenty of Sprinkles cupcakes on hand.
 
Carney and his wife,  ABC’s Claire Shipman, co-hosted the event with Stephanopoulos and Wentworth. And they brought along some ABC News star power, including White House correspondent Jake Tapper.
 
 
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney and his wife Claire Shipman of ABC News. They live near Georgetown in The Palisades. (Photo by: Page Evans) White House Press Secretary Jay Carney and his wife Claire Shipman of ABC News. They live near Georgetown in The Palisades.
Tudor Place welcomes BabyLove DC (Photo by: Page Evans) Tudor Place welcomes BabyLove DC
Ali Wentworth and Jay Carney (Photo by: Page Evans) Ali Wentworth and Jay Carney
Kids get into the act, selling BabyLove T-shirts. (Photo by: Page Evans) Kids get into the act, selling BabyLove T-shirts.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney reads to the kids. (Photo by: Page Evans) White House Press Secretary Jay Carney reads to the kids.


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