Sunday, October 29, 2006

Chumley's, New York, Pamela Courtyard Revisited

While making a card for my brother-in-law's birthday, I came across one of our scanned photographs which I had forgotten about. My wife and I are standing in Pamela Courtyard behind Chumley's looking towards the back entrance (and Brian my brother-in-law who is taking the photograph.) The brick archway rises behind us on Barrow Street. I kept looking at all the windows facing down on this courtyard, wondering who lived in these convenient dwellings, and what their stories were. Thinking too of all the writers, muscians and artists who have used this passageway on their way in, or out, of Chumley's.

Having just watched the Audrey Hepburn, Fred Astaire movie Funny Face, I can imagine Fred doing a neat dance number in the confines of Pamela Courtyard, using the wrought iron and the walls to create an acrobatic dance display. Is there an umbrella in it? Yes, I think so. In the movie Funny Face, there is a great dance number of Audrey Hepburn in a Parisian "beatnik" cafe, which reminded my wife of Mike Myers' funny routine of the sprockets on Saturday Night Live. Black turtle necks and all. Funny stuff. (Come to think of it, it also reminds me of his film So I Married an Axe Murderer, where he plays a poet who recites his works to jazz in a beatnik-like San Francisco cafe. More funny stuff. )

What has this to do with books? Well, Audrey Hepburn plays a clerk in a secondhand bookstore in New York, and the scenes in the bookshop are interesting for anyone who would like to slide down a room on a library ladder. We all need to dream.

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