Calling Borders (University Avenue, Downtown Palo Alto)

Late last night, self placed a call to Borders, the one on University Avenue in downtown Palo Alto.

She learned Wednesday, from a special edition of Publisher’s Lunch, that Borders had declared bankruptcy.  There was also a list, somewhere in the same missive, of Borders creditors.

Right after self read the news, she called Borders.  It was almost midnight, so of course self didn’t expect anyone to pick up.  She was wondering if she’d get a message machine with some kind of announcement, but the phone rang endlessly and self could just picture the sound in that cavernous space …

This morning, around 7:30 a.m., she tried again, and lo and behold, a man answered.

“Ahh, ahhh,” self said.  “Was just wondering what time you open today?”

“9 a.m.,” the man said.

So, around 9:20 a.m., self called again, and a friendly staff member helped her locate a book by James Barron, something she’d been looking for, for a long time:  Piano:  The Making of a Steinway Concert Grand.

Why this particular book?

Because self grew up with two Steinways in her house in Manila, that’s why!

Because Dearest Mum is a classically trained pianist!

Because self always knew that anything less than a Steinway was simply not to be taken seriously!

(Well, maybe a Bosendorfer is acceptable)

Certainly not anything as pedestrian as a Kawai!

This is just information she knew from about the age of 3!

And even though she should not be all that concerned about the fate of Borders (not as concerned, anyway, as she should be about the news that Powell’s has been laying off staff), she knows she will actually grieve if the Borders in downtown Palo Alto closes.  Because this is her idea of a perfect afternoon:

  • movie at Aquarius (an indie movie, something like the Argentine weepie “The Secret in Their Eyes” or British weepie “Never Let Me Go”.  OK, let’s just put it this way:  anything that will make her eyes swell to the size of golf balls, that will give her tear ducts a truly cathartic cleansing and ensure that everything is still in good working order)
  • an enormous serving of green tea and lychee gelato from Gelato Classico, across the street from Aquarius
  • strolling down University Avenue to Borders, there to lose herself in the fiction stacks for an hour or so

Anyhoo, it looks like self will not have to revise this picture of a perfect Palo Alto afternoon.  Not in the immediate future, at any rate.

Stay tuned.

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