Claire is 86 years old, a survivor of Auschwitz, and a habitué of my local Starbucks. Her son regularly gets $10 Starbucks gift cards from his work– she’s unclear about exactly what he does, but she knows it’s “business,” whereas she would much rather he have gone into a profession. “But he doesn’t listen to his mother. Never saves a penny.” He does, however, pass along these Starbucks cards to her. And two days ago she gave one to me. I don’t even know what to say about that, except that I think I love her. We now have a plan to go to Governors Island in the spring.
Later on, random 50-something guy whom I’d never seen before parked his November issue of The New Criterion on the table opposite me, and then asked me the time, and obviously we got into a conversation. He told me he was planning to never buy another print book, now that he had a Kindle. I told him Roger Kimball would disapprove. But I think I meant Roger Scruton. Probably both. He agreed.
Then he pitched me on The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam and the Crusades. I’m sorry to report that I reacted very undiplomatically. I believe I referred to Richard Spencer as a “freakhead.” And implied that any series that would publish Tom Woods was already tainted in my sight.
However, he still gave me his old New Criterion when he left.