I felt like a weekender yesterday. I caught the 3.46 from Grand Central Station to Wassaic after four days in New York. There was a sea of cars waiting, under the bright sky that is making us all think about spring (I’ve already planted out some flats in the basement). David met me and we headed straight for Pearl’s, me still in city gear. The bar was packed and we had to slide into chairs angled between two groups, facing into the bar instead of our favorite view down Railroad Street to East Mountain. Next to us was a well-known local lawyer with his wife and some friends, as they are quite regularly, talking about property–the perennial subject of conversation here. I have yet to hear a single conversation about politics or religion or even sports. It’s all house prices and remodelling and money.

One of the things I love about Pearl’s is the staff. The same people have been there for years now, and they are charming. Last night Phil was tending bar (he makes the best Gibsons), and Christian was waiting tables. Christian is German and speaks perfect English with a French accent. He’s a delightful person and gracious to everyone. The local lawyer wanted the bill for his table and called out as Christian went by. “What’s his name?” he said to his wife. She didn’t know. He called again, and then turned to his companions, “José. Whatever.”

So much for the idyllic small town. Bigotry is alive and well.

Meanwhile, I’ve also returned to a flurry of e-mails related to the local elections in May, and have got myself in the midst of a controversy that’s unlikely to be resolved soon. More on that anon.