The Written Word

me + vie: A Summer with Anne Hunter – My Beach Re-Boot

I’m from a Southern family. When we were kids, my brother would call me a Yankee to ruffle my feathers. I think he was on to something, since June 1 marks my one-year anniversary of being a New Yorker.

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“Meet me in my backyard this Sunday at 1:00 p.m., if you are any kind of man … and be ready to fight!” That’s what I said to Billy, the neighborhood bully, when he started teasing my friend at recess. I was in the third grade.

The first time I met Chris Hastings, he was carrying a yellow legal pad and asked me what kind of muffins I was selling…

After the butterfly bang trim, I walked over to the Zadig & Voltaire on Mercer and checked out their spring collection to calm my nerves. Then I went to the Mercer Hotel, ordered a glass of Pino Gris and gazed out the window.

“I do not think it is beautiful to be ‘like’ something or someone. I think it is only beautiful to be who you are.”

“How I ended up living in Soho at the corner of Prince and Mercer, above Fanelli Café, on the Island of Manhattan is another story…” Anne Hunter shares her thoughts on living in New York, writing, and more in this new journal series.

This book is not the how-to manual that I once might have scoured for its answers (assuring myself that yes indeed, there were answers to be had), but rather, it’s simply the straightforward reflection of struggle and questions, many of which will never catch sight of an answer.

Like my right hand, the ability to read and write has me (most often) unconsciously at its mercy in every little nook and cranny of my life. Imagine a world in which Mark Twain were inaccessible or the directions on the medicine bottle were undecipherable or if you couldn’t understand your child’s report card.

I am constantly assessing these relationships, knowing what ghoulish image of either mom or daughter I don’t want to embody, and yet, I’m also dismally aware that, at times, I can become the very twin of that same image.

To be completely honest with you, before I read this, I couldn’t think of a book that I’d be less likely to pick up. Ever. Never mind read. Even its glowing reviews weren’t enough to entice me to open its cover. In the end, it was my allegiance to September’s book club choice that threw me into the saddle, as it were, kicking and screaming.