In which our well-traveled Editorial Director, Mallory, assuages her perennial wanderlust with literature. In the first installment, she returns to her sometime home of New York City.
I love living in California. San Francisco especially — the air is clean, the Pacific Ocean is an arm’s length away, the mountains guard the city like a dutiful big brother, and the produce (oh the produce!) is always fresh. That said, even in the midst of paradise I’m prone — like many a Sagittarius — to wanderlust. When I can’t actually hit the road, I rely on books to transport me.
If there’s one thing coastal California really lacks, it’s seasons. While the rest of the country is celebrating the onset of light sweater weather, we’re in the throes of an interminable Indian Summer. Sure, come winter we’ll be laughing while everyone else is buried in snow and ice, but I still miss that sense of change that comes with the turning leaves and that seemingly overnight drop in temperature. It’s a clean slate, a time to be reinvigorated.
Fall was my favorite time of year in New York, and in my mind the two will always be closely linked. I lived in the city for two years, and when I think of it fondly, I picture it in fall. (When I think of it disparagingly, I picture the summers.) The smell of the Central Park greenery crisping up and burnt bodega coffee. The elegant click of boots on the pavement replacing the incessant flop of sandals. The air so dry you can see for miles. It’s magical.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, my longing for fall has had me reaching for New York Stories. Amidst the sense of change and renewal, fall can also be a time for great romance. What better setting, then, than the city of dreams? Fitzgerald captures it best, describing the moment before Daisy & Gatsby’s first kiss:
One autumn night…they had been walking down the street when the leaves were falling, and they came to a place where there were no trees and the sidewalk was white with moonlight. They stopped here and turned toward each other. Now it was a cool night with that mysterious excitement in which comes at the two changes of the year.
Mallory is Scribd’s Editorial Director. Prior to Scribd, she made beautiful art books, ranging from a compilation of commencement speeches for Chronicle Books to anthologies of illustrated fairytales and a photographic documentary of the moon landing for TASCHEN. She’s been writing about books, art, fashion & culture around the Internet for nearly a decade. You can see her work all over Scribd, including in the collections Things Fall Apart and Novels for Art Lovers.