Friday, March 11, 2011

Drizzling on Bike Week

The Daytona International Speedway main entrance is directly across the street from the Daytona Barnes & Noble and today it looked like maybe Justin Bieber was making his debut in car racing. The entrance to B&N was clogged three deep with cars and motorcycles, but once through the entrance drive the traffic melted away revealing a half-empty parking lot. There was something quieter about the bookstore and after a minute it came to me that the people shopping for books had for a change forgotten their cell phones and were browsing quietly or sitting phoneless in cushiony easy chairs with book or magazine. My friend Yû found himself an edition of Catcher in the Rye (a Japanese favorite) while I stumbled upon a new book by one of my favorites, Don Winslow—a reworking of Trevanian’s 1979 bestseller, Shibumi. Winslow has taken a radical shift in choice of title, calling his new version Satori. The two Japanese word-titles are not even close in meaning, but… More about this book at a later time. Also picked up a paperback of the 1965 Truman Capote classic In Cold Blood. Probably too young to appreciate it fully the first time I read it, and seeing the Philip Seymour Hoffman movie Capote recently gave me the idea of reading it again through somewhat older eyes.

From the bookstore we ambled over to Panera Bread for some lunch, and a good idea that turned out to be. Thai chopped chicken salad made with romaine, cashews, Japanese edamame, red peppers, carrots, cilantro and wonton strips with peanut sauce and Thai chili vinaigrette, served with a bowl of all-natural steak chili and cornbread. Across the table from me Yû chomped on a huge smoked turkey sandwich served with a bowl of cream of tomato soup. Panera Bread puts on an impressive spread. We have many franchises in Florida but I’m sure it’s also in other states. If there’s one in your area and you’ve never been, then go. You will like it.

A walk through the library, up and down a couple of supermarket aisles and then back to cleared skies over the beach. Good timing to get a walk in, watch pelicans soaring like feathered ballerinas over the Atlantic blue and still find a late afternoon hour to play around with a vintage Pelikan 400NN and some Montblanc Racing Green ink.


  1. What an enjoyable read this morning of the day in Daytona and it was a good day to spend in a bookstore with the overcast skies and rain pelting the roadways. Hope you drove via AIA instead of the boring I-95.

  2. Echo Beverly on this one. Sounds like a pretty good day; hard to beat a well-stocked bookstore and a good meal. On down the road, we sometimes forget days like this--chalking it off to everydayness--but they a special moment in time.


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Oak Hill, Florida, United States
A longtime expat relearning the footwork of life in America