Friday, October 22, 2004

The Blogger From Stuttgart

A blogger in Stuttgart has been reading Smartmom's blog. As far as she knows he's the only person, outside of her loyal throng of Slopesters, who actually reads Only the Blog Knows Brooklyn. He's certainly the only "outsider" ever to leave a comment:

Hey Smartmom, just wanted to say a quick "hello, yes, there is somebody out here" and we are listening. I like your writing, especially your knack for picking good anonyms. You could offer that as a service!

And yes, I know and love "next blog." I spend far too much time in the blogger universe.

Smartmom visits the blogger from Stuttgart on a regular basis( He writes nicely and seems to have a lyrical and eccentric take on the world. In his blogger profile, he lists favorite movies (To Have and Have Not, Apocalypse Now, Stardust Memories), books (The Great Gatsby, Proust, The Alexandria Quartet) and music (Steve Reich, Sam Cooke, Brian Eno and Robert Johnson) They are all, at the very least, interesting choices.

Smartmom is fascinated to know how Udge discovered OTBKB in the first place. There are apparently tens of thousands of blogs on Blogspot. Clearly, Udge spends a good deal of time browsing the Blog Universe. Smartmom has also done a bit too much exploring herself and has discovered that there's mostly crap out there. But Udge is different -- he seems to have interesting things to say.

Recently, before Udge went on vacation to Venice, he wrote a few words about that city:

I'm off to Venice (and I don't mean California), call it my summer holiday. Seven whole days in the Pearl of the Adriatic (well, OK, two of them spent mostly on trains) sucking down the Campari Soda and the Dolce Vita in dizzying doses. Oh, and not to forget the cappucino, and the restaurants. Ah, and the beach at the Lido. And the Biennale, of course. Architecture this year, can't be helped.

I love Venice. I've been there almost every year since moving to Europe twenty-seven years ago. At a dinner party recently, a pretentious Parisian poseur proclaimed that one cannot "love" Venice, no no, the city is so terribly touristic and those tourists are such awful people (meaning: not like us). But he was wearing yellow shoes and no socks, so we may safely discount his opinion.

Smartmom admires that city as well and swiftly sent Udge a response:

I have always had a rather sentimental feeling for Venice because I was conceived there. Yes, it's true, my parents lived there for a few months many (I won't say exactly how many) years ago. In 1990 when my husband and I visited there I just fell in love with the place as I knew I would. You can tell that poseur with the yellow shoes to stay in Paris and leave Venice for those who deserve it. And those who began life there.

To which he responded:

Being conceived in Venice has a certain cachet which even Brooklyn cannot top. You clearly chose your parents well.

In a post called "Starry Morning," Udge wrote poetically about the change of seasons in Stuttgart:

Ezra Pound said it best:

Winter is icumen in
Lhude sing Goddam!
Raineth drop, and staineth slop,
And how the wind doth ramm!
Sing: Goddamm!

The most obvious sign of impending winter is the darkness. As I began blogging, the sun would be shining brightly at this time of day. This morning, the sky is full of stars: Orion hangs low over the drugstore on the corner.

Talk about lofty -- he even quoted Ezra Pound. Smartmom is quite impressed. Clearly, there's a qualitative difference between Udge and many other bloggers on Blogspot. Udge's post inspired Smartmom to write her own (more pedestrian) reflection on the coming of winter in Brooklyn which she sent Udge's way:

The mornings are dark in Brooklyn these days. Steam hisses up the radiators to our apartment as we pull our blankets up to our chins feeling cold and not much like getting out of bed. We walk the kids to school wrapped in long-forgotten coats, even gloves. None of us are pleased to admit that winter is close at hand, that life is bringing us something new. Soon we will get out the bag of winter hats, the scarves. We wonder if this winter will be as fierce as last -- a string of urban blizzards in January and February.

This Sunday or the next we will set our clocks back. Fall Back, as they say. And we must accept the changing of the seasons, the passing of time, the fact that even we are aging. Saw the leaves yesterday driving upstate to see old friends. The patterns of red, orange, yellow and green delighted us as we sped up the New York State Thruway.

Judging by today's comments, Udge has decent politics (see "That Election" on My guess is that he's an expat who still keeps a keen interest in the U.S. of A.


At 2:23 PM, Blogger Udge said...

Ooooh, my ears are burning! How flattering!! Thanks for the lovely kind words.

Let me return the compliment: OTBKB ranks high on the list of Blogs Worth Reading. (Not just my opinion: my sister read your comments and said "The blog who knows Brooklyn sounds so nice, I'd like to be her friend.")

As for being "an expat who still keeps a keen interest", well that would be telling ;-)

Blogging and the commenting thereon is a strange kind of almost-conversation, neither e-mail nor chat but definitely two-way communication. May it continue!

At 3:34 PM, Blogger Udge said...

I don't know whether you didn't provide working links because you don't want to spoil the pure minimal aesthetic, but (just in case) it is possible to do so. In the editor you type e.g. "all kinds of <a href="">Things</a> at this site", the readers see the word Things as a clickable link in the middle of the sentence. Very handy.

At 7:27 PM, Blogger mamainwaiting said...

i like your conversatons with Udge. He sounds interesting and nice too. I like both of your reveries on the coming of winter. keep writing...GA

At 9:58 PM, Blogger mrs. cleavage said...

Smartmom, lest I sound forward, methinks thou has a crush... & vice-versa. Not that crushes are my specific area of interest and/or expertise. ;-) workerbee


Post a Comment

<< Home