Spent the morning showing the Russians how a roof garden is installed, following my colleague Natalie's crew as they hauled soil, trees and plants to an 18th floor terrace in the West Village. Hauling perennials around, carrying them from sidewalk to service elevator through the labyrinthine corridors that are typical of the bowels of big city buildings, seemed to amuse the owner, who thought my choice of black sundress an odd one for gardening work. Oh well. At least my dress matched his sweet black cat, who tried to climb one of the cherry trees.
Bad building for cats: another client, on a neighbouring terrace, had Abyssinians. One day, some years ago, one Abby tried to slink around the ledge on the far side of the railing, to reach today's garden (whose garden we also did, for the previous owner), and fell, all the way down and straight through the awning over the entrance, leaving a cat-shaped hole torn in the canvas.
The cat did not survive. But the hole remained for months. Subsequent Abby cats were not allowed out, and chicken wire was installed along all railings. Today's black cat was wearing a smart red halter, for easy grabbing. Lily, my friend Molly's tabby cat, also fell from her roof, probably chased by a mean neighbour's dog. So cats do fall, and they don't always land on their feet. I (hope I) conditioned Estorbo to the perils of the drop off: when we moved in here I let him jump to the roof, then, holding him very firmly by the scruff, pretended to push him off the edge. He got the message.
Total digression here, where were we. Oh, plants. Natalie chose wonderful perennials, and the garden is going to look very good. She also found lovely amelanchiers and stewartias, which one gardener, Toby, insisted on carrying all by himself: down stairs, on handtruck, into elevator, up stairs. I was impressed. I hope his back is OK.
I had to leave, but will see tomorrow what progress was made. It's fun seeing other people's gardens for a change. Also, since Kirstin happened to be working today, and told me that Anne Raver is doing an NYTimes piece on her garden, I suggested the Russians visit it, so they will next Wednesday evening. We dropped a strong hint about vodka. They said Dah! and added that pickles and herrings would also be forthcoming...
And then Vince met me at the office, and we had lunch at Inoteca.
Which was really nice. He had the egg on toast with truffle oil and asparagus, I had the mini sandwich without crusts, with pancetta and arugula. Then this, below: affogato, hm hm hm. Espresso poured hot over cold ice cream.
What is he doing now, in this first humidity of July? Running over the Brooklyn Bridge.