Soho and the search for Moleskine Notebooks
For the first few years after I migrated from medical writing to theatre, food and travel writing I experimented with a wide variety of notebooks: small, larger, wire bound, loose leaf, hardcover, soft cover... and on and on. Then I attended one of the Arts Club 2009 20 Chefs, 20 Nights evenings and was given a Moleskine notebook by the host's daughter. I loved the look and sturdy feel of it and used it for interviews, research notes and jotting down random thoughts and story ideas.
On my first ballroom dance cruise, the West Coast Ballroom Dance and Wine Tasting Cruise I took along my black hardcover Moleskine and made copious notes. Here I am on one of the ship excursions - a Food and Wine Tour in San Francisco, notebook in hand.
On my return to Vancouver, I was browsing the stacks in the Book Warehouse, when my eye was caught by a colorful array of smaller notebooks on one of the display stands. On investigation I discovered that these were a different style of Moleskine notebook.
I realized that this could be the solution to a problem I had encountered with the larger notebook on the cruise - it was too big to fit comfortably into my evening bag and was therefore awkward for unobtrusive recording of details about dinner or locations. My favorite colours are green and aubergine (as you can see from my website banner), and the notebooks I saw were packaged in two shades of each colour. I picked out a pack with a pale and a darker green, and a pale and darker lilac, and thought I would experiment.
I used one of the lilac notebooks for local theatre and dinner reviews. It fitted easily into my purse, and the colour made it easy to retrieve from the depths. Have you noticed how women often have to root around in their purses to find things?
Four months later on my next trip, I took along the two green Moleskines. One for the Labor Weekend Getaway from New York, also on the Queen Mary 2 and the other for the theatre and dining-filled New York, New York week that followed. I was hooked. And since then each new travel writing adventure has been recorded in a colourful compact Moleskine notebook.
Before each trip, my research and my plans, reservations for restaurants or theatre, are recorded in my notebook (as well as in my IPhone calendar and directory), and I have come to rely on having my little notebook in hand. So you can imagine my dismay when I settled into my seat on the plane, and looked for my New York 2010 notebook that I was sure I had put into my purse... and it was not there.
I hope I left it at home and did not misplace it somewhere at the airport, but in the interim I needed to replace it. A few minutes on Google and I found the Kisan Concept Store on Greene Street in SOHO, about a ten minute walk from Michael's apartment. I got there a little early... they only open at 11 AM, but once inside, I found packs of blue and of purple notebooks, and bought one of each.
I was now set for the cruise and strolled back happily along Houston Street, to get ready to take a taxi to Brooklyn Pier.