Saturday, April 7, 2007


Because it is the season for repentance, I want to get this off my chest. I owe an apology to Donald Shoup, who I implied drove a big fancy car and parked it in luxury garages and then wrote it off as a professional expense. Apparently he rides a bicycle. I tried to buy his book, "The High Cost of Free Parking," but the price ($58! on Amazon) stopped me in my tracks (though, come to think of it, I guess I could write it off . . .). Somebody else had been there before me and suggested another title: "The High Cost of 'The High Cost of Free Parking.'"

I also owe a debt to the maligned editors of the Library of America series, whose volume of Washington Irving I declined to buy ($35). I checked it out of the library before finding the little paperback of "Tales of the Alhambra," and before returning it I looked at the Chronology the scholars have so kindly provided. Irving was all over the place, including a seventeen-year stint in Europe, from the Scottish Highlands to Greece. He once crashed a party given by Dolly Madison. His birthday was April 3rd, the day I posted the piece about him. As New York's first literary hero, Washington Irving surely deserves a spot on the alternate-side parking calendar.

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