Last Friday, I drove to Portland for a book launch party for Talking Walls: Discover Your World, written by my friend Margy Burns Knight. (Clif was supposed to go, but he had caught a nasty virus and quite sensibly stayed home.) The party was held at Mainely Frames & Gallery, right on Congress Street, and the whole store was decked out with Talking Walls related displays—from art work by the talented Anne Sibley O’Brien, who illustrated the book, to a mannequin “reading” Talking Walls in the big window at the front of the store.
That Friday was also Portland’s First Friday Art Walk, and Congress Street had the air of a carnival. Lots of people were on the street, and many stores were open, featuring art displays and offering free food. There were even street artists, set up with little stands to display their art. Where else but in Maine would anyone even think of doing this in February? I wish I had had some extra money. I would have bought something from one of those plucky street artists.
I did, of course, buy a copy of Talking Walls, and it was beautifully signed—I mean this literally—by Anne Sibley O’Brien and Margy Knight. This book will go to Sara, a young woman who will soon be having a baby. I have known Sara since she was a little girl. I went to her wedding several years ago, and now I am going to her baby shower. And, as I’ve mentioned previously, when I go to baby showers, I like to bring books as presents.
The food at the reception was made by Margy’s daughter, Emilie Knight and her partner, David Gulak. The food was delicious, especially a blueberry ricotta spread with balsamic vinegar and roasted garlic. Using what I think might be the right proportions, I will definitely try making this spread at home. Emilie and David are starting a catering service called Knilak’s Catering, and their business is so new that it doesn’t have a website yet. However, for information about catering, Emilie can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lots of people came to the book launch party, and many of them were Margy’s friends from central Maine. Books, good food, friends, and art. What a fine way to spend a clear, cold night in February.
I’m going to end this post where I began, with Talking Walls. Here is a quotation about the book from Margy’s website: “Visit walls of joy and of sadness, walls built to protect people or to keep them apart.”