Hunting down the airplane quote from yesterday in Everybody’s Autobiography, I found another passage I’d marked out of sheer homesickness when I lived in Ann Arbor:
I also lectured in Brooklyn and that was interesting… because I met Marianne Moore and because an attentive young man accidentally closed the door on my thumb and we had to go into a drugstore to have it fixed. It was dirty the drugstore, one of the few things in America that are dirty are the drugstores but the people in them sitting up and eating and drinking coffee and milk that part of the drugstore that was clean that fascinated me. After that I was always going in to buy a detective novel just to watch the people sitting on the stools. It was like a piece of provincial life in a real city. The people sitting on the stools and eating in the drugstore all looked and acted as if they lived in a small country town. You could not imagine them ever being out in the streets of New York nor the drugstore itself being in New York. I never had enough of going into them.