- Amor Towles' novel, A Gentleman in Moscow begins with Count Alexander Rostov sentenced to lifetime house arrest in Moscow's Metropol Hotel for the crime of writing a poem. The count is removed from his suite in the hotel and sent to a sixth floor cubby of a room with a low ceiling and barely enough square footage for a pirouette.
- When the Woolly Mammoth and I visit the Whitney and I am fascinated by Andrea Zittell's 1993 "Living Unit." Everything one needs for life packed in a box!
- For twenty years my walking buddy and I have been scouting places where we could live in a cardboard appliance box when we are old or broke.
- My walking buddy just got a new refrigerator. Where is the box?
- Also at the Whitney, a corrugated cardboard and notebook clip geodesic dome. Aw, Howie, why didn't we try that?!
- I'm wishing for a snow day to hunker down under a quilt dome and read in a very condensed version of home. Om. Instead we get a the coldest temperatures in two years. I must bring in the ridiculously huge pineapple plant from my balcony. Its circumference is the same as my dining table.
- Nina, a major character in Towles' book, drops a pineapple off the Metropol's ballroom balcony to test Galileo's theories.
- Like a Christmas tree the novel is a structure for hanging bright ornaments of philosophy, Cold War history, literary criticism, etiquette critiques, and Russian culture observations.
- Where on earth would I fit a Christmas tree, fake or "real," in this apartment? Besides the giant floor space-eating pineapple plant there's the sweater drying contraption in the living room next to the ironing board.
© 2013-2016 Nancy L. Ruder