E-mail like this reminds me of why I do what I do:
Thanks for your post d’aujourd’hui. Not that you asked, but it’s thanks to your blog that I started buying more Louis Armstrong records. I was already into Blossom Dearie and Chet Baker and listen to that obsessive Charlie Parker show on the radio in the mornings, but it was one of your posts on Louie that made me think, hmm…I think my CD collection may be missing something.
Also, when you reccomended that Morandi show in Chelsea a few years ago, that was just heaven, and it was instant love for me! I had never heard of that artist before. When I visited the Vatican last fall, of course the Michelangelo and Raphael rooms were packed to the gills, but do you know that they have at least six really beautiful (is there any other kind) Morandi paintings in their contemporary art rooms, which almost everyone skips over? The guards couldn’t believe I knew who Morandi was. When the dollar and my bank account gets stronger, a trip to Bologna for me is the first item on the list.
I look forward to hearing about other cool stuff you turn me on to in the future.
I suppose the best thing about my job is getting to see all the wonderful things I see, but the second-best thing–and it’s a close second–is getting mail like this. To communicate aesthetic delight to another person, and know that they’ve responded, is one of the most satisfying experiences imaginable. To be able to do it en masse is…well, I can’t even begin to say what it is. All I can tell you is that it’s the whole point of my professional life.
Some say that critics are remembered, if at all, for their bad reviews. I’d much rather be remembered for my good ones.
P.S. Follow the second link and you’ll find your way in due course to one of my old Washington Post “Second City” columns. That was a good month in New York! I’d briefly forgotten how much I enjoyed writing “Second City,” but reading an old column brought it back to me in a rush of remembered pleasure. Thank you, Washington Post, for having made it possible for me to make money doing something so intensely pleasurable.