Three lovely discoveries:
1. The art-house theatre across the street from my apartment, which shows a different movie (classics, foreign, independent) every night of the week. I knew that I was going to love it and so went ahead and sprang for a membership when I was in town to sign my lease--and I haven't been disappointed. Last week I saw a Jean Renoir film (which I won't name, to discourage Googling) and then last night George Washington Boyfriend and I saw Lemming, which was fantastic; it's a bit like Caché, in that both deal with happy suburban French families whose lives are suddenly disturbed by an apparently malevolent individual--but I thought Lemming was much better and more satisfying.
2. The nearest Catholic church, which I'm hoping turns out to be the one I want to join. So far, so good: a lovely old structure, well-tended but a bit worn; an engaging priest who gave a good homily today; altar girls; the use of inclusive language at points in the Mass when it often isn't used; a location that draws from both the largely gentrified arts district that I live in and the grittier, much poorer neighborhood to the south. Also, the weekly bulletin and the website highlight the parish's social justice and community outreach initiatives (rather than, say, a weekly "Rosary for Life"--which was just about the only thing that came up under the "activities" section of the websites for some of the other churches I investigated).
3. Lots of used bookstores! GWB and I went into one today and I wound up buying a book on Donne, a copy of Empire Falls, and two huge Miss Manners books of etiquette. I've been lounging around reading one of the latter for the last few hours and chuckling continually.
(Them that knows me knows that I LOVE etiquette books, and I own several, dating back to the 1930s and including ones focused specifically on such subjects as dining, letter-writing, and the like. I've certainly used these books to look things up and ascertain the "right" way to do them, but really, I like to browse through etiquette books in much the way that some people like to read cookbooks: as escapist fantasy. The possibility of a world in which there is a proper--elegant, courteous, considerate--way to do everything is highly appealing to me, as is the belief that that proper way can be easily identified. . . if only one has the right book!)