The birth of sidewalk cafes in Annapolis triggers some wonderful memories from earlier travels, and some shudders as well. I love the leisurely pace that a sidewalk cafe implies, and the interest in what's going on outside one's own tight sphere. Some of the best meals I've ever eaten were at sidewalk cafes -- and some of the most expensive.
They also have their drawbacks. I was never particularly fond of the edge imparted to my meals by diesel fumes, or the flies that wanted to share the baklava. Overall, however, the delights far outweigh the disadvantages, and I look forward to a long, leisurely fall with lots of time to sip exotic concoctions and to people-watch.
I've been in hog heaven since coming to Annapolis, with the wealth of pre-Christmas arts and crafts shows.
One of the early ones is "Christmas in the Country," coming back to Hillsmere Elementary School for its ninth year Nov. 11. It's a juried show, which guarantees a high level of craftsmanship and a wide variety of attitudes and approaches.
Chairwoman Cathy Maggio invites interested artisans and artists to enter their work for consideration. For deadlines and rules, call her at 263-0716.
An art form that takes a very special sensitivity is the book for children, where illustration is as important as plot. Increasingly, children's books are paying more attention to stories that reflect realities other than the exclusively white, middle class stories of my childhood books. The Banneker-Douglass Museum acknowledges this trend with its current exhibition, "PASS IT ON: The Art of African American Children's Literature."
On Saturday, illustrator Jerry Pinkney, winner of three Caldecott Honor Medals and the Boston Globe Horn Book Award in his 30 years as an illustrator of children's books, will give a short Gallery Talk on his work and be available to sign copies of the books he has illustrated. These include the 1995 version of the John Henry story.
Admission is free, though reservations are suggested. Call Amelia Harris or Kenneth Webster at 974-2893. The Banneker-Douglass Museum gratefully acknowledges the assistance of Dial Press and Children's Book Store of Baltimore in arranging this event.