A Vision of the Virgin, and of Greek Pastries

Friday, May 31st, 2002 | Food, Travel

Today I saw the Virgin Mary, on Highway 19 in Clearwater, a miraculous vision of the Virgin Mary, her rainbow-hued silhouette reflecting eerily off the glass windows of the international-style bank. Usually one has to squint or stretch the boundaries of representation to see those Madonnas on the walls, or those Jesuses in the tortillas, but this Mary was as clear as the olive in my martini glass, and luminous and beautiful.

And then we had lunch and pastries in Tarpon Springs, a former Greek sponge-diving community turned tourist enclave following the introduction of the synthetic sponge. Parts of town are still charming, and every Epiphany the bishop tosses a crucifix into the chilly Gulf and the prepubescent boys of the town dive in after it. The boy who retrieves it gets a special blessing from the bishop.

I had a completely scrumptious almond cookie, the size of a salad plate, that was like an almond orgy, a slightly crunchy outside covered with toasted almonds that, when bitten into, revealed a chewy inside that spilled pleasure into every corner of my mouth.

First a hop into Carol and Bruce’s pool, and then we’re off to the beach, to spend the weekend in Sue’s husband David’s sister’s condo on Indian Rocks beach. Ta-ta!

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