Happy birthday, Joan Didion! Today marks the 78th birthday of the legendary essayist (and very important writer), and to celebrate, we thought we’d aid everyone in their quest to become a little bit more like her by rounding up a few things she love — or at least the things we know she loves from essays and interviews. And you may be surprised — Didion loves specific books and characters, sure, but also water systems and Alcatraz Island — sensible choices for a woman who is always surprising us. After the jump, a few of Joan Didion’s favorite things. We wish her all these and more on her birthday.
“I was in love with New York. I do not mean ‘love’ in any colloquial way, I mean that I was in love with the city, the way you love the first person who ever touches you and you never love anyone quite that way again. I remember walking across Sixty-second Street one twilight that first spring, or the second spring, they were all alike for a while. I was late to meet someone but I stopped at Lexington Avenue and bought a peach and stood on the corner eating it and knew that I had come out of the West and reached the mirage. I could taste the peach and feel the soft air blowing from a subway grating on my legs and I could smell lilac and garbage and expensive perfume and I knew that it would cost something sooner or later.” — From “Goodbye to All That”