Friday, November 30, 2007
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
I just had the most wonderful evening tonight. Totally unexpected. A few days ago I was asked if I wanted to complete a foursome for dinner since someone cancelled. It was 3 people from work and I thought it would be nice to say yes and go. I am so glad I did.
Here is what it was, where it was and this is what I ate: ( I'll meet up with you after you have read it.)
THE HEALTHY HEDONIST HOLIDAYS:
A Year of Multi-Cultural, Vegetarian-Friendly Feasts
with author & guest chef MYRA KORNFELD &
ROMAN ROTH, sustainable Long Island winemaker
GOLDEN SQUASH & CHICKPEA SOUP WITH ROASTED CHICKPEA NUTS
NATIVE AMERICAN POLENTA CASSEROLE.
ancho-mole sauce, pumpkin seed pesto, cippolline en agrodulce & beer-braised brussel sprouts.
GREEN LEAF SALAD WITH CRISPY SHALLOT & POMEGRANATE-MOLASSES VINAIGRETTE.
ROASTED RED PEPPER, ALMOND, SESAME SEED PESTO & PITA CRISPS.
CARAMELIZED APPLE-PEAR CRISP
COUNTER. earthfriendly WINE. bistro. BAR.
105 first avenue
November 28, 2007
Seems the ladies I was with have all taken a cooking class from her. Well, the food was amazing. Really good. We even got her latest cookbook to take home with us: The Healthy Hedonist Holidays.
When we walked in, the 6:30pm seating was pretty full and this guy yelled at me from a table "Finally. Another man!" I had no idea what he meant until I looked around the room and noticed it was 98% women. No meat, no men? That is the way it seemed. I was expecting Joan Baez and Bella Abzug to say something. (Except one of them is dead, I know.)
I had a great time getting to know my colleagues in a more informal setting over dinner. That was a treat. And we talked about all sorts of things including Marica's connections with most of the famous Gloria's: Steinam, Swanson, Estefan, Gaynor. It was an amazing run of Gloria zero-degrees she had. We also discussed that if someone says to you about someone else "S/he's smart." it usually means they are covering up something that they are not.
I really enjoyed the soup, salad and the dessert. The entree was good, but just not mind-blowing to me. I do think polenta is the new carb replacement. It is so (oh God I am going to say it. NOOOOOO!!!) "Versatile."
Our dinner was in the way hip and cool East Village. 3 of us walked through NOLITA and the Village to catch the subway up town. We passed buildings with historical plaques, the Ukrainian Museum, cool coffee houses and small boutiques. And it was all cool and not "precious." I like that about New York.
One the subway home Katie inched away thinking the guy sitting across the train on the opposing bench had a "bucket of vomit" next to him. I looked at this guy (and I am the new guy in town) and he looked pretty together. And where she saw a "bucket of vomit" I saw a Tupperware with olive oil and some feta. He had clearly just had a salad. I asked her if she usually sees the young woman or the old crone.
I have to say I am getting to an age where sharing good food with people has to be one of the rewards for living.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Brian and I had a quick walk across the park to the Met to see the Christmas Tree and then back by the Jackie O Reservoir which we both agreed, God forgive us, would be much more interesting if she were floating in it. But still a beautiful site on another knock out Autumn day.
Brian looks towards Seattle with the Jackie Eau to his right. (If
ONLY I had Photoshop!!)
I saw Brian into a cab and then brought my laundry in to be done. Scraped home with provisions from Zabars. Passed out on the couch. Scraped myself up to blow my pipes in the park. We didn't get along too well today. I am really struggling to not sound like a lousy piper, but I am just out of wind and practice I guess. My fingers are crap and my pipes are shrill. One part of me says "Screw it!!!" and the other part says "Just keep going and you will get back in shape." "Screw it" is much succinct, but I chose the latter. I feel it is like the gym or weight loss. It is hard to attain, but easy to lose (in the case of weight loss, not lose as in pounds. You know what I mean. Oh, screw it! What a lousy example. I used an example that would confuse the meaning and render my very positive outlook a loser - in attitude not pounds. Oh, screw it!)
Enjoying a quiet Sunday home and watching an excellent Chinese movie for work. Then to bed and the week ahead.
I still LOVE New York.
Saturday, November 24, 2007
I am not the tallest when George is around!
Greg and George came to town today after Thanksgiving in the Hamptons. It was amazing to me that some very close people in my life had never met and here were Brian and G & G meeting and then Ron and G & G meeting. All very fascinating, I know, but it was a special day for me. We walked around the park for a bit and then went for lunch at Isabellas right by the Natural History Museum. Ron met us there.
A great time. G & G had to leave for New Jersey and another Thanksgiving Dinner. Ron, Brian and I carried on and went to art galleries and a new Frank Gehry building that is the HQ of a company Brian's company is associated with. Again, all very fascinating for the general readership.
That night Brian and I went to OG in the EV (East Village, but as I like to call it.) and had a great meal thanks to Ron who works there. Then it was out on the town until around 3am. Enough!!!
Friday, November 23, 2007
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Today was one of them. And it so happened to be Thanksgiving Day. Perfect. I didn't even have to feign gratitude, it was pure and honest. Besides being Thanksgiving Day, it was also the 44th anniversary of Pres. Kennedy's death, the 13th anniversary of my dad's death and my good pal's Marian's birthday. I was able to light a candle for them all at St. Pat's which was pretty cool.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
After work I met Ron at Lincoln Center to see Shakespeare's not often seen and for good reason play - Cymbeline. I am now criticizing Shakespeare?! It was an old chestnut of mistaken identity, deux ex machina and a beheading in comedy format. Martha Plimpton was really good I thought and Mrs. Huxtable was nicely understated. On the way in I heard "Patrick." It was a friend Josh who I know from LA who is a theatrical agent and had some clients in the play. Quite a small world. Ron now thinks New York is not big enough for me because I crash into people on streets, in subways and at the theatre after only 6 weeks. It is pretty funny I must say.
Tomorrow we get out at 3pm and the race is on to get it all picked up, bought and done before Brian gets here for the Thanksgiving holidays.
Today's thought from the guy who can pick apart Wm . Shakespeare: People in New York like pound cake.
Monday, November 19, 2007
Sunday, November 18, 2007
At least right now. I say yes to it all. "Ribbon cutting for the new TJ Maxx?" "Sure." Fundraiser for "Children with a Mommy and a Daddy"? "Bien Sur." "The I'm Someone and So Are You" Awards? "I have a shirt and tie that is perfect for that."
Tonight I was at the International Emmys cocktail party. It was full of people who come from countries with stronger currency than ours. I met a guy who produces a show for RTE in Ireland and a woman from Brazil and a guy from Wales and two guys from S. Africa who are nominated in the comedy category. A woman I am on the BAFTA TV committee with invited me as her guest and we had a good time. Tomorrow I go to the "Courage Awards" which sounds like the most ambiguous name for an awards, but, hey, I have no idea what you got courage for, but I will be there to cheer you on. My work has a table and since all the really important people are gone for the holiday week, I think they invited me to attend. I cannot figure it otherwise, but who am I to say no? "The People Who Get Invited to Awards But Can Say No to Attending the Awards Awards. "
On the way home from the event, I tried to give two ladies my seat and the one next to me. They said they were getting off at the next stop. I asked if they were from Scotland and they were! And just south of where my mum grew up. We had a good chat. And, like all other Europeans, they were here to do their Christmas shopping.
Today I met my Sunday breakfast guys in the Village. Always a good time. I love that I have a Sunday routine and it is great. It was a cold and rainy day today. And the cold here is wet so it goes through you. Perhaps inspired by my days in Scotland I went back home and got my pipes and played in the freezing cold in the park. It was fun, I have to say.
Looking so forward to Thanksgiving. My friend Brian is coming in from Seattle and we will have a call being dorky tourists in NYC together. I also have a friend Kevin who will be here with his girlfriend so I hope to see them too. And Greg and George, of course! It will be a whirlwind of holiday fun. But first...3 days of work.
Friday, November 16, 2007
My landlord is so great, I can't believe I cut his head off. My pad, my neighbors.
I was at work late, but it was so nice to be able to jump on the subway and go home after such an exhausting day. I was so tired I took my subway in the wrong direction! But home for a nice, relaxing...progressive dinner that all the neighbors of the Brownstone put on. Got home and my landlord John was setting up for our floor's contribution, the hors d'œuvres. We hosted in my flat as it is so LOVELY! WHAT a lovely, lovely, fun wonderful, I am so blessed to be alive and living evening. All 7 adults and 3 kids gathered at mine and we toasted the evening. Then off to Lilly and her daughter Sarah's place on the 2nd floor. She owns the whole floor and it was a nice place to have the fruit and cheese course. Then down to Ed and Karen's wonderful place on the entire ground floor and entire garden floor and garden below to enjoy an amazing salad and lasagna. That woman can cook! I swear the evening was almost a designer showcase event.
The brownstone was built in the 1890s and all the wood is original. I was blown away by all the carved wood. They told me how much work they put into restoring the place. Dessert was up in Ryan and Jessica's two floor architectural showcase pad that was a mind blower. They had the roof rights and added a master suite and two decks up there. Massive place. Their sub zero appliances had to be craned in. In their entryway was a framed New York magazine article from 1987 that has "our" brownstone on the cover with a light dusting of snow. It was a Dickensian shot of Upper West Side life except the article was about how dangerous this one block was. Then. There were 3 or 4 murders on this one block and loads of crack addicts and doss houses. SO hard for me to believe with the Park and the museum and the strolling, pregnant yuppies and brunch places about. I was amazed.
Now I am in my cozy crack-free pad with quiet music and a bed that beckons and a weekend that has patches of quiet moments.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Got to work at 8am. Started in on the task at hand. I really cooked today. And I am no longer afraid of Excel, except I have no idea how to add. I mean, IN Excel. My sister Eileen is an Excel whiz. I am an Excel neophyte. But I did use lots of pretty colors and made boxes. Look Mommy!
I got all my materials ready for my 5pm meeting with my boss which he cancelled. But it is no problem as we are meeting in the morning and I had plenty to keep me busy. Like retyping a whole month's schedule by hand for the GM who likes to see it in this format. I MUST figure out how to automate this.
Today was the first day I went out for lunch. I met my friend Tom who is the Creative Development Director at the New York bloody Times! He invited me to lunch and a tour of their new digs on 41st and 8th. This marvel has its own website! Click on "their new digs." This new, green building was designed by Pritzker prize-winning architect Renzo Piano who did the Centre Pompidou in Paris. It was amazing and Tom showed me all around. I so want to work there just to be part of the wonderful natural light. I would want my cube to have a river view.
We had lunch in the deluxe cafeteria on the 14th floor, I believe. There are "smart elevators' where you press your floor button on a panel on the wall and it tells you which car you are booked on to take to your desired floor. The elevators are choreographed to run mega-efficiently so people can move and not stop on every floor. I expected to see George Jetson being yelled at by his editor-in-chief, Mr. Spacely. It officially opens on Monday. I am going to an event there tomorrow night as Tom's guest. How great is that?
Tom and I in the lobby at the NYT. Those are all video monitor
screens scrawling blurbs from today's paper. The place is unbelievable.
On my way back from lunch I went by the Majestic Theatre. This is where my pal John who is in LA now used to perform nightly as Raul in Phantom. That is huge! A Broadway star AND from Wisconsin. What a combo.
I left work and went to a networking event for Out in Television and Film hosted by HBO Out and Newfest. It was at a cool place called HK on 9th at 39th. Another social networking situation where I go solo, sans gin and tonic and I have to talk to people. Dear God let me pull snakes wrapped in feces out of the East River instead!!! I saw my friend Basil who runs Newfest film festival here. He told me they were just talking about me today at his office. This is a good start. I was on a mission to meet this guy from Logo Network whom my old boss in LA told me to meet. Let's say his name is Mike Jones. Well I track down a guy named Mike Jane and he is a development guy at Logo. I drop my contact name and still think I am meeting the right guy, but there is a Mike Jones and a Mike Jane at Logo. I realize I don't have the right guy, but I don't let on because he works in development where I want to work and now we are going to have lunch. Here is my stumbled upon networking tip that I inadvertently used tonight: Have a "looking for someone" tactic It is fullproof, I found. "Excuse me guys, do you work at Logo? No? Oh, I was told the Logo guys were up here sitting on a couch. You are sitting on a couch. What is your name? ..." I met a lot of people this way including a guy who works in my office building and claims he makes a better cheesecake than Juniors. How DO you get into these conversations with complete strangers? I met guys from MTV, a film festival guy, a "media consultant" - HEY that was my line! - and a woman who is a lounge singer. Finally after meeting the wrong (but right guy) I left. I was two blocks away and I recognized this guy on the street as being at the event because he had a design shaved into the side of his head. We started talking and I met his friends and they invited me to go for drinks with them! He is a DJ in Boston who was visiting his friend Lisa who plays the piano. They were with a guy from HBO. I graciously declined in order to finally be home in time to pick up my shirts from the laundry and so I could watch TV for work...
I was waiting for the subway and there was a guy playing the sax on the platform. It was as if in a movie.
What a great day.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Another relaxing, frantic Sunday in Gotham. I was able to sleep in and then awoke feeling I had no time to for anything. Got out of bed and started working on my bagpipes. I had a hose to add in the synthetic bowels of the thing and it worked like a charm once I was able to find a screwdriver. Managed to make coffee at the same time so it all came together. Met my new breakfast club in the Village for, well, breakfast.
There was no time to get back to uptown and to the park to play pipes as was my master plan. I had to leave breakfast (okay, "brunch") and start heading for dinner. This was quite a trek. My first time off the island of Manhattan since I arrived. What would I feel?
I was going to this Greater New York non-smokers dinner in West Islip, Long Island. A long story, but let's just understand there were no ashtrays anywhere. I had to meet at Nate's house, the rendezvous point in Brooklyn. His mother was up from Maryland and she was going to drive us all. My friend Sam and his girlfriend Katori and I met there and we all jumped into the auto and headed for W. Islip and the Villa Monaco Restaurant.
It was a fun evening of hearty Italian food ala The Sopranos and stories of butts and fags. An odd stew for those not "of that ilk." It was my first time meeting Sam's girlfriend and she was a delight. She has her first play running off-Broadway at the Cherry Lane Theatre no less. This theatre is steeped in history from Beckett to Shepard. The play is called "Hoodoo Love" and I am going to try and catch it when I have a free night.
Sam, Katori and I made our way back to Manhattan from Brooklyn and I got home in time to get to bed. Another weekend passed/past and a whole week of LIFE ahead.
Saturday, November 10, 2007
I slept in a bit which was great, but then I lay there and thought "You should go to Weight Watchers." The thought haunted me. I knew I could not bring my ice cream and cookies to Weight Watchers. At least not in the volume I was eating them. This peaceful morning has turned into a self-imposed intervention. With thoughts of H & H bagels and cream cheese dancing in my head, I got up and went to 73rd and Broadway. There were loads of middle-aged and retired woman and a reluctant husband - I knew I was home.
Tipped the scales at 217. My target is 200. It was a relief just to know and to bring to a halt the fallacy that I knew was a lie, but embraced like a lover leaving for war - walking to and from the subway does not burn off anything you can possibly ingest. So there you have it. No. So there I have - 17 pounds to lose. I am game.
Went to Fairway for low point food, picked up my laundry that had been waiting for a week for me and headed home. I made myself a delish low point breakfast eggs with smoked sturgeon and that bread from Germany that you could use to exfoliate your entire body and then have birds feed from your face. What, you have never done that?!
Since this is one of only two days off I had to multitask quickly. I blew my pipes (ONLY the drones) in the flat while watching a doc on Yves St. Laurent for work. It was subtitled so it all worked. I then went to the park in 47 degree weather and played pipes. It had been two weeks and it was tough going, but I am determined. After dropping off my pipes I went out and walked along the Hudson while listening to bagpipes on my i-pod. Beautiful wintry day with the sun going down and the lights of the city starting to glow.
Had dinner with my friend Sue at a little neighborhood Italian place. Great to see her as it has been a long while. She started a fantastic new job and gave me some good Californian ex-pat advice on living in New York. One of which was deal with the prices, this is how much it costs here. Good advice.
Friday, November 9, 2007
I made it solo through another week on the desk. I am getting the hang of this . I am making nice and I am doing a pretty good job. I think they are pleased and I feel I will be able to pull it out after all. Wait a second, of course I will! I am a middle-aged college grad who used to run a division at a major network. I have played in the Pipe Band World Championships in Scotland 4 times. I have survived a burst gangrenous appendix, a mugging, cigarettes, alcohol, an ulcer, a few broken hearts. I was on the All-City (San Francisco) basketball team, started my own newspaper, wrote 3 plays and was valedictorian - all by the time I was 13. I am a published poet fer crissakes! I am going to MARCH in there on Monday and demand a raise and then quit, that is how confident I am!!!
Okay. Whew. Maybe I will just be grateful for work and do the best I can and see what happens.
Met up with Duane on this rainy Friday night. He is friends with my pals Mike and Joe in Los Angeles. We had a good time and it was fun to listen to Duane's stories of living here 27 years. He really does a lot with his life and I found it inspiring. Another nice New Yorker I have met.
Home in the cold and the rain and so happy to be able to sleep in and make coffee in the morning.
Thursday, November 8, 2007
Anything magic from an ordinary day?
1. I am getting excited about using Excel as I am getting better at it.
2. It is getting colder out and I feel the change and love it.
3. I took a different subway home and got out on 72nd and CPW and walked by The Dakota while leaving a message for my friend Brian. The grand torches were lit in front of the Gothic building.
4. I bought fennel in an effort to feel like I am eating healthily.
5. I got to bed at midnight instead of 1am.
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
A great night out. YF opens tomorrow night so we got to see the last preview. It was a sold out house with a lot of spirit. I don't want to spoil it for anyone going, but I have to say that they are going to get nailed for sticking too closely to the movie. This is a hard one because so many people expect the famous lines and gags "My what knockers!" "He was my boyfriend, " hot soup etc., yet if that is what you give 'em they are no longer funny lines/gags because they are expected and simply subconsciously ticked off the list that soothes the pleasant nostalgia part of the brain. Susan, ya gotta give 'em something new. When they veered away a bit or expanded with some fun musical numbers, or the horses, that is when the show got some volts of electricity. Megan Mullally I thought was great as was Andrea Martin. Christopher Fitzgerald all but walks away with the 1st act as Igor. Excellent. Sutton Foster can yodel like an Austrian trooper.
The title of my post is a sentence I heard the head of marketing use in a meeting today. I thought it said it all. About what I do not know, but maybe about how far from reality it is possible to go yet find yourself in a new reality that is increasingly acceptable. It has nothing to do with trees or family or love or any of that, but of money and keeping on and the emperor's new personal communication device, and... I think I was shocked, but in love it at the same time.
Monday, November 5, 2007
I went to 68th and Lex tonight to Hunter College for a BAFTA East Coast event. It was an evening with Andrew Davies who wrote loads of the BBC Jane Austen, Dickens, etc./PBS dramas. (Including "Bleak House" which I just LOVED! If you have not seen it, rent it.) There was a drinks reception beforehand. I recognized it from the west coast events: cheese cubes, some fruit. But I was just off a call with BAFTA Los Angeles that day that went really well and I was enthused to go there and meet new people.
I know how to get up and down Manhattan no problem, but this event was "across the park." Funnily enough I had no real idea how to do that. In fact I asked someone at work. I left my office in Times Square and walked from Broadway to 7th to 6th to 5th and so on until I got to Lexington. Then the #6 up to 68th. Not really that hard. It was a whole new world. I passed Radio City, and Rockefeller Center where people were ice skating. I went by St. Pat's and Bloomingdale's and on past swanky Park Avenue and the Waldorf Astoria. It was an AMAZING walk. I could feel the city just bursting to break out for the holidays and the energy enthused me. If life were a movie musical, so many numbers would have taken place on my walk to catch the #6 uptown. I even spoke to a guy with dog. If I were Gene Kelly I would have tipped the boy in crutches selling the paper. I was at that level of enthrallitude.
The event was good and I met two woman, Sarah Ball and Lorelei King, at the cocktail party which made it even better. Sarah is in BAFTA with me and Lorelei was visiting from London. Sarah is a writer/producer in animation which was my life for many years and we knew some people in common. My nephew would go nuts because she wrote/directed and produced "Bob the Builder." That is HUGE points with any kid. And Lorelei was the voice of Wendy in the show! MORE huge points. How amazing is it to have randomly spoken to them?! So nice to meet them both and I hope I see Sarah at events and Lorelei in London!!!
Two ex-pats and a Pat (Sarah, Patrick, Lorelei)
I left there and walked up to 79th Street to take the cross town bus to a world that made sense to me - the West. The walk was great as the eastside seems so different and I loved all the shop windows. I have to say I liked it over there. (But when I was on the #6 I thought people looked different. This, of course, was entirely in my head, but they just did! ) My love of life for this evening continued when I got to Pastrami Queen. I ordered some pea soup and a 1/4 pound of turkey pastrami to go. I was saved from swinging on lamposts by the arrival the the cross town bus. On the ride home some women were talking about Weight Watchers and I felt like blurting out "It's TURKEY pastrami!! Leave me alone. And I am Lifetime!!!" But I didn't and continued to read my so so mystery novel that takes place in Venice. (3/4 of the way and he is still sipping espresso and interviewing people. Arggggh. I want another death at least! Get a clue already, Guido!) They should have called it the "A Domani Murder Mystery Series. "
Home to a Fed Ex packet from my most excellent friend John of TWO TICKETS TO SEE "YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN" ON BROADWAY FOR WEDNESDAY!
Life IS a musical after all.
Sunday, November 4, 2007
My brother Sean and me.