Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Fear and Fishes

So I am in the Whole Foods and I see sea scallops on sale. And this causes me to think "Wow, SOMEDAY, I should buy fresh seafood and cook it and maybe someday after that invite people over for dinner." This leads to hives, deep breaths and making a " do not pass go" beeline to the prepared foods section.

This may sound lame and odd, but I have a fear of cooking seafood and a fear of cooking for others. (And I have a fear of being covered in peanut butter and eaten alive by rodents, but the difference is I want to face the first two.) Combined I think this is called Pescapeoplephobia - an entertaining disorder resulting in eating alone or being one of those people you invite over who never returns gesture.

So...I heard that developing little voice that tells me to DO IT. Facing fears is practice. I know this. And I know I have to walk through these things and the best way is baby steps.

"Buy some scallops" the voice told me. So I did.

I got home and was like "Should I call a friend? Invite my neighbor?" I was not ready. I need to have another meal on a TV tray with Jon Stewart on DVR first. Alone. That was what I could do.

But I did it.

I googled "saute sea scallops" and got some info. I dredged them in polenta (fancy urban dweller poseur term for "corn meal") and cooked on the stove in olive oil. I had an organic zucchini not quite ready to join its overripe brother in the bin that I cooked along with red onion.

Okay, full disclosure, I listened to "America's Greatest Hits" whilst doing this. The stupidest lyrics, but I love it.

Et voila, a prepared seafood meal in my swank New York pad all done and plated in time for my one TV tray encounter with Jon on the telly.

Baby steps. Complete. Breathe. Okay.

Stay tuned for next episode:

Pat watches movies of people hosting dinner parties.



Monday, June 29, 2009

Riverside Park

Is this Manhattan?

I had a meeting in midtown and decided to walk the MILES from there to the Hudson to eat lunch along the river before heading home. Okay, it felt a long way to go munch on a sandwich. But it is all part of my "Embracing All That New York Has to Offer" program. Underwritten by the "Living Your Life in the City" Foundation.

All my attempt to feel like I am really here and it is not all about money or romance or real estate.

Wow, I need to save this for the couch or back up.

Simply, I walked to the Hudson River and had lunch on a bench.

A clean bench. No one was sleeping it off.

This oasis over here is amazing. Blocks inland there is mayhem and general urban craziness and here on the same island of Manhattan is quiet, book/periodical reading, sunbathing, cycling and geese! It is this wonderful urban renewal called Riverside Park. I am in love.

I even waived to a friend talking to a sunbathing old man whose grey chest hair's reflection seemed to be blinding her.

Later, I walked by kids and parents playing softball at a baseball field and folks dining at tables with umbrellas!

Life is once again, for a moment, a musical.

If you look closely to mid left of photo, there are 3 geese. They walk around here often.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Ellie's Bench

I spent a wonderful Sunday afternoon with my friend Ellie today in the middle of Manhattan. We had a lot on the agenda including church, lunch and a performance of Knickerbocker Holiday at the York Theater.

But it is often the impromptu moments that truly make the memory.

Since we had time we took a wee detour to Central Park to see "Ellie's bench" which happily looks out onto the Model Boat Pond by the entrance at East 72nd Street. Ellie dedicated a bench to all the beloved people in her family. And she goes there every day to sit. What a lovely thought!

She often talked about it and where it was, but I had never seen it.

Why not take advantage of being with the perfect tour guide for the occasion?

It was a beautiful day and as we descended upon the Conservatory Water (as it is officially known since the initial Olmstead plans were to build a conservatory on this spot.) I felt this wonderful "Eloise in New York" feeling. Mixed with "OMG, I am in Paris!" (It was modeled after a similar pond in the Jardin du Luxembourg and the whole setting feels like you are in a Seurat painting)

So French there is even a nearby mime!

AHOY. There was her amazing bench in this stunning part of Central Park. We happily posed for photos and just enjoyed the day, the moment, the sunshine all from the vantage point of Ellie's wonderful bench.

Ellie on her bench.

I have to say I love the idea that I now know a perfect place in the park that I can sit and know I am taken care of. It is a special place and I can tell why she chose this location.

Pat and Ellie pondside. Like they have done for years. Ellie told me her dad used to sail model boats here before they were electronically powered. A man had to stand in the middle of the pond and skoosh them back to the kids!

(kind if a funny photoshoot, pre-crop snap complete with garbage bags and unidentified lady with a cane!)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Roof Top - Murray Hill

Murray Hill has a lot of history for me. My dad grew up in this part of Manhattan on 33rd St. between 1st and 2nd and I lived on 31st between Park and Madison in the 1980's. And here Patrick and I were visiting his friend Garry in the old neighborhood.

He has a wonderful apartment with a rooftop terrace that is massive and lovely. From there you can see the Met Life Tower and the New York Life Building. Their golden rooftops both shimmer at night and Garry has the perfect view of the "shimmerage."

From his bedroom you can see the Empire State Building AND the Chrysler Building, fer chrysler sake! He will NEVER be confused what city he is in when he wakes up!

This terrace could have a soccer match on it. Or a volleyball game if everyone were really, really careful. I only show you a fraction.

A rainbow over New York water towers. A good sign of something.

Holly, Garry, Pat, Patrick

Both buildings shimmering, if a little blurry for some reason.

Grand Central Station

Patrick and I had a wonderful lunch at Cipriani Dolci at Grand Central Station. It was extravagant and maybe a tad silly and over the top, but I tell you that is what makes life magical and memorable sometimes. You eat in an amazing place with a close friend overlooking a famous and beautiful train station. That is it! And it is GRAND as in "fabulous" and "wonderful."

I wish I could take my dad here. That kind of place.

This photo does not capture it, but Grand Central has the WOW factor. And this indoor "al fresco" restaurant is the perfect spot to soak it in with beautiful food and service.

Grazie ancora, Patrick.

I also wanted to mention that there have been loads of films shot here including 'The Fisher King" with its amazing dancing sequence.

And I love "Improve Everywhere"'s moment of stillness.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Farrah Fawcett meet Michael Jackson. He'll Be Trumping You

I am now going to jump on the blogosphere wagon and write about Michael Jackson. But not really. That has been done to, er, death.

Yes, he was an INCREDIBLE talent. Wow. Just will not be replaced. He will be in the Elvis, Beatles Genius Pantheon for sure.

But what he did to poor Farrah is not to be forgiven. That girl made a video and struggled and he died on HER DAY. Couldn't he have done that to Ed McMahon and given her her moment in the...light?

How amazing that word goes out on Facebook that Farrah has passed after a long, long illness and all are sad and remember her fondly and then TMZ comes along and...SMACKDOWN! KAPLOWIE! Michael Jackson is in a coma and suddenly dies and Farrah is a footnote like the passing of some post-war professor of physics in the New York Times.

Sure I don't expect to be remembered beyond those who know me personally, but Farrah, if I were her, I would expect Farrahwells for days from adoring fans, etc.

But even an Angel cannot compete with the Gloved One. Her poster was no match for his album sales.

I wonder if they ever met. How odd to be introduced, "Farrah, Michael. Michael, Farrah. You'll be dying on the same day."

It reminds me of when Robert Mitchum decided to die right BEFORE Jimmy Stewart. BAD career move. WHAM! Robert was NO match for George Bailey in the tear and remembrance stakes.

How do you plan ahead?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Avengers - UNITED!

Josh, Tony Daniels, (Sidney on phone in Tony's hand), Pat, Tony Pastor, Jr.

It was a reunion of sorts in New York City today when I met up with my Avengers co-horts. We spent many an hour, a day, a weekend in recording studios in Toronto working on the Fox Kids series. Tony Pastor Jr. (son of famous band-leader, Tony Pastor) was the voice director (and a brilliant one I might add) and Tony "Voice of CBC" Daniels was our amazing "Hawkeye." It was SO great to see them again and we just had a good laugh and a great catch up.

The guy ON THE PHONE in the picture is our good friend from Fox Kids, Sidney Iwanter. Talented and smart creative exec who got me into the kids' business. He writes a very interesting and well-written blog.

I also got to meet Josh Rachliss, an up and coming Canadian talent who does a funny GREEN Rap love song to Laurie David that I found quite amusing. See is here.

There is something about old friends. Duh. And especially when it has been such a long time. We are all the same and just have this bond and I appreciated that.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Subway Cat or Ratspotting

I have decided that because I do it, it is a New York pastime. I have not asked other New Yorkers about this, but I think it must be true: I like to look for rats on the tracks while I wait for the train.

Rodents totally freak me out, but as long as I am "up here" and they are "down there" I can look at their busying antics with some removed fascination. I delight when there are two or three and I can safely watch their various scurrying maneuvers. I wonder if they know rats at other stops or are they all locals like surfers and their beaches.

Today I noticed a tail much longer and furrier than a rat's sticking out from behind a beam. It moved! I moved closer and sure enough it was some sort of possum or cat even. I had never in all my ratspotting days seen a larger animal down there. A cat made sense since there were rats a plenty, no? A cat, really?

There was a woman with wraparound sun glasses seemingly staring at this cat as well. I was about to ask her for confirmation as I did to passersby when I saw a dead body floating in a turret under the Golden Gate Bridge as a boy (my pal thought it was a cardboard box. I was right, he was wrong.). But I hesitated. I thought I should put on my glasses first. Odd notion, since I never use them for anything but the cinema or TV.

The sharpness of vision came immediately and that cat cowering in between the tracks waiting for its next ratty feast was crystal clearly nothing but a bit of tissue paper trapped.

As the train came by going the other way, my "cat" blew up and waived its paper tail in all its glory for those with good vision to see, but not notice.

For a blurry moment I had some amusement.

Thankfully I kept it to myself.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Patrick departs Nantucket for Boston, I head to NYC!!!

I took the plane from Nantucket to JFK and then the Airtrain to the New York City Subway at Jamaica Station. The "E" train to be exact.

Once you hit with NYC subway system no one cares where you have been or that you have been away at all. And nor should they. They don't want to see your snaps or your tan; they just care that you don't take up more room with your bags.

Here are a few thoughts I had today:

1. It is an odd feeling "coming home." Wherever you have been already starts to fade and reality sets in. It just has to work that way. There has to be a shift and without the t-shirt or mug we worry it will all be forgotten. Not true. It just changes patina.

2. Where you come back to, or home, does not have to be a let down. Most places people live others would "kill" to visit or live. Yes, I want to go to Egypt and Spain and Argentina, but I live in New York City! I come home to one of the most exciting, wonderful places in the world and I live in an apartment I love on a street I love with landlords I adore. I am HERE!

3. No you do not have had to have discovered anything about yourself on holiday or made any decisions. This idea always seems forced and often the rationale for taking a trip: "I will go away on this 14 day cruise to 'clear my head' and see if 'anything comes to me' to decide my next move in life." And all you do is gain 5 pounds. I did not come back from Nantucket "enlightened" or wanting to be a paleontologist. I had a lovely, lovely time with my friend Patrick and saw another amazing part of the world. I left feeling blessed and grateful, to be truthful.

Monday, June 22, 2009

A Blustery Day

Pooh and Eeyore and Piglet would have battened down their hatches today as it was not kind to man nor beast on the island. The wind howled and the rain lashed. We, being of hearty comfortable urban stock, rented an auto and motored. It was great. Patrick drove us around the island and we got a comprehensive, albeit foggy, tour of Nantucket. It felt more like November than a summer day in June!

I have been "photoshopped" out!!

The scenery was amazing. Lighthouses and rolling greenery. Lots of trails to take...some other time.

This is one of those "hurry up and take the photo" pictures. Patrick showing Seattle pride.

Is this Nantucket or San Francisco/Daly City?...reminds of home here.

This is JUNE?!!
No one was swimming today.

Still beauty expresses itself

Ahhhhh SOUP!!!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Homes of Nantucket

Patrick and I on the well-manicured moors of Nantucket

A foggy day in Nantucket town. After reading and hanging in the Inn, we got out to seize what was visible of the day. Nantucket seems like a place that is beautiful in all weather. Today was a day of taking off down roads that lead us where they lead us. We saw some incredible homes. Incredible. And walked down to this windy, sweeping, lovely beach that neither man nor lobster would lounge on today. Still, it was beautiful to see.

We even saw a family of humans holding lacrosse sticks. They looked right out of a Nantucket clothing catalogue. With Bipsy and Muffy and Biff type names to match, I am sure. It was nice to see them in their natural habitat.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Gosh We Missed It By Just a Week

The only disturbing thing on the island:

1 Nantucket, 2 Patricks

Patrick and I flew up to Nantucket this morning from New York. It felt all very local east coast behaviour to me. We arrived on a beautiful day and checked in to our swell digs at the historic Jared Coffin House. I have to thank Patrick for this whole wonderful getaway and it is SO much appreciated. What fun to make this trip together.

Jared Coffin House on right.

Nantucket is beautiful, quiet and very New England-y, maritime-y. What vocabulary I have! Loads of shutters and shingles and dinghies and preppies.

We took a long walk around the island to get a feel. It is spectacular. I felt as if I was in Sunset Magazine of the East. (I am sure there is a real name for a privileged east coast easy-living periodical.)

We had lunch at Cys. Delicious lobster rolls so fresh they up and clawed you. And an excellent waitress who didn't. Anne Meara and Jerry Stiller were sitting nearby.

We walked some more after lunch and saw Meg Ryan ducking into a wine shop.

One of the coolest things was my brother called me on the mobile and said that he was standing in front of Old Faithful in Yellowstone as it was going off and here I was looking out onto the Atlantic from Nantucket.

In the evening we went to the MOST AMAZING restaurant. The Straight Wharf Restaurant. Wow. We just walked in and they took us. It is one of those dining rooms where there feels like magic in the room. It was softly, yet twinkly, lit and looks out on a dark, but beautiful harbor. The table was set with an elegant hurricane lamp and the mild sea of them throughout created this magical glow. OMG, it was wonderful. The food was excellent as was the service. I loved my Spring asparagus salad and lobster clam bake. Patrick and I split a strawberry-rhubarb tart. Lovely.

And the diners were so New England to me. At the risk of sounding like a Jethro..."gol-leee!" It was wonderful.

Friday, June 19, 2009


My friend Patrick came to town from Seattle to see me. When I defected from Los Angeles he helped me pack a U-Haul and drove with me up to San Francisco, helped me unload at my sister's house and then flew back that night. That kind of friend.

We had not seen each other since that day and that will be 2 years in Sept. Great to see him and of course right back to our banter and talks like always. Love that.

We had a nice lunch (why are lunches always "nice"?) at Tartine in the West Village and then we walked from there to the Meatpacking, through the High Line up through Chelsea, down through the Flatiron into the East Village, No and So - Ho's, Little Italy and had dinner in Chinatown. It was a full day and a lot of catching up.

The funny thing was that we got asked for directions all over town. It was quite funny that the two Patricks were pegged as such locals. Was it the "central casting" Irishness of us?

Patrick on Pell St., Chinatown

We put in a lot of shoe leather today. New York City is just a great backdrop for about everything.