Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Death. Dinner. Danger. Dolores.

I am housesitting in the West Village. And like all cool downtown denizens I plainly do not like to go above 14th Street. It was scary easy for me to strike this pose so quickly. But today I had mucho to do in the Upper East and West Sides so I had to put down my bongos and shave my goatee and dress in a coat and tie and head north in this sweltering heat.

First stop:


My friend Peter lost his dad this past week. I went to the funeral parlor on the Upper East Side where there was a memorial for his pop. (If I may be blogger-tacky: posh Campbell's where Judy Garland was laid to rest.) If I know anything it is to send sympathy cards and show up at memorials/funerals whenever possible. Just like getting married (so I am told) it is all a blur to the family (this I know), but it means so much to show up nonetheless. The support is huge and needed. It was good to see him and meet his mom and brother. What a great guy Peter is. I know it will be rough. It is so odd to enter the "One Parent Club." I was in it for just under 10 years and then I joined the "Adult Orphan Society." Today I was also thinking of my friend Teresa in California as she just lost her mom.


My friend Ellie had me over for scallops. Not just dinner, scallops. We seemed to have gotten on the topic when I wrote about my ventures in cooking. It was a wonderful meal. Dill. Who knew?! As always we had a great chat about life past, present and future. I love all the stories. FACT: She was the first ice skater to skate at Rockefeller Center. Over 70 years ago. And I love that I can tell her about anything. It was just a plain fun dinner and then she surprised me with my own personal birthday cake and ice cream. Wonderful. Oh, and with Ellie always something unusual can happen. I mean in the best, most exciting way. (Careful, she reads my blog!) Today's event was her neighbor came over with his lawyer and we both signed his will!


I had to head up to 114th and Riverside Drive on the Upper West Side. It seemed to make most sense to shoot up the Upper East Side on the 6 to 110th Street and cross over. And "crossing over" is what I felt I would do when I came out of the subway. I felt like I was on a movie set shot in New York 20 years ago. I think I was in Spanish Harlem. In my coat and tie. I did not feel safe for the first time in New York. This is odd for me. And, forgive me, but I felt so white. And dressed up. And threatened and dorky. I asked someone where I could get the crosstown bus. And all I could hear out of my mouth was Eddie Murphy doing his white man's accent. The guy was nice, of course, and said he never goes across town. Finally I found someone who knew. I had to walk a few blocks. I got on the bus and arrived in the newly regentrified West of bistros and frozen yogurt. I felt at home.


My friend Dolores is moving to Rock Island, Illinois after more years in New York than I have been alive. And she has never been to Rock Island! Some friends had a going away for her at their flat that overlooks the Hudson River. It was fun. She is a really nice lady and I am glad I met her here in NYC. She is kind. That is the word. We don't use it often, but that describes her. She is kind. I like that. I wish her well and I am so glad she invited me to her party.

Now to get out of this office drag and head back to the Village to my shorts, tank top, sandals and faithful dog!

Thank you for this day.

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