Monday, December 27, 2010

Blizzard, New York City

Jeff and I came home from Christmas in Poughkeepsie.  We left early because, like everyone else, we heard a storm was a brewin'.  I immediately thought of a movie I had never seen  - "Twister"   But instead of racing from the eye of the storm we were driving into it. Still, Jeff thought of me as Helen Hunt and he as Bill Paxton.  This time I didn't argue as we had to make tracks.

As we rolled into Astoria to Jeff's, the flurries were not yet furies (I just made that up right here on this spot. Damn!) so we had time to shop for pork tenderloin with baby spinach in sesame oil.  What. A. Relief.

What a night. My first blizzard. I was so excited. As caramel swirls of Haagaen Daz Caramel Cone reached my lips I could see swirls of sideways snow passing by the window.

We downed two movies and some maple cookies and headed for a long winter's nap.  As I drew the sash and pulled open the shudders in the morning, my wandering eyes saw a s*#t-load of snow!  I was in love. Again.

While Jeff's car was buried outside we had scrambled eggs and coffee and downed another Beverly Hills Housewives ON DEMAND. That Camille is doing my head in! But Kyle! I thought she had way more sense than to argue back, especially with a drunk psychic at the dinner party. Disaster of blizzard proportions in Malibu I tell you.

 It was time to say adios to Jeffy and head into the big city. I delighted in all the snow around me.

 Because I don't have to shovel or dig I love the snow and a good blizzard for me is a good thing.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Pipes of Christmas Past

My friend Merri from California invited me to see her perform in "The Pipes of Christmas" at the Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church at 73rd.  It was SOLD OUT and got listed as one of the MUST DO Christmas things to do in New York.  Well I did it. 

First, what a venue.  The place was decked like an Upper East Side deb and just shone. 

And the show was wonderful. A lovely blend of pipes and organ and song and brass.  I think I could be moved by a kazoo in this church, but wow, this was moving. And Merri is such a lovely person it filled me with even more joy.  Joy, I tell you, Joy! 

 After the concert there was a reception with Robert Burns' "Address to a Haggis"  It was wonderful. 

Friday, December 17, 2010

You Better, You Better La Bête

What a fantastic New York night.  A night where I am in the 1940s and the city is buzzing and I am a three dot journalist...Met Cooper and Paul-Louis in from LA...Jeff got to meet them which I loved.  Cooper and PL have a great deal to do with why Jeff and I even met...Job and all.  We went to the Music Box Theatre to see our friend (well theirs and he knows who I am and he is totally a lovely guy) David Hyde Pierce in La Bête.  A modern Molieresque play all in couplets.  Harder sell than "Cop Rock"

I digress.  I really enjoyed the play and David was excellent. Other David and Charlie met us there.  I adore both of them and it had been a long while since I had seen them...Sitting in the row back were Cooper and PL's neighbors from LA.  Small world.  And Jeff and I saw our friends Henry, Peter and Charles... How does that always happen here?

The core group went backstage and I introduced Jeff to David and we hung out for a while. I peed in the same toilet as Lionel Barrymore, I imagined. Or at least Bert Lahr... Unfortunately David could not make dinner as planned and the 8 of us went to Orso for a late apres theatre supper like they did in the old days in my mind  And next table over was Stockard Channing...Perfect...I wanted to tell her the last time I saw her (in that dreadful production of Pal Joey at Studio 54) was the night I got sick and got Bell's Palsy and Vertigo, but I think she might have taken it more wrong than historical...

Another grand night in Gotham.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


As my meagre cadre of fans of this blog know, I lost it about 5 months ago and stopped writing daily here for the first time in almost 3 years.

I have missed this forum, but could not get back into it.  I felt like a blogger stuck in a bog in a fog and my computer was just out of reach.  I could not bring myself to write here.  Part of it was depression and joy.  Both good writing moods! But I just could not.

I also wanted to start a new blog ABOUT SOMETHING! But that eludes me still. WHAT could I possibly be the expert on that I could write about and attach my blog to my Linked In and sell advertising and gather a HUGE following?  Food? Too many do it better.  New York City?  Maybe, but I would need an angle.  Fish out of water?  Nah.  Tucked away places?  I am not consistent enough and would probably steal from Time Out New York.   My take on NYC? Maybe, but I think I should be a celebrity first. Just Dunno.

But the more I work and ponder the more I realize I want to write professionally.  I have heard so often "the secret to writing is writing."  Of course I ignore that and use the procrastinator's mantra: "the secret to writing is doing research on writing and throwing money at it: computer, classes,

So I bought two books.  They are here at my beside. Bindings intact.  Apparently "the secret to reading is reading. "  They are "The Right to Wright"  by Julia Cameron.  Yes, Virginia, I still have permission issues and I am hoping this book gives me that.  The secret to writing is permission?   I also got "Eats, Shoots and Leaves" by Lynn Truss. A person I greatly respect who is not a writer, but a doctor and great procrastinator likes this book very much.

So now I have more books on writing, a blog that is aimless, and the desire to have the desire. 


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

67 Burger, Brooklyn

Just to make sure I could not jump up on stage at "The Hard Nut" and join in la danse I went to 67 Burger  some few paces away from BAM to have a burger, fries and a chocolate shake.  And I am working the Lose It App.  This was my daily take to be sure.

But what a great find.  67 Burger, if you are going to lose it over Lose It, is a great place to commit calorie crime.  The burger was perfection.

I may have this wrong, but New York is way more obsessed with burgers than California.  Way more into eating and talking about burgers.  There seem to be burger places everywhere and it is the default choice at every diner in town. "Burger deluxe (lettuce, tomato, fries) please."

The ordering process was somewhat confusing even though they have a Steps 1, 2, 3 ordering system.  But still it was not good.  And the woman taking the order at the register was not pleasant.  "Not pleasant" in the service business (aka "the USA") is just not acceptable.  She was not interested.  Just unpleasant. And I saw her be that way with others.  I did not leave a tip in her jar just because of her "dourosity."  Shame because the wait staff were great.

And that burger!  Excellent. So charbroiled and excellent served just with a wheezy, gasping "Moo" as I like it.  The milkshake (sadly the extra in the metal canister seems long gone) came in a generous pint class and was delish.  And the fries (too many) were adequate, but for me fine, but unmemorable.

I would go back.  I would eat a burger there again anytime  But I think I need to wait for 35 pounds to go off my body.  Perhaps I should walk to Brooklyn next time to go to 67 Burger.

Oh and they have that napkin dispenser on each table that operates like a tissue box and you use as many napkins as you would tissues crying over a breakup.

The Hard Nut

 My friend  Frank took me as his guest to see Mark Morris Dance Group's production of "The Hard Nut" at The Brooklyn Academy of Music, more familiarly known as BAM.
I had only seen the production on PBS many years ago and remember loving it, but just like basketball it is oodles better seeing it live.   For dance it is the live orchestra, the 3-D immediacy of it and the shared audience experience.  I love the packed lobby at BAM.  People everywhere.  Who are they all and how can I meet them? 
I love dance more than most things and I love the theatre and I love Christmas events and the chill and the lights and the bundling up and the letting go.

December is magical mostly.   And seeing this production made it moreso. Go see live dance where you are.  Anything.  Just go.  You will be amazed.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Cold and Magic.

Though we often think of magic as FIRE and SPARKLE and wands that ZAP things into frogs or bunnies, magic occurs in the cold for me.  A sunset on a beach is stunning and pretty, but walking in the snow in a large city with Christmas lights everywhere and hearing the silence all around, that is magic.  Being under loads of covers with a lover while the temps outside are in the 20's, that is magic.  Skiing down a hillside and knowing that you are forced to be in the present and one with the mountain, that is magic.  There is no time to create TO-DO list whilst careening! 

Noticing people scurrying and kids throwing snowballs and Currier and Ives-style sleading in Central Park. That is SO magic.  I have seen it and I wept.  I feel alive in the cold. I feel exhilarated with the chill and the promise of warmth and home and hearth and soup.  SOUP is magic. It just is!  Lovers are magic.  A tree with lights to me is simple joy.  I feel so blessed to have experinced all of this.  And being alive is magic in itself. 

Bundle up.  Put on gloves and a hat and a scarf and notice things.  Really notice. Celebrate the magic.  Take a lover. Get some soup!  Marvel at lights.  Wonder.  Ski.  Sled.  Watch the snow outside the window of the Met. 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Drone on....

Today I like being a drone in New York City. By that I mean one of the many ants who funnel down the subway stairwells and huddle onto a sardine cansiter of a train car and reappear out of some other stairwell elsewhere to scurry into a building, flash a card and pack into an elevator to finally have some individuality in a cubicle overlooking a sea of other buildings with other individuals in cubes.

"Another Hundred People Just Got Off of the Train."  Indeed.

By droning lately I feel part of the Manhattan (wait for it)...zeitgeist.  I feel like saying to my subway neighbor who has her purse pressing into my thigh, "Hey neighbor, I commute too!  Isn't it great?!"  But she is listening to her ipod and reading a kindle. But I know, I KNOW we would have a great conversation if we met and her story of getting here to NYC would make me laugh and she would like mine. That is comforting.

Today right after we got to the 28th Street stop and newbies boarded, I heard "Hey Joe!!"  I tell you New York City is a small town. It happens to me all the time. And I am a real newbie. 

So today I will work in my cube and try to make eye contact with someone from another department in the break room and regardless of whether I am successful or not I will relish this day as part of the hive that is this buzzing, vibrant, thrilling Manhattan.