Saturday, January 24, 2015


“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence. "                                                                                      Helen Keller

Flying from Chicago’s Food Film Festival to Boston for Thanksgiving had me feeling a huge swing of emotions.  Excited and looking forward to a Holiday for the first time in a long time, especially since my Sister and her Family were going to be there from California, but also a huge range knowing I’d be saying Godspeed to Katie as she left for her amazing opportunity and adventure in Sierra Leone at the end of the week.  And, for the first time, I do believe it hit my Girls and I fully, that we no longer have a “base” in Massachusetts.  I personally went from my Mom’s house to my cousin’s (God love she and her family) back to my Mom’s.  Weird.

Twilight In Harvard Square
Silliness in Harvard Square
Spending some “quality” time with family was great, including poking around Harvard Square with Katie, my Sister and her, eating, and simply enjoying each other.   (Even if the long ride home in traffic was frustrating.  The things we forget!)

It was a wacky, loud, loving and fun Thanksgiving: thirty-five of us ranging in age from 3 to 82.   Again, a huge thanks to my Cousin and her family for hosting all of us.  Their home is beautiful, and perfect for such gatherings.  (A blessing and curse for them!)
"The Kids"
Steel & Rye
While “home”, it’s funny, I went to a great new restaurant in Milton three times.  It’s hard to believe that Steel & Rye is in my little hometown.  It has a cool city feel, and the food is consistently good.  A real treat.

Finally, the inevitable.  After watching Katie walk into her terminal at Logan, loaded down with 4 huge bags, I started a prayer that lasted for a couple of hours while I waited for my flight back to JFK.  I believe that she will be okay, and that her experience is going to be amazing.  I am so proud, and thrilled for her.

Looking froward to this!
Having gotten an email confirming what I was dreading while home for Thanksgiving: I had to leave my Hx3 (long story..aren’t they all?); I hit the ground running looking at apartments my first day back in NYC after being gone for over two weeks.  Believe it or not, I had set up appointments through Craigslist.  My faith in his list has been restored!  An angel was definitely sitting on my shoulder.  The first apartment I saw was a sweet studio with an amazing shared garden in back, on Wednesday morning.  I signed a lease Thursday night. 

The couch!
Thus began the furnishing of my new home as I have almost nothing left!  That’s where I fell into another scam on Craigslist.  I found a free couch that had to be moved immediately.  Got the couch, but the movers I hired..crazy.  I had agreed to one hour @ $50.  When we got to my new apartment, they demanded $150.  I very angrily refused.  They locked my couch into the truck and sat outside my building and wouldn’t leave.  I was scared, furious (hate feeling vulnerable) and felt silly calling the police who basically couldn’t do much.  Finally, I got it in for $100.  Oh, well, a NYC “experience."  All’s well that ends well. 

As I found treasures all over the city and yes, online!  I felt like I was giving myself “showers”.  Furnishing my own home, just the way I wanted to. Thank God for T’J’s, Marshall’s, Target for dishes, glasses and “stuff."  Nadeau’s a funky little furniture store in the Village had me buying a great bookcase to use a kitchen storage piece and a mirror for my dressing area.  It felt like Shay, et al, became friends and they introduced me to an awesome mover!  And, yes, I went back to Craig and his list finding a dresser.  Another cool site, krrb ( lead me to a desk that looks very similar to my Grandmother’s.  Thank God for tiny studios, I didn’t need to buy too much to make a home for myself! 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Special Visits

“The heart, like the mind, has a memory.

And in it are kept the most precious keepsakes.” 

While exploring my NYC is a favorite thing of mine, sharing it with special people is even better!  In-between my Food Film Festivals, two very special visitors came to play, Mom and her best Friend!  Upon arriving at Penn Station, we got them settled in their lovely very conveniently located hotel, The Roosevelt.  Then, we hit the ground running.  Heading Downtown to check out Ground Zero area, I took them to my favorite places there, St. Paul’s Chapel and the 9-11 Memorial site.  Both are steeped in history and are beautiful.   We had a lite bite, and settled into the Lobby Bar of the Roosevelt where Kristi met us for a visit.

Saturday was a beautiful fall one, so we headed to a favorite for lunch, the Loeb Boathouse in Central Park.  We weren’t alone, and the restaurant does not take reservations on weekends.  Another lesson learned in simply being nice (and perhaps traveling with “beautiful mature Ladies”).  When I asked the Host apologetically how long we should expect to wait, he looked at me, my Visitors, and said, not too long.  It wasn’t, and he gave us one of the best tables in the house, right by the Lake!   It was, as usual, wonderful    

Then we walked and walked with me taking my Ladies along one of my favorite walks in my Central Park.  I believe I overdid it.  After leaving them at the hotel for a couple of hours to rest, I was back to head to Carnegie Hall to see an American icon, Bill Cosby.  It was a wonderful evening, only to have Mr. Cosby’s “indiscretions” hit the fan, literally, the very next week.  So sad and frustrating.  Not to get sexist?!, but why do so many with the y chromosome feel this type of behavior is okay?

Putting my fun and wonderful visitors on their train Sunday (after they had thoroughly enjoyed a packed St. Patrick’s for Mass), I then jumped on a Bolt Bus myself to Boston.  I felt a real need to just “be” with Katie before she left on her amazing adventure to Sierra Leone.
Spending a couple of perfect days with Katie (weather and and every other way), having lovely meals: an amazing breakfast at Sofra and dinners at Tony Maw’s Kirkland Tap & Trotter on the Cambridge/ Somerville line and Ribelle in Brookline with she and some friends, and just walking.  For the first time I finally saw the beautiful, historical Mt Auburn Cemetery.  Mt Auburn is America’s first garden or rural cemetery, as it was concluded that having cemeteries around and under churches was not really healthy.  As a final resting place, it is filled with a who’s who of notable Bostonians, many of the Brahmin families, the Cabots , Cabot Lodges, Lowells.  One of my personal heroes, Isabella Stewart Gardiner rests here, as does Fannie Farmer.  Artists, architects, and authors who have made indelible contributions to the fabric of America rest here, such as Winslow Homer, Charles Bullfinch, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.  Oliver Wendell Holmes also lays here for eternity.  Funny, sometimes one must move away, to see the treasures in one’s “backyard”.  Now I’m getting deep!  (I honestly considered taking over Katie’s apartment while she was in Africa.  It would have made her life easier..and other things..But, I am simply not “done” with NYC.)