Tag Archives: family

Downtown Goes Coastal, a linked list of my travel highlights

I’m live-blogging from Santa Monica, in a beautiful house right off of Montana, where I’ve been for the past 24 hours. First, I was here, which sort of sucked since they lost my reservation and then charged my card three times for my stay and the room wasn’t so hot. But then all ended well after a massage here and dinner with my Italian friends at their home, which looks out over all of Los Angeles and the Pacific. We had some great conversations about old and new Italian movies — a little hard to follow since some of the discussion was actually in Italian, but I managed to get the gist of it while responding in English.

Yesterday I spent the morning at the beach and the afternoon at the Getty Villa, where for some reason, I felt the need to take 9,000 photos of beautiful things, but things I’ve already seen and taken pictures of in Italy.

Last night I cooked dinner with family friends (another Italian feast) and heard the story about how they met and their weddings — one in Wales and one in New Jersey. Picture the English parents coming to meet the Italian-Jewish in laws. I was cracking up as they were telling the story.

Today has been more leisurely, just hanging out until my New York family friends stop by as they vacation their way down the coast with their children (ages 11 and 14). The afternoon will be devoted to the ultra-tourist stops like the Walk of Fame, Mann’s Chinese Theatre, and Hollywood & Highland. But will promise to be fun when seen through younger eyes.

The rest of the trip will include singing and dancing our way to the Mamma Mia premiere, visiting old friends, new friends, and then off to Arizona to see my best friends of all, my family.

More Tales From the ‘burbs

Sitting in my childhood bedroom, trying to do work, make calls, be productive while distractions abound: my dad knocks on the door to inform me there’s a deer in the backyard and I should come and take a look (didn’t even notice I was on a conference call); my mom yells upstairs for me to email her an address of a mutual friend; then shortly after calls my cell to ask if I would edit her real estate listing for her right now because it needs to be sent out in ten minutes. All of this, of course, leads to me unloading the dishwasher, setting the table for tonight’s dinner party and then getting ready for said dinner party.

5040.jpgAs I try to get in a free hour of work before the guests arrive, I hear the thumping of a microphone coming from the living room below me. Then, the first few bars of an electronic version of a Billy Joel song. And finally, my sister’s half speaking-half singing voice trying to keep up with the lyrics to “It’s Still Rock ‘n Roll to Me,” as they flash across the TV screen. Most families have cocktail hour on Friday evenings, mine has Karaoke hour. Let the ear-bleeding begin!

P.S. She scored a 25 out of a possible 100 on her rendition of that tune. I’m sure Billy Joel would be super proud.

-Downtown

I love downtown, the place

but downtown, you are ok, too. Your writing makes me think. Makes me think about our roles in the world. I’m a mother, a partner/wife, a friend, an adventurer. Heading south in the city makes me feel wonderfully alive. I’ve felt that ever since we arrived in this gloomy dump almost 18 months ago. The promise I made to myself, this time last year, was that I wouldn’t spend a complete month of February in grey NYC again and no big surprise, here I am. However, the City is rich in so many ways, interesting people, non-stop activity and cupcakes galore.

We crossed the Park as a family today, between downpours, lunched at a little french place one block north of the “new” West side Magnolia Bakery. Yum. The ten year old introduced me to MB’s banana divine pudding. The rest of us indulged in cupcakes and caught a cab back to the east side. I told the family that I’d like to carry around a little address book to take note of the multitude of drivers that shuttle me around this town. I know, for certain, that I’ve been in at least one cabby’s car at least twice. i think it’d be a hoot to keep track. The family thinks I’m nuts…

And speaking of cabs, I learned this evening that the cab industry is an $11billion cash business, just like ice cream. Imagine that. ciao bella.