ciao venezia

March 24, 2010

Venice has captured teenage daughter’s heart. She, like me, is drawn to places near water (cannot live inland too far) and the pull of the ever-next alleyway is like the promise of new gelato flavors every day. I am charmed by this town but cannot feel the steady beat of it’s residences’ hearts…there are so few of them. It’s a history lesson and a few lovely meals but, in truth, a majority of the residences are dark and unused. Even that has an allure. Tomorrow we lug our bags (packed too much for cool and rain and got – I should not complain – warm and sun) to the train station for the great roman adventure 2010. Ciao Venezia. Molto Bene!


a world of water

March 22, 2010

and day trippers. No one lives on the 1st floors and most people either leave at night or populate the commercial sections. But venice holds secrets down each alley..of which there are many. It’s flirty and haughty and has an earnest heart of gold. Chances to meet real Venetians are there…darling husband plays the guitar of our ghetto tour guide: guide happy to share and paul leaving a few minutes’ gift of international communication. A 14th century church brimming with tintaretto paintings late afternoon snack (thank goodness sitting down) with a glass of prosecco and a pizza. Short rest before a watery ride to dinner. More vongole awaits. Bene!
rainy day venice

rainy day venice

I’m up, I’m up!!

March 21, 2010

3am for this Brooklyn gal and so grateful for my 1st caffe of the trip at Rome airport. Lined up standing at the counter. No muss, no fuss. It was fast and perfection in a tiny espresso cup.

was i the girl i once was?

March 15, 2010


i do not have a connect-the-dots kind of life.  i have a life in very separate chapters.  separate compartments.  i must have been destined for some kind of life-on-the-stage because i have spent much of my life recreating myself into various themes/jobs/looks.   this is all to say that i am always a bit nervous when my past crops up in front of my present.  because my past was ‘someone else’ ago (or a few someone elses ago) and my present is whatever i remade myself into and before my newest recreative attempt.

the funny goofy slightly-nerdy definitely-geeky  highschooler with bushy eyebrows and a hint of the possibilities propelled herself out of home and hearth and became (for no apparent reason other than to get out of home and hearth) a tech theater student with hammer on hip and a bold exuding sexuality that was all bravado and little actual experience.  one almost-welded eyelid episode aside, i threw myself into the part but it was an experience in learning that i was trying to remake myself a little too far from my wants and wishes and hopes and so fell down miserably – until i fell so far that i was disgusted with myself and said publically what i really wanted to do which, of course, was to be on the stage.

off to nyc shedding weight and teenage plumpness and doing what i do best: working in front of an anonymous audience.  the whole city was my anonymous audience and i could make myself whatever i wanted to be.  and that was in the middle of the most exciting time for cabaret clubs in nyc.  oh those mid-80’s.  catch a rising star; greene street cafe; even the village ‘duplex’ were learning grounds for reinvention.  i molded look and sound – tho i slugged through a life of some auditions for the legitimate stage and came close to one bway gig – even then i think i knew that i was an undisciplined actress but a very good funny often sultry jazz and cabaret singer.  they were heady days that took me from 3 am sets on nyc club stages to a career around the world in sophisticated jazz rooms – perched on the edge of whatever baby grand was around and belting out my heart together with a few bawdy jokes.  let’s not even get into the guy factor…another post for another day.

when i found my now-husband, i think i sealed away that part of my life.  i’m so black and white…if i can’t have that; i’ll have none of that.  and after a few office gigs and a small stint as a little kids’ music teacher, i became the real estate broker.  not for me the piddly real estate broker.  for me the big name real estate broker with a big name brokerage as my partner and a whole new much more conservative wardrobe to match.  i became the part.  but i have always felt the tug of the middle and the wish to be more connected to it.

this is the first time in my life where i can feel a sort of ‘through line’ that has worked through each someone else i’ve been.  i guess that means i’m old now.  some old buddies and partners-in-bawdy-musical-crime-and-comedy got in touch recently and i became keenly aware that i am, again, someone else.  what will they see when they see the me that i am now?  but maybe i’m still just a little of that 2nd stage?  that’s the one i want to keep a little of in my pocket – that singing girl i once was:  it had a certain sparkle!

the promise of spring

March 9, 2010


no lengthy essay but commentary on the satisfaction of a non-snowy sunny 1st real warmish new york city day and a friend to share it with.  no popping hats on and off to avoid the cold air rush to my sensitive eardrums.  the very first sightings of restaurants with their doors open and outside cafe tables filling with grateful customers.  sitting on the bench outside newsbar near union square with a much-needed afternoon latte’ and having to put on sunglasses.  being happy to sit there  — indeed, to feel my body lean back against the bench happy to stay and soak in the air and the sun.  getting on the subway late in the day and still seeing the vestiges of sun as i crossed over the brooklyn bridge back to my wonderful borough.  you could just feel everyone’s hearts and souls peeking up and out into the sunshine – needy but happy.  rain coming later this week but we have certainly felt the real promise of spring. 

get a life

March 4, 2010


i swore i was going to be more positive here – well, maybe you didn’t realize but it’s what i told myself.  but the other night fell into the category of ‘no good deed goes unpunished’.  and by punished, i mean my psyche and spirit plummeting into an intangible anger that sent me grumbling through a full 24 hours.  i’m not a nice person when i’m grumbling.   [understatement]

a friend of mine – we were disconnected for a bunch of years and this past year we picked up again and found our friendship still there – having survived now past her (i think) 1+ year of being diagnosed with breast cancer, decided to boldly walk the susan g. komen 3 day 60 mile walk for the cure.  by herself with no buddy.  she’s a real indomitable woman – and has faced her diagnosis and moving on with her life … she’s back at work full time and taking on the world with style and fashion and the most amazing spirit and humor – had dealt with her diagnosis and treatment in a very private fashion.  telling very few people.  now, she was fully out of the ‘i had cancer’ closet … proudly announcing the walk on facebook and raising funds.  

i thought about it.  there are two b.c. groups i really respect:  susan g. komen and share.   both do great work.  here i am 4+ years past and i thought:  i wonder if i can do this?  maybe i should do this.  in my wildest dreams i don’t think i can walk 60 miles in 3 days but heard that some people get through 3/4 of it and then a ride to the ‘camp’.  oh yeah, and there are tents.  when i mentioned the whole thing to my husband, he fell into cataclysmic bouts of laughter and managed to sputter:  ‘tents?  you in a tent???”  ok, leave that rather humorous visual aside.  maybe this was the moment to commit to pushing myself to some other level and to join this group effort.  a big 3 day 60 mile fuck you to cancer and an acknowledgement that i was part of the cure and not just a victim.  but it also comes down to the fact that i am not a joiner nor a group person.  hell, i live in nyc for a reason.  i don’t fit in.  no one here fits in.  so we all fit in.  and, perhaps not last but not least, i hate pink.  i hate seas of pink.  i recognize that chic black is not the color of choice for a breast cancer charity organization but it’s a mutant pepto bismal ocean to my senses. 

i put a toe in.  sent an email.  got a call from a ‘recruiter’ in california and sat down that evening to talk.  it started out innocuously enough.  i was given all the details…it’s not enough to walk, it’s also about raising the funds.  (ok).  how it all works.  the walk, the cities available (i would choose san francisco as a chance to visit one of my dearest friends), the tents, the sunscreen, the knowing people/teams and knowing no one.  and then.  i think she was so happy to talk to me – i was a blank slate and, frankly, cracking a few pretty funny jokes, that suddenly it all poured out.  her story and her experiences in the walks she participated in.  fine.  everyone has their story.  and i presume that recruiters are specialists in stories of putting forth effort.  but then i heard it once, then twice and by the time i said something there were no less than five statements about ‘this woman whose mother had DIED at 52.”  “her sister just DIED at 47.”  “my friend who walked because his wife just DIED 3 months before last years’ walk.’ 

i get it.  but it took me 4+ years to even get to this point and within 45 minutes i was falling into an emotional rabbit hole of the potentials of death and dying and i wanted to get back on the nyc subway and ride in happy anonymity.  (have i mentioned that talking about death and dying has been an issue for me since i was a young girl? feh.)

right after i was diagnosed i was having trouble with someone i felt was a friend but seemed to need all the air in the room even tho i was the one about to enter treatment.  a friend of my husband’s nailed it when he said:  oh yeah, there’s always someone who wants a starring role in your illness.’ 

i have to do a lot of thinking about this.  but that recruiter and i are not going out for a beer afterward.  i have my boundaries.

can you feel it?

March 1, 2010


i knew if i just put one wintery-booted-foot ahead of the other that february would pass and yes, it’s march 1!  i know.  lots of blustery wind and rain ahead and probably a few more snowstorms given the retro-snowy winter new york city has seen this year.  but i know what i know.  that spring is coming.  enough said.

%d bloggers like this: