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September 2019

Giddy About Prometheus #rockefellercenter

Good morning! It's a gorgeous day here in Manhattan and I've been up since the crack o dawn. I've been to the gym, I have been grocery shopping, the exterminator just left, and, at this writing, it's just 11:00am. But, in my defense, it's been an intense couple of work weeks what with the end of the fiscal year and handling a bunch of events. Winding down on the weekends is a bit of a challenge but that comes with the event planner territory. 

PrometheusblogOne of the events I helped with was a big company party at Rockefeller Center. A bunch of us on the team offered to help the planner by being 'extra hands' for her. I was put in charge of hanging a company branded flag from the underside of a large umbrella. It sounds easier than it was. lol

Anyway, the planner had done such an excellent job of logistics that the 'extras' weren't really needed. So, we got to enjoy the party as guests. 

You know, I've lived in New York for a long time and I've worked as a consultant at 30 Rock so being there isn't really super new to me, and yet, I've never actually stood so close that I could touch the gold statue of Prometheus. I mean, if I tried to, a billion security guys would pop out of the woodwork and drag me away, but the idea that I COULD was kind of cool.

It's occurred to me a couple times in the past couple weeks that, at 55, I still get giddy about this kind of stuff. I know that I "shouldn't" be giddy anymore about doing events at this or that place, having lunch at this or that place, or walking on the floor of Rock Center. But I still am. I kind of think that the day I'm not will be a sad day for me. 

My fond wish for you is that you go out and enjoy the day today no matter where you are - and that no matter what you're doing or where you are, you continuously find things that make you giddy! 


Happy Frid ay

Happy FridayGood morning and happy Friday.

Here on W. 102nd Street all is well but busy. Hope you're all doing great. 

Will be blathering on this weekend about a bunch of stuff, so be sure to come back and hang out. The Mister and I are planning on painting the ceiling of our middle room. Life in the big city has never been wilder! lol 

What are YOU up to? 


View From the Ferris Wheel

GennaroblogYesterday, we needed a break. 

From work, from home, from internet, from cooking, from writing, from it all. 

The first half of the afternoon was spent spelunking in an old warehouse in the bowels of Brooklyn that houses thousands of old comic books. Getting to this place was like going to a super villains lair. I half expected the Riddler to pop out of the men's room and Catwoman to be over by the coffee machine stirring in Cremora. But it is spectacular. And spectacularly chaotic. You'd think my OCD would leave me unable to stay for long, but, strangely it was SO all over the place that I found it best to simply focus on one old title that I'm starting to collect and leave the rest to another day. It's definitely a place where you literally might find anything in any box at any time. I was looking through a box from one company and found a treasure that had been mis-filed. I bought it, of course, because, it was clear just laying there for me to find. Collecting is like this. The thrill is in the hunt and discovery. And that you know you'll find some gems in odd places ropes one in even more. Little successes when the odds are stacked against you is the reason that Las Vegas exists. 

After an hour in that, we went back to Manhattan and stopped at the San Gennaro Feast (now through September 22 in Little Italy). The streets are filled with locals and tourists (and locals that decide to pretend we're tourists) drinking, smoking cigars and eating a lot of food that's delicious but will probably kill you. Such is life. If I wanted to live to be a million, I'd wrap myself up in bubble wrap rather than eating a cannoli. So there's that. 

A dinner at our favorite place down there along with a bottle of our favorite red wine (that we strangely can only find there, how is that possible?) and then a walk up to the West Village where we stopped in to my new favorite comic book shop -the Mysterious Time Machine - but I don't think anyone really knows it by that name - it's just the cool comic book place one flight down into the lower level of a building that serves honey flavored bourbon on Wednesday evenings (comic book day). I had my umpteenth nerdy conversation of the day about comic books. I sometimes think I know way too much about this stuff. I do love the genre though. :) 

At one point back at the street fair we rode the Ferris Wheel. From the spin, you can see a lot of the layout of the street and the motion seems comforting somehow. I loved the reflection of the lights in the windows of the buildings next door and we joked about vomiting on people below, because that's what you do when you're middle-aged going on 13. :) 

From that high up, things don't look so bad. The colors, the lights, the dull roar of the crowd enjoying life, the universe, and everything. 

Some days it's easy to get caught up in the minutiae and, while important to know, following our story, which comic book is in which box and how many calories are in a zeppole, it's probably better that there are also some days when you just ride the Ferris wheel and see all the glory of life laid out in front of you in a technicolor spread. 

No Sale For That Bill of Goods

NosaleblogDuring the 911 time of year, I get wistful. Many do. It's that thing of facing our own mortality and seeing things for what truly matters.

I remember a time three years ago when I got on the 7 bus to go to East Harlem to meet the Mister for dinner. I transferred to the 116 bus and decided to pull out my phone and txt that I was most of the way there.

In a sudden panic I realized that my phone was not on me. I thought I must have left it on the 7 which was miraculously still behind the 116.

I got on in a lather searching franticly for a dropped phone. Everyone saw the look on my face and knew what I was doing. One guy suggested that I call my phone.

Now, being a New Yorker, my first thought was "how can I call myself without my phone?" .... but then I realized the guy was offering me his phone to use. To me. A total stranger.  And not just him, but literally five others on the bus were holding their phones out for me to use. In the middle of a bus on a Saturday night.

I quickly called myself, and, hearing no buzz (Im always on silent mode) realized that it wasnt there. After many thank yous I got off the bus and just happened to catch a bus going back the other direction (towards my apt). I went all the way back home and was grateful that Id just left it on the kitchen counter and that it was just an absent minded professor moment.

But it reminded me that the bill of goods we are sold by the politicians, the media (fake AND real!) and the internet - that people are selfish and terrible, the world is hell and everyone hates each other - that bill of goods is just garbage. NO SALE!  (as my friend Rolondo might say)

Again and again I see people helping each other even in the big bad city.

Sure, that was just a little moment in time and would appear to be meaningless- but I still remember it three years later and it means something.

People ARE kind and that maybe that kindness can last longer than September 12.. Or December 26... Or, well you get the idea.

May all your missing phones be on your kitchen counter, and may there be those around you to help you find that out. 

Peace. :) 


I had 2 zeppoles the other day at a firm sponsored Carnival event. 

But it was delicious and hot and there was a mountain of powdered sugar on it. 

And then, I was given a bag of them from the owner of the carnival. And I took them home and I had one for breakfast yesterday and today. 

Don't judge me! lol 

Have a great Friday!            


We Were Not Alone But No One Spoke Out Loud

On 9/11/01, I woke up on a couch in San Francisco having crashed for the weekend before at a friends place. Towers1986blog

I had been living in LA at the time and was producing lots of events. I was loving it all, but was worn out and wanting to escape. I had wanted to move back to New York City that summer but a big ridiculous (and unnecessary) drama with one of my events prevented that. I was dizzy with exhaustion and needed an escape.

I hatched a plan to drive up to San Francisco, stay for the weekend and then drive back down the 1 at a leisurely pace over the course of a few days. No reservations, no map. Just... 'whatever'. I had heard that Marie Osmond, suffering from post partum depression had simply taken off one day and driven up the 1. The image had stayed with me and I had it in my head that I would do the same, except in reverse. 

I arrived in San Francisco on the Saturday before 9/11 and stayed on the couch of a friends place and enjoyed a beautiful weekend in the bay area. 

On Tuesday morning, I woke ready to start my trip. My friend turned on the TV and I saw what looked like a very fake sci fi movie. Only, it was, of course, real. He and his partner and I sat staring at the TV unable to look away not believing what we were seeing. For hours. We tore ourselves away for a few minutes and drove to the KFC near the Safeway. We were not alone but no one spoke out loud. It was almost shameful that we would eat when so many never would again. 

The next day, I drove like mad back to LA. I wanted to be in New York, but, of course, I couldn't. I would go to a memorial in West Hollywood the next night. I would sit on my couch for about a week numb to everything. Barely eating and not talking for days. 

When I emerged I knew that there was now a new normal where these things were possible. Well, they were always possible, but we felt too far away for them to happen to us.

The days of 'before' felt like a hundred years ago. The days of 'now' were frightening and stark. But, eventually, like all trauma, we overcame. Or at least, we think we did. I'm not always sure.

The terrorists wanted to divide us, and, some days, it seems as though they succeeded.

But I don't think that they did.

The memory of that awful day is blessed with the stories of heroics and bravery in the hours, days and weeks afterwards; of missing friends discovered safe; and the assistance that people gave each other. 

I believe that 'we helped our neighbor on 911' is more American than 'let's keep our neighbor away'.

This is something that's truly embedded in the American spirit - more than divisive politics, warring religions and economic hardship.

We are going through challenging times now - but the things that divide us are not greater than the things that unite us.

And yes, I know that sounds like a Pollyanna Hallmark card. But I don't know what value there is in giving into the division.

I think, no, I need to believe that we can overcome it.

It's scary .. this isn't easy stuff and most of us are, I think, sometimes too terrified to know exactly what to do to fix it.

But, like the morning after an illness where the spew has left your body, we will wake up feeling tired but rid of the sickness. We will shower. We will put on our clothes. Tie our shoelaces. We will comb our hair (for some of us, what's left of it!) and go about the business of living.

Always remember, never forget, but continue living. Amen.

Photo: Andrew Altenburg, 1986

Lift Every Voice and Sing

Lift Every Voice and Sing
James Weldon Johnson, 1871 - 1938
Lift every voice and sing,
Till earth and heaven ring,
Ring with the harmonies of Liberty;
Let our rejoicing rise
High as the list’ning skies,
Let it resound loud as the rolling sea.
Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us,
Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us;
Facing the rising sun of our new day begun,
Let us march on till victory is won.
Stony the road we trod,
Bitter the chast’ning rod,
Felt in the days when hope unborn had died;
Yet with a steady beat,
Have not our weary feet
Come to the place for which our fathers sighed?
We have come over a way that with tears has been watered.
We have come, treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered,
Out from the gloomy past,
Till now we stand at last
Where the white gleam of our bright star is cast.
God of our weary years,
God of our silent tears,
Thou who hast brought us thus far on the way;
Thou who hast by Thy might,
Led us into the light,
Keep us forever in the path, we pray.
Lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met Thee,
Lest our hearts, drunk with the wine of the world, we forget Thee;
Shadowed beneath Thy hand,
May we forever stand,
True to our God,
True to our native land.