12.09.2019

tony

Daughters Ali and Delia preside over a funny, tearful celebration.

When I moved into this apartment in 1977 (?), Tony and Toby and their toddler, Ali, were living in the apartment directly above me. The building was like a Time Inc. dorm. Frank, in the same apartment a few floors below, knew Tony and Toby from Time-Life Books. Douglas, who was introduced to the building by Frank, had worked at Time magazine, and I worked at People. Over the years, Tony and I would cross paths at People, the ill-fated TV-Cable Week and at Life. Sometimes we were colleagues; sometimes he was my editor and sometimes I was his. We bonded over our marginal Chinese. I suffered his jokes and marveled at his relentless good spirits. We all had kids, and we all grew up together. And the kids are friends, even down to the third generation.
   And even through death and divorce, we have remained family, running up and down the stairs for coffee or a cup of sugar and celebrating holidays together. Tony was staying with Toby, his ex and good friend, when he died. Their daughters, Alexis and Delia, put together a lovely memorial for him. I was hoping he'd be here this Thanksgiving, as he has often been in the past. He would have loved this party, with his favorite Swedish meatballs, sushi, lemon squares, vodka gimlets, etc. So sorry he missed it. 
That's Tony, standing to toast in the back a couple Thanksgivings ago.

12.06.2019

resurrection hall

Awaiting the legend

With another legend
 Bob Dylan always has a great band. In fact, I saw him with The Band on The Last Waltz tour. And the band at the Beacon on what has been known for years as The Never-Ending Tour was excellent. However every tune was pretty uptempo and unrecognizable unless you could catch some of the words, which were unintelligible. Either the miking was bad or the singing was bad, or both. However, at least Bobby didn't turn his back on the audience, as he has been known to do. (At Farm Aid he refused to let me interview him but gave me an autograph.) He played honkytonk piano and had good energy for a 78-year-old. He played encores too.
   I was there to see a legend, no matter how he sounded, probably for the last time given my age as well as his, but I also wanted to see the Beacon Theater, which was restored ten years ago. I hadn't been there since—maybe Billy Idol?—and in my memory it was pretty damn funky. I gather the restorers, who had to remove eight layers of paint over the original 1929 murals, redo the gold leaf on the Amazon warrior women and other Greek and Egyptian motifs—as well as replace all lighting, plumbing, weave new carpeting etc—also found it pretty damn funky. I am amazed that the work took only seven months, though I'm sure prep was much longer. But the former vaudeville/movie hall is impressive. I guess they have to cater to an older, more sedate crowd (Ed said there was a long line of the prostate-challenged in the men's room), but the Allman Family (?) still plays a date or two. The acts are mainly older, like Jerry Seinfeld who plays there a lot. Hannah was surprised to see seats. She is accustomed to concerts with none. Anyway, the resurrection  of the Beacon was quite impressive. Almost as impressive as the continuation of he-who-shall-not-be-defamed.

12.05.2019

hannah and the zombies


She's not a groupie/fan type, but lately Hannah has been going to concerts (if convenient) to meet and greet the artists whose guitar strings she collects for Wear Your Music. I think she's seen Ani DiFranco twice.
With The Zombies, who have aged some since Hullaballoo.
And then there was Rising Appalachia while in New York. They have a pretty stylin' video.
Tatooes and nose jewelry seem to be happening for all.

12.04.2019

kids of thxgvng

2019 Thanksgiving: Isaac, Camilla, Ryan, Lulu (Donna Ferrato)

2015 (?) Thanksgiving: Ryan, Lulu, Camilla, Isaac
 They have to have a place at the table now—too big to fit around the coffee table. But they are still little enough to be wary of gravy, stuffing and other things with icky names. Rolls, turkey, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, they can get with the program on that stuff. But the crowning glory of Thanksgiving is dessert. Ice cream, Hannah's apple pie, Ali's mousse, Miriam's cranberry chocolate squares. Now that's thnksgivin livin!

2019 Thanksgiving: The gang

11.26.2019

tnxgvng ready

 Pumpkin pies (the first batch) done. Sweet potatoes in the oven. House cleaned (however temporarily). Beds made. Now awaiting the advent of my sister and family (sans dog) and Hannah and family (avec dog) tonight. The kids have had their outfits ready for a few days. One hopes that when turkey call comes for The Great American Eating Ceremony, Isaac completes his ensemble with trousers.

11.24.2019

do not despair

Coming up: The Amazing Rolex Saga!
Right after: The Great American Eating Ceremony!

11.22.2019

luncheon


Next year Miriam will be 90, and I will be 70.
 Miriam is almost exactly 20 years older than I. But she's hella game. She gets around town more than I do. Well, that's not hard! But she works as a docent at the Planetarium,  goes out to movies and theater, and knows all the best restaurants. She introduced me to the kosher, vegetarian, Indian dosa place we usually meet. We met for her birthday, and will meet again for mine soon. Meanwhile, she was off, avec walker,  to get a pedicure.
Maybe this dog wants to buy a college student.

11.20.2019

more entertainments



 The peripatetic Keri Pickett returned to the apartment of no regrets for another brief stay, during which she was entertained by another visiting photog, ie the infamous Donna Ferrato. After recovering from their visit, I headed out to my former home town in Westchester to visit my former (and final) ME at Life magazine., and we had a good old gossip about office politics. For some reason, I failed to take a single picture.



11.15.2019

the eyes have it


 The latest in my visiting photographers series has been Keri Pickett, photographer and filmmaker, in from Minneapolis and Key West (does she have a good life or what!). Her short film about Key West's Fantasy Fest will be shown soon in the (what else?) the Key West Film Fest.
   She followed Chien-Chi, a photographer cum filmmaker, who was in from Graz. He has been spending considerable time in Hong Kong photographing the protests, as well as going back to Myanmar. He displayed the scars from an  attack by a tiger there. It stuck its paw through the bars of the cage and clawed him. He has endured a series of rabies shots.

11.14.2019

trick of the light

When the sun comes in in odd directions,  mysterious shadows and reflections appear like grace notes and —confections? corrections? defections? Not working for me. Frank???

11.11.2019

nights in

 The galas began on Friday evening, with a dinner party of former Time Inc. friends, and I guess it must have been a good party since it lasted nine hours—not that I particularly remember the last three. I know that it was a three Diet Pepsi night for Adam. There was still some food and wine left over the following day, fortunately, because a writer turned photographer friend came by to contemplate his upcoming show and then we were later joined by visiting photographer Chien-Chi Chang, who consumed, as usual, all the leftovers in the fridge. What tonight holds I do not know.

11.07.2019

night out





A little bit of Missouri in New York City. Judge David came to town for something he is the best judge of, i.e. wine. He has some hoity toity tasting at Hudson Yards this evening, and as a warmup he took me to a hoity toity restaurant last night. It's called Upland, and is upscale in terms of pricing and clientele. The sonic ambiance was a trifle bright for a couple of rapidly deafening (?) oldsters, but the visuals were nice. We went full-on seafood, which may have been a mistake. The fried calamari was good, but heavily adulterated with potato. The ceviche was not anything like the Mexican tulip-glass type I expected, and the cioppino tasted like it had a can of tomato paste dumped into the broth. I prefer that at La Petite Crevette, possibly because the one time I ate there chef Neil, of Flying Lobster fame, hosted us. The marguerita pizza at Upland was damn good. We ordered too much food, and had to take half of the za away. Sorry, once a reviewer, always a reviewer. Anyway, it was very fun to see David here in town, and very nice of him to entertain me. But that is one of his specialties as well.

David tries to hide from the camera's all seeing eye.