Thursday, May 31, 2007

The TB carrying passenger

This story has been all over the news.

On one hand I can understand wanting to get back home but he may have put people at risk. He said he never coughed during the trip. The thing that did make me angry was his excuse. He said he didn't want to stay in Europe because he was worried about the quality of treatment. Right, France, Italy and England don't have top doctors. This guy better hope he didn't pass this deadly strain to anyone. If my relative had been sitting on the plance next to this selfish fool, I'd be pissed. He shouldn't have flown in the first place.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Lindsay Lohan



This kind of press is not good. Yes, when I was 20 (back in the Stone Age) I did some stupid things. However, I didn't drink and drive, leave the scene of an accident and then drink/party so much that I pass out in public during the same weekend.

Seriously, it seems everyone and their mother is going to rehab (except for Amy Winehouse, no, no, no) but I feel like it's done for more P.R. reasons. Are these celebs really getting the help they need? Lindsay was going to hold a 21st birthday bash next month. What is up with the club owner, her mom and other friends who thought it would be a good idea have a vodka brand host her party? WTF? She just went to rehab in January.

And since when did one go to rehab for using inappropiate language? I would think for Isaiah, anger management, might have been a better move.

Lohan is a very talented actress. Now she is more famous for being infamous. It's hard to make the transition from childhood to adulthood in this business. It doesn't help when almost everyone around you makes their living off of you. I think Lohan would have benefited from going to college, like Natalie Portman, Claire Danes, Jodie Foster etc. just to get away from Hollywood and meet normal people.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Stephen King on Writing, Because She Can, The True and Oustanding Adventures of the Hunt Sisters

I enjoyed King's book. It's part memoir, part inspiration for writers. He, like Walter Mosley, talks about writing every single day. I highly recommend this book for any King fans, writers or fans of pop culture.

The following I checked out of the library:

BECAUSE SHE CAN by Birdie Clark is the latest addition to the Former Assistant Chick Lit genre. I read it because I am fascinated by Judith Regan. Clark work for Regan's imprint for a year. The novel is about an idealistic young woman who's super sweet boss retires. She goes to work for the notorious Vivian Grant. Although the title and pay are much better, soon Grant is working our poor protagonist toward an early grave.

Ms. Regan was one of the most successful women in publishing before she was fired by HarperCollins after the whole OJ book fiasco. The book was a quick and fun read, similar to the movie DEVIL WEARS PRADA. However, the stories I've heard about Ms. Regan were so outrageous no fiction could possibly be more scary/entertaining. Ms. Regan has been lying low but I am sure we have not heard the last of her.

THE TRUE AND OUSTANDING ADVENTURES OF THE HUNT SISTERS by Elisabeth Robinson. Robinson is a Hollywood producer and there were sections of the novel that hit a little too close to home. Like her scathing letters to backstabbing colleagues. ha.

The format takes a minute to get used to. The protangonist writes letters, faxes and emails while trying to produce a movie and take care of her dying sister. Some of the letters to her sister are quite moving.

I am in the middle of Andrea Levy's THE FRUIT OF THE LEMON. Talented writer but at first I had a heard time relating to a character who didn't know anything about her parent's background or whether her grandparents were dead or alive. She seemed really clueless about life for a 22 year old. I am enjoying it more now and zipping through the novel.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Grazie Dolce & Gabbana


For the ad featuring players from the National Italian soccer team. During last year's World Cup these ads were everywhere. I am not a fan of waxed chests but I will make an exception for this case.

This campaign made me chuckle. I could not imagine Derek Jeter or A Rod posing in underwear made by Ralph Lauren.

Perhaps D & G were inspired by the subject of yesterday's post.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Michelangelo's David


Yet another chilly non-spring like day in Southern California. In keeping with the Italy theme that seems to be happening this week, I want to post about another one of my favorite things.

I went to Florence last year. The city was so crowded it was ridiculous. One Italian historian refers to Florence as the most English speaking city in Italy. While the crowds were suffocating, the art was incredible, as was the Gucci flagship store.

We all have seen many photos of The David. Seeing him in person takes your breath away. I walked into the Accademia, turned the corner and there he was. There are a few uncompleted sculptures leading up to David. When you finally get to the end of the hall, you just stare. The form, the detail, when you look at David's hand you see the veins. How the hell did Michelangelo do this? He believed David was already in the block of marble, similar to how (most) humans have a soul. It was his job to let him out. Michelangelo was only 29 when he created this masterpiece, one of the most recognizable works of art in the world.

It's interesting that the city of Florence commissioned the work in 1501. Michelangelo finished in two years. It makes me lived arts funding in this country has been slashed to the bone. It's one of the first things to be cut from school budgets and not taken seriously. What are we doing?

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Book


A big grazie to Shelley in Rome for the fantastic idea. She read the book WHEN IN ROME: Chasing La Dolce Vita, raved about it but noticed is was only in print in Australia (where she went for her honeymoon).

I thought I was getting the book after Sara in Milan. Yesterday I went to my mailbox and found the book sent to my by Sonya (I don't know if she has a blog) from Australia. What a nice surprise. After I read it, I am to write a note in the book and send it off to Michelle in Milan (not sure if this the same Michelle with the blog). Apparently there are two books "traveling".

I started reading it last night and I'm almost done. The book is a fun memoir. Of course I freaked out a little when I saw there was an actress friend named Patrizia in her book. I have a character in my novel with the same name and occupation. I need to remember it's very propular name like Matteo, Luca etc. Also all the American/British/Australian in Italy books have very similar stories about the cultural differences between their home countries and Italy. It's how the story is told and the point of view that makes the books unique. That said I read EAT, LOVE, PRAY after several drafts of my manuscript had already been written. I was worried when she wrote about spending Thanksgiving in Italy and buying lingerie, two things I wrote about. Oh no. Anyway I told my editor about it and she said they were very different.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Piazza del Campo - Siena, Italy



È bellissima! This is one of my favorite places in the world. I found this website thanks to Erin and Chris. It's a short video. Enjoy.

Monday, May 21, 2007

The Sopranos (spoilers)


I am still reeling over last's night episode. When Tony first saw A.J. and said "A.J. WTF?", I let out a nervous laugh. Tony seemed annoyed that he had to put down his sandwich. It wasn't until he got closer, did he realize what was going on. I started crying when he pulled A.J. out of the pool and said "It's okay my baby". I just lost it.

The "curbing" scene in the restuarant, I turned my head and put my hands over my ears. Couldn't watch that scene in American History X either.

Dr. Melfi's therapist told her sociopaths feed off of therapy. She was not happy to hear that news after treating Tony for 5 years.

I couldn't believe Carm went off on Tony's family like that.

Only two episodes left and I have no idea what is going to happen.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Notes On A Scandal, The Spring '07 Workout Playlist


Judi Dench is a bad ass. Ms. Blanchett was also outstanding. So well written with some of the most scathing lines since ALL ABOUT EVE. The object of Ms. Blanchett's affection was gorgeous. That said, her actions were completely inappropiate.




Per Ms. Adventures and Gibber's request here is my Spring '07 Workout playlist:

The New Workout Plan/ Kanye West (ironic, no?)
Tell Me Something Good/ Chaka Khan & Rufus
Round & Round/ Hi-Tek Feat. Jonell
The Weekend/ Michael Gray
Jump (Axwell Remix)/ Madonna
World,Hold On/ Bob Sinclar
Change For Me/ Osunlade Presents Erro
Amora, Amor/ Bob Sinclar
The Look of Love/ ABC
Outta Space (Meitz Remix Dub/) Daniel Paul
Love On My Mind (Club Mix)/ Freemasons
MJB Da MVP/ Mary J. Blige
Remind Me (Radio Edit)/ Royksopp (the song from the Geico commercial)
Senamou (c'est l'amour)/ Angélique Kidjo, featuring Amadou & Mariam
Pass the Courvoisier (Clean)/ Busta Rhymes
Rehab/ Amy Winehouse


Two songs, Change for Me and Outta Space are from a great CD called "For Those Who Like To Get Down" by Margues Wyatt. My former spinning teacher played Change for Me in class and I had to buy the CD from Amazon.com.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

A letter to my iPod


Dear Red iPod,

It's great that some of the money used to purchase you goes to the Global Fund to help fight AIDS. Plus, the color is so pretty.

I don't know what took so long for us to meet. Oh yes, I just remembered, my broke ass had no money. You have changed my life for the better. How can something so small as a Nano, bring me such joy?

I used to get bored on the treadmill. I could barely stay on for 20 minutes. There is only so much E! television one can watch at the gym. Now, thanks to you I can listen to my custom made "Spring '07 workout" playlist. At the end of a great 50 minutes workout, I was sad it was over. Working out longer will improve my physical and mental health. I didn't realize when I walked into Santa Monica Mac store, it would add years to my life.

I am able to get rid of the CDs I held on to for only 1 or 2 tracks. I sold those. Wow, Red iPod you have brought material riches into my life as well.

My sister warned me not to go on iTunes too often. She is right. I went to buy one song, and 25 songs later I was still buying. I wish I could quit you Red iPod but I can't.

sincerely,

your biggest fan

Thick marine layer (aka June Gloom)

We are really socked in today. Hopefully the marine layer will burn off and the sun will come out later. I have no idea what to wear when it's this chilly in the morning.

While it may not rain often in Southern California, this June gloom phenomenon (which happens year around) is dreary.

This time last year I was sitting in my apartment in Trastevere. Good times.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Oh my god...poor Paris

Excuse me for not commenting earlier on the biggest news story of our times. The war, the Sudan, the election, global warming all this pales in comparison to the story dominating the local (and some national news), Ms. Hilton going to jail.

She clearly has a new lawyer advising her. Before she was saying the judge who sentenced her to 45 days in jail was unfair. Her mother went off on the judge. Mama Hilton sees her daughter as a poor victim, not someone who broke the law. This did not play well with the public because we all know if any of us were arrested TWICE for driving with a suspended license ( the license was suspended for a D.U.I. in the first place) we would in major trouble. Saying you didn't know you couldn't drive with a suspended license, is not a good excuse.

The L.A. county jail is no joke. Not sure if she will serve the full term, since the place is so over-crowded. If Paris had taken the suspension seriously she wouldn't have this problem. Instead she assumed the law didn't apply to her because she hot and rich. I still for the life of me can't figure out why this person is so popular and esp. why young girls see her and her equally clueless friend, Nicole as role models.

One of my producer friends says P. is actually very smart and this is all an act. I don't believe it. First of all, I don't think people should be famous for being famous. Second, that sex tape was vile. Yes, I saw during a pitch meeting (only in Hollywood would that not be considered inappropiate). I was sitting there, the only woman in the room and the exec put it in. I thought it would be a grainy unexplicit thing. The tape was full on hard core porn. It was also boring and not sexy. If that was my child I would have at least cut her allowance and insisted she go volunteer somewhere. Instead P. had no shame and made money off the tape.

Ms. Hilton has been busted twice for using racial slurs in public. Who knows what she says in private. I know Nicole thinks she's white (on one official doc, she is listed as black, on another white) but she's not. I guess she thinks Paris is not talking about her or the black parents (Lionel Richie formely of the funk group The Commodores) who raised her.

Paris is supposed to report to jail next month. No hair extensions, no make-up, no cell phones etc. but you know, Entertainment Tonight, US magazine etc. is going to report on this like it's the presidential election. When she gets out she will be even more famous. Great.

One of my friends said they wished the Taliban would take her ass out. LOL!!

Monday, May 14, 2007

The Sopranos

spoilers below:




R.I.P Christopher Moltisanti

I couldn't believe it when Tony killed Christoper! I was screaming noooooo. Very Shakespearean. When Tony saw how the branch demolished the baby seat, he was done with Chrissy. Michael Imperioli played the hell out of that role.

I think the last three episodes are going to be very dark.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

New strike terms

A very wise friend said to me last night saying I'm on strike is a negative thing. She brought up the massive supermarket strike that took place in L.A. a couple years ago. We, along with many other people, did not step foot into a Vons, Pavilions or Ralphs until it was over. My friend said I need to be "open for business 24/7." :)

I hear what she is saying but I can't negotiate with only myself. I did notice in NYC and Rome conditions improved greatly.

However, in the spirit of turing a negative into a positive and trying to live in the moment, I will at least sit at the bargaining table. I strongly believe these steps will lead to a positive end of the strike.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Live Free or Die Hard

Yippee Ki Ay M.F.!! I swear it's the early 80's. Bruce Willis is on the cover of VANITY FAIR, the billboards for Die Hard are everywhere, and INDIANA JONES starts shooting this summer.

I have no idea is Die Hard 4 is any good but that title kicks ass. It's so over the top and gung-ho, I love it.

I saw several billboards DH4 on the way to my last Jr. League Provisional Advisors meeeting in Santa Monica. We met at the Bodega Bar (Broadwy and Lincoln). Cool little spot, nice vibe. I enjoyed my assignment and was flattered I was nominated for the position but I am so glad it's over. I don't know what I was smoking trying to take on that much work given my schedule.

I told one of the leaders I wanted to just be a committee member next year.

We had a meeting with the director and producer of our project yesterday afternoon. It was my first time meeting the producer. I was in NYC for Tribeca when he met with our team. It went really well. I was so stressed out about it earlier in the week. My bosses said I was the point person for our company and will be the producer going on location. It's going to get very hectic in about a month but looking forward to it.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

A cure for the summertime blues

I need a cure.

I met a friend on Sunday from Italian class to practice (after a rocky start, words started to come back to me) and she asked me if I was looking forward to the summer. I told her summer is the toughest time for me in L.A. She was surprised.

I used to think my summer funk was crazy. While I was in NYC the other week, I was talking to a friend who moved back to NYC after living in L.A. for 8 years. She told me she used to get really depressed during the summers. Now she can't wait. She's renting a house in the Hamptons this year.

I did go to the beach a couple of times during my summers here. I pack my car with a chair and umbrella, grab scripts and head to Zuma. The drive up PCH is pretty. I have also been to a couple birthday parties in Malibu.

I miss the community feeling of Sag Harbor, 'the Shore' or Fire Island. Before I moved to Los Angeles, a friend (a native Angeleno who lived in NYC) rented a house with two couples in a small villiage on Fire Island. You can't bring cars on the Isand and it's accessible by ferry. It was the most relaxing weekend get away. We were far from the day trippers section, Oceanside and the Pines which is the happening gay area. There was really nothing to do but sit on the beach, hike, read, eat, drink and talk. I met some of my closest friends that summer. The guests were eclectic and interesting, a fashion designer, a documentary filmmaker, an exec at a non-profit, a woman who is now a senior editor at Vogue. We would visit one of our friend's parents which how we ended up spending a Friday night playing charades with the 60 plus crowd.

At sundown people go the litlle pizza place by the dock, get a slice, a beer and talk to the neighbors/meet friends arriving. Once the sun sets everyone claps. Those old school red wagons were very popular on the island to cart groceries from the market or young kids. Sunday night we would take the last ferry out, then the train, arriving back in NYC at Penn Station. On Monday I would walk into work feeling like I had a true mini-break.

Other summers the same friend rented a place in Sag Harbor. Sag Harbor is great because it's not so crazy as other parts of the Hamptons. There isn't really a scene, it's just a cute villiage. People are friendly and some of the nearby beaches are just gorgeous. You didn't have to be rich to get out of town. Assistants or poorly paid jr. media execs would do shares in houses. One year my sister and I drove out to East Hampton. I still think about that market in Amagansett.

Staying in the city on weekends was also fun because almost everyone cleared out. No lines at the movies, museums or the supermarkets. I would walk uptown to Central Park or the Met and afterwards just sit on the steps and people watch. A perfect day of doing nothing.

I thought maybe the culture out here was different since most people live in houses. They didn't feel the need to get out of an apartment. However, when we lived in the suburbs most of our neighbors rented or owned houses at "the shore". Every town had it's own vibe. Bayhead was stupid wealthy and kinda Waspy, Long Beach Isand (LBI) cool for families, certain beaches were "the tacky non-ironic beaches". The further south in Jersey you went, the beaches became more Philly friendly. This presented a problem when discussing things like football (Giants vs Eagles). My family went to the Caribbean mostly but we did go to Ocean Grove a couple times. The first week of school, my classmates would go on and on about their shore romances.

I will not go through the summertime blues this year. Hopefully I will be in production. Out of town shooting is usually a 6- day week. Working 16 hours a day plus trying to write an hour before going to set will give me little time to get sad about anything. (like the fact that almost half the year is gone, and I still haven't been on a single date).

If for some reason the movie falls apart, I am going to try and be more social this summer. Maybe I can get a group to the beach for a cookout or something. I can hear the moaning already, "I have scripts to read," "I don't want to drive that far west", "I'm going to be in the office all weekend". I not trying to hear any excuses. Some of these same friends complain they don't have a life. Well, it's time for us to change that.

I can't put my life on hold until I move to Rome, who knows when that will be?

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Scary fire in Griffith Park

I was at work yesterday looking at the huge flames rage behind the iconic Griffith Park Observatory. By the time I left the office the fire seemed to be contained, it was no longer breaking news and the smoke was better.

After dinner, I got to work but was having a hard time making through a blah script. Turned on the TV...what the heck happened. The fire was moving away from the Observatory but now had spread to over 600 acres and was very close to homes in the Hollywood Hills.

I called my boss who lives west of the fires in the Hills to see if they still had power. The firefighters battled the fire all night using the big water dumping helicopters (very dangerous because of not being to see power lines) and this morning the fire is 40% contained and no homes were destroyed. Some people are still not able to return home. Last 300 people where told to leave and only 12 refused.

The terrain in that area up the homes is very, very rugged and dry. The house below are expensive. The local councilman said Dante's View ( a cool garden/lookout) was gone. The deer and coyotes were trying to flee the flames. There are also stables up there.

They are not sure how the fire started but one theory is: a homeless man fell asleep while smoking. He is still in the hospital. Incredible to think one tiny little cigarette could cause so much damage.

I was planning to going hiking this weekend (it's going to cool down starting tomorrow) at Ruynon Canyon. I may gave to go out toward the beach instead. The air quality, not great to begin with, is going to be very bad.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Do I need really need air conditioning in Southern California?

I asked myself that question when my mechanic told me the cost to repair my A/C was $1200 ($1500) without the discount. I have a major electrical problem and several parts have to be replaced. This was an unexpected expense. It was almost a 100 degrees yesterday. I have to man up and just pay.

Instead of obsessing about what I could use the $1200 for (a plane ticket home, a printer/digital camera, a new sofa, shoes etc.) I was thankful I had the money to pay for it. I was a little sad to use the last chunk of my Christmas gift which I had set aside for a trip this fall and some of the "liquidated wedding fund".

To me $1200 is a lot of money but I won't let this budget hiccup ruin my day, week, month or year. My dad likes to say "it's only money". Of course it is easier to see the world this way when you have it. However, as I get older I get what he is saying.

I was watching ABC News last night and they were interviewing the victims of the Greensburg, KS tornado. The storm wiped out 95% of the town. Were it not for the warning sirens there would have been more deaths. One woman lost everything, I mean every single thing that was in her house and the house were gone. She had nothing. She looked at the camera and said she was thankful to be alive and she would rebuild.

Insurance can cover material things but all the photos, sentimental belongings, etc. losing those items must be heartbreaking.

Monday, May 07, 2007

My first meme tag

Cherrye tagged me. Here we go:


Four jobs I've had
1. Congressional aide
2. Campaign staffer
3. Assistant in the event dept. at the Carrier Dome (work study, baby)
4. Waitress at Cosmos, Marshall Street, Syracuse NY

Four movies I can watch over and over (okay I really can't narrow it down to 4 but I'll try)
1. The Godfather 1 & 2
2. Out of Sight
3. La Finestra di Fronte (Facing Windows)
4. All About Eve

Four places I have lived
1.New York City
2. Verona, N.J.
3. Austin, TX
4. Washington, DC

Four television shows I love to watch
1. What Not to Wear (british and american vesions)
2. Law and Order (the Chris Noth years)
3. Everyday Italian
4. BBC World News

Four places I have been on vacation
1. Itlay
2.Paris, France
3. London, England
4. Anguilla, B.W.I ( I don't count going to St. Martin as a vacation) :)

Four of my favorite dishes (only four?!)
1. my mom's west indian dishes (fried plantians, beans and rice, red snapper, johnnycakes etc)
2. Gncocchi at La Buca
3. Linguine con Vongole (linguine and clams)
4. A really good steak

Four websites I visit daily
1. Hollywood elsewhere
2. New York Times
3. Trip advisor.com
4. Google

Four places I would rather be right now
1. Rome, Italy, eating a gelato sitting in Piazza Navona
2. Chilling with my family on the beach, Le Galion, French St. Martin while drinking an ice cold margarita and eating the awesome chicken sandwich. The bread alone is work the $1300 airfare.
3. Hiking in Positano
4. The garden at the MOMA (Museum of Modern Art), NYC with my friends.

I am going to tag Delina, Shelley and Sara (let me know if you are down for the meme). I know Tracie B has been tagged already.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Mestolando, Chocolate and Zucchini

First thanks to everyone who sent in their favorite music memories.

I first read about Mestolando,HERE , on Chris and Erins's blog HERE. I can't wait to try some of these recipes. The site is run by Claudia and Brian. Claudia is a native Florentine who lived in the U.S. for five years. Brian is an expat living in Florence.

Another recent blog discovery is Chocolate and Zucchini,HERE . I heard about it when reading about upcoming cookbooks. I swear I wasn't going to buy any more this year but I might have to get this one next week. Clotilde Dusoulier is a 27 year-old Parisian woman who lives in Montmartre. She lived in the Bay Area after college and moved back to Paris a few years ago.

Buon appetito.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Billy Joel's THE STRANGER

I seem to have a gift for remembering useless information. There is a station in L.A. called Jack FM which plays an eclectic mix of music. I was listening to Steve Wonder's "Superstition" then "Only The Good Die Young" came on.

Seton Hall University, a Catholic college, was not far from where I grew up. They had a great radio station. When I heard the Billy Joel song yesterday, I remembered there was a big controversy regarding the lyrics. It was on the local news and in the papers. Would the DJs be able to play a song with the lyrics "Come out Virginia. Don't make wait. You Catholic girls start much too late"? Yes, things were more innocent then. If the song was released today, I'm sure the lyrics would be much worse and the song would get airplay no problem.

I was a little young when the album (there were no CDs in 1977) came out, but my friend's older siblings all had it. I own the CD and play it often, I am PCB Billy Joel fan, (that would be Pre Christine Brinkley). I think the biggest single off the album was "Just The Way You Are". I always liked "She's Always a Woman". Could you imagine a man writing those word about you? I believe he wrote the song about a girlfriend. "Movin' Out", "Scences From An Italian Restaurant", and "The Stranger"' seem so NY/NJ to me.

When I got to college a student from "do or die Bed-Sty" said to me "Yo, WTF is up with your music?" I was so naive. I didn't think anything was wrong with playing U.T.F.O. and Mr. Joel. LOL

Would love to hear from other bloggers/posters what songs bring back random memories.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

This Year You Write Your Novel by Walter Mosley

Walter Mosley is one of my favorite writers and this book is a must read for anyone who is interested in writing. The slim book, 103 pages, is packed with useful and inspirational information. For those who have a MFA it might seem like common sense but I enjoy reading how talented writers approach their craft.

One thing he said, which I have heard several times, is writers write. Every single day (does blogging count?). I know so many film execs who say they know they can write a script (you know, 'cause it's so easy!) but don't have the time. A writer has to write, they make the time. They are not doing it so they can sell a spec script to make a ton of money.... that person is a hack. Of course there is nothing wrong with being a well paid hack, if that is your goal but it's a tough group to break into. On the other hand strong, solid good writing will find an audience sooner or later. Sometimes a writer might write a script that does make a ton of money but the original goal was to tell a story.

Hopefully I will be getting my editorial report next week. I am looking forward to getting back into my novel. In the meantime, I am going to read Mr. Mosley's book again.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

"You know we don't use tokens anymore, right?"

This is what one of my friends said to me when I referred to a Metrocard as a token. I haven't been on a NYC subway in so long, I went directly to the booth to purchase a Metrocard. The lady on duty looked at me like I was stupid and pointed to a machine. I kept trying to put my money in the slot and nothing happened. I asked a man how did the machine work. He sighed and pressed the right buttons.

Sunday a.m. went one of my favorites, The Coffee Shop (Union Square) for breakfast. My sister and two friends were there. Hilarious. We got into a huge debate about the Alec Baldwin backlash. My sister and I walked over to Barnes and Nobel then up Broadway.

I continue all the way to Bryant Park. I really like that park. During the summer HBO sponsors movies in the park. Very fun. I met another friend at The Grill (Bryant Park) and her new boyfriend. He is fantastic and my friend, (another one who abandoned me in L.A. to move back to New York) is doing really well. Food was yummy and I bet in nice weather it's a great place to sit outside.

I went back downtown, this time getting on the subway no problem. There was a man walking back and forth singing really badly asking for change. Thank god I only had a few stops. I met up with a friend then went to another screening that shall remain nameless. I had read the script and passed on it. Did not like the movie. My friend and I skipped the after party and went to dinner at Pepolino (sp?, West Broadway, just south of Canal). We didn't have a specific restaurant in mind but it looked good. This one thing I like about cities where people walk. You don't have to have a specific destination in mind and can discover new things.

I had to get up early for my flight so we made it an early night. My hotel was only a few blocks from Little Italy. I went to Ferrara, the oldest pasticceria in America (founded 1892). The place was packed. The takeout line was long, as people ordered cannoli and biscotti. I noticed they also had that pasty I saw all over Naples, sfogliatella.

Speaking of Italian, I heard more of it in 4 days being downtown then I do in a year out here. Some were tourists but most I guess live/work in the area. There are many high end Italian design and funiture stores in Soho/Tribeca.

It's interesting New Yorkers have a reputation for being rude. While they might be blunt and I find the majority friendly and more importanly not fake. Everyone is not dressed the same. Walking around I loved hearing the different accents. West Indian, African, Staten Island, Brooklynese, Chinese etc. I missed the sense of humor. For a writer, walking around and hearing how people talk is priceless.

It was a short trip but a great one.

Film, Friends, Food, Fun

I am back from my trip and exhausted. I saw a few good films (more on that later), had productive meetings and a very good time with some old friends.

I will say, being in NYC brought "my sexy back." I had to crack up laughing several times at some of the lines men were throwing my way.

Thursday night met a friend at Bar Pitti (Bleecker and Ave. of the Americas, aka 6th ave.). I had heard mixed things about this place next door to the infamous Da Silvano. Maybe the trick is to go early. The food was delicious and the service good. It isn't a place to linger. They do turn over the tables quickly. Anyway it was great to see JCinNYC. Very cool woman with exceptional tastes in music. :)

Friday's weather was not good, rained most of the day. For lunch I went to Sant Ambroeus (Perry and W. 4th). The orginal is in Milan and the first one opened on the Upper East Side. I heard that one is very, well, Upper East Side. My lunch (penne with Bolognese sauce), was very tasty. I loved the decor and the vibe. I stayed and read a script, everyone was very friendly. After my filmmaker meetings I met a friend at Pescetore (51 & 2nd). We met in DC over 16 years ago. She is married with two boys and is one of the smartest and funniest women I know. She is also stunning but I won't hold it against her. She has a very intense job (a lawyer) and still manages to have a life. I don't have kids and can barely find time to do my laundry. Over very good fish and a bottle of wine we caught up and laughed our asses off. She told me living in L.A. has warped my brain (how I see myself) and I need to move before it's too late. I heard that a couple times over the last four days. Ha.

Saturday brunch with my sister at Bubby's (Houston and No. Moore). I used to love this place but I do think it's overpriced. Come on $25 for breakfast and all I had were some damn pancakes? I had my last JFK jr. sighting there. He lived around the corner and used to come in there all the time, when it was smaller and more of a local spot. He was a stunning man. One of my friends worked on a fundraiser with him and said he was so nice and down to earth. Now Bubby's is twice the size and always crowded. I will have to find another brunch place.

I saw Julie Delpy's movie 2 DAYS IN PARIS. Very funny! She wrote, directed, edited and scored the movie. Not sure when it's coming out but it does have distribution. Adam Goldberg plays her boyfriend and her real parents (big actors in France) play her parents. On the way back to New York City from a vacation in Venice, they stop by her Paris apartment. She lives right upstairs from her parents. This doesn't sit too well with her boyfriend, nor does the fact that she is still friends with her ex-lovers/boyfriends. There are language barriers, the movie pokes fun at American and French stereotypes and Delpy and Goldberg are great together.

I also saw a doc directed by Michael Apted called THE POWER OF THE GAME. It was the priemere and distributors were invited. I hope someone picks it up. I enjoyed it. The doc follows serveral teamns/people to the 2006 World Cup. One of the most fascinating stories was about a female sports journalist from Tehran. In Iran women are not allowed to go to the stadiums to see men play. Apted also spent a lot of time in South Africa and spoke to the soccer and government officials about what hosting the games means to their country.

Unfortunately, one of the American officials sounded like a jack ass when he bragged how they manipulated the tickets for the Mexico vs. Untied States qualifying game. When Mexico plays against the U.S. in Los Angeles, out of 70,000 fans, more than 60,000 are rooting for Mexico. So they moved the game to Ohio and did something funky with the tickets.

Saturday night, in NYC? Amazing. I went to the after party at Tribeca Grand with a friend. She is the one who used to live near me out here then abandoned me and moved back to NYC. (ha) We were going to go to dinner but the food was surprisingly good at the party and there was open bar. One of my former co-workers during my NYC days and a good friend was working the party and came to chat with us for a while. An agent from William Morris met us, then we went to the Soho Grand to pick up a friend who just arrived in from L.A. for the festival. As we waited for her Amy Winehouse walked in to check in. She is tiiiiiny! Big hair very petite.

The four of us walked over to Lucky Strike (Grand and West Broadway) one of my old stomping grounds. Years later, it's still going strong. I had some proscecco and fries. Maybe I shouldn't have had that last glass of alcohol. I had 2 and 1/2 glasses of wine at the party.

We talked for hours and had an Andy Garcia sighting (he is staring in one of the movies showing at the festival). It was a long day.

I need to get back to unpacking. I'll wrap up tomorrow.