Thursday, October 28, 2010

Run, don't walk to Beppe E I Suoi Formaggi

Katie Parla wrote about this new cheese shop in the Jewish Ghetto.

Then Erica mentioned she had stopped by the store as well.

This store is going to be a problem.

I went there today to buy some robiola. The co-owner Francesco was so friendly. Next thing I know, I walked out with brie, the robiola, some kind of tartufo (truffles) cheese, a skinny long link of sausage and a bottle of Dolcetto d'Abla from the Piemonte region.

The store is not quite finished yet, photos still need to be hung, but if you like or love cheese (or wine from Piemonte or France) it a must.

The prices are moderate but the quality is very, very high. I spent 25 euros more than what I had intended to spend. I kind of wish I didn't know about this store. Katie Parla, I'm salty with you!

Her post (see link above) has photos. Do not read if you're hungry.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

NYC's Magnolia Bakery has opened a bakery in L.A.

Back home in Rome.

My trip to L.A. (my first to the States since moving aboard) was very productive. I will write later about the whole "you need to move back for your career" advice I received.

I feel like I gained at least half the weight I lost. I went a little bananas with the junk food.

My former co-workers took me to lunch at the amazing sushi restaurant, Izaka-ya by Katsu-ya, on 3rd street. George Clooney's girl friend Elisabetta Canalis was at the table next to us. She's stunning in person. As is Kelly Osborne who was with her mother and brother at the table behind us. Has Kelly spoken about her weight loss? It seems like she's everywhere lately.

After lunch we walked up the corner to Magnolia Bakery. The bakery was one of my favorite places in NYC. This branch opened a few months ago in a former dry cleaning store.

If I still lived in L.A. I would probably eat a cupcake, a slice of cake or the banana pudding everyday as it's walk distance from my old apartment. Delicious.

It smelled so good in there.


I really like the decor. This shade of blue is very pretty.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Flashback Friday - The Mamas & The Papas "California Dreamin'"

I heard this song the other day zipping down Olympic Blvd. The weather has been cold, foggy, and rainy. I forgot how thick the marine layer can be.

I love the harmony in this song. Simply gorgeous.

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

"WTF. Are you aging backwards?!"

A producer asked me that question. I feel like Benjamin Button.

Here are some more quotes from my L.A. trip:

"If you move back to L.A. I will kick your ass."

"Why do you look younger?" Studio executive.
"Because she moved out of this crazy ass city," Agent.

"You haven't aged at all."

"How is it possible you've lost weight eating pasta?"

"Are you dating?"

"Who are you dating?"

"Do you have a hot lover?"

"What's up with the sexy times?"

"I like your hair. You found a hairdresser in Rome who knows how to cut black hair?"

"Do you speak Italian?"

"Tell me what do you do everyday." (I heard that one a lot)

"Do you miss L.A.?"

"What do you eat?"

"Are you in love...what's his name?"

"How do Italian women wear high heels on cobble stone streets?"

"You're glowing."

"I hate you."

Friday, October 15, 2010

Flashback Friday - Swimming With Sharks

Perhaps this movie from 1994 should be filed under documentary.

Check out Benecio in one of his first roles.

The shoulder pads are huge.

Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Randomissimo - Hollywood Edition

Ciao Bloggisti from "The Big Orange". Hmmm, I was never a fan of that nickname.

This is my first trip back to America since moving to Rome. Many expat friends told me I would have reverse culture shock. However, other than almost passing out in the supermarkets (more on that later) and the strangeness of not hearing Italian all the time, it feels like I never left. The traffic still sucks, people still complain about the "biz", and barely anyone walks on the street.

With three hours of arriving at L.A.X. I saw my former boss in Beverly Hills. I went to buy a phone at AT&T on Santa Monica Blvd and Bedford. As I crossed the intersection, a car beeped at me. I thought the driver was honking at the lady next to me who had a ton of cleavage going on, so I ignored them. Then someone rolled down the window and said my name. It was Don Cheadle in the back seat. Random.

You know you're on the West Side in L.A. when there's Valet Parking at a supermarket. That the store is already in a mall with plenty of parking and there's still Valet, says a lot.

I walked into Gelson's and almost passed out (same thing happened earlier at Ralphs). So big! All the choices! The fruit is perfectly lined up (and super expensive). I was paraphrasing Kanye in my head, "Yo Italy, I'mma let you finish but America has the best junk food of all time!"

Seriously, I forgot about the soda, chips, cookies aisle. Where did all these new products come from? There are like ten different versions of the Oreo cookie.

I bought the Entenmann's Raspberry Danish. It couldn't be helped. I was craving it a few weeks back. I was filled with joy as the lady rung it up. It takes so little to make me happy. It's kind of sad.

Within the first 24 hours of my arrival, I was told by two industry execs I need to move back to L.A. if I want to have a career in this business. Heavy thing to think about. Still processing.

Why the hell is there June Gloom in the middle of October? The marine layer is so thick.

Club Monaco, how I've missed you. I'm loving the new items for fall.

The friend I'm staying with went with me to Club Monaco and told me I need to accept that I have lost weight since moving to Italy. I keep trying on clothes a size too big. She insisted I go down a size. She was right.

I have no money yet I went to J. Crew and other places anyway (I'll do a Lo Shopping post later) as I have no clothes. I have a zillion meetings, lunches, dinners and I can't be looking crazy. I'm justify the spending the money as early Christmas present. Plus I'm super stressed about my career (especially after the "you need to move back" comment) and some retail therapy was needed ASAP.

I'm looking for a turban. Haven't found any.

Nobody flirts.

Mexican food, hello, I've missed you too.

Downtown L.A. more restaurants and services (supermarkets etc.) have opened in the last 2 1/2 years. I had a dinner meeting at a new place called Bottega Louis. It's Italian so I had a burger as I can eat Italian when I get home. The burger was amazing. More on that place in a upcoming food post.

The weaves are still out of control.

There is an Obika (an Italian restaurant based in Rome) in Century City Mall! I can't believe it. It was packed at lunch time.

Traffic is still horrendous. Nobody should talk smack about drivers in Jersey until they have tried to go anywhere in Beverly Hills during the middle of the day. People, please use the freaking turn signal and get off your cellphones.

I was worried about driving as I haven't been behind the wheel in a year. It's fine and fun (when not sitting in traffic). I have an automatic. I can't imagine trying to tackle that hill at La Cienega and Sunset with a stick. I slide backwards with an automatic. Maybe next time, if the rental car company has them, I'll get a stick. I don't want to forget how to drive one after spending all that money at the L'Autoscuola.

I miss Rome.

Air France has great service.

Going through U.S. Customs was interesting. Very intense. We had to put all our bags on the ground so the cute security dog (a beagle) could sniff them. I was asked a bunch of questions. The officers were friendly but for foreign visitors it must be a pain to have to get your fingerprints scanned, etc.

The mood of the electorate is beyond angry. The mid-term elections are going to be brutal.

There's a lot of Spanish spoke in Los Angeles. Thanks to learning Italian I can understand some of it.

I met a black security guard named O.J. I feel bad for brotherman.

Century City Mall, not as amazing as Short Hills (Jersey for the win) but it's a darn good mall.

All the leaf blowers, that sound is so L.A. to me.

Trying not to have a panic attack about my career. Could I move back? I have a lot to think about on this trip.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Flashback Friday - Run-DMC - Peter Piper

Man, do I feel old. This song came out 25 years ago.

I saw the Jimmy Fallon/Justin Timberlake clip of the hip-hop medley they did backed by The Roots. Priceless.

One of the songs was this classic. Good times. Remember those huge glasses? I think they're coming back.

RIP Jam Master J.

Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

I'm going to rebuild my wardrobe (eventually). My Style Inspiration: Shala Monroque

Despite having no money, I've been pulling photos from magazines and fashion/design blogs as I dream about rebuilding my wardrobe.

I was having dinner with an expat friend. Like me, she also lived in Los Angeles before moving to Rome. I told her most of my clothes are too casual for Rome and for my age.

When I moved to Los Angeles from New York City, I had a lot of black (of course) and winter clothes in my closet. It was all wrong for sunny Southern California.

The style of the two coasts couldn't be more different. However, one positive thing about moving West was, I started to add more color to my wardrobe. With my dark complexion certain brights, yellows, blues, greens, really pop. When I would wear white (rare as it gets dirty quickly) my friends/colleagues would always compliment me.

Black was a uniform for me and my co-workers when I lived in NYC. It was easy and flattering (so I thought).

My L.A. wardrobe was all over the map and not in a good way. My body and L.A. "fashion" do not mix. I can't wear cute cammies over skinny jeans as my large breasts are real and therefore I need a bra. I think it's weird to see women in their 50s dressing like teenagers. I get it though. The pressure in L.A. to look like a member of "The Hills" is unrelenting.

Now, I'm ten years older and living in a city that's closer to NYC than L.A. when it comes to fashion. I have yet to see an Italian woman or man in the supermarket wearing pajama bottoms.

Thanks to the "Jersey Shore", people think people from Jersey dress like Snooki and Jwwow (even though both of them are from Upstate New York).

That was not the case in Verona, New Jersey, where I went to junior high and high school. It was the 80s and the most popular style was preppy. Sure there were a few girls who had super big hair but looking through my yearbook, there was a lot of L.L. Bean and Izod. And the Madonna influence. Some girls would combine both.

Someone said "Style is what you have, not what you buy." Fashion is different from style. A stylish persons looks great regardless of what is going on in fashion. They know what looks good on their body.

I wasn't sure what the hell my style was when was in L.A. During the move to Rome I had to seriously downsize. Then I realized my style is Classic/Eclectic, bigger emphasis on Classic. While I can appreciate minimalism, it doesn't work for my short, curvy body. Bohemian can dwarf me, or make me look like I'm wearing a costume.

As I get older I have more confidence to embrace color and my Caribbean roots have definitely influenced me. This bring me to Ms. Monroque. It seems like she's everywhere lately. Vogue (American and international editions), Harper's Bazaar, fashion blogs, etc.

Shala's from St. Lucia and moved to New York ten years ago. The editor-at-large of POP Magazine has great style. She was rocking turbans before they became "on trend". I adore turbans and wanted to get one for years but worried I would look like Mrs. Roeper. Having a short natural, there are days I am so sick of my hair.

I would wear scarves once in a while in L.A. but felt like I stood out too much. Now I don't care. I don't have a weave so I will never fit in there anyway.

Shala travels a lot for work and was the talk of the town during last year's fashion weeks. Her boyfriend is influential art dealer Larry Gagosian.

It's fantastic how she mixes high end designers like Prada and Hermes with vintage she finds on Ebay.

Here's a LINK to the Style Spotlight blog with some photos.

I love, love, love, the white and yellow Prada skirt, the red dress and the black outfit at the top of the page.

I started to write down the things I need to get my wardrobe together. Number one is a single-breasted trench coat. They're not easy to find and I can't wear double-breasted. Wait, I'm broke, I can't buy one now anyway.

Also, I'm going figure out how to wear heels on cobblestone streets. I have a few pairs of great shoes I don't wear in Rome. They're just sitting there in their boxes. Sad.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Fatamorgana Gelateria in Prati...I DIE!

Yes, I had to channel Rachel Zoe. It's that good.

Last week my friend Annie, concerned about my mental health, picked me up on her scooter and we went to try out the gelateria several friends have raved about.

I had an hour or so before a conference call with my manager regarding the latest draft of my spec. It felt good to actually leave my apartment.

It's funny that my favorite gelato places in Rome are all in Prati. So despite living within walking distance of the San Crispino by the Pantheon, I find myself in super residential Prati (not close to my house at all) eating gelato.

Fatamorgana is outstanding. It's fresh, made without preservatives and some of their flavors are very creative.

It was so delicious, Annie had to get two cones. The prices are cheaper than what you pay in the Center.

I didn't try the infamous Kentucky flavor as I'm more of a fruit person.

I will be back. It's located two blocks from the Trionfale Market and worth the schlep.

Via G. Bettolo, 7 (Prati)

I was overwhelmed by the choices. I went with one scoop of cherry and one scoop of blueberry cheesecake. Outstanding. I returned later in the week and had the vanilla with caramel. So freaking good.

Annie with her first cone. She had the Greek yogurt with Cacao. I'm going to get that next time if they have it.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Flashback Friday - R.I.P. Tony Curtis

Hollywood icon Tony Curtis died yesterday at the age of 85. He acted in over 150 films and was an accomplished writer and painter.

SOME LIKE IT HOT is one of my favorite films. I'm also a big fan of the following: