Hello again….

It was brought to my attention this evening, at a musical benefit at Hank’s Saloon (oh, the ignorant years I spent NOT visiting Hank’s Saloon!), by a former UARTS classmate (did I ever think we’d be standing together at Hank’s Saloon, ten years ago??), that I have not been here in awhile. I have not updated this space in a long time. Since September, to be precise.

For those who follow along, read along, laugh at me, laugh with me, well, I am BACK. 

I’ve been busy. Really busy. Working and working and holiday-ing and (job) searching, and interviewing and meeting and dancing and cleaning (pencil shavings off of the gallery floors in the Met) and drinking (mostly ginger ale and seltzer, and a beer or two, when I catch that window of opportunity to have a beer) and crying (well, let’s be real) and probably not yelling as much as I should. Oh, and eating. Always eating. It’s my favorite thing to do, aside from riding the train, which is my #1 activity, most of the time.


Right before Christmas, I finally had the opportunity to visit the Montauk Club. A very good Park Slope friend very sweetly treated me to her membership privileges (and her fabulous company).


As a former stress smoker, I can honestly say these nuggets of sweetness and joy produce the same calming effect, minus the poison. And they make you smile! They really make you smile!


Waiting for a table with my darling Elle at Roberta’s, buzzed solely on ginger ale and happiness.


This came to my mailbox from Inwood. Inwood is a magical place, kind of like the Oz of Manhattan…


My aunt’s father was the coolest thing that ever happened in Williamsburg.


Stealing coffee, sighing, these sweaters worn without irony, a menorah=a very Long Christmas.


 Twenty years ago, the one on the left received a talking Barney the Dinosaur for Christmas. Oh, where does the time go??


There was one time when the lead singer of Man Man accused me of “being in jail.” I said “nope, I’ve just been back in Brooklyn.” That still makes me laugh, and I still find all of this rather amusing (and really awesome).



I got to spend the final moments of (surreal and wonderful) 2013 with this beautiful Mufasa-clad lady….and….


these two wonderfuls.


Three people who will always be at the top of my list.


Did you guys know it SNOWED? Prospect Park.


I walk by her all the time on my way to Graham Ave, but now when I see her starry, golden halo, I think of Sicily and I am so grateful for that memory/point of reference, that I honestly want to drop to my knees and say a “Hail Mary.”


I have a new roommate and a new bookshelf and Steph rearranged my books, and this is what I found the other day….my bookshelf is stellar.


This is NOT my bookshelf; just a few Park Slope treasures.


This is a photo of my twin sister, Roseann, on our (I think) 2nd birthday, with my uncle (the same person pictured above, in the fabulous sweater, only this is 26 years earlier). She’s going through a rough time lately, I have not seen her in over a year and I feel like there is nothing I can do to help her. That’s a terrible feeling.

I love this photo because it brings me back to a very simple place of happiness, and every time I look at it I remind myself that this sort of happiness is not impossible; I will have it again, and perhaps she will too.


And…speaking of simple happiness: I came across this one recently. Oh, the joy. At the very least, in 2014, I know how to dress myself! (Canarsie, circa summer 1992-1993. None of those clothes were mine).

Happy 2014, you bunch of gummi bears!



sicily. (end of summer).

Lately, when I am sitting on the G train, wondering what the hell happened to these last few months (wasn’t I just turning to a friend in a dark bar, whispering how I might go to Rome? didn’t my friends just get engaged?), I remember how only two short months ago I was wandering the streets of Palermo, Sicily. Oh where does the TIME go???

Palermo was crazy…crazy beautiful and crazy sad, but I feel so fortunate I was able to experience this particular sort of craziness. And four days in Palermo made me more grateful for my life in New York and everything I have here (which is a lot) than ever before. Utilizing any sort of public transportation in Sicily made me more grateful for the G/L/R trains than I ever thought I could be…I never thought I’d think of the G train as “efficient.”

One of the more disturbing  experiences I had was walking by this beautiful, grand theater, or opera house, and realizing the entire place had just been shut down (because there is no money to keep up such a place). One morning, the musicians were all assembled outside of the theater, playing in protest. I immediately thought of how I would feel upon exiting the G train at Fulton, and seeing the same thing at BAM. That made me feel really sad, but really grateful for what we have here in New York.

Sicily, in general, made me extra-grateful for a lot of things….BUT….the country by itself is a truly beautiful place and I still can’t believe I was actually there. Maybe it was another person named Deb?


Sicily! Oh, Sicilian airplanes. I may have had a *slight* panic attack on a Sicilian airplane.


The first thing we did in Sicily was make sure we had plenty of WINE. Because, you know, wine is hard to find in Italy…


Our accommodations in Palermo were not as grand as in Rome, so some of us did sleep on the floor…


One of the many stunningly beautiful portraits of Mary that can be found throughout the city; this one was right outside of the building where we were staying.


The view from our kitchen window in Palermo. It was a not so nice part of town, by the ports, and I mostly felt like a stupid American, but I am still glad I had this experience. That’s all.


I spotted this on a wall near one of the many churches I visited.


This photo barely does justice to the fabulously bawdy, completely ridiculous churches. If Catholic churches in Brooklyn looked more like this, maybe I’d actually show up to a Mass or two, heh.


Mary’s halo is made of glitter stars, and I thought the Catholic schoolgirl inside of me was going to EXPLODE WITH JOY.


A decidedly more “no-frills” Mary (in the train station).


We visited a botanic garden in Palermo; everything was dead or dying. It was a little sad. But these trees were still magnificent!


The boys were still intrigued with the dead plants….


And then we found some lovely turtles, in a pond. All of them came up to the water’s edge. They were very friendly!


We found the piers!


Sleeping stray dogs, of which there were many.


CEFALU! A beach town about an hour outside of Palermo. Certainly worth a ride on the Trenitalia….


Still my favorite photo of the Mediterranean. I was there. I was SO THERE.


We spent a lot of time eating (and drinking) under umbrellas.


One of the best afternoons of my entire life. Really. Really.


The table my aunt and I shared shortly before we left the beach.


Wheatpaste Jesus! This may have been the catalyst for my Bushwick remark, which my cousin will never, ever, ever as long as I live, let me live down.


A church in Cefalu.


Preparations for a festival, in Palermo.


The only appropriate way to spend eternity, I think.

AND…..then….after a plane ride back to Rome, then another plane ride to Germany, and finally, after a few glasses of airplane red wine + bad snacks + worse naps + two viewings of Working Girl, I made it to JFK; immediately after clearing Customs, I embarked on the second portion of my summer, the Fire Island/Cleveland part….celebrating the beautiful wedding of my beautiful friends, Gabriella and Irsten.


After three planes, two trains, finally there was a BOAT (leaving Bay Shore).


The oh so fancy Shay. I never thought that scarf I swiped from Canarsie would get so much mileage….


Fire Island!


Oh, Long Island. Always breaking my heart!


We had PIZZA and RUM on the beach!


That smile was one of the best things about this entire summer. Totally.


We found SHARKS on the beach. They did not try to eat our pizza OR Angie, Gabriella’s sister…


This visit to Fire Island was actually my first-ever visit; growing up, we went to the Hamptons or sometimes New Jersey (for the beach). When I would dream of Fire Island, this is kind of exactly what I thought it would look like.


Fancy ladies!


DELIA DELIA DELIA. I love this girl.  She is my favorite neighbor, and hands down the best person to run into on the G train.




Gabriella and Anait, at dinner (Anait doing her best Audrey!)


Oh Gawd! What a bachelorette!


I just love this face.


This very nice group of girls tipped the dudes driving the water taxis very nicely….


***It is VERY important to note that in between Fire Island and Cleveland I managed to get to Ruby’s on Coney Island, one of my most favorite places in the world, with Paulo, one of my most favorite humans in the world. We drank beer and got silly, except this year I didn’t go swimming and there were no police involved! Ha.***

And then….CLEVELAND. Stars and hearts and so much love.


One of the first things I did in Cleveland was visit an amazing thrift store with Angie, where we both bought vintage clutches for the wedding. The place was huge, and I could have spent DAYS just going through the dresses. Also, I found these OWLS, and they were just begging for a portrait!


Gabriella’s wonderful uncle, trying out different hair styles….


We were up late, finishing up the decorations! (Angie!)


The fruits of my labor. GLITTER HEARTS.


Gabriella and Irsten, before the rehearsal dinner, which was a traditional Chinese tea ceremony.


Serving the tea!


If I had to define “true love” with a photo, this could be it.


Not related to weddings, but this is a mostly terrible photo of a beautiful building, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland. Wish I would have had time to check it out!


We were well-stocked at ALL times.


My favorite member of the wedding party….


The beautiful, elegant, and generous Mama Mangino! I love this lady.


I am glad I took this one. Still my favorite.


Little sisters/iPhone wedding.


And what happened when the boys got to the limo…….


Post-wedding/Robertas birthday!


A years-long tradition with me and Mangino….


Elle and I, at her fabulous THEMED birthday party, on Troutman Street. I can’t believe it’s been TEN years since she sent me a postcard of the Brooklyn Bridge.


Nari had double the birthday fun, just like me….


Finally, finally got to light up those catbird Sparklettes!

What a summer……probably the busiest I’ll ever have, at least until I am someone’s Mom/dog Mom/caretaker or something like that….now, on to September,  and my favorite season. Ah, the hopefulness of fall…………

Among the ruins….

Oh, where to start….



We stayed in Trastevere, which is on the west bank of the Tiber and south of Vatican City. Our lovely apartment was right off of a lovely (but very noisy) piazza. This is an evening view from our living room. It still sort of blows my mind that I spent a week looking out of this window.



Steven cooked several amazing meals for us while we were staying in this apartment. He made home-made bruschetta with tomatoes that I will be dreaming about until I can taste those tomatoes again.

Since he bans me from the kitchen, my usual jobs of setting the table and washing the dishes after dinner did not change across the Atlantic.



My obligatory photo of a very delicious, substantial cappucino. I kind of wanted to sit at that cafe and drink ten more of these.



Roman version of the Bay Ridge original. We were having dinner at a trattoria near our apartment, and also where I had the best tomatoes of my entire life. I think I went to tomato heaven?



On a walk home one night, we came across this hospital. It looked deserted and empty, but I think it’s still in use. For some reason, all of the hospitals I saw in Rome seemed to be perpetually “closed.” Very creepy.


You have a lock on my heart. (According to my cousin, young Romans in love write each other’s names on padlocks, lock them to the bridge over the Tiber, then toss the key in the river). So romantic.



Ruins on our walk to the Colosseum. Note Mussolini’s building in the background….


Here is a better view. Fascism….completely terrifying.



More ruins. I think it would be fun to walk by something like this every day, you know, on your way to work or the drugstore.



Those cypress trees are really what I love best about this one. They are truly majestic in person.



THE COLOSSEUM. OMG. I really couldn’t say much more when I was looking at this. 



And another one….I wish I had taken more/better photos. But I was kind of in shock. HUMANS made this. A very, very long time ago.



This is even more silly than my “stamped Passport” photo. It wasn’t my idea. But one day, if I have human children (because I guess the dog children won’t be looking at photo albums) this will be one of the photos I show them from my very first trip to Europe.



This is a perfect photo of my aunt and I, except for those two CREEPS in the background. 



I came across a contemporary sculpture exhibit in the Forum. I thought it was really cool to see these sculptures among the ruins. I am not sure if this is something that happens frequently, but I like the idea.









It was hot and we really didn’t want to take this photo, but I still love it.



We visited a family friend’s apartment and met their beautiful dog, Sam. He was useful in aiding with “PD Separation Anxiety,” (PD, the family dog), which, according to my younger cousin, is a real thing.



We had wine and delicious snacks on their patio, before having an amazing dinner at a small trattoria near their apartment. This is the view from their apartment. It was beautiful. We also rode the bus from our neighborhood to theirs, and it was my favorite bus ride while in Rome.

And there will be more……….





Today was exceptionally beautiful, because it felt (and smelled) like early fall, and the children (and their caretakers) I guided through the Oceania and Modern galleries at the Met were exceptionally wonderful, and the chickpeas and kale I made for dinner tonight was exceptionally delicious, but mostly, it was a beautiful day because I visited the Whitney (albeit for an hour) with a woman I love, and we saw this exhibit. It was pretty great, but mostly because it included one of my favorites:



This piece means a lot to me, personally.

I’ve been in mad serious hearts with DW for almost two years now, when I discovered his journals at NYU’s Fales Library, when I was working on a project that ended up having little to do with him.

Elle said to me this afternoon: “I often think what would David do?” 

What would he be doing, if he were still here? At the very least, probably making Twitter a far more entertaining place…….

I wore sequins in the Vatican, and other things (Part One).

So, on June 30th, I embarked on my first international plane trip (yes, I was late to join this very fabulous party, but I say better late than never to the party!), and my first of EIGHT airplanes in less than a month. Eight airplanes.

New York; then to Germany; then to Rome; then to Palermo; then back to Rome; then to Germany again; then finally back to New York. Then a weekend on Fire Island, which involved no planes, but plenty of BOATS. Then, at the end of July, four glorious, sparkly, glittery, love-fun-food-filled days in Cleveland….then, finally, finally, home to Brooklyn.

I think I am going to start from the beginning; so, in case you’re interested, there will be several blog posts to come….


The catalyst for my Roman vacation was actually the occasion of my cousin Joseph’s high school graduation. So, I’ll start with this. Here we are at Areo, in Bay Ridge, celebrating on the day of his graduation, a week before we left for Rome. Can you tell how happy I am to be wearing sequins at my favorite restaurant in Bay Ridge, sitting next to my aunt? My aunt, Bay Ridge, and sequins have been consistently wonderful for the last 28 years.


This is now one of my most favorite photos ever, in the entire universe. I had had several glasses of wine and was probably going on about something silly, and Joe reached across the table and grabbed my hand, and I took this photo.

I think anyone who has known me for more than eight minutes knows how I feel about my darling boys; I know how lucky I am. Even if that means never having snacks, getting beat with pillows and (empty) plastic bottles and occasionally getting shoved into small spaces, because, you know, that’s funny. But seriously. I love this photo. We took the same photo in Rome, but I think I love the one from Brooklyn the best.


I thought I would need a shot of whiskey to sit on a plane for 10 hours, but it turns out I am REALLY good at that, or, you know, drinking wine, napping, reading Scott McClanahan and watching Working Girl, but in the SKY. Also, that amazing wallet/Passport case came courtesy of my BFF Heather Noonan and The Renegade Craft Fair, which is only fun when Heather is buying you PRESENTS.


My very stiff Passport was FINALLY stamped in Dusseldorf, Germany. This might be the silliest photo I took throughout my entire trip, but I couldn’t help myself. Finally!


This is not a particularly flattering photo of anyone, but I feel compelled to include it because I took it on the Trenitalia (which is really nothing like any train in the NYC tri-state area) moments after Steven (the one on the left) and I FOUND Joe (the one on the right), after several hours of confusing trans-Atlantic Facebook miscommunication, international text messages that were never received…to make a Long story short, NEVER leave baggage claim without everything, and that also means your traveling companions.

While Steven and I were running around Fiumicino Airport (all I will ever remember from this experience, aside from riding the Trenitalia three times in six hours are the words “Americano! Americano!” and a man with a bloody face inches from my face), Joe was apparently reading Kafka (so proud!) and befriending strangers from Miami who gave him an iPad to play with and lots of candy to eat (not too bad, right?).

But…we found him. Or he found us, and when we spotted him on the escalator, understandably furious and wearing a hoodie that was far too big for him, my first thought was that he looked so old, and it made me feel so old, older than the time I learned, last year, that he had had dinner with his friends on Bedford Ave, at NIGHT (that made me feel very old). It was very dramatic for a few hours, but a little drama is always more exciting, right?

first wine

And then…we had wine. This was actually my first glass of wine in Rome, actually before we found Joe, while I was convincing myself he had been kidnapped or something really horrible and Steven gleefully said to my aunt “Mom! This is JUST LIKE HOME ALONE!”

More to come…..and actual photos of things I did in Italy…….

Continue reading


In about three weeks, I am going to fly over the Atlantic for the first time in my almost 28 years. When I was a little girl, probably until about age 10, I am pretty sure I believed I would live in Canarsie forever, and maybe I’d take the L train into the city sometimes (I didn’t actually ride the L train, by myself, until I was almost 19, and in college in Philadelphia. At least the memory I can recall-the doors opening at Bedford Ave and I knew what that meant).

I’ve been having these (stress) dreams lately. I was in a sort of familiar room with a former colleague; he was chasing me around the room. I kept climbing on a chair to get away from him, but he kept getting at me, until he had me in his arms, and then slung over his back. I don’t know where we went, because I woke up.

I believe in you….


because even this ridiculous person can graduate from graduate school.

“I don’t feel like an American, I feel like a NY’er.”

The above quote is from one of my all time favorite filmmakers/artists,  Eric Mitchell. I love him so much, I once dedicated an entire blog post to him.

This morning, I was reading this, and it really made me smile because I love getting excited about reading books that are all about my favorite things. I am also currently reading this, and it is interesting to note how much I can relate to it. Maybe some things haven’t changed all that much since the 1930’s?

This is actually a belated Valentine post. I had kind of a shitty day yesterday, full of rain and tears and sick children and fights with cab drivers and days like that can make one think some awful things and maybe say some awful things and there are so many days when I curse every decision I have ever made, and the easy thing to do would be to let myself be consumed by the loneliness and the uncertainty and the meanness.

I have really, really good friends who design business cards for me and help me with my website even when they work 70 hours a week and eat scallion pancakes and drink wine with me and listen to me talk for too long and patiently let me change my work schedule and re-arrange my books by subject because I never will and talk to me for too long on Gchat and answer all of my long ridiculous emails and I know so many Moms in Park Slope who make tea for me and listen to me talk for too long and who give me cigarettes and really honest advice and earnestly take my business cards.

Some days, weeks, I feel very much alone. But I am very much not alone.

Also, kind of unrelated, but thank you Elle for posting this on your blog. I am getting the fuck over myself right now and posting this:

a history of telephones.

There are many reasons why I think I would’ve thrived in the earlier part of the 20th century, chief among them my inability to handle small, technological devices.

Full disclosure: Unlike many of my peers, I did not own a cell phone until my freshman year of college, in 2003. (Or have a driver’s license. In fact, I still don’t have a driver’s license. As someone recently said to me-today actually-“You had a single mother who didn’t want to deal with it.” That pretty much nails it. Moving on).

1. For most of my first two years of college, I owned a cellphone with a PRE-PAID plan. This mostly entailed me spending wads of twentys on “minutes” purchased at a CVS on Chestnut Street in downtown Philadelphia, likely while wearing ill-fitting aqua-blue sweatpants and guzzling Mountain Dew. That definitely happened. It hadn’t occurred to me yet that I could probably just pay a monthly bill and not wear pants.

2. In the fall of 2005, a difficult but beautiful period of my life, the pre-paid period finally came to a crashing end. I was stumbling (early-morning stumbling) UP my then-boss’s (now dear friend’s) steep, spiral 19th-century staircase, when my phone fell out of my hands and smashed to pieces. I pulled myself together and walked to the T-Mobile store on Walnut Street and finally figured out that I was capable of paying a phone bill.

3. 2006-2010: The number of flip phones I went through during this period is myriad. One fell out of my pocket as I rode my bike across Market Street, in Philadelphia. I think I misplaced one. There were so many. Finally, in 2010 (?), possibly early 2011, I made the leap to the Blackberry. It seemed uncomfortable and expensive at first, but I LOVED distracting myself with Facebook for the minutes it took the D train to rattle across the Manhattan Bridge. I loved that I could post angry, passive-aggressive Facebook updates while at work without having to actually get on a computer (this was a WHOLE new world for me).

But, mind you, for ME. I was totally aware and into that this was happening in the world, and completely embracing it, it just wasn’t happening in my life until then. Better late to the party than never is my motto!

2011: Following an awkward evening with a kind gentleman, I made the poor choice to treat myself to a cab on 14th and 1st. I still believe this was what the universe gave me for snubbing my beloved. For the first and only time in my cab-riding adult life, I got stuck with a real Travis Bickle-esque sociopath. It was terrifying. I remember toying with the idea of jumping out of a moving vehicle onto Essex Street, but decided in the moment that was riskier than staying in the cab. After I escaped, once we got over the bridge, amidst a flurry of obscenities and spitting, in my haste to exit, I realized, once I was safely in my apartment, that my phone, which had been sitting in my lap, was now making hundreds of dollars worth of phone calls to Egypt-as I later learned (I really, REALLY hope they were phone calls to Mom or Grandma).

With a few phone calls to customer service and some tears later, I had a new Blackberry and thankfully did not have to pay all of that massive phone bill (anyone going through my call logs of like, forever, will note that my most “international” phone call has been to friends with San Francisco area codes. (When my cousin lived in Rome, we totally called him huddled around the house phone, all taking turns, like he was away at war).

2012: Let’s fast forward to this afternoon. I am several weeks away from my MA degree, whatever that’s going to mean (aside from complicated customer service phone calls forever-regarding student loans, not cell phones), but regardless, it is one personal achievement that I am incredibly proud of and is all my own-when it happens. For the moment though, I am still getting there. Still working on it.

This afternoon, I was working and chatting with a classmate in the editing lab in the building on 13th Street. I left my station to use the bathroom and slipped my phone in my back pocket (as I often do). I will spare the grimy details, but I am now the proud owner of an Android phone. It doesn’t have buttons, which for me, is really exciting. But this wasn’t supposed to happen today. I am THREE weeks away from my official upgrade. I spent over $200 today in less than an hour. People with real mental illnesses do that with cheeseburgers or something. Or people like me, who at 27 years old still cannot properly handle mobile technology. At least I had the wherewithal to NOT take my external hard drive to the bathroom with me.

Maybe one day, when I am not riding the F train with three bags and a used copy of an AVID tutorial book, I will think long and hard about getting an iPhone. And then, after a long, careful thought process, I will slowly do it.

A few things I learned this week….

1. If you don’t know how to save something to a flash drive, you probably shouldn’t be running a business-of any kind-in 2012.

2. Just because you talk fast and wear ill-fitting clothing and work in a moderately-priced pizza restaurant/bar in a high-end neighborhood DOESN’T MEAN YOU CAN BE AN ASSHOLE. GUESS WHAT VOMIT FACE? REAL NEW YORKERS ARE ACTUALLY NICE PEOPLE AND HELP EACH OTHER OUT WHEN SHIT GETS REAL. Even if that means a dead cell phone and a kid that’s not mine whose mom is across the country.

3. Graduate program blogs/Facebook forums are meant to be POSITIVE places where students can reach out to friends, classmates, professors, acquaintances, etc about things like employment, events, software programs, etc. Completely unoriginal humor/sarcasm is not welcome. Nor is unsolicited “fashion advice.”

For #2: Please go back to your Mom’s couch and give your waitress job to a grateful local teenager/college student.

For #3: Please go back to Canada or Kentucky or Oregon or who gives a fuck and then there will be ONE LESS PERSON I have to compete with for a job (or internship).

I guess this week was full of reminders of people/things that I wish to never become. Even if it takes me another 10 years to NOT become anything that I just described above.

On the upside, this afternoon I met a really lovely person in the school yard at PS 321. As our respective small people played, we talked about public school, and Brooklyn, and working for free, the concept of “law and order” and 5 year olds (and no, I am not referring to the TV show, but how I wish I was), Amos Poe, Eric Mitchell, people who tell other people they need to reproduce by the age of 30, among other things.

I walked away from this conversation, er, play date feeling not shitty. And that was really great.