Sunday, November 30, 2014

Saying Goodbye To De Robertis-An Encore: Thirty Years Of Pressing My Nose
Up Against The Bakery Window

 It is with heartbreak to announce the closing of De Robertis. This week's posts are dedicated to the first bakery I got used to going into.

Originally posted September 9, 2009. 

The first time I went in here was in 1982.

There was a women's theater group I was beginning to get involved with, and sometimes they would hold meetings at De Robertis.

I was shocked. I had never met anywhere for anything unless it was the principal's office because I was in trouble or the bar (which was certainly a place to meet but not for meetings). So stepping both into the unknown of this group of women, none of them from here, and a bakery I somehow thought was against the family law to enter (the wonderful cake beyond our self-esteem and wallets), it all felt very foreign.

I got used to going in but it still took years to order a pastry.

Now it's a place I meet others at often. Old friends, former classmates, even blind dates. In this picture, I'm meeting with Robyn and Joyce whose writings and struggles to write urge me forward.

Still have trouble ordering pastries, though.

De Rebertis Pasticceria
176 First Avenue
New York, NY 10009
(212) 674-7137

Friday, November 28, 2014

Friday's Child Is Loving And Giving
And Was On TV!!!!

Social Tees and other rescue 
organizations and people 
were celebrated tonight on

OK so the show only had dogs on it.  That's because there's no way you could get cats to cooperate.

Still, no matter if it is a cat.... (Goldie, rescued a year and a half ago from Social Tees)

... or a bigger cat.... (Jupiter, rescued from Queens Boulevard four years ago and who went on to keep my heart alive)

... or a cat who pays the bills... 

(Ada, rescued five years ago from Social Tees by Jillian- she was brand new to the shelter, dirty, stinky, and mean. Named Ada (after the mathematician Ada Lovelace) because of her mathematically complex hiding places. These days, she sleeps next to Jillian's mom, dances for ham, is a fan of Doctor Who, had a NYFringe play written about her)...

... Or Lotus who is doing amazingly well!!!  (in a loving warm foster home!!!)

Thanks is given to the hard working people who go out and rescue and find homes and work tirelessly for a better world.


Come Volunteer!!!

Come Visit!!!!

 Come On In!!!!!

 Social Tees 
325 East 5th Street, NY, NY 10003

Thursday, November 27, 2014


Originally Posted November 26, 2009

This really happened.

It was right before Thanksgiving and like a billion other people, my friend ordered dessert from Veniero's on 11th Street to bring to the family gathering in Pound Ridge. It was probably pumpkin pie, or pastiero di grano or maybe even a cheesecake with little cannolis on top.

This woman is very attractive and she is over 30. Maybe even over 40 but her seamless attractiveness is elegant and well appointed. Oprah's makeover couldn't improve on her classic outfits, highlighted with tasteful touches of contemporary accessories.

So... as she waited on the long line she grew a bit tired. Noticing a bunch of round tables stacked along the wall, she sidled up to one and gently, as only elegance and class could, sat down.

The woman behind her, generously described as perhaps not very attractive and very unhappy about not being attractive, snapped I'M IN THE FOOD INDUSTRY AND YOU'RE NOT SUPPOSED TO BE SITTING ON A TABLE. My friend politely pointed out that these were tables being stored, not being used for service. At that point the counter guy called "Next." Which was my friend.

YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO TAKE A NUMBER yelled the Unhappy Woman. My friend pointed out that not only did she have a number, she had the one they were calling and off she went to pick up the family dessert. Turning to leave she came face to face with the Unhappy Woman who then... punched her.

"Why'd you do that?" the counterman asked.

My friend quickly left and joined her husband in their car. As she began to tell him what just happened, the Unhappy Woman ran out of Veniero's and began yelling at the car. Windows rolled up and doors locked, her husband began to drive away. My friend pleaded for her husband to go slow because all they needed was for him to run over the foot of the Unhappy Woman as she followed the car down 11th Street yelling things at them.

That Thanksgiving Dinner the dessert was brought out to many ooos and ahhs.

"We almost died for this cake," the husband said.

A brief discussion ensued. Did the Unhappy Woman attack my friend because she was Asian? Did she attack my friend because she was Asian AND pretty? Or was this Unhappy Woman just basically nuts?

Nothing was decided. So they ate the cake.

Monday, November 24, 2014

...One Story At A Time

The United Nations is all orange, campaigning to stop violence against women.  Those lights are trying to paint a more beautiful world where if you have a vagina you'd be safe.

Writing this, live coverage of Ferguson show the police crouching behind riot gear and while the President of the United States quotes Michael Brown's father asking his son's death not be in vain but bring change, the Channel 11 WPIX reporter at the scene gets tear gassed.

It's also Florence's birthday.

I think of all the untold stories and unspoken words about all the blows she took, the acts on her body she did not agree to.

Her stories and all those Michael Brown could have told become lost, become ghosts.

Suddenly the TV shows young men kneeling in the street, hands in the air with an American flag, defying the order to vacate the area.

And suddenly those ghosts start speaking back. 

Related Posts:

UNite To End Violence Against Women

A Special Encore of Sunday Memories: I Hear It Was Her Birthday

Sunday Memories: Mathhew 26:52

Use Your F*#&$*g Words

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Sunday Memories: The Expansion Of Family Burgers

Adrian and Alon come to burger-visit

For years, we - Adrian and I - wove burgers in and out of our travels as we headed to love and art and other places in our hearts. 

Brooklyn with the mac&cheese side we liked better than the burger, Avenue C with everything on it, St. Marks Place traditional, fried onions for me, cheese for him, bacon for both of us, Buenos Aires but there it was called steak, London too many to recount but each one noted in full detail, 13th Street small and spectacular, Cape Cod during a break from fried fish, at a french restaurant in Tel Aviv, tonight on 14th Street. 

Eating them and pondering their place in our exploration, even while lovers left, partners stayed, marriage happened, unions were made, families got bigger... perhaps it was the burger that got us to go places we never thought we would.


Related Posts:

The Eyes Have It

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Après Le Déluge,
Avant Le Déluge

The cupboard, painted, fixed, shelved.....

There is no history in it and there's no storytelling coming out of it. 

It suddenly looks like the homes all the expensive magazines tout, insisting real people really do live there, and all the clothes match in neat, small piles.

But, real life isn't small, monochromatic or neat.  It's overflowing, messy and filled with color.  It gets stuffed into corners and falls on the floor.  It clashes and sticks out and everything seems to be arguing with everything else.

Still, for just a brief moment, ignoring all the stuff piled all over the place, waiting patiently to be put away, the fantasy of a life this still entices.  Sorta like interior design porn.

Related Posts:

Metamorphosis: Skeletons In Closet

When One Door Closes And You're Headed Towards The Other Door Opening...

Emptying Into Open

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Rainy Day and Monday Encore: "You Say You Want A Revolution..."

Rainy days and Mondays lend themselves to glancing back at other times.  Although not necessarily better.  Or worse.  Just a reminder of the original home

Originally posted July 5, 2009

Monty's Mom asked what everyone in the courtchyard asked. "What are you doing with your mother's apartment?"

(actually it was more like "whatcha gonna do wit ya motha's apartment?" note: the "t" is silent)

I gave the usual answer about renting and the piano.

"You still play?"

No. I had put my foot down at 13 and refused to play anymore. If I was going to be forced to study music, go to music school and attend the music department at the School for the Performing Arts for violin, I wasn't also going to study the piano. In a rare nod to my individualization, Florence agreed.

I never liked it, I told Monty's Mom.

"Well," she said, "You were a rebellious one."

I was? I had played with Monty when we were little little but like most of the neighbors in the courtchyard it never really felt like anyone knew me, just of me as I ran past in a game of tag.

"Oh yeah. You were power to the people. I mean it was the 60's. But yeah, you were. You were little, too. Yeah. Power to the people."

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Sunday Memories: When Late Comes Early

When the sky gets darker, the lights brighter and the streets come alive, Childhood reappears in the middle of middle-age.

The delight of staying up late, the excitement of holidays coming even if we didn't celebrate them, the flurry of promises made between pedestrians and cars...

Related Posts:

The Sign Of Things To Come

Lights Of Autumn

Sunday Memories Of Light And Night

Miracle On Grand Street

Friday, November 14, 2014

Friday's Child Is Loving And Giving
And Happy And Healthy!


Goldie, no longer a painfully skinny girl, runs the show at home.  

And when she needs a nap, she curls up in curtains by a good poem and rests...


Lotus, the super cute munchkin, and FORMER-abused dog is well on her way to total recovery. Needs a loving, fun, warm foster home with someone who can send Social Tees lots of great photos so it can continue sharing her story at
She's 5 years old, 15 lbs, and wee pad trained and housebroken.  Loves going for walks and playing, great with other animals, very food driven, needs daily meds and to gain weight. 
Email if you can foster her!!

Daisy, the diabetic Shih Tzu mix that was stuck in a cage at Social Tees' vet for months and recently FINALLY found an amazing foster home where she could be a dog again?    She's still doing awesome... but STILL NEEDS A FOREVER HOME!!!!   Her foster mom says: "Nothing excites Daisy more than going for a walk or meal time. She jumps and dances, she talks and practically sings.  When she's tired she either curls up next to you on the couch (she's a great snuggle buddy) or puts herself to sleep by sprawling in the middle of your bed by herself, ha!   She's a sweet girl who just wants to be loved with a spunky little attitude who loves to have a little playtime each day. She's great about getting her shots at mealtime, so it's not a big deal at all. Daisy is a wonderful, sweet girl who deserves a home with as big if a heart as she has!!"
    ** Related Posts:    GOLDIE'S STORY 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Metamorphosis: Skeletons In The Closet

It was like this in 1976, only without the nice fancy wooden pole that let it pretend it was a real cupboard.  A beat-up broken one, badly painted white was there instead. 

It was into this cupboard I'd crawl, when, all the age of 17 or 18, I got struck by words or deeds too big to stand up to.   I'd pull the doors shut after me and only then, in a darkness made by roommate's clothes could I weep in fury or heart-break.

Life got bigger, badder, better.  The stuff inside the cupboard became a mirror of the changing world inside the apartment:
  • a roommate's wardrobe
  • another roommate's wardrobe
  • yet another roommate's wardrobe
  • the winter coats of a long-time partner
  • the boxes, containers, files of my own efforts in the world
  • the wardrobe of a new partner
  • my own wardrobe after throwing out all the clothes of that no-longer-new partner (well, he told me to)
And as things came and went (really, he told me to throw everything out), odd flotsam and jetsam got left behind, becoming a graveyard of the mundane and the marvelous:
  • the dozens of reel-to-reel audio tapes documenting my father's youth, Florence's talent, my sister and my playing our piano pieces with Florence drilling us to recite the piece's name and composer as we practiced performing before whirling tape
  • the reel-to-reel player
  • the ice machine and the ice compressor heralding in a new age of old knees and middle-age ailments
  • the bags of wrapping paper and bows and boxes from just received gifts that could be used for presents because you know you never should buy any of that stuff new
  • hats marking different commercial or travel or sports moments that would be forgotten if any hat got thrown out
  • a box of jewelry no longer worn but standing as a monument of family fissions and vengeful acts
  • a really bad painting of a naked woman in the ocean that was so bad it couldn't even be hung in a bar over the cash register (I was only 13)
  • my beloved old wooden toys I used to decorate little homes for my dollies, wishing I could live in with them
 That collage of old skeletons, stuffed precariously into cracks and peeling paint, stayed that way...

...until almost forty years later, flushed with a little bit of money and magazines and catalogs touting how closets could become meccas of  easy-to-use serenity, a new partner's teeshirts and hats marking different commercial or travel or sports events needed a place to go. 

There are no more reasons left to crawl into dark corners.  Very little strikes that hard any more.  Emptied of the past, that old cupboard will soon be filled with a much nicer life.

Related Posts:

Sunday Memories: On The Road

Beauty In The Eye Of...

Sunday Memories: The Difference

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Sunday Memories:
Old School Style

We hung out in pizza parlors, rarely sitting since there often weren't chairs and tables, but it didn't matter.  We were too busy talking, laughing, joking and eating a second slice to even notice.
Related Posts:

Sunday Memories: Our Facebook

A Labor Of Love

Friday, November 7, 2014

Friday's Child Is Loving And Giving
And A Bear Of A Babe


Also known as Maggie the adorable, loveable, delicious, cuddly CHOW!  
Maggie is about 3 years old, 35 lbs, and a major love bug. She adores being held and she she loves cuddling. She's friendly with everyone, very mellow, and housebroken. Interested in adopting this not-bear?

Complete an application at! — with Lauren E. O'Connor.

and Maggie isn't the only one:

Puppies, doggies, 
and your new best friend

Why does Her New York
care about animal rescue?



Come Volunteer!!! 
Come Visit!!!!
 Come On In!!!!!
Social Tees  
325 East 5th Street, NY, NY 10003 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

This Ain't Your 1970's 14th Street

It used to be if you stood too long in one spot, a neon sign started flashing above your head, going "Mug Me! Mug Me!"

But now, you can hang out and have dinner with your best friend and all you get is fed.  And maybe fat.

Related Posts:

Sunday Memories: Our Facebook

Sunday Memories: Food On The Run

Sunday Memories: Fast Food In Fast Times

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Sunday Memories: When The City
Was A Black And White Photograph

The thing is the first photographs or movies we saw of our city were in black and white.

It was Florence's WeeGee on the wall, the pictures on the front page of the New York Times...

... the rare glimpses of television shows...

But it wasn't just those images that made the city a thousand shades of gray. 

It was the seeping loneliness whether inside a thought or home....

....or wandering empty streets in deep night....

....even when photographs became colorful, along with more frequent television viewing.....

....the city still only looked like itself in that starkness.

Related Posts:

Sunday Memories: Letting Sleeping Dogs Lie

Sunday Memories:  In The Still, Night Travels

Sunday Memories:  Television, Old School