I read a book recently. The title and the story are basically forgettable- a light book trying to disguise itself as current and now and deep. There is nothing worse than a book or TV show or movie that is trying to take itself too seriously. Or a blogger…but that’s a whole other thing…

What annoyed me most, along with the pretention and righteousness, was the use of the word CONTACTLESS. Everything in this book was contactless. Obviously, the book was written during pandemic, so I understand grabbing onto the hot new phrase, but yet…


I don’t want to live in a world where contactless is commonplace.

I don’t want to worry about touching.

I want to forge connections.

Contactless just sounds robotic. And I don’t want to be a robot. I want to be a real, live human being who makes real, live connections. I want to interact with people. I don’t want to live my whole life on a screen…

What is the point of anything if we decide to close ourselves off into little boxes…never letting anyone in…never letting ourselves out…

Think about how you want to live the rest of your life…it’s not going anywhere. If you’re happy living on a screen, so be it. But don’t get mad at the people who are aren’t. Don’t get mad at the people choosing to make contact.

I want to make contact.

Who Chooses?

We are once again circling the post where I was mad at my daughter for choosing a middle of the night train arrival. In my original post, I said that as I was paying for the ticket, I could tell her to switch the time to an earlier arrival.

Some people agreed that this was well within my right because I was paying. Others said it didn’t matter who was paying, she is an adult and should be treated as such.

So with that in mind…

If a parent is paying for college of their 18+ child, does the parent have the right to tell them what school to attend, or does the adult child still have the right to decide?

Personally, I think the child has the right to choose the college that is best for them. Yet, I also get that some schools are more expensive than others, and there are financial considerations to consider. I consider the college question one that should be decided jointly between the two parties- with both sides being honest and open.

But at the end of the day- who wins?

Does the person paying for college have the right to have a greater share of the vote?

I agreed with my daughter that her particular university was perfect for her. But as she was accepted into two schools that were “higher ranked or known”, I did wonder if going to a bigger “name” was more important. She also received very large merit scholarships to two very good institutions- should she take the money and run? But in the end, we let her choose. And we have not regretted that decision.

Does the person paying have the biggest say in the decision.


What Inspired Me: December 19

  • I thought Drive My Car was a very good movie, and definitely deserves a foreign language Oscar nod, but not in the other slate. There are things I need to think over a bit because I’m not sure if I understand it all. Often my problem with international film- so understated I always feel like I missed something.
  • They recently opened a British import steakhouse- Hawksmoor- in our neighborhood. It was delicious. My husband and I split the sticky toffee sundae, which was so good I dreamt about it…it’s gooey and rich and satisfying with the most delicious milk ice cream on top. Yum… The rest of the meal was outstanding as well!!
  • My tea society has their Holiday Tea at the Whitby hotel. There was absolutely nothing wrong with this tea except I forgot to take a picture of the gorgeous three tier display of goodies. Everything was first rate!!
  • West Side Story!!!! So Good! I mean incredible, people clapping at the end amazing. However, because you know I don’t think anything is perfect…I do not agree with Spielberg’s decision to not use subtitles in the Spanish Language Sections.
  • I wasn’t a very good dog Mommy and Betty had a very bad matt that I couldn’t get out and it was irritating her skin. I made the tough decision to shave her down because I thought a pup with a bald spot was worse. I’m being very hard on myself, and this is the last fluffy picture you will see of Betty for awhile… next picture will be a much less fluffy dog. However, she will be well dressed…
  • My daughter got home this week. She’s always wanted to go to Grand Central Oyster Bar, and old school place in Grand Central Station. Oyster Bar is long on tourists, so many New Yorkers pass it by, but it is also long on history. I don’t think anything has changed in years except for the daily changing menu. While I love to check out what’s new and different foodwise, I like history and places that have survived things. I don’t care if they’re touristy. Just because they’re not new and modern and experimental doesn’t mean they aren’t worthwhile. We had a great meal. I’ve pictured the chocolate log dessert which was wonderful!!
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art. Gallery 158-Athena, as the Goddess of wisdom and war is probably my go to Olympian Goddess. Gallery 159- I love that there is a statue about two children playing. I can’t help but feel grateful when I look at this- that with all the other things that have happened in history, kids playing is a constant. Gallery 852- Cruel Radiance: Photography 1940s-1960s (till 5/1/22) This was another small but well curated photography exhibit. The Met has just had some wonderful photography of late. The title comes from “Let Us Now Praise Famous Men” by James Agee and Walker Evans. All of consciousness is shifted from what we imagined…to the effort to perceive simply the cruel radiance of what is.” It was very difficult to choose favorites as all the work was wonderful.
  • If you are a Marvel fan you should see Spider-Man: No Way Home. It’s fun. Kim- BIG SCREEN!!
  • For book club I had to read Agatha Christie “A Pocket Full of Rye”. I really enjoyed it and so I decided to watch the TV adaptations on Brit Box. It’s hard for me to decide which one is better, because I love Joan Hickson as Miss Marple- I think she’s exactly what I picture when I think Marple. However. the 2008 version is much truer to the story, which I appreciate. It’s a more fully fleshed out version and rings much truer to the original intent of the story.

Gratitude Saturday

I had my every few years, routine tests for those over a certain age this week. I am grateful that it is over and I don’t need one for five years. I am grateful that my prep went well and the test was completed. I am grateful for the five nurses and two doctors who were with me for this ride. I am grateful to the lab for getting test results within 24 hours. I am grateful that everything is healthy and good.

Anything Can Happen Friday: Learning

My Daughter still asks me to look over her papers before she turns them in. The problem is, my kid is so much more intelligent than I am that I really don’t understand all the things she is writing…

Which is a good thing. It means that she is learning and being educated.

But what I notice about her education trajectory is how, when you have been fortunate enough to have had exceptional teachers for your career, seamlessly the lessons integrate and build upon one another.

First you concentrate on reading, then math, then writing, then research. The research part of my daughter’s academic career has been long. She began doing research papers in fourth grade. She was taught how to find reputable sources (Just Say No to Wikipedia) and how to annotate them. This process of research and use quotes to bolster your argument has been a close friend for at least ten years.

But now, as a Junior taking higher level classes, when I read her papers I see the shift. Her Professors now want her to use less quotes and data to bolster arguments. They most definitely want research, but they want to see the conclusions that she’s drawn from reading multiple sources. They want to see what she has personally deduced from all the data. They want to see her unique perspective to something. They want her to come up with ideas that no one else has come up with. They want her thoughts to be personally, and in some cases universally, groundbreaking.

They are now preparing her to write her thesis next year.

They want her to take everything she’s ever learned, and go one step further.

They want her to take everything she’s learned and apply it to something she can call her own.

They’re teaching her to be an independent thinker.

So when someone wonders why they have to learn X or Y in school, because they are never going to use it in their life, remind them that all these steps are for a purpose of helping you learn how to think. Because if you don’t learn how to think for yourself, you will be lost. If you don’t learn to think for yourself you will constantly be looking for others to lead you. And while sometimes you need a leader, you always need to understand what’s going on around you and come to your own conclusion. Being a sheep is not necessarily the best life goal.

Don’t be a sheep.

Learn and grow.

Think for yourself.

Thank your teachers.

The Dinner

Once upon a time, A FATHER, his adult son and daughter and their spouses all went out to dinner at a restaurant near where the son lives. The son has been to this low key place a number of times.

The adult son and his wife ordered- Caesar Salad with steak, exactly as it appears on the menu for the wife and Gnocchi Sorrentino exactly how it appears on the menu for the adult son.

The sister had many special requests as to how she wanted her and her families food prepared. One Caesar salad no croutons, one with no cheese, one with no dressing. Then the actual meal- can you swap capellini for penne, how about spinach instead of zucchini…blah blah blah…and the waiter said to every request past the salad- “I can ask the chef, but I can’t guarantee anything.”

My the time the waiter got to the FATHER, you could tell the waiter was frazzled. THe FATHER asked for sautéed broccoli. The restaurant doesn’t do broccoli- they do broccoli rabe…When the waiter said this to the FATHER, the FATHER said to his adult son:

You know the people here. Go put some pressure on them to do things the way we want.

This completely and totally made the son uncomfortable. While the son is no pushover, the son doesn’t like to make waves with people who are preparing his food. He also doesn’t really “know” the people here. They are friendly, but it’s not like they’re best friends. The son is perfectly happy ordering things as they appear on the menu and doesn’t ever want to be put in the position where he “should talk to someone”. The son just wants to go to a local place and eat the delicious bread they put on the table and a nice plate of gnocchi Sorrentino, and a carafe of the house red.

Luckily, the chef was able to accommodate all the requests, but the son was so embarrassed he doesn’t know how often he will go to the restaurant again.

The end.

Is It Just Different Here

About twenty years ago, a couple were visiting NYC from another country. They went to lunch and they left their baby in the stroller outside the restaurant. I’m pretty sure the couple was publicly flogged. Americans were up in arms about this. The couple didn’t understand why the American authorities and the court of public opinion were browbeating them about child protection laws.

A few months ago, I talked about telling my 19 year old daughter that I thought it was ridiculous for her to take a train that would arrive in the middle of the night. The overwhelming majority of my American readers were right there with me. They agreed with me that her decision was not very mature. My non American readers however, had a much different outlook- they all thought that she as an adult and therefore I had no say in the matter.


Are Americans in general over protective of their children?

Do Americans baby their children more?

Or is America really more crime ridden than other places?

I really can’t answer the first two questions accurately- I know that I was involved in my daughter’s life. I also know that my daughter, as an urban child, was exposed to much more than most. Many of you have heard the stories of seeing the homeless guy shower in the sprinkler at the park, and watching drug take downs, and living around the block from the methadone clinic. People shouting at you and going to the bathroom on the corner. Taking the subway to high school and becoming a grizzled commuter at the age of fourteen…

But anyway…

Is there a lot of crime here? Yes. Is it more than other places? I have no idea.

I do know that when I’m walking I am really paying attention to my surroundings. I hold my purse tight wherever I am. I was on the bus and the subway this week and I felt threatened both times. What I assume to be a homeless person, who to my limited knowledge was either mentally unstable or high or both, was literally in my face yelling at me. And this was a crowded subway in the middle of the afternoon. Do you think the people get less crazy/high as the day goes on? Or are there just less other people on the train with you?

I know that someone tried to steal my neighbors motorcycle, right outside our building, in the middle of the night, right under the lights…

I know that buildings get graffitied in the middle of the night…

While crime can happen at any time of the day, doesn’t a lot of it happen at night?

At Penn Station- there is no place to sit unless you are a ticketed passenger- you must show your ticket to enter the seating area. This is because SO MANY PEOPLE just hang out at the station. While some truly have no place to go, many are drug dealers and petty criminals. Do you know how many people have been pushed onto subway tracks this year?

I could tell you that I refuse to have the app on my phone that constantly alerts you to crime in the street, because my daughter has it and it’s constantly beeping.

When I told you about how I just missed getting hit my breaking glass at Bed Bath, someone asked me if they caught the person who did it. I laughed because a brick being thrown into a window of a store might be big news somewhere, but not here. No one is reporting that story because it happens all the time and it’s just a day in the life.

Yes, I choose to live here and I love it. But it doesn’t mean that I am naïve to the things going on around me. Like I do with everything, I take precautions, I think about what’s in front of me, and I live my life. I do not hide or run away. But I make smart choices as to when and where and how I do things. I try to avoid situations that I know could be dangerous. I don’t where “nice’ jewelry if I’m getting on mass transit. I wear shoes I can run in if necessary. For the record, I’m more worried about crime than COVID. But I don’t let either run my life.

So is there “more” crime here? I don’t know. Am I careful and protective about my person when I am out and about? You bet. Do I ascertain the risk of certain things? 100%. Is there any guarantee of safety? I guarantee you not- safety is an illusion that we cling to to get us through the day. All we can do is take precautions and hope.


A few months ago I wrote a post about how I didn’t want my daughter to arrive at Union Station DC in the middle of the night because I thought it was unsafe. Many thought that as my daughter is “an adult” I shouldn’t say that to her. My retort was simple: If I had a friend who planned on arriving in a train station in the middle of the night, I would tell them not to take that train either. Which then lead to people saying- “You would never tell another person that. You would let them do what they wanted.”


Do you tell your friends when you think they are doing something that is unsafe?

I have a really good friend who tells me how unsafe NYC is. The subways. The streets. The crime. And to be fair, my friend has statistics on their side: NYC is much less safe than if was pre-COVID. There was a point where our murder rate was up 86%. While crime has slowly started to come down, I see the difference- these mean streets really are meaner. Sometime in April you’re going to read about some mass transit experiences that I had recently…

But anyway…

Does my friend have a right to tell me to watch my back?

Don’t you want the people you love/care about to be safe?

What is the line between what you can and can’t tell friends?

When I go out with friends, we text one another when we get home. It’s just what we do. I make sure that my friends make it into their homes and are safely behind locked doors. Period. And this includes my friend M who I share theater tickets with and we go to matinees and she lives in Westchester. She texts me an hour and a half later when she is firmly ensconced in suburbia.

Because this is what we do. Is it because we’re women? Is it because we know what crime is like? Is it because we care about one another? Does it matter?

So where do you stand on safety and your friends?


What Inspired Me: December 12

A wonderful card from Matt!
  • I don’t know anything about birds. However- I know that’s not a pigeon…
  • Cafe Salmagundi- first off- it’s named after the satirical periodical created by Washington Irving in the 1800’s. And yes, the restaurant is on Irving Place… secondly- the steak platter (to share) was delicious
  • Flee has the possibility of being nominated for three best picture Oscar’s (animated feature, International Feature and Documentary Feature) It’s the story of an Afghan refuge from the 90s. I appreciated this perspective which I have not really heard. Well done.
  • Power of the Dog (Netflix) This is a solid movie, which I think should be nominated for Best Picture Oscar as well as Best Actor nod for Benedict Cumberbatch, who yet again gives a stand out performance, and supporting for Kodi Smit-McPhee who is also excellent. If anyone else has seen would love to discuss the ending!!!!
  • Morgan Library- Van Eyck to Mondrian: 300 Years of Collecting in Dresden (1/23/22)(interesting to think about how much art the Nazi’s destroyed because it was against the socialist agenda. Imperial Splendor: The Art o the Book in the Holy Roman Empire 800-1500 (1/23/22). The craftsmanship of these books!!! Just beautiful!. Another Tradition: Drawings by Black Artists from the American South (1/16/22). Loved the use of creating art with whatever materials they found. Bound for Verseilles: The Jayne Wrightsman Bookbindings Collection (1/30/22). This was my favorite exhibit this go round at the Morgan. Marie Antoinette apparently had a rather large library and eclectic taste showing that she was very much aware of the changing times. The holiday season wouldn’t be complete without my seeing the Christmas Carol manuscript- my favorite holiday story (till 1/9/22). Women Artists and Patrons in the Natural Sciences 1650-1800 till 1/9/22. Dawn till Dusk: Studies in Marine Sketches (till 10/23/22). Collections Spotlight till 1/9/22. And…sometimes at the Morgan there’s music!!
  • Interesting exhibit about Warhol at Brooklyn Museum. First- I did not realize that he was quite religious- Byzantine Catholic. It influenced much of his work. The Last Supper installation was the last work he exhibited before he died. It was across the street from the actual Last Supper in Milan. The Jackie Kennedy series is some of my daughters favorite art work.
  • I don’t like coffee. However, I do like certain specialty drinks from Starbucks. Had awesome barista who understood that really I wanted a vehicle for whipped cream…
  • House of Gucci was 2 hours and 37 minutes. It felt like 3 hours and 27 minutes. Decent performances by Lady Gaga and Adam Driver who I think is the best actor of his generation. That being said, don’t waste your time.
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art- I am always amazed at how much is dedicated to death way back when. I’m more of a life is beautiful kind of person. Gallery 157 shows a cup in the form of a breast. At least I now know why they are called cup sizes… Gallery 851 is special exhibit Alter Egos Projected Selves. I really enjoyed this photography exhibit. The basis is that in today’s society the use of aliases, avatars and alter egos prevail. Using mainly works from the Met’s collection, things are shown that use the artist as part of the art. I was drawn to Four Seasons because I am obsessed with taking photos of the same thing just on different days, or photos taken at the same time. I’m trying to refine my thoughts on this topic for my Instagram. I thought the concept behind Einreisung was interesting- what postures do women take in order to fit in?
  • And Just Like That premiered its first two episodes on HBOMax. I was not an avid watcher of the original SATC- I have not seen every episode, nor can I wax poetic about the post it. I do applaud the fact that these women are in their 50s and living sexy, interesting lives and they have not put themselves out to pasture. Cheers to a TV show that lets us see that 50s isn’t all athleisure, pill counting, ugly readers and malaise. However- as to the show itself…I’m not really feeling it after the first two episodes. But- the worst thing for me is how it treats the city. There isn’t any continuity in location. For example, in the first scene they are at lunch at the Whitney, which is downtown. The next scene shows Miranda and Carrie at Radio City. While they could have hopped a cab and gone up together- these locations are not near one another. The same is said when Miranda gets off the subway at Columbia, and then have her go into a bar that’s in Hell’s Kitchen- like 60 blocks south. I know that these things seem trivial, but CITY is in the title- the show is an ode to New York City as much as an ode to fashion or cosmo’s or for being fabulous. Rant over.