Mimi Comes To Town

Out of nowhere I get a blast announcing Mimi, my former neighbor’s, imminent arrival as if the circus were coming to town.

I could feel her excitement through the airwaves, childlike in breathless anticipation.  She left over six months ago me thinking we’d never meet again, which proves, despite thinking otherwise, we are not psychics predicting the future.

“I’ll be staying with my friend Mousie O’Rourke, and hope I get to see all of you,” said the email to 9 recipients.  And no I did not invent that name.

Last I spoke to Mimi, she was still on the fence about coming home.  Apparently, assisted living for someone who still has most of her marbles, isn’t what it’s all cracked up to be.

“I miss New York Susannah, and wine and goat cheese at 5…Central Park, The Met and Whole Foods. This place is pretty to be sure, but I miss going out whenever it suits me.  What could God have been thinking bringing me here?”

That God is a prankster alright.

You see Mimi is a fourth generation, card-carrying Catholic who thinks God tells her on a daily basis, which path to take.  I haven’t the heart to burst her ecclesiastical bubble since, at 87, we can assume it’s pretty much rusted shut.

I just hope returning to her old stomping grounds will bring some level of clarity so she can live out the rest of her days in peace.

As for me, I can’t wait to see my friend and neighbor.

Goat cheese and wine, comin up.



Posted in alcohol, Faith, friendship, humor, New York City, women | Tagged , , , | 16 Comments

Dueling Phones

Who needs to be a couple these days, when you have a phone.  I’m in a restaurant watching how no one relates to who they’re with anymore.

It’s amazing.  They come in, sit down, and immediately check their phones, and not briefly either.  They look up long enough to order a drink, then go right back to social networking like it’s their life’s work.

What happened to, how was your day honey?  Wanna hear about mine?

The drinks come, they sip, heads down ignoring one another.  Suddenly one will actually get on the phone to have a lengthy chat as though he or she were alone.

Just say, you bore me baby, and get it over with, then you can simply date your phone…bring it flowers and candy since you take so many liberties with it anyway.

“I’ll have the veal, she, a new battery.”

Of course, then you’ll have to pick up the check.  Thank God we now have No Fault Divorce since this would give grounds for adultery a whole new spin.

The whole business makes me want to just retire from public life altogether.

That’s how disturbing I find it all.


Posted in humor, New York City, sexual relationships | Tagged , , , | 24 Comments

Health Over Wealth

I worked with my pal Ed the other day on what I can only call, a very challenging job, without picking the scab of it’s afterlife.

Watching Ed, as exhausted as I, soldier on without breaking a sweat looking as fresh as when first arriving 13 or so hours earlier, seemed like a sartorial sleight of hand.

Where I, in comparison, was like a wilted rose left for dead on a buffet table.  At one point, my head slumped in my lap while sitting on a step, Ed came over to see if I was still breathing causing me to jump in the air as if I were launched.

Later, when I got my second wind, a concept forever eluding me, I found him on a couch with his ever present bowtie at half mast, like Vic Damone in between sets, but when they asked for our return, he clipped and zipped like the true trooper he is.

As for me, I had other ideas, like a nap quietly taken in an upstairs ladies room no one seemed to know anything about.

A girl, even on the clock, needs her beauty sleep after all.


Posted in Beauty, Cinema, Fashion, friendship, humor, money, New York City, shopping, Women and men | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

Why I Love Peggy Noonan

images-2 I never miss her Saturday column on The Wall Street Journal’s Opinion Page since, it’s always a treat to read.

Whenever I ask someone, if they’re a Noonan fan, they either say yes immediately or, I don’t always agree with her, but still read what she writes, the highest compliment a writer can receive when even opponents think you’re worthy of their time.

She has taught me much about candor – to not be afraid to say what I feel or think, regardless of any wrath it may bring my way, agreeing to disagree without fear.

She also looks for the light in people, rare for a journalist in our present, to quote Teddy Roosevelt, muckraking age.

She loved Ronald Reagan, for instance, after working for him as a speech writer, a truth people want to crucify her for, yet she never falters where Reagan is concerned.

Because of her, candor, like a battle cry, has become my greatest goal.

She’s even helped me better understand this crazy presidential election since she too has been on the fence.  Her clarity educates, which is more than I can say for our two candidates.

What she wrote this past Saturday, If Only Trump Wasn’t a Nut, is a brilliant piece.

As writers, we’re afraid to be judged, never wanting to be disfavored by anyone.  Yet Peggy reminds us, we still live in the land of the free, enveloped in the arms of the First Amendment that guarantees, freedom of expression, and the right for individuals to write as well as speak, minus edit nor censure.

When I read Peggy Noonan, and she reveals herself without guile or shame, I’m reminded I too can strive to do the same.

Thanks Peggy.    images-3



Posted in Gratitude, History, New York City, Women and men, words, writing | Tagged , , , , , | 12 Comments

Best Story of the Week

I’m in Starbucks putting milk in my coffee standing between a middle-aged woman and a girl around 20.

As I’m stirring I watch the younger one take a good 40 sugar packets she casually puts in her purse.

The older woman says, snapping her line like she’s resurrected Bea Arthur, “What, you have a horse at home?”

I had to laugh.  You can’t write this stuff.  Well actually you can, if you’re lucky enough to hear it.



Posted in humor, New York City, Uncategorized, women | Tagged , , | 16 Comments

Last Lunch

I was in a neighborhood bistro having a salad,  when a very rattled woman came in.

I watched her dart around the restaurant like the Secret Service finally choosing a table adjacent to mine easily seating 6.  Suddenly two other women came also carrying concerned expressions, clearly making certain all was perfect.

A few minutes later the scene took shape when a lady in her 70s approached the door on a walker, an attendant by her side, eerily unwell.  I watched her friends greet her warmly with hugs and kisses, trying valiantly to hide their grief I imagine, realizing, this would probably be the last time they’d be together.

Oddly enough, the guest of honor was the only one who seemed peaceful and happy to just be there with her pals.

They were all dressed in blazers and crisp slacks, white linen buttondowns brandishing pearls, that if could only talk, while vintage Fendis swung from their arms.

One woman, a little heavy-set, wore a forest green suit with what looked like, an Hermes scarf, tied loosely around her neck, apparently a gift of yore from the woman they were celebrating.

They dressed up for their friend whose white hair danced in the overhead light, she in a purple twinset attempting to mask her withered frame.  Layers are like smoke and mirrors remembering how my mother advised me, wear pleats Susannah, you’ll look less scrawny.

When the wine started to flow the sadness took flight, as they toasted one another reminiscing about their lives.  It was like watching a very poignant play you already knew the end to.

At one point, the white haired woman turned to me, smiling, raising her glass.

“To life,” she said.  I’ve had a great one.”

I smiled back, paid my check and wept all the way home, her message braying loudly…life’s short.

Enjoy it…enjoy it.



Posted in alcohol, friendship, Gratitude, Health, Love, New York City, words | Tagged , , , | 16 Comments

And Then There Was Light

Home Depot has become the new Tiffany’s since it too is open for breakfast.

Rather than Elsa Peretti you’ll find Black and Decker winking from the shelves.

Hey girlie, come on over, I’ll show ya what I got.

The other splendid feature? Their prices.

After hardwaring on the Upper East Side my whole life like the diva of dish towels, it’s a treat to get a deal. So what did I come out with? A night light for my bathroom I’m having a mad affair with. Peeing at 3 a.m. has never been so much fun. The minute you hit the floor it snaps on like a pal expecting your arrival.

Can I take your coat?

It’s also a pretty light, not too bright, a little dim, kinda the way I was described in my early modeling days.

I’ve named him Hal, after a friend whose light also snaps on whenever I need him.

Of course I hope, for both our sakes, we never meet in my bathroom.

It could change our whole relationship.   getpart-5

Meet Hal.



Posted in friendship, Home, humor, men, modeling, money, New York City | Tagged , , , | 16 Comments

Flab and Gab

I’m in a coffee joint called Chochi’s for reasons surpassing my understanding.  Okay, I got a coupon in the mail for a half-price latte.

So shoot me.

I’m surrounded by well-endowed Latino girls talking a mile-a-minute eating donuts like Bon-Bons.  Squashed in jeans easily mistaken for sausage skins, rolls of fat hanging from their middles, reminding me of hippos you’d see on an African safari.

They’re talking about men.  “My Pedro, he no like when I come here.  He worry I leave him for Eduardo,” who winks from across the room while sweeping the floor.

They giggle like the mice in Cinderella at Pedro’s expense, wiping their mouths and chins with nails the length of Aruba.  As I sit sipping my, I think Chochi can improve on his latte experience, I wonder what it must be like being 30, giddy, well-fed, well-laid, with enough blubber to rival Moby Dick.

Uh-oh, I feel an essay coming on.


Posted in dessert, food, friendship, humor, Love, New York City, sex, women, words | Tagged , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Reading A la carte

I have a band of books I read over and over again that have quite a range.

images-2 I go from Pride and Prejudice to Movable Feast, images-3 Out of Africa, Why Sinatra Matters seguing into, Take the Cannoli, The Killer Angels, Sedaris’s Holidays on Ice, holidays_on_ice sliding into Good Dog Carl for a big, wacky finish. images-3

That’s quite a buffet if you ask me.  But the book I’m reading for the 10th time says it all about personal preferences and hangin by your hinges humor, and that’s…

Kitchen Confidential, by Anthony Bourdain (2000).

Like discovering sex again when you’re 60, or dry-humping for the first time, you’re encapsulated by the whole experience.  His candor about a chef’s life coming up through the ranks letting it all hang out like the entrails of one of his tenderloins, gleans him so much respect from this Connecticut girl, who’s guilty going out without her cardigan, let alone pants brandishing her butt cheeks.

His advice on dining out has become legendary.  Don’t eat mussels, or any fish for that matter, on a Monday, staying clear of the word special, since it’s code for old.

And if a bistro’s bathroom is dirty, imagine what its kitchen looks like.

He hates vegetarians and finicky eaters because, as he so plainly puts it, your body isn’t a temple, it’s a fucking amusement park.

His willingness to blow his cover about his former heroin habit, early humiliating trials working for crazy foodies, living from hand to mouth while lovingly learning his craft, has earned him a place in the literary food world more than an Emeril or Bobby Flay thanks to his, as the New York Times aptly put it…

Comic vision that goes beyond original.  It is deliciously depraved.

You need a laugh, especially at 3 a.m.?  Anthony is a great guy to snuggle up to since, he always gets it up, doesn’t matter how many times you need him too…

and he cooks.

How many men can you say that about?



Posted in Books, Connecticut, food, humor, media, men, New York City, words, writing | Tagged , , , | 23 Comments

Ferry Tails

images-2 Before you can enter the Staten Island Ferry’s terminal, one needs to be vetted by two Labradors who look as official as rodeo clowns…their partners as stern as they seem surprised.

Why are we working again when we could be lolling on someone’s bed?

Everyone, except me, is annoyed they have to stop to submit their bags for inspection.  I, on the other hand, can’t wait to bound over to see them, who to their boss’s chagrin, are just as happy to see me.

“Don’t pet the dog!” one cranky guard said, “can’t you see it’s working?”

Did you say it?

Despite the early hour, I dig out my charm I’ll admit is still sleeping and say, “Oh come on, he’s still a puppy after all, who needs a good scratch.”

No, it didn’t work, as I moseyed onto the boat.

Next day I tried again with another guard who looked around before saying, “Go ahead, Charlie loves attention, especially from the ladies.”

Charlie, after he stuck his nose in my bag, sat in my lap like a happy guy at a strip club.

As for me, I may have smiled all the way to Staten Island.


Posted in animals, humor, Love, New York City | Tagged , , , , | 10 Comments