Thursday, March 30, 2017

Digging up my fathers grave with my bare hands

I visited my father’s grave today. I went deep into the Bronx and got down in the mud and started digging with my bare hands, unearthing a big fat worm. It can’t get much realer.

I had brought a pot of red tulips and I wanted to plant them rather than leave them, but I didn’t have a shovel so I just got down in the dirt and started digging with my bare hands. Something about the physicality and the fresh earth was really good for me.

The great thing about being an adult is having a choice. As a kid I did not. My relationship with my father is super complicated. I have not visited his grave in many years, and in the 21 years since he died, this is only the second visit.  I am doing it my way and it is perfect. I feel peace and love and forgiveness right now, which is a victory, but the real victory is that it is fine if I don’t feel those things, I can and I have felt whatever I needed to, whatever is true, no judgment or fixing or rules. True victory.

The cool part is that there is magic at the cemetery. My last visit brought out this crazy little ghost that followed my out to the cemetery gates
This time after planting my flowers, I sat and closed my eyes to have some quite contemplation and something small came charging at me, the patter patter of the feet approached me so quickly, loudly and directly that I could not keep my meditation going, and as the “thing” got within inches of me, my eyes flew open but nothing was there. Ha! Crazy but true. I am used to such shenanigans and did not bat an eye lash, but simply looked around for a few seconds to make sure, and then closed my eyes again and went back to my meditation. 

Incase you are an adult and feel like you don’t have a choice, I write this to remind you that you do. You do. You always do. The choice might not exist in the way you want it to, it might just be an internal one, a choice of attitude, but you definitely have it. I love you….

Saturday, March 4, 2017


I visited the neighborhood I grew up in today. Yep, we did a spontaneous trip up to Inwood with the kids and hit the Dyckman House and Inwood park and stopped at Dichter's pharmacy and Soda Shoppe for hot chocolate before going back downtown. I walked past the school I went to from 1st to 8th grade. It looked so small even from the outside. I was dying to get inside, but it was locked tight. I stopped into the church I went to as a kid and that really looked smaller than I remember. I visited the 9/11 memorial garden there, that honors all the good folk from Inwood who we lost that day. We took a minute to feel that memory.

I hoped to go into another 10 shops that haven't been there for one, two, three, or four decades, but I still kept looking for them, I still kept hoping to see them as I walked the streets of my youth, bursting with memories. I remembered the smells and sights of all those ghostly shops despit the passage of time...Sundrops, the hippie store that used to be next to the Dyckman House; the weird store that used to be a few doors down from Harlem Savings Bank, which sold cosmetics and knick knacks, and use to have crazy great vintage cosmetics from the 70's; Fanny Farmers (who could forget that smell); White Towers, the delicious White Castle knock off. It was nice to see a few of the old places that remained. I adore Inwood and would have ran around visiting various important spots if I didn't have the kids with me, as they tend to have a smaller window than I do, before they turn back into pumpkins. I was dying to get into Ellen McM's building and see the elevator that I remember to be very tiny and Parisian, I recall the orangish bubble the lit up when you called it, and the very specific smooth flat buttons for each floor. Was it an Otis? I also wanted to climb the rocks! We will have to go back soon.

In typical A train fashion, we were leaving my hometown, going down the stairs to the subway as we heard the ding of the train closing its doors, and as we hit the platform, one second away from boarding, those doors did indeed close and we were left on the empty platform to wait for the next train to arrive and of course be swept clean before leaving again, and taking us home.

The problematic A train started running on the F train track after w 4 th street, so we used it to our advantage and stayed on for a stop and ended the day by going to downtown to Great Jones Cafe for dinner, it has been at least 20 years and possibly 30 since I have gone there and it was so delicious...blackened catfish, shrimp in garlic, pulled pork....the only thing missing was whipped sweet potato, which I thought I used to get there, does anyone remember if they used to make that, fluffy creamy sweet potatoes, somewhere between mashed sweet potatoes and whipped marshmallows? Anyway, we got the sweet potato fries instead. Perfection none the less.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Aftermath snacks

so I am in complete f*it mode. I got home from the academy awards and ate chocolate, two boots pizza (full on wheat and dairy, which I rarely do) and PORKCHOPS and I have continued int that direction all week! I am exhausted to the bone, which is weird since I am only 51 years old and I have a two year old and a seven year old; and I played a gig one weekend; flew to London and back the next weekend, doing an allnighter in there; threw a birthday party with a house full of kids the next weekend; and and flew across the country and back the next weekend, also doing an all nighter. One all nighter thrown into my regular schedule is enough to wipe me out for a while. Ha! I have been living vicariously through myself! My apartment is a disaster zone. I need some serious rest and relaxation, but since that is not happening I will still do chocolate and PORKCHOPS, bacon, cookies, potato chips and this new drink I am crazy about- carbonated rose tea, with hibiscus, lime And cardamom- by some company called SOUND. Is anyone else drinking that these days?