Friday, June 29, 2007

The Miracle of Womanhood

I'm going to be 45 years old in a month.

Should I be getting sentimental over that the fact that I'm still a fucking bitch the first day of my period?

Which, I think you may have guessed by now, is today.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


I was able to stand at 9th Street and 5th Avenue to take in a bit of NYC's Pride March - Unity in Equality 2007. It couldn't have been a more beautiful day. The Grand Marshals were a female rabbi of the country's largest jewish gay congregation and a male bishop affiliated to the christian organization Dignity. Religous groups played a prominent role, including St. Luke in the Fields - my episcopal church!

Earlier in the day at about 8 a.m., I rode my bike west on 9th street and crossed 5th Avenue en route to Pier 40 and my son's little league game. It was still very quiet downtown, with few cars and even fewer people. There was a freshly painted lavender line going down the center of 5th Avenue. Guard rails were not yet in place. I thought about how wonderful it must be to see the beginning of the parade coming from uptown with all its colors, music, costumes and people. I must be getting old because I almost started to cry.

I rode a bit further west where 9th street turns into Christopher Street. The guard rails were all in place. Older gay/straight people were already unfolding their beach chairs positioning themselves in orchestra seats in preparation for the parade three hours later. The Stonewall Bar was quiet, a place I walk by every morning.

It was nice to be alone and to have this time to soak in the specialness of this great day. My heart was filled with emotions that took me back to 1982. At that time, I lived in Cambridge with my best friend Joe. I had a longtime girlfriend and he had lots of boyfriends. We went to Beacon Street to watch a bit of the gay pride march - we'd never seen one before and felt curious about it. Neither one of us was at all political about our identities at that point in time.

In 1982 - the Boston Gay Pride March (if it was even called that back then) wasn't so much a feel good event as a march for equal rights to exist event. Many of the spectators looked on in curiousity or disgust. I stood on the sidewalk taking in this convergence of courage, disgust, celebration, fear, humor and beauty.

Joe and I were there solely as spectators....until someone standing behind me said "look at these freaks passing by - they're disgusting." I looked over at Joe - he looked sad - very sad. That's all it took to get my shanty Irish blood up to a boiling point. I took a deep breath and grabbed his arm. He said "Where are we going?" I looked straight ahead and said "Out there where we belong."

We just plunged in! Both of us 20 years old and totally terrified that we'd be burned at the stake somewhere on this march to an unknown destination. I remember that by pure luck we fell in line behind a bunch of women holding a banner that read "Nice Jewish Girls For Gays!"

That day changed my life. And I finally understood down to my very bones that the personal is political. A few years later, I helped lead a rally into the Boston State House in support of the Gay Rights Bill (it took several years to pass). A conservative legislator came out of his office shouting insults - I led a chant and pointed at him saying "the whole world is watching!" Hundreds of voices came together and repeated these words.

The Boston Herald and Boston Globe were there taking pictures. And although I led the chant, I was edited out of each photo. My friends and I always thought it was because I looked like a nice Irish girl with a gold cross prominently placed across my sweater. An image that wouldn't have played well in Boston.

Wow. That was 25 years ago. How wonderful to see all these religous groups head up the parade in loving celebration and support of equal opportunity for human dignity.

What would Jesus do? He'd march or maybe dance on a float that had a lot of multicolored balloons on it.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Key Food on Avenue A Rocks

It's funny where you experience enlightenment. God doesn't have preferences.

Last night Brian and I were walking Saki together. Ben was sleeping over at a relative's house, leaving us in a rare and temporary state of childlessness.

Brian wanted to get ice cream and suggested ducking into Key Food instead of spending more money at a bodega or yuppie ice cream shop.

I ducked into the Key Food on Avenue A and looked around at the shabby decor and its half baked attempt at marketing new food products with uneven pyramids and a confused cornucopia of fading fruits and vegetables.

The wonderful array of Key Food customers glided by me - a distilled group reduced by the likes of Whole Foods on Houston Street and Associated on 14th Street.

Everyone had their own thing going on - all walks of life - it was the end of a working day and people looked at bit tired and run down. This hodge podge loserville - people so far out of the box that they don't even know where the box just filled me with such bliss and peace. These are my people -- the neighborhood I grew up in that informs me to the core. A place to be whoever you want....because anything goes. A brief peak at what use to be the norm here.

This feeling of love and appreciation just flooded me. A feeling I'd taken for granted for many years.

The teenager at the cash register rang my ice cream up and with a very somber face looked up at me and said, "Two for one."

She needed to repeat it three times for me to understand that you get one quart of Breyers ice cream free with each one purchased. I was so psyched that she started laughing. I just didn't see it coming!

My husband is a thrifty WASP -- and you should have seen the look of righteousness on his face when I delivered the goods.

Saturday, June 16, 2007


I've been holding back on this issue for some time now, but after three solid hours shopping in Soho with my beloved Icelandic niece....the question must be posed

Hey New York City!

Could you girls please get your titties out of my face!!??

Everyone's boobs are hanging out everywhere I go - uptown, downtown, like never before.
Everybody and their mother is wearing spaghetti straps, strapless or plunging V necks with a friggin' push up - push out bra - or just letting their jugs of any size fall out of their dresses and tops.

I don't find it offensive but I do feel that if you shove your boobies in my face I have every right to stare at them - something I usually don't do.

What is the protocol here folks?!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Neither More Nor Less - Bob Arihood

I followed my blog friend Michael's (One Foot in Front of the Other - see link on the right) advice and checked out the blog Neither More Nor Less (also linked on the right).

The blog just blew my mind. It made we want to cry at some points. He had pictures of a mass at Mary Help the Christians Catholic Church - where my uncle was a priest for years. He showed pictures of a torn up St. Brigid's Church engaged in a battle with developers to somehow gain landmark status in its final hours.

He even knows who Hotdog is!!! How in the world does he know her!? Of course he knows the Mosaic Man - but Hotdog - that is just a whole other level of knowingness.

There was a guy who basically lived on our stoop for years. We called him "Married with Food Stamps". Every time one of us gals would walk out of the building, he'd come out of his haze, compliment us and say "Marry me...I have food stamps!!"

This guy even knows that Bernard Goetz has been active in animal rescue at Tompkin's Square Park.

I'm surprised he doesn't take pictures of all the Yemen guys who work at the bodega near my building on A. They are such a big part of the world here - and I love them!

It's been a very long time since I've felt sad about leaving my bought out neighborhood - - but he got me there.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Stay out of my kitchen

I've been doing a lot of thinking about my son Ben's diet. He's nine but is tall, solid and looks a year older than he is.

He also has a little tummy but I figure that has to do with the onset of adolescence and some parts of his body growing faster than others.

What bugs me in the last year or so is the shift in his food tastes. I've been too careless about his relationship to sugar - and now I think it's a problem. We don't drink soda or have sweets in the house - - but sugar has a way of sneaking its way into the ingredients of just about everything you buy outside of organic fruits, vegetables and meats.

We eat breakfast and dinner together as a family and I make everyone's lunch. I think it's important to eat together and to put love and care into the food your family eats. It keeps us feeling close and on the same wave length with each other.

Avoiding the sugar infused products of the food industry isn't easy - but I have to take it on. I truly believe American food culture and the industry/advertising behind it is killing us.

Sunday, June 03, 2007


This is a petty observation but I've just got to flame about it.

The world is divided into two types of people; the people who say "hi" first and the people who don't.

I've spent my life always saying hi to someone the minute I recognize them. I can't help it.

Today I bumped into a dad at my son's baseball game. I don't know him well but he seems like a nice person. Every time we cross pathes I ALWAYS say hello first and then he immediately responds. I can tell he's just waiting for me to acknowledge him. Because this behavior confuses me, I try to keep our exchanges pleasant and brief.

Being a "hi" first person isn't always as easy at it looks. Maybe it's wiser to be more reserved - then you're not vulnerable. Unfortunately, that's not a world I can live in. It would make me too depressed to start screening people at this point in my life.

So I guess I'll just keep saying it.


Friday, June 01, 2007


as David Bowie would kind of say.

My husband just got offered a faculty position at a school about 90 minutes away from NYC - in Connecticut.

For one day we were scared and argued a bit.

Even though this decision dictates a host of significant changes in our lives, somehow, after the initial fear passed, I was glad that something came along that forced our hand.

My biggest fear/problem is feeling stagnant. It drives me mad. I'm not afraid of change most of the time - as long as it's creative or thoughtfully approached.

Stay tuned.