Sunday, March 29, 2009

Little Potato

March was a much more reflective month than it usually is. In the last eleven years, I've been dedicated to producing what seemed like week long festivals in honor of Ben's birthdays. Now he is eleven and big parties are being replaced by a special gift or overnight excursion. I can see that bittersweet look in his eyes as he watches his little boyhood slip through his fingertips. He still wants to want those experiences - the pageantry of balloons, a noisy crowd of kids, too many gifts and too many sweets. Tweenhood is all about going two steps forward and one step back on a daily basis.

So what does this have to do with the East Village? I've been finding it difficult to write about the neighborhood for much of the same reasons. It's coming time to go. To leave the building I've known since my birth. I don't know that this will ever be my home again -- even though I will visit from time to time and will be in the neighborhood often.

American culture tends to downplay the sanctity in a sense of place. Our economy wants us to be mobile and our character is ever onward and upward. But love it or hate it, we all sprouted somewhere and it's in our blood. In many ways, I'm at peace with our next steps. The generations of family who walked these same streets have taught me all the things they thought I should know. They've given me their blessing and I see it every day in the spirit of my son.

Saturday, March 21, 2009


My best friend Joe had open heart surgery this week. We have been good friends since 1968 when we met in 3rd grade and bonded over the Partridge Family.

He developed childhood leukemia in the early 70's and was one of the first group of kids to survive. The chemo lightened his hair permanently but it also damaged his he was to discover a few years ago.

The operation had some twists and turns that sent him back into surgery. His heart stopped twice.

He will have one more procedure, remain in ICU for a few days then off to a cardio rehab center. He is 46 years old.

We're not kids anymore. Although we are still eating the same amount of candy.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

All is Vanity, Nothing is Fair

I'm having a blog crisis.

There is so much to write about that I find it difficult to commit to one topic and post. So I sit frozen in front of my laptop and visit everyone else's blog instead. This has been going on for weeks.

Please be patient with me.

The economic downfall hit New York immediately but the downward economic "real feel" has taken a few months. Well folks, thousands of people in the NY area lost their jobs in the last five months. Stores are selling items at up to 70% off in spaces that demand high rents. Small businesses are going out of business everywhere around me in the East Village.

Except for my blessed hair stylist at Swing.

Luis and his partner Caroline have a cozy, ecofriendly salon that caters to East Villagers and the devotees that followed them here from Brooklyn. It's a very warm, neighborhoody place and that is why I will go there forever and ever. They also use organic products and since I, EVI, need to work hard (cough, umm) at keeping my bouncy thick brunette hair ummm staying bouncy and brunette, then organic is the way to go.

So I asked Luis how business was going. He said it was brisk. Lots of people coming in to get their hair styled for interviews, networking events, or just trying to look better than everyone else as a means to survive the rounds of layoffs.

There is something very New York to me about the importance of looking good -- even in the face of doom.