Wednesday, May 28, 2008

'Ello Loves!

Welcome back to England! It's been a few years since I was last here... but it's good to know that some things never change.
I fly over on Aer Lingus, and they lost my bag! It's due to arrive today, nearly 48 hours after I arrived. If this is the biggest crisis, I think we'll do OK.
And, of course, as I asked for, it's nice and gloomy and gray and overcast... and due to stay that way for the time being.
I love it here, because Sally gets no less than seven newspapers delivered every day, which takes me hours to get through, and I love it. SO interesting to see how different papers approach the same subject.
The Times also puts out its "Rich List" for 2008, which has the 1000 richest people in the UK. Who knew that you could make so much money in coat hangers and toilet paper! Most, of course, have done well with real estate and hedge funds, but I like holding onto the idea that you can still make money with "the basics."
I'm staying with Sally now at her bucolic home in Hambleden, which is in Oxfordshire near Henley-on-Thames for those of you who know the area. I'll mostly be here, altho we're planning some trips into London to see shows, and I'll make some side trips to see friends. Mostly, we'll be working on The Party, set for July 5. (We began yesterday by starting an Excel spread sheet of rsvp's for the hordes of people invited. It should be a blast!)
More later, naturally.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

And I'm off

Sorry for the brevity of these posts, and I'll work at getting the photos to work right...
But I'm in NYC, and heading to the airport in a few minutes (literally) to grab my flight (on Aer LINGUS...) to London. I'll be there by tomorrow afternoon, Monday May 26, and I'll be staying there with my friend Sally for several weeks. There's a big party being planned for July 5, in honor of the two Smith girls: Sara and Ali. I'll be around to help out, and will take a few side trips here and there. (Details to follow.)
Quickly: in NY, I was able to catch up with Charlie Haigh (friend since 1972); Phyllis Pastore (almost as long); Michael Meyer and Lyndsey, who I met in Las Vegas but now they live in The City; Mary Frembgen, who works for Blue Man Group, and we went over to watch her friend Jon play in a "concert" that took place in a basement in Brooklyn (you think I can make this up??); and then a half day with Jim Prez, an old pal from Denver who now works at the Newark Museum. He got us into the new Rubin Gallery of Tibetan Art, in the former Barney's store at 17th and 7th. Highly recommended if you've never been.
I did see Mike Daisey do his one man show called "How Theatre Failed America," and didn't learn much more, altho he's very talented. And a new Off-Broadway musical based on the short story: "The Adding Machine." Interesting, but not a tune you could hum.
Again, forgive how fast this is, and I'll get better once I get on the road... but thanks for reading, and we'll talk once I get over the Pond.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Cape Cod

I can't believe I've never been to Cape Cod! What a magnificent place, with all those adorable salt box houses built in the 17th century, the ocean ... and the lobster!
I was able to catch one of the final shows of "The Miser," which had my dear ol' pal from high school days in it, Michael Ernst. He was terrific, and I was even able to attend the final cast party, which is always a treat.
Then Michael took a day off work (bless him!) and he drove me ALL over Cape Cod: from Woods Hole (where he works), up to Provincetown and all the parts in between. We ended the day by stopping and buying six pounds of steamers and a half dozen lobsters (for $9.99 per pound, mind you!). We had a grand meal with Michael, his girlfriend Christine Rathbun (a writer and actress of renown on the Cape), along with her daughter Marnie and her parents. It was a joy to spend so much time with Michael and the clan, and I hope to get back to the Cape soon.
Here's a few shots of Michael and Christine, my best friends in Cape Cod.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The east coast swing

Here's all of the gang, or most of them... and a very fast update.
Asheville, NC was a blast! I got to spend days with Constance Ensner, whom I've known since junior high school (many years ago... ). She now owns three high-end clothing boutiques in Asheville and seems to know everyone in town. Her son Ian was around, and we even got to have dinner with her ex-, Ray, as well as her new beau, Peter. (Got that?) Asheville seems to be in a time warp from the Deco years, but it's an incredible city of only 68,000. Home to the Biltmore and the Grove... it's all groovy.
Then I took a 13-hour bus ride to DC, where Chrissy and Charlie Sabatino picked me up in a drenching rainstorm (bless them!), and I was then able to spend three days at their home in Arlington, Virginia. They've been there for many years, so it was interesting to hear how the place has changed. I also got to see my ol' pal Stephanie Mumford and her husband Jack, where we toured the newly remodeled National Portrait Gallery, and had an amazing tapas lunch at a restaurant Steph chose that was close to the museum. I also had a dinner with Michael Ribar, who I wrote a story about years ago when I was at the Rocky Mountain News in Denver. He's quite amazing, and now works at George Washington University in graduate admissions while studying for his Masters. And then I had time to have a lunch with Sue Toma, the mother of my great friend Becky Toma. She lives very close to Arlington, so it was easy and then she kindly dropped me off for the train to Pennsylvania.
Then it was train time up to Philly, where I stayed with my brother Dave and his new wife Diane. Dave and his son Grady and I took off for the Mutter Museum in Philly. It was finished with an awesome steak and lobster dinner prepared by Dave. What a treat, and I'm blessed and spoiled!! Up next: Cape Cod.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

A quick update

I'm on the road, sort of.
I spent two nights and a day in Atlanta with my pal Betty, where she showed me some of the town and we got to have lunch with John Kessler (who used to work in Denver at the Denver Post and Westword, but now works for the Atlanta Constitution). We somehow managed to squeeze in a roast suckling pig dinner, a prayer meeting, a visit to the DeKalb Market and a dinner at a groovy restaurant called Two. At least I think that was the name...
Then I grabbed a bus to Columbia, SC, where I was picked up by my dear friend Elinor, who I traveled with in India circa 1996. (She used to be the art director at Archeology magazine, and her house and gardens are fantastic!) We then drove down to Edisto Island, just north of Hilton Head, where she had rented a house along with her son Addison, his girlfriend Connie and her daughter Rossie (from Denver!). We've had a great time here, eating fresh seafood, fixing meals and then planning the next meal, riding bikes and touring the island. 
So the trip has begun, and I couldn't be happier! Up next: Asheville, NC.