And one for all!

–Same room, different pew.–
Thank you Katie Couric for using your platform to tell your very personal journey. Women supporting women.
“Reach out and touch somebody’s hand. Make this world a better place if you can.”
One of our guilty pleasures is surfing the net that has a stronghold on our curiosity. We scrolled through instagram this summer and watched as Katie Couric made an amazing looking homegrown tomato sandwich. Lite mayo and we’re in. She was in full force smile and she had our mouths watering- one screen away. Yesterdays news about her breast cancer diagnosis threw us for a loop. With stories galore and awareness becoming proforma hopefully we will help to bring early screening or in my very personal story prophylactic procedures center stage. Thank you Katie Couric stronger together🙏!


There’s a hold up in the Bronx, Brooklyn’s broken out in fights. There’s a traffic jam in Harlem- that’s backed up to Jackson Heights. There’s a scout group short a child, Khruschev’s due at Idlewild- “Car 54 Where Are You?” Gunther Toody and Officer Muldoon- where are you when we need you? Indelible visuals of their caricatures implanted in our minds. We only wanted them to get back together as partners. Their chemistry was real. My go to is Barbra with an A. “Was it all so simple then or has time re-written every line?”

Johnny on The Pony was a fave, rough housing at its best. Great memory and first glimpse into early on-set competition was watching the boys play skully. Remember flicking bottle caps on to a chalk made skully board? Object not over-flicking–nope it’s on the line.

When the going was good, with euphoric recall, we remember the days of no wine, maybe sweet sixteen roses. We drew the hopscotch board on the part of the sidewalk that was flat. Throwing our skate key as our hopscotch shooter was the thrill- where would it fall? Happy to land with two feet on 3 and 4 or 6 and 7 (double squares). Jumping rope, (sorry no double dutch here) trading Barbie clothes and discussing what happened on last nights episode of The Patty Duke Show are such comforting memories of times well lived. A simple worry was that the street light would go on before we found our skate key en route home to watch the latest episode of Dr. Kildare, (Richard Chamberlain) was very cute . We loved playing stoop ball- loosely based on baseball, only we used a Spaulding and retrieved it from the stoop steps, rather than from a batter. Big favorite was the game of Jacks. We didn’t care that we were often left with scrapes on the side of our hands from pinky to wrist. Bacitracin and band-aids were big in our house. The boys on the block played Stickball, (baseball with a stick.)

And then came the “Whistle.” I think our father practiced it a few times before we heard it coming as a “it’s time.” We did not look forward to hearing that sound at all, and in the middle of a game-ugh! “But Daddy we aren’t done. Please, just a little bit longer.” Denominations of time didn’t matter. Ten more minutes would have done. We cherished these after dinner nightly reunions. Our early childhood friends are still part of us. Now we share Nexium, diet tips and compare blood pressure meds. Just sayin. The crescendo of childhood memories was getting our baby bead bracelets with the letters spelling our names and encased in gold. Our piece of the sky, indeed. Ok, then, so with resignation and dismay we left the street. Bath time, Dr. Kildare and maybe some of Pinky Pinkham( Dorothy Provine) singing a few tunes at the Charleston Club. The corners of our minds are filled with the innocence of skate keys, Nancy Drew books and red licorice; never a clue that Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five would become the thundering moral statement of our time. Oh, what I would give to hear that infamous whistle beckoning me to come in, just one more time- And Daddy this time I would come in and right away. Make it a good day!

That’s Fit to Print!

5783 we stand and Pray for what’s meant to be.

Have we been naughty?

Remembering our nice.

Hoping this year is less riddled with strife.

We muster up energy.

Call on new tactics.

Add new behaviors.

That won’t take much practice.

Let’s focus on attempting to better mistakes.

This time around aim for fewer retakes.

When fraught with uncertainty,

Apply the rules we were taught.

A New Year is dawning.

A new chapter begins.

Keep your eyes focused.

The goal a Win/Win.

Mix in wisdom, add a dose of measured passion.

Together is better- our one constant fashion.

Boy, the way Glenn Miller played!

If you watched Channel 7 at 9:00 last eve- fast forward this. Celebrating Norman Lear on turning 100. If you didn’t you might want to on demand it for an incredible tribute. Reposting my musing when he turned 100. July 27.

Norman Lear’s sentiments in Carl Reiner’s documentary on aging “If You’re Not in the Obit, Eat Breakfast.” -exactly! His credo is find your “hammock” and live in the “now.” As he sees it the transition of time in between the “ok it’s over, to what’s next, is when his productivity kicked in. At the end of a writing project, leading with humor and sending a message -he kept hundreds of people in his audience laughing. And I quote- Go Beat that- Happy 100 years yesterday Mr. Lear.

HBO launched the documentary, catch it if you can. Mel Brooks is hysterical , Dick Van Dyke glides across the dance floor, Norman Lear is brilliant, Carl Reiner orator extraordinare. They were all Nonagenarians -Mr.Reiner RIP -Mr. Lear Happy “100” omg years.

A big take away message is if you spend too much time working off disappointments and complications you will be one miserable soul. Excuses hold no water when they are used without discretion. Limiting your “woe is me’s “ gives you more time to go for the gold. Give hugs, get attention where the tariff is reciprocal and strong.

The future might be an assumption but when you “find yourself in times of trouble ,” find your version of Mother Mary and become the ambassador of your estate. One thing the long “livers” had in common, whether or not chopped “liver” and french fries were mainstays, is that they fell in love with lots of things. They attached passion to their activities. They honed hobbies and had specific collections. Please pass the salt and pepper shakers collection strong. Cole Porter, hit it- “The night is young, the skies are clear- So if you want to go walking dear. It’s delightful, it’s de-lovely, it’s delirious.” Have a good Friday.

Sealed with a Kiss!

Dear G-d,

On the days before the Jewish New Year your presence in our lives feels even more pronounced. We sit still for a moment and reasonably try to evaluate where we could try harder, embrace change and clean up shop.
We hold on to the lessons that have propelled us into a place with more acceptance and the understanding that our journey is just that. The people in our path who are deceptive are there to help us understand wrong from right. The benevolent, kind and selfless offer us lessons for good values. One of your long term themes is for patience. We go along at our own pace and hope that our recognition of who needs a leg up grows more keen with time. Our gut is really our mind speaking through our heart. You know when you know. Don’t underestimate a vibe, a sideways look on someone’s face. Some of the people, some of the time.

When we are pushed to the limit in our values you leave us with the decision to hold tight or compromise and restructure. When we slip up and waiver we look over our shoulder for the feathers, or dimes you drop along our path.
We feel less alone.
There are days we wonder when it’s our turn again for you to come back our way. It’s often during our toughest lessons.
And so we wake up early, make the coffee as we begin the “Days of Judgment .” We will wait for the feathers, leave our “judgments” in the recycle bins and know, as long as we work together our backs will be covered. Gmar Chatima Tova.

Marvelous, Melancholy🙏

As I often theme my writing with the concept of “just do it now, “ we are traditionally reflecting back on the year just lived. Some days our get up and go is pro forma. Our time to make the donuts occurs in a knee jerk fashion. Some days our knee jerks. Our Bubby Chicken, for those in the know- phrased the difficult times with a “just look away mamala.” Oh Bubby we believe now more then ever that your schmaltz and sugar laden food added wisdom to your 95 years. You didn’t exercise, but you never sat down. You worked the majority of your life and when you stopped formally working you worked at whatever you did. As you gathered your loved ones around the table, your emotional nutrition sustained us and your cooking created memories that still linger on. We talk about your baking as treasures. We reminisce about your traditions and the intensity is still palpable. How lucky my sisters and cousins were to have Our Bubby Chicken. So at this time of year, as we look forward to a New Year, pray for forgiveness and remember our ancestors , why not exhume your Grandma, Grammy or Bubby memories. Hanging with her babies and watching them grow into themselves was her Pilates, her group therapy and our legacy. So Bub, here’s to our days gone by. We carry you in our hearts and tapping into your Sechel gives us reasons to believe especially when we lose our way. When we played musical chairs and the music stopped, you pulled over one extra chair so we all stayed in the game. And by the way we spend more time “looking the other way,” as our knee jerks. May your neshama have an Aliyah, Bub.

How Much More? Timely repost.

“No Hell Below Us, Above Us Only Sky.

Whistleblower Claims women in ICE custody are being Coerced into Hysterectomies. The Irwin County Detention Center in Georgia is being investigated for performing hysterectomies for organ experimentation. Human guinea pigs. They are said to have coerced Spanish speaking prisoners into doing this and not really explaining why it was being done.
Ok, so they basically said get up on the table we are going to remove your dignity, humane rights to make decisions about Your bodies and eradicate your ability to procreate and bear children. These nefarious activities occurred all the while living in a covid-19 riddled and unsafe cell.
As we enter the New Year and light yahrzeit candles for our parents, we sigh a split second of relief as our protective instincts kick in. Thank G-d you were spared this moment in time when all your dreams for us had to be put on hold while we dodge bullets, run from rabid dogs, so to speak running around the streets and anxiously wait for when this demonic despot is no longer holding our health card in his hands. Pray for us mama, we’re scared fierce. L’shana tova tikatevu.

Allan Sherman-esque-Buy 1 get 3 free

Allan Sherman-esque. Buy 1-get 3 free!

Hello Muddah,

Hello Fadduh,

Here I am at Camp Flor-ah-da.

It’s not so -entertaining,

They say I’ll have some fun if I stop complaining.

I went walking- with Jenny Eliasis.

She developed a bad case of psoriasis.

You remember- Shirley Skinner.

We are meeting for the early bird dinner.

All the sales people -over at the Walmarts – snuck in for me an extra dozen urine charts.

Now I don’t want this,

should scare ya.

But my roommate has a bad case of diar-rhe-a.

You remember- Joanie Hardy.

They’re about to organize a searching party.

Take me home, oh muddah, fadduh, take me home.

From Camp Flor-ah-da.

Don’t leave me, at the casino.

Someone next to me forgot to take their beano.

Take me home I promise –

I wont make noise or mess the house with daubers (bingo.)

–So please don’t make me stay, I’ve been here one whole day.–

Wait a minute, it stopped raining.

I think I like the music in the pool that they’re playing.

Playing mah Jong and Canasta- who knows with bridge I could become a masta.

So dear muddah and dear fadduh.

Hold your horses,

I seem to like it better. – I even started knitting a navy sweater.

I just watched -Bye Bye Birdie.

Go know, I ran into Auntie Gertie.

So for right now- wait till I call.

Someone asked for me to play some Pickleball.

Love, me!

Food and…

Shelly Fireman- 212-308-8174
With Paul, Lenny and Murray kibitzing at the next table about how they met you and who knew you way back to the days of stick ball and Johnny on the Pony, the evening began. We walked into the Fireman Group’s splendid new venture. A beautifully appointed room, a stage setting for what looked like a grand scene from a Coppola movie. A staff of beautiful people appeared to be auditioning for a role in “Cafe Society ” a la Fireman. We marveled at how everything old is new again. The panoply of flowers and leather banquets combined with well shined brass and mirrors helped to create the setting. We comfortably nuzzled into our booth glanced at ourselves in the mirror, smoothed down the cowlick on our bangs and hung our hat.

Everything slowed down, albeit quickly came flooding through in thoughts.

I met Shelly Fireman in 1977. I walked down a few steps into the old Le Drugstore, the new Cafe Tartufo. I had an appointment to interview for a job. I was 27 years old and waiting for my real estate career to take off. I distinctly remember his buttonless denim shirt that flowed over his very cool looking jeans. It completed the picture in my mind of a well dressed beatnik. I was impressed. I thought ok Village Voice and Allen Ginsberg move over, I got this gig down. And so I was hired as his “assistant .” Little did I know this meant wearing lots of (hold on to your hats) and learning a whole new set of “Peas and Q’s.” I love food and the environment in which it is created. Still do, always will. So I bought a new pair of jeans and realized this was not a sit behind a desk as an assistant, just anywhere job.

I learned a lot about the hospitality business, in the “back of the store” way. The people I got to meet were foodies in every sense of the word. They cooked it, wrote about and designed the hardware to display the food. This is actually where the taste buds begin.

Shelly gave me a taste tester allowance as part of my job. I would go to other food shops and eat my way to a worthwhile review to present to him the next day. I also got to know the staff of sales people at the men’s dept. at Bonwit Tellers, very well. This was his go to store for even the simplest of cravats. If there is such a thing. Shelly’s creativity transcends to so much more than how to present a great bowl of pasta or who to hire to whip up the anchovy sauce for the mozzarella en carroza. Fritto misto

let’s try it with carrots. Ok, he would say, now add less sauce. As sybaritic pleasures go, great food and how it dances off the plate is way up there.

Fast forward 40 plus and I’m still holding on to my hat years later. I am still eating in his stores. Our friendship still real and long lived. Without a doubt his bride for the better part of his ride – Marilyn Fireman has held his attention, respect, devotion and love. She is his greatest success, his longest lasting pleasure and the prototype for the cherry on top of the Tartufo. Without her his tale would not have unfolded as the success story it is.

She is beautiful, talented and saint like in her patience. Brava Marilyn.

On Sept 7, 2001, Ira and I stood under the Chuppah on the

roof top of his 57th street restaurant, appropriately titled Shelly’s. This building housed the put a quarter in the little glass door and take your piece of cherry pie Automat style. Who doesn’t have an Automat story?

So a part of me feels possessive, as old friends often do. Not in like a claiming ownership way, but more of a I was there as the under belly of this empire was in its empirical stage. And ”you’ve come a long way baby.”

So my dear friend, with every morsel of good wishes shared, every memory of Gael Greene’s reviewing Fiorellos greatest pizza pie, (like her hats were ever a disguise)- every take- out order I brought out to Bill Berkeley to bring home to Marge and my thoughts will it make it home, every time you told me what a bad typist I was ( hello Apple where were you in the 70’s, I say Mangiare e Bene. Simchas biz hundert tzvanzig.