Monthly Archives: July 2008

Bringing a Little LA to NY

Downtown Goes Coastal, a linked list of my travel highlights

I’m live-blogging from Santa Monica, in a beautiful house right off of Montana, where I’ve been for the past 24 hours. First, I was here, which sort of sucked since they lost my reservation and then charged my card three times for my stay and the room wasn’t so hot. But then all ended well after a massage here and dinner with my Italian friends at their home, which looks out over all of Los Angeles and the Pacific. We had some great conversations aboutold and new Italian movies — a little hard to follow since some of the discussion was actually in Italian, but I managed to get the gist of it while responding in English.

Yesterday I spent the morning at the beach and the afternoon at the Getty Villa, where for some reason, I felt the need to take 9,000 photos of beautiful things, but things I’ve already seen and taken pictures of in Italy.

Last night I cooked dinner with family friends (another Italian feast) and heard the story about how they met and their weddings — one in Wales and one in New Jersey. Picture the English parents coming to meet the Italian-Jewish in laws. I was cracking up as they were telling the story.

Today has been more leisurely, just hanging out until my New York family friends stop by as they vacation their way down the coast with their children (ages 11 and 14). The afternoon will be devoted to the ultra-tourist stops like the Walk of FameMann’s Chinese Theatre, and Hollywood &Highland. But will promise to be fun when seen through younger eyes.

The rest of the trip will include singing and dancing our way to the Mamma Mia premiere, visiting old friends,new friends, and then off to Arizona to see my best friends of all, my family.

Redefining the “Power” Lunch

Today I had lunch at a New York institution. I had always envisioned my first lunch there would have something to do with mergers and media. Instead however, it was much more casual and by far a lot longer than the average “power lunch.” My lunch partners were an SVP of a PR agency and a two-time Tony award-winning actress. We talked for two plus hours, covering everything from politics and religion to trips to Hawaii and home renovation in New Jersey. It was a lunch for the soul, where interesting ideas and opinions were shared. There was no agenda, no power plays and no egos. It was simply “Fun.”

This lunch presented itself at the perfect time. I was getting tired of the young New York small talk at cocktail/book parties, networking events, news of ridiculous book deals, and paper-pushing with clients. I felt like the city itself was turning on me with everything from the torrential downpours, humidity and subway hassles, to feeling like I was letting possibilities slip through my fingers. I was tempted to say “goodbye to all that,” but then days like this happen and New York opens her arms and gives you a gift. I never would have met either of my dining partners had it not been for the serendipity and six degrees of Manhattan. “Fun” is a word that has been farthest from my vocabulary recently, but which I’ll now always be able to resurrect the feeling of when I think about my “power” lunch.

So while the power-suited around us played their trump cards, surrendered fortunes and gained millions, we simply talked for the sake of conversation, to learn, to laugh, to nourish our bodies and souls, to remind us that true power lies within our ability to connect with others, and to help remind me of why I continue to love New York.