Posts Tagged ‘California’

I LOVE Art Deco decor – my living room in Manhattan has many Art Deco accent pieces. Preservation is always a HOT topic in any city with no vacant land-Developers look to old buildings in disrepair especially those in prime areas like most movie theaters are located.  Messynessychic is a website chock full of nostalgia, history, the unusual, the weird, hidden places and much much more.  I urge you to check it out http://www.messynessychic.com.  The photos below were absconded from that website, I hope you enjoy looking at the architectural grandeur of the past that has been preserved and/or restored.

The Paramount in Oakland California

Just Gorgeous

The Lobby

And take a look at the Ladies Room!

No Lines Here

No Lines Here

I don’t know what this little waiting room for ???

Whatever It Is - It's Lovely

Whatever It Is – It’s Lovely

This pastel beauty is the Orinda Theater in Orinda, California.

Looks Like A Painting

Looks Like A Painting

This is one of the smaller screening room in the Orinda Theater.



On Tuesday nights you can see a movie for $5.00 – The Grand Lake Theater in Oakland, California.

I'm There

I’m There


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Really who doesn’t love a 3 day weekend?  And what a great time of the year to have one too!  The beach is supposed to officially open…. And here’s how it went down.

We arrived a day early as did our friends Joe and Michael, all anticipating a long leisurely weekend with house guests.  Joe and Michael were expecting Lisa and Kelly and Sarajane would join us on Sunday so we could all have our 2nd annual Memorial Day cookout with them.  I was looking forward to lovely afternoon and catching up with the California contingency and Joe and Sarajane hadn’t seen each other in a while.  I bet you know where this is heading…..best laid plans!

Joe called me on Friday morning with disastrous news;  Upon arrival they discovered that their refrigerator had broken down and what a mess!!!  They weren’t sure whether the water filter or the ice maker broke because water was leaking out of the refrigerator through the NEW wooden floor boards and into the basement.  They were able to salvage a few food items and  I said I had room to store them until the repair man came that afternoon.  They tried unsuccessfully to open the freezer and couldn’t – apparently it had filled with water and then froze into a solid block. YIKES!  Well, Joe, Michael, Lisa and Kelly arrived carrying bags of food stuffs salvaged from the iceberg.  Joe expected the repairman in a few hours and so I left them a key to retrieve the food,  and surely Sunday’s cookout all would be fine.  NOT!

The repairman said he couldn’t fix the refrigerator because it had to defrost first; DEFROST? WHERE? In the kitchen?  I don’t think so!  Mind you the refrigerator is only about a year and half old and because they were expecting house guests, the freezer was FULL of food!   Joe left me a voicemail saying the cookout was off, maybe we could make another plan.  Oh Boy….

By Saturday evening we decided that we would all meet for dinner on Sunday evening BUT the iceberg is melting and Joe and Michael have to get it out of the house.  It has to go outside in the yard and Joe thought of  renting a dolly at Home Depot and trying to move it out.  I told him I had the name of someone he should call, actually two people.  I looked up the telephone number of a man and his sons who had helped us move some furniture out of our cottage and moved stuff in that we couldn’t handle.

Thank God, that contact was still valid.  Rafeek showed up Sunday morning with his son and in short order the iceberg a/k/a the refrigerator was out the door and in the yard and wrapped up in plastic.  And now let the melting begin.  I can’t imagine what everything in that freezer is going to look/smell like after a couple of days sitting outside.  

Sunday dawned sunny and beautiful and now that the refrigerator problem was temporarily solved, we decided we would all meet at Joe and Michael’s for a drink before we went out to dinner.  Sarajane was looking forward to seeing Joe again and the renovation of the cottage and Peter and I were looking forward to meeting Marcia, the third houseguest!  

We always have such a good time when we get together with Joe and Michael and Lisa and Kelly are delightful.  Everybody but me seems to be in advertising;  Peter knew many of the players from when he worked in sales promotion.  I enjoy hearing the stories, me, the Mad Men groupie.  

The House guests Kelly, Marcia and Lisa

The House Guests Kelly, Marcia and Lisa

Wine and deviled eggs on the patio and lots of chatter – and off to dinner we go!

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Daylight savings time world

Daylight savings time world (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is the montra you used to use when you were invited to a cocktail party and didn’t know anyone except the hostess.  This is what your mother told you should begin polite conversation with the opposite sex. Talking about the weather is what you do when you go into the Post Office or the hardware store.  Talking about the weather is what comes up between strangers on a bus or train.  Often, when you walk into any store, the owner/clerk/salesperson opens up a conversation with you about what – THE WEATHER!

We didn’t have any snow or ice storms all winter!  Without the inches/feet of snow in our yards, what reason did we have to call our cousins in Florida or relatives in CaliforniaWinter on the East Coast is a treasure trove of gossip, factoids and is in the news every day, often as the lead story.  I mean weathermen in New England have risen to stardom when we had a couple of severe (as they like to say) winters.  Just think  of the lost career opportunities this past season!

Alright so we did talk about the weather, or rather, we just sort of talked about the lack thereof.   When conversation lagged or out of sheer boredom or better yet the desire to be the one who captures everyone’s attention with a new tidbit, well then you could always drag out September’s hurricane and October’s freak snow fall.  I rode out the hurricane through the night as the wind howled and the rain poured but at the shore in October we only had a very light snowfall so not much to complain about.

Luckily we had a weird Spring or rather a warm extended Winter!  Everybody was screwed up!  The daffodils were blooming in March, the forsythia bushes which are planted along our property burst into a bright yellow line of sentries.  Small talk was revived! Who had early tulips, whose hyacinths were already past, my oh my, chatter again. NOT to mention I for one am still not quite used to this early change date to Daylight Savings Time.  Growing up it was always Spring Forward in April and Fall Back in October. Now we are leaping ahead before St. Patrick’s Day!  Well and that gave a few people something to talk about anyway.

And NOW, we are in the midst of a blistering heat wave.  95++ degrees, God knows how high the humidity is but it feels like about 90%.  Every day the newscasters and weather men are all about the heat!.  Mayor Bloomberg has opened up over 400 cooling centers where you can cool down BUT there’s no smoking and you can’t get a 16oz soda!!  This would probably be the time to stay in my apartment with the blinds down, the air conditioner on high and watch movies….but ah no! We are at the shore where we have been mowing, weeding and watering early in the morning so as not to expire in the heat and so our plants won’t wilt and die.   The cottage is not centrally air-conditioned and our poor little room units are on most of the day – however not all rooms at once because of course this is an old house with old wiring!!!  So it’s like turn off the living room a/c unit and run upstairs and turn on the bedroom a/c.  I think that’s worthy of some casual remarks at the very least.

So as you see, it’s so easy to talk about the weather!  I just did!!

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Doris Day

Doris Day (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Can you believe it?  Doris Day is 88 years old!!! Oh my…. No one has heard from or seen Doris Day for about 40 years.  Once she gave up making movies, she became a bit of recluse in California.

She devoted her life to rescuing animals.  She gave possibly the first-ever-since-retirement interview to NPR.  I heard the interview on the radio Monday.  Yes, she still sounds like Doris Day.

She described to the interviewer how she altered her house to accommodate her ever-growing menagerie of animals.  Presently, she has 6 dogs and about 10 cats.  The cats have their own wing of the house with lots of glass including a glass ceiling so that they can see the trees, the birds and according to Ms. Day they (the cats) love the sound of rain.

TCM, which contrary to what our cable company believes IS the ONLY channel we seem to be able to get on the den’s TV.  I know that sounds peculiar but that seems to be what happens….EXCEPT for when the weather is clear, we are able to access MSNBC.  OK, I digress…

Back to TCM; The Turner Classic Movie station released a DVD collection of five of her early films to honor one of Hollywood’s biggest box-office stars and Masterworks, in conjunction with Turner Classic Movies Network released a new 2-disk CD set.  Doris, herself, curated the album.

Her movies have been featured for the last 3 nights on TCM and I’ve seen the serious side of Doris Day in movies such as Midnight Lace and Storm Warning-quite different from the smiling, singing, sweetheart who frolicked through those 50’s-60’s romantic comedies.  Actually, I’m thankful that tonight they are showing the few dramas she made because I can only stomach so much syrupy slosh.

Happy Birthday Doris!

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Joel Berti

Joel is 40 years old today!! ! OMG, it’s hard to say it out loud!  How is it possible that my first born child, my son, is 40 years old?   This IS the only time I’m going to admit in writing that I actually have a 40 yr old son.

It doesn’t seem that long ago…I was supposed to attend one of my best friends’ wedding.  I had a doctor’s appointment that morning  and then I was going to be off to the wedding.  Well you know where this is going;  the doctor examined me and said “you’re not going to any wedding, you’re going straight to the hospital.  Where is your husband?”  I said, “He’s at work”.  So the doctor said, “Well how are you going to get to the hospital”?  “I’ll drive myself”!

So I called my husband’s office and left a message (these were the day before cell phones) and drove off to the hospital.  By the time I got there, I was a little panicked.  I was having contractions and  didn’t know what to do with the car so I pulled into the Emergency Room parking lot and parked the car.  As I was getting out of the car, a cop came running over, shouting, “Lady you can’t park there”!  I looked at him, started to cry and said, “I’m having a baby”!   Oh boy, that did it – he said, “Don’t  move” and went and got me a wheel chair.  Meantime, uh, where was that husband?

A couple of hours later, the nurse brought me a bundled blonde haired boy and I said, “Oh no, I had a girl”.  She assured me that this was my baby and I insisted that I had a girl. After one more go around of this conversation, she snatched the baby from my arms and said words to the effect that perhaps tomorrow I would feel differently about this beautiful little baby boy.

She was right of course.  Joel has my heart.  I love him for so many reasons;  he is a good person, kind-hearted, he never says anything bad about anyone, he is a gentle soul.  He is easy-going (sometime way too laid back for me), creative, a thinker, an artist, and smart enough to look inward often and assess what he sees.  He seeks the truth in all things, is often naive about people he meets, he adored his baby sister and often let her tag along with him and his friends.  I’m so happy that she flew out to California yesterday with Finley and Francesca to be with him on this landmark birthday.

I thought this post might be like an open letter, telling Joel how proud I am of him, how much I love him and hope that he is happy in the life he has chosen for himself.  He is very different from Chiara in so many ways and their lives are as diametrically opposite as the coasts they each inhabit. 

I wonder if he’s ever going to marry and settle down.  The path doesn’t seem to lead in that direction, time will tell.  I’d like to see him as a father, he seems so at ease with his nephew and nieces. 

Astrology, therapy, numerology, Frank Sinatra, new wave, Pseudolous, older women, younger women, surfing, GCA waiter,  room-mates, acting, writing in his journal, lactose-intolerant, allergic to my cats, Charlie Brown, Wilie Wonka, Mr. Smee, Hartford Stage, “why don’t you model?”, a vintage motorcycle, house music, Father Sarducci, Acme Theater, preppy Izods, Louise’s, La Jolla Country Club, bartending, catering, PB+J’s, oh those blue eyes,  tuna fish, sometimes  poor, playwright, roofer, Bee Pollen, beard-no beard, penguins, vintage tee shirts, Wrangler corduroy jeans, Halloween

Now if only he would return calls and call his mother more often……

I love you Joel Berti – Happy Birthday!!

Joel Berti

Joel in San Diego 2008

Finley Ray, Joel Berti, Finny

Joel and Finley

Sneak Joint, Joel Berti

Joel at The Sneak Joint in San Diego

Halloween, Joel Berti

Pumpkin Carving

vintage motorcycle

Ready to Roll

january 23 2005, Joel Berti, Lori Berti Press

My Wedding 2005

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Six-Word Memoir book cover image

"The Book"

One Life, Six Words, What’s Yours?  The quest continues and the challenge remains – can you? Will you? – try to put your life into just six words, no more, no less!  Well my life, you say, is way too big and complex to distill into six words! Maybe, maybe not.  Some GREAT writers have done and each week I post about 5 Six Word Memoirs from the book, Not Quite What I Was Planning. 

Some weeks we focus on a theme and this week’s was supposed to be about FOOD, our love of, our abstinence from, from taste sensations to tasty tidbits and tasty recipes and of course the throes of dieting. WHATEVER you are thinking or feeling about food is your source of a Six Word Memoir.

This is what I received last week:

A pinch of this and that – Heather

Packing my bags. The adventure continuesWeez

Far away California, grandkids, Jersey coast – Heide

Diet ice cream flavor? Green Tea! – Me

And from the above-referenced book…

I hope to outlive my regrets. – Bob Logan

All night phone calls complete me – Harry Manning

Texas childhood can lead to wisdom – Kristen Ahlemeier-Olfe

Sweet life, good sons – I’m rich –  Roger Waggener

Barrister, barista, what’s the diff, Mom? –Abigail Moorhouse

Ok readers, I’m going to try again and this one is for EVERYONE! Mother’s Day is around the corner, let’s sum up Mom in SIX WORDS!

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Love & Heartbreak Cover

Image via Wikipedia

Every couple of weeks I remind everybody about the origins of  the Six Word Memoir and/or the Six Word Project.  Last week I printed an excerpt from the Smith Magazine website and surprise of surprises, I got a comment from LARRY SMITH himself!!! I am so excited that he noticed the blog and our own little Six Word Memoirs.

Please read his comment on last week’s Monday blog; he invites all of us to visit the site and leave a Six Word Memoir. Let’s do it!!!

Here are the contributions from some of my most faithful readers – love you guys!!

Snowing again,when will it stop? – Susan Celtic Lady

New York is the Frozen Apple – Gail

White, white…nothing here has color! – Susan

New York City here I come? – Weez

Snow, sleet, rain, my brain drains – Me

Sorry for you readers in California and Texas, I know it must seem like we have a one track mind here in the Northeast.  It’s not us who has it, it’s Mother Nature.  Snow is the only thing on her mind lately.

And from the book, Not Quite What I Was Planning, Six-Word Memoirs by writers Famous and Obscure.

I did ask to live backwards – Helen Gynn

Forest peace, sharing vision, always optimistic – Dr. Jane Goodall

Bespectacled, besneakered, read and ran around – Rachel Fershleiser

Supported the sublime with uncurbed enthusiasm – Jeff Newelt

Followed white rabbit, became black sheep – Gabrielle Maconi

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She (Georgia) made a fortune painting scenes which she referred to as “A View From My Window” and her husband, Alfred Stieglitz also cashed in on the same views…except he photographed them.  If my friend Trish is reading this, she would know this is just how the 80/20 rule works!!  For those curious readers who would like to see some of Stieglitz’s work, it is on exhibit now at the Metropolitan Museum of Art along with Edward Steichen and Paul Strand.  The exhibit is huge and encompasses several rooms – definitely worth the trip.  Ahhh but I have digressed a bit!

Back to the view from my window which is a) not my view, b) not my window but c) a generous contribution from my friend, Gail.   So for your viewing pleasure, although other than your envious friends in Florida or California,  I’m not sure how much pleasure you can take in YET ANOTHER BLOODY SNOW STORM!!!  Snow doesn’t paralyze the City BUT this one did a good job because with the 19 inches that fell Wednesday night, bus service was suspended, cars were buried completely, the streets were not plowed very well if at all and generally the only people who really enjoyed it were the kids!  Mothers and kids everywhere on Thursday were toting saucers, snow boards, sleds and toboggans of all sizes heading to the parks around the City to enjoy YET another snow day.


East 89th St. snow storm

View From My Window


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Well according the article linked below the answer is NO.  It seems we have selective memories and when weird things happen to us, we may note there is a full moon and decide surely the full moon is responsible for this lunacy.

Harvest moon, September full moon,
The Harvest Moon

Lunacy and the Full Moon: Scientific American.

Alright so the moon was NOT responsible for the past few days of madness – even so…coincidentally then this is what came down since that big fat Harvest moon began to rise on Thursday night:

THURSDAY: I had planned to leave for the shore  in the early afternoon; it had been two weeks since we had been there and I missed my little cottage and was sure our feathered and bushy-tailed friends thought we had abandoned them :(.   Trying to leave early was difficult since I was trying to set up appointments for Chiara and Tom to see apartments this weekend  without me: She (Chiara) sprung this surprise house-hunting trip on me.

I checked my voice mail and had a message from  broker stating she wanted to show my listing on Friday at 3pm.  Of course, why not-FRIDAY at 3pm!!!! Why wouldn’t I want to leave the City on a FRIDAY during RUSH HOUR so I could show an apartment which might take all of 15 minutes.  I questioned the broker; did she see the web photos and floor plan? Could they make it any earlier? She said she would see if they could make it at 2pm and I said “FINE” I’ll be there. Thursday night the phone rang at midnight!!! It was the co-broker calling, thinking she was calling my office to tell me her customers could make it at 2pm instead of 3pm.  Good news even it was late.

FRIDAY AFTERNOON: Before I left for the weekend, I needed to iron some things. The phone rings and it is the co-broker and now her buyers can’t come till 2:15pm – Whatever!! Peter and I drove to the showing stopping in Midtown to pick up some paperwork which was supposed to be left for me – NOT THERE!! !  So onto the apartment to show and lo and behold we see that East 50th Street is in the frozen zone. No stopping allowed; police barricades on both sides of the street.  I HAD to stop to get out of the car – don’t you know a cop threw his cruiser in reverse and came barreling back to reprimand us!  Since I jumped out so quickly and Peter took off, he just gave us a dirty look.! if you don’t live in New York City then you probably don’t know what kind of self-imposed gridlock and lock-down the City goes into when the UN is having some sort of special session.  Streets are blocked off, traffic is clogged up and the diplomats from around the world are eating out in the best restaurants and the President is throwing a special event of his own at the Museum of Natural History – SO effectively both the West and the East sides were a mess! Got to the apartment and NO MORE show sheets! Of course not.  True to form the buyers were in and out in 15 minutes or less.

SATURDAY MORNING:  Susan called from the car and said she was  following the ambulance which was taking Joe, our host for that evening to Emergency Room.  UH OH!  Should I or should I not go to the vegetable stand and get the last of the ingredients and pick up Susan’s vegetables??

SATURDAY EVENING: Joe was finally released from the hospital and still wanted us all to come for the cook-out!  So at 7pm with Joe sleeping soundly with the afterglow of his morphine drip, Michael stepped up and played the most gracious host and cooked a delicious meal.  It had been a long day for everybody with a lot of stress, strain and phone calls, so about 10:30pm we headed home.

SATURDAY NIGHT LATER: I just got into my pajamas, took out my lens and the phone rang! Susan had gotten a phone call from Heide who apparently was in a lot of pain and had been throwing up for several hours – OMG!  Jim called 911 for an ambulance (can you believe this was his second 911 call today!) and I said we would get dressed and meet them over at Heide’s. The ambulance was already there;  Poor Heide, she looked very pale and was a little delirious from being de-hydrated.  We grabbed her meds, her keys, her cell phone and insurance cards and took off behind the ambulance for the ER.  I tried several times to reach her daughter in California and thankfully, at about 1:30am she called back.  Heide was about to go for a stomach X-ray.

SUNDAY AM: We stayed with her till about 2am and by that time we knew she;d be there for the rest of the night/morning.  I told her to call me in a few hours to pick her up if they let her go.  We went home, crashed and the next thing I knew it was 9am.  The phone hadn’t rung so I assumed Heide was still in JSUMC.  Before I went to sleep I sent Trish an email telling her what had happened.  Trish is the early bird in our group and she was at the hospital before 9am and passed on the latest news to all of us via email.

SUNDAY AFTERNOON: Susan and I went to Heide’s and got her important meds , took the trash out, turned off her computer and gathered some tees shirts and socks.  We visited with her for a short time and promised to check in the next day.

OY what a weekend – so what part did that big old moon play?

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