Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Dear NY Times:

I am a devoted reader of The New York Times and would like to propose a new section that would appear once a week either in the Sunday Times or once during the work week.

The section would be called Pets. It sounds rather simple, but I think it would be a big hit. So many New Yorkers are dog owners and/or dog lovers. And the pet supply industry is one of the more recession-proof industries, so the section would likely be a big draw for advertisers.

People love stories about people and their pets. People love to learn about animals.

Thanks for considering the idea.

Eleanor Traubman


I felt like a bad Jew on Sunday night. It was the beginning of Yom Kippur and I should have been starting to fast. Instead, I was downing Pepsi and popcorn as I settled into my seat at New York Surf Film Festival. Being a native Californian and a former boogie boarder, I was STOKED to be amongst other people who wanted to see films about surfing.

I was pleased with my movie choice - Hanging Five by Christopher Cutri. This was the East Coast premiere of the film, featuring Q&A with Chris as well as one of the artists featured. Here's the festival's synopsis:

"Hanging Five is a film that follows five artists who all happen to be surfers. The film documents their work and looks at different aspects of their lives and how those experiences have impacted their work. The film also looks at why the surf culture embraces and supports the arts. The artists include: Andy Davis, Tyler Warren, Julie Goldstein, Alex Knost, Wolfgang Bloc."

Most inspiring to me personally was footage of Julie Goldstein, who is reflective on her experiences and identity as a female artist and surfer. I also liked the bits where Tyler hauls out his childhood report card and drawings.

Two films I was sorry I missed were The Women and the Waves and Whitewash. Synopses takes from the festival's website:

"The Women and the Waves is a documentary surf film that explores the lives of female surfers who, through the decades, have chosen to paddle head first into the male dominated sport of surfing and found a place of their own. "

"Whitewash, the documentary, is a film exploring the complexity of race in America through the struggle and triumph of the history of black surfers."

Speaking of Whitewash, I did notice that most of the folks at the festival where white. Also noticed that everyone on the 2009 Screening Panel for the Festival was a guy.

Still, psyched that this festival is happening and hope to see more of the film selections next year.

P.S. - I was a better Jew on Monday night. Went to services at Ramaz and had a great time. Beautiful gym full of people praying together.


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To chat with Eleanor about your organizing goals, call: 917-499-7395

Julie Markes, PS 321 parent /chidlren's book author/photographer has this to say about Inspired Organizing:

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Saturday, September 26, 2009


Heaven is a place on earth and it’s called Café 2. Located on the second floor of the New York Museum of Modern Art, its Executive Chef is Lynn Bound.

More on Lynn in a minute.

I have always felt a sense of elation while visiting Café 2. It has the right combination of all the things I love in a destination: lots of open space with tall ceilings, big communal tables, people from all around the world (as well as from the MOMA neighborhood) speaking all different languages; a super-friendly staff who seem genuinely pleased to be there. Another wonderful feature is a giant wall-sized menu where TEXT accompanies simple graphics which depict each of the food categories. And then, of course, there’s the food. Defying the stereotype of unremarkable museum fare, Café 2’s dishes are Italian-inspired, fresh, delicious, and a great way to start one’s journey through the rest of the museum.

After my first visit of the summer to Café 2 during Target-sponsored Free Fridays at MOMA, I discovered and was delighted by the fact that the Executive Chef was a woman. Most of the head chefs who gain media attention on television shows, especially reality TV shows, are men – and men with bad tempers. Lynn’s thoughtful style of leadership provided a nice contradiction to all that. So during trip #2 of the summer, I approached Lynn, told her that I was inspired by her work, and asked her if she would be willing to do an interview for Creative Times. She was happy to oblige.

I met Lynn at the Café shortly before she opened the space to the throngs of visitors who were chomping at the bit to partake in all the edible delights. Following the interview, Mike Sorgatz and I had a lunch fit for royalty. Dish after divine dish appeared before us, and all I could do afterwards was waddle down to the sculpture garden and gaze out under the spell of a serious food coma. Mike and I still talk about that experience to this day and feel truly blessed by the hospitality of of Lynn and her staff.

Here’s the result of my chat with Lynn.

Where and when did Lynn’s interest in cooking originate?

Given that Lynn’s mom was from Italy, it made sense that food and cooking was an important part of her life growing up. She says that her mom was a good cook and that her grandfather often sent Lynn’s family olive oil and cheeses from his home in Italy. Lynn’s experience in the kitchen also came from accompanying her mom, a waitress, on her work shifts.

Shortly after Lynn was out of high school, Lynn’s mom passed away from breast cancer. At that point, Lynn supported herself by going to work in a kitchen. Ultimately, she worked three jobs simultaneously to save the money she needed to attend culinary school.

What’s great about working as Exec. Chef at MOMA?

Lynn likes that it’s an open kitchen (you can see a lot of what’s going on from the diner’s section), that the feedback on the food is mostly positive, and that she gets to work in “one of the best museums in the world.” Lynn also enjoys meeting the many different people that come in each day, and especially takes pleasure in the fact that parents bring their children to the museum to learn not only about art, but also about healthy food!

What is Lynn’s philosophy when it comes to managing her staff?

I asked Lynn this question because I always notice how well she treats her staff and how, in turn, they treat the diners with genuine warmth and hospitality.

Lynn shares that it’s a relatively young staff, and that she takes on the role of teacher and mentor in relationship to them. She asks them to consider where they want to be in the future and what the opportunities are on this job for learning skills they can use in jobs down the road – e.g. cooking skills, time management and organizational skills. What will help them get that next job that they want?

Lynn notes an example of this philosophy in action: she once sent various employees who work in the salumi station to Manhattan’s famous Murray’s Cheese Shop to learn more about some of the delicacies that they serve.

What does Lynn want her customers to experience when they come into Café 2?

Lynn wants diners to see that there is a different food concept here, and wants to educate them through her offerings about regional produce. She wants diners to feel good when they are there, and to experience the Café as a welcoming place.

Judging by the compliments Lynn receives about her overall system, the staff, service, and food, she has been successful in her goal!

How does Lynn prepare mentally for the following day of work? How does she prepare mentally for the next ten minutes?

Although Lynn goes into each day with a base plan, she also must enter each day and moment with an “Anything can happen” mindset. She has to be fast on her feet in order to rebound from the unexpected. One of the foundational practices that help her deal with everything that comes her way are the regular meetings she has with her staff.

What does it mean to Lynn to be a female chef? What advice does she have to aspiring chefs or to those ladies who are considering the profession?

In Lynn’s experience, there were more challenges to being a female chef when she started working in a kitchen almost 25 years ago.

Lynn is frank about the challenges of the work. “It’s a hard job; I’m here a lot of the day; and it’s demanding of your time. If the day ends at 8, 9, or 10 at night, it’s difficult to connect with people whose workdays end earlier.”

Lynn, who is happy with the way she is treated by the company for which she works, also shares that who you work for impacts your professional life greatly. Lynn emphasizes how important it is to research your employer before committing to a job.

One way that Lynn unites with other female chefs is through an annual event which raises money for SHARE: Self Help for Women with Breast or Ovarian Cancer. This year, Lynn teamed up with more than 20 other accomplished women chefs to create their signature dishes for the SHARE’s Sixth Annual A Second Helping of Life. This year, the event drew around 700 people and raised close to $420,000.

What are Lynn’s interests and hobbies outside of her work life?

Lynn, who has three cocker spaniels at home, is interested in animals and their welfare. She participates in New York’s annual Dogswalk Against Cancer.

If you would like to visit Café 2, here’s the info you need straight from the MOMA website:

Located on the second floor, Cafe 2 offers an array of delicious and seasonal foods from Executive Chef Lynn Bound, including panini, handmade pastas, salumi, artisanal cheeses, salads, and soups, as well as sumptuous desserts. Orders are placed and paid for at the counter, and then plated and served to guests at communal tables. Italian wine selections are available by the glass, quartino, or bottle.

Cafe 2 is open to Museum visitors only. Reservations are not accepted. Guests are welcome on a first-come, first-served basis. All major credit cards are accepted.

Sat., Sun., Mon., Wed., Thu., 11:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Fri., 11:00 a.m.–7:30 p.m.
Closed Tuesdays

Museum admission is required for entry.


..........was in the Business Section, in the Frequent Flier column, and called When Good Manners Get Left at the Gate. It was told by Larry Winget to Joan Raymound. I love this part best, the part the describes what action Larry took when a woman on the plane, while waiting for take-off, was screaming into her cell-phone:

She told the person she was speaking with to call her back. And then, in a really loud voice, she gave her cellphone number to the person she was on the phone with. I committed that number to memory. And then I waited about 10 seconds and called her cell.

When she answered, I told her she was being too loud and everyone on board the plane could hear every word of her conversation. And it wasn’t that interesting.

She started screaming at me, demanding to know who I was. So I told her to look toward the front of the plane. I stood up and waved at her with a big smile on my face. She hung up, sat down and no one heard from her the rest of the flight.

I say, "Way to go, Larry!" It's not easy to handle those situations with humor and diplomacy.
Most people just sit there begrudgingly.

I was curious about Larry, so I looked him up on the web. He calls himself The Pitbull of Personal Development. I have a feeling I wouldn't agree with this guy's political views but I do like his take-charge attitude, creativity, and sense of humor.


I’m pretty sure that when Joseph Campbell started talking about The Hero’s Journey, he wasn’t picturing someone who sat in front of the TV all day eating Dorritos, only stepping outside to get the mail or run to the corner store for another bag of chips.

When you get that Call to Adventure, you gotta be ready to leave comfort behind and leap into action. This is tough to do if your feet have become one with your fuzzy slippers and your tush has merged with the sofa. Know what I mean?

It's worth it to say “Yes!” to the Call to Adventure, even if it means forgoing comfort or facing a demon or two.

Please join me on The Journey!


To get psyched for your initial leap into the abyss, I recommend listening to Liza Minnelli’s song “Yes!” from her album Liza with a ‘Z’.

It starts:

Say yes
Life keeps happenin' every day
Say yes

When opportunity comes your way
You can't start wonderin' what to say
You'll never win if you never play
Say yes

I got misty-eyed when I first heard it ‘cuz I knew it had to become my theme song for this next period in my life. Why? Because as adventuresome as I am in some respects (I’ll talk to just about anyone on the street or subway) I still run to my comfort zone (which is usually by the TV or literally under the comforter) when faced with challenges that present the unknown.

Admittedly, I’m one of those people who will circle ‘round and ‘round a new project or opportunity if I am not absolutely certain of the outcome. I call this kind of activity “window shopping ad nauseum” and I’m trying to break free of it. While it once served a useful function for me, it no longer has a rightful place in my life.

As Madonna says in her song, Jump:

There’s only so much you can learn in one place
The more that I wait, the more time that I waste


Call to Adventure #1: After 12 years of living in the Upper West Side of Manhattan, where I was thoroughly entrenched, I was presented with an opportunity to make two changes at one time: move to a different borough AND move in with my boyfriend.

I had never lived with a “significant other” at that point and I was shaking in my boots while riding with the movers over the Brooklyn Bridge with all my belongings. The moving guys heard the trepidation in my voice and said “Call us if it doesn’t work out!”

The Outcome: The truth? I was pretty scared the first couple of years I lived with Mike. It was a huge adjustment on all different levels. Together, over the past 4 years, we’ve built a rich, interesting life in a beautiful neighborhood and formed a web of terrific friendships with people out here. And I still remain connected with my Manhattan peeps!

Call to Adventure #2: I had been writing an email newsletter, Creative Times, for two years, and had amassed a nice-sized readership. In 2005, Mike said “You know, there’s this thing called a blog that would be a great way to get your writing out there in the world!” All I could think of is “I don’t know what a blog is and I don’t know how it works.” And then when I found out how public you go by publishing a blog, I FREAKED OUT! Now I didn’t have control over who could see my writing.

The Outcome: After a pep talk from blogging queen Louise Crawford, I decided to launch Creative Times: A Blog for Artists & Entrepreneurs. With Mike’s help, I set up the blog and mastered the technical basics of blogging. The two weeks after going “live” I had the writer’s equivalent of stage fright: I barely slept or ate.

The good news: Creative Times (the blog) has been a passport to building a community of bloggers and to meeting all kinds of interesting people, from Elmo muppeteer Kevin Clash to Twentieth Century Design Great Eva Zeisel.

Call to Adventure #3 (Hint: It Involved a Ring): Mike and I have now been together for 7 years. During the last 3 or 4 of those years, we’d have an occasional but brief conversation about getting married. From the brevity of those chats, I concluded that we were both pretty much terrified of taking that next step.

The Outcome: At the end of last month, Mike floored me with a proposal on the beach on Block Island. I was looking for little rocks and shells in the sand and he said “Look! I found a pretty rock!” The rock was a ring and I said “Yes!” Am I still scared to take the plunge? Yes, I am! But I am still going to do it because I know it will make life rich and interesting and because I get to spend the next bunch of years with my best friend!


· Is there a Call to Adventure that’s been knocking on your door for a while now? What is it? Write it down! Share it with someone else or with a group of folks who also want to pursue a calling!

· Where do you need to say “YES!” to in order to move your life forward and grow as a person?

· Everyone’s Hero’s Journey looks different. Everyone’s “YES!” is going to be different. One person might need to say “YES!” to making new friends or dating again. Another may need to say “YES!” to exercising more or wearing brighter colors. Still another might get to say “YES!” to performing on stage or starting a new business.

· Sometimes you need to get quiet to hear what needs saying “YES!” to.

· You might have to start saying “NO” to people or commitments in order to follow the “YES!” (For example: a mom who does everything around the house might have to get the rest of her family to pitch in so she can follow her calling to write a book.)

· After saying “YES!” you should be prepared to experience mild to extreme discomfort, challenge old (and probably outdated) beliefs and assumptions, pull in the help of friends and strangers, and forge a path into new and unimagined territory.

· Have fun, feel the fear, and let us know how it goes!


This horoscope from Daily Om.

September 26, 2009
Unleash Your Muse
Scorpio Daily Horoscope

You may find that today you have ideas that you can’t wait to express. It may feel like these ideas are bubbling forth from out of nowhere and that you simply cannot contain them. You might feel highly energized and stimulated today as a result of your flashes of creativity. When you are feeling this much energy, it is important to find a way to express your thoughts in a way that is meaningful for you. You might consider a creative outlet such as poetry, painting, dance, or music. As you find what you are drawn to, allow your muse to reveal itself to you today. You could find that your inspiration and energy become boundless once you find a meaningful way to express yourself.

Finding an artistic way to channel our thoughts and ideas helps us express ourselves more easily. When we feel so animated that we are unable to keep our thoughts to ourselves, it can be easy to find outlets that have little or no meaning for us. If we take time to pursue creative endeavors, we find that our ability to express ourselves expands into new realms. We unleash a part of ourselves that we may not often exercise. We also develop different ways to get our ideas across—ways that we may never have thought possible before. Utilize your creative muse today, and you will manifest new and exciting ways to express yourself.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


September 18, 2009
Finding Joy in Life's Surprises
Releasing Your Expectations

The further you distance yourself from your expectations, the more exhilarating your life will become. Though a situation in which you find yourself may not correspond to your initial wants, needs, or goals, ask yourself how you can make the most of it and then do your best to adapt. Your life’s journey will likely take many unpredicted and astonishing twists because you are willing to release your expectations.
- Daily Om

I love this excerpt from Daily Om. I realized I have a habit of getting my hopes waaaaaaay up about certain things, but in a way where I have a specific picture of how things will happen. And if it doesn't happen that way or happen at all, I am disappointed. It's not that I want to give up on wanting things or setting intentions, but letting go of the outcome does seem like a way to free up a lot of energy and bring a kind of lightness into the day. Having rigid expectations seems kind of like holding on to dear life to a tiny life raft while there is a big cruise ship not far in the distance that would be happy to pick up a new passenger.

Saturday, September 19, 2009


This morning, I woke up to the kind of day I love - sunny and crisp without humidity. Mike and I got breakfast sammys and ate them on the front steps of our apartment. I cleaned the house while listening to the song "All Night Dancing" (by same group that did "Funkytown") to prepare for The New Year.

I then set out into the neighborhood, where I came upon some boxes of free albums set outside someone's brownstone, so I took a Jay-Z album from 1998 called The City is Mine (Featuring Blackstreet). By the way, did you know that J has outdone Elvis (but not The Beatles) as the solo artist with the most chart-toppers in US chart history?
I also found a couple of free books - Sharon Creech's Love that Dog and Stephen Steinberg's Turning Back: The Retreat from Racial Justice in American Thought and Policy - and I am looking forward to reading both of these works.

While walking back home, I came upon a block party. These folks went all out with a bouncy castle, a mini rocking Pirate-type of swinging back and forth boat ride, and a karaoke machine where two young women were belting out Madonna's "Material Girl" while a rowdy crowd cheered them on.

I love my neighborhood!

Came back home, showered and changed, and taxi'd over to my friend Carol's place for an incredible New Year dinner.

Happy New Year everyone!

Friday, September 18, 2009


I have walked by the new building that is housing the Museum of Chinese in America and cannot wait for next week's Grand Opening! I heard that they used to be housed in a hole in the wall, and now they are occupying a 14,000 square foot space on Centre Street.

Here is information about GRAND OPENING WEEK, taken straight from MOCA's website.

Grand Opening Week

Tue, Sep 22 from 1:30pm – 4pm
Wed, Sep 23 from 11am – 5pm
Thu, Sep 24 from 11am – 5pm
Fri, Sep 25 from 11am – 5pm

In celebration of MOCA's grand opening at 215 Centre Street, we are pleased to offer free admission to the Museum from Tuesday, September 22 to Saturday, September 26, 2009.

Designed by artist and designer Maya Lin, MOCA’s new home is a 14,000 square foot space in a former machine shop, renovated to feature multiple exhibition galleries, interactive display kiosks, a multipurpose auditorium/classroom, a research center, and a flexible space for multidisciplinary public programs. MOCA expects to achieve LEED SILVER certification through the incorporation of environmentally sustainable design solutions throughout the Museum. At the heart of the Museum is its historic skylit courtyard, left deliberately raw and untouched, that harkens back to the memory of a traditional Chinese courtyard house.

Exhibitions on view:

With a Single Step: Stories in the Making of America, MOCA's core exhibition on the history of the Chinese American experience.

Here & Now: Chinese Artists in New York, an art exhibition featuring contemporary artists of Chinese descent living in New York.

Chinatown Film Project, a film exhibition featuring ten original short films on Chinatown, New York.


Thursday, September 17, 2009


Creative Process/Creative Survival
(How to thrive creatively when it feels like your work doesn't matter.)

Ready for some inspiration to boost you through the last quarter? Register now for this unique opportunity to learn the 15 Secrets of Personal Creativity with Dr. Eric Maisel and 6 tools for Creative Survival with Rahti Gorfien.

Where: The Field, 161 Avenue of the Americas @ Spring Street, 14th Floor in NYC
When: September 22nd

Time: 6-9:30PM

Cost: $65/$55 for Field Members.

50% non-refundable deposit required; pay in full when you reserve for a 10% discount!

When I think of creativity-related life coaching, there are two names that come to mind: Julia Cameron (The Artists Way) and Eric Maisel (The Van Gogh Blues). While The Artist Way really kicked off my fascination with the creative process, I actually studied Creativity Coaching with Dr. Maisel. So you can imagine how honored I was to be approached by Eric to do a workshop in the Fall! Eric will speak on what he refers to as The 15 Secrets of Personal Creativity, and I'll be leading some group coaching around issues that pertain to Creative Survival. Don't miss this unique opportunity to resolve some core creative issues: Eric isn't often in New York, and this will be an intimate event as THERE ARE ONLY 15 SEATS AVAILABLE. SOOO... it's not too early to reserve now and insure first dibs on enrollment! RSVP: gorfien@gmail.com

Wednesday, September 16, 2009



(This post reproduced from Sustainable Flatbush)

Ever wonder what our community could do with 120 square feet of outdoor space? Bring friends and family along to find out as Sustainable Flatbush hosts our 3rd annual Park(ing) Day event on Friday, September 18th, from 9am until 6pm.

To raise awareness of how public space is allocated in our neighborhood, we will transform an unremarkable parking spot into “Cortelyou Road Park”: an urban oasis with grass, lawn chairs, music, art supplies, games, and good conversation for all to enjoy, at the corner of Cortelyou and Argyle Roads, in front of the Public Library.


Two sustainable craft businesses based in the NYC area – Garbage of Eden Design and RePlayGround – will teach free creative workshops on fashioning fun stuff out of garbage. We invite you to bring your favorite empty cereal box or designed scrap paper to personalize your crafts. Jewelry made from plastic bags and yogurt containers as well as kits to make projects from scrap will be on display. You could even win a food gift basket from the Flatbush Food Coop, which is also graciously providing free snacks throughout the day! Join us for this international event at the level of our local neighborhood. Meet your neighbors and those working within our community who strive to make it a more livable place.

Last year’s event was a great success. This year we plan to outdo it with:

  • * A special Puppet Show featuring the juggling egg puppet by Ronny starting at 11am
  • * Craft workshops by Garbage of Eden Design and RePlayGround
  • * A worm composting demonstration by a Brooklyn Botanic Garden Master Composter
  • * A solar-powered cell phone charging station
  • * BYO Mug Coffee Station, courtesy of Vox Pop Cafe

So bring your own mug and don’t miss the daylong fun!

WHAT: Park(ing) Day / Cortelyou Road Park
WHEN: Friday, September 18th from 9am until 6pm
WHERE: Corner of Cortelyou and Argyle Roads, Brooklyn NY

Park(ing) Day 2008 photos by Keka Marzagao


County of Kings is set in Sunset Park, during the most influential cultural movement of our time -- the birth of hip-hop; taking the audience back to the days of B-boys, tracksuits, Adidas, and Boogie Down Productions.

Written and performed by Brooklyn-born Puerto Rican poet Lemon Andersen, the show gives a tough, yet moving biographical account of a good kid growing up in an unforgiving environment. Mixing difficult drama and occasional humor with his own brand of urban poetry, Lemon uses his unique perspective and talent to bring his own coming-of-age story to life.

Lemon Andersen is best known from his regular appearances on HBO’s Def Poetry presented by Russell Simmons, and as an original cast member and writer of the TONY award-winning Def Poetry Jam on Broadway. He can also be seen opposite Denzel Washington in Spike Lee’s Inside Man, and is featured in The Soloist, starring Jamie Foxx and Robert Downey, Jr.

The show will begin its run at the Public Theater on October 12th, with previews starting September 29th. ALL tickets for preview performances are $25!

For all other performances (not including opening night), a limited number of tickets will be sold for $25, cash only, at the box office.

County of Kings
plays Tuesday through Sunday at The Public Theater’s Newman Stage, 425 Lafayette Street. For a full schedule, please visit www.countyofkingstheplay.com.

“Lemon is a young man who possesses a wealth of talent and he knows how to tell a story. He joins the legacy of storytellers from Brooklyn.” - Spike Lee

“Mr. Andersen has a gift for rhythmic time-capsule set pieces that capture the flavor of a moment in history, turning bold-face and brand names into propulsive song.” – New York Times

A “wonderfully moving hip-hop autobiography” – Variety

Monday, September 14, 2009


When Mike and I were out in Block Island, we discovered their amazing local library. It was one of the friendliest, most welcoming libraries I had ever been in. One evening, we went in for an appearance by author Roy Rowan, who wrote the book First Dogs: American Presidents and Their Best Friends.

Since there were some children there, I asked Mr. Rowan what advice he had for young writers. He responded: "Get used to spending a lot of time alone."

I thought it was kind of a shame that he answered that way. Sure, solitude is part of a writer's life. But, contrary to popular belief, writers don't have to be lone wolves to get their work done.

Take today, for example. I got my whole newsletter done by bookending writing sessions with social appointments. I got the rough draft done in two hours, went out to meet someone, came back, edited everything, hung out with Mike for supper, and then sent out the newsletter via email.

I find that I write in a more focused and effective way if I know that work will be interspersed by social interactions, especially ones that take place outside the home office. That's how I get my energy and inspiration!


Friday, September 11, 2009


Ever since I came back from Block Island, where my boyfriend proposed to me, I have been exhausted beyond belief, as in I Can Barely Make It Through the Day. Something about getting my head around this big new change in my life and all the implications of it.

Then, to add to that overwhelm, I began to simultaneously plan TWO wedding ceremonies, one of which was originally to take place in less than two months from now.

What the hell was I thinking?

I cancelled the Two Months from Now event.

With the exhaustion now came a set of interesting physical issues which included a rapid onslaught of allergic symptoms that made me feel like I had a really bad cold all the time. I couldn't stand it anymore, so I finally hauled my butt to the doctor's office. From there, I went out to lunch with two girlfriends who offered advice about weddings. Which just confused and overwhelmed me even more.

I came home from all that, and my body basically shut down. I pulled down the winter comforter from the closet, tossed it on the futon, and buried myself beneath it for a good hour. It was like being in my own personal cave.

Once I got out of the cave and had a few bites of salad, a wave of new energy and inspiration came over me. I started to tidy and re-organize my home office. I baked cookies for my friend's birthday and hand-designed a personalized tin to house the cookies. I cleaned off my desk and also installed those suction cup thingies you put on the shower wall tiles to hold shampoos and such.

While baking the cookies, I watched multiple episodes of the reality show Say Yes to the Dress, which features the dramas of the brides and their accompanying friends/family who come in to pick the bridal dress. Mike watched it with me and I let him have some of the gift cookies.

I said "Even though I might need some time to decide what to do for our wedding, I still love you!" He looked kind of skeptical, so I handed him a few more cookies.

I'm feeling a lot better now. Thank G-d for big comforters and naps!



Dogs and the funny things they do

Hot pink and purple



The inside of Woodstock’s (Snoopy's friend) birdhouse (he has hydroponic headphones and a recessed livingroom)


Quiet restaurants w yummy food





Lofts and loft-like spaces


The ocean

Big clean swimming pools




Making people laugh


Stationary, cards


Writing and sending greeting cards and care packages

Choosing and sending gifts, including flowers

Luxury hotels




Thinking, dreaming, reading and writing on airplanes

Massages, facials, etc.


Perfume counter in dept stores


Chris Rock

Ellen DeGeneres

Children’s picture books

Stuffed animals

The Lizzy McGuire Movie

Upbeat, hopeful “go for your dream” movies

Dance-themed Movies

Hanging out with Cecilia’s family

Sharing meals with friends, esp. lunch

My artists' support group

Introducing people to each other

Bringing people together

Making friends

Wooden bowls, plates, spoons, etc.




Rooftop gardens / balconies

Ugly Betty

America's Best Dance Crew

So You Think You Can Dance

Everybody Hates Chris

Children's picture books

Teen pop culture


Being generous

Being recipient of generosity

Glamour and elegance



Being in nice homes

Reading home décor mags and books

Welcoming people


Lobbies of hotels and nice apartment buildings

Looking for and finding treasures – people and things

Peanuts specials

Following the lead of young people in play

Wall calendars

Japanese stationery


Appreciating people

Being appreciated

Meeting other artists

Being inspired

Inspiring others


Organizing my home office

Cutting stuff out of magazines and putting it up on walls

The upper east side

Cafeterias in muesems

Gift shops in museums

Going to cultural Events

Reading about arts and culture

Inspiring stories and images of women atheletes

Reading horoscopes

Reading about celebs, philanthropists, artists, interesting people

Hearing about and knowing elders who live vibrant lives

My Peanuts Birthday/Anniverary Book


My boyfriend’s impromptu performances

My impromptu performances

Beauty parlors

Getting my hair done

Watching award shows – Oscars, MTV Music Awards

Choreographing dances

Creating puppet "music video" shows

Making order out of chaos

Making chaos out of order


When is the Grand Opening of Little Buddy Biscuit Company?

Saturday, September 12th

11 am – 1 pm

635 Fifth Avenue at 18th Street

What are Little Buddy Store Hours?

Monday - Friday 7am - 5:30 pm

Saturday 8 am - 6 pm

Sunday 9:30am – 4:30 pm

What's Little Buddy All About?
Little Buddy Biscuit Company, a Brooklyn-based micro bakery specializing in handcrafted baked goods made in small batches, has just opened its first storefront establishment in South Slope at 635 Fifth Avenue at 18th Street. The shop will feature an array of Little Buddy cookies, brownies, cakes, cupcakes, muffins, quick breads, and savory items, a selection of vegan goods, as well as ice cream from artisanal purveyor, Jane’s Ice Cream of Kingston, New York (served in all the best restaurants of the Hudson Valley but available only in a handful of city establishments), and specialty fair trade organic Equal Exchange coffee as well as tea selections from SerendipiTea.

What Goodies Does the Store Offer?
* Traditional favorites like Chewy Oatmeal Raisin and Chocolate Chunk
* Artful combinations like Orange Cardamom with Coconuts and Macadamia and Molasses Spice with Crystallized Ginger
* An Almond Oat Breakfast Cookie that appeals to vegans and non-vegans alike
* Creative spins on butter cookies, brownies, ganache and buttercream-frosted cupcakes, cakes, scones, muffins, crumb buns and savory biscuits

What's The Story Behind Little Buddy Biscuit Company?
Little Buddy Biscuit Company is the creation of baker Pete Solomita, who, while visiting local cafés wit his then-infant son, Jack (the original “little buddy”), found finding a great cookie to go with his coffee a challenge. It was at that time that Pete was also seeking to combine his creativity as a musician (drummer and DJ) with his experience as a chef to develop a business. The Little Buddy Biscuit Company was soon born in the top floor apartment of his Brooklyn house where as a stay-at-home Dad, Pete spent months developing and testing recipes which resulted in a line of handcrafted cookies that he started selling to several Brooklyn cafés and catered events. Using high quality, natural ingredients and blending tradition and innovation—putting modern twists on classic recipes, “gourmet but not fussy”—Little Buddy Biscuit Company quickly developed a cult following. Fans asked for other desserts and Pete responded with an array of treats from brownies to cakes.

After four years of wholesale business, Pete began to seek out space for a retail store - focusing on the South Slope area where he and his wife, Jill, have called home for 30 years. Reminiscing about his childhood on Long Island, with a local ice cream shoppe as the focal point, Pete sought to recreate a space that would harken back to those days. He found that space in a vacant storefront that formerly housed Regina Bakery. Pete and Jill, an art director, then set out to capture their signature vision for this neighborhood establishment - an inviting and fun environment for people to enjoy, which even includes a mascot, Mr. Bisky.

Who is Pete Solomita?

Pete graduated from the Natural Gourmet Institute for Health, where he received his culinary training. Prior to that, he worked for more than twenty years in the nonprofit sector, using music as a tool to empower the lives of people living with disabilities. Pete’s sense of community and love of Brooklyn are both integral parts of Little Buddy Biscuit Company. He finds that his passion for both food and music share parallels of creativity, improvisation, and focus. For Pete, food and music also reflect his commitment to enjoying life while bringing pleasure to others. His enthusiasm is evident in his ceaseless energy to experiment with new recipes, and his passion for bringing something new to the neighborhood and to Brooklyn

Where Can I Go to Find More Info About Little Buddy?
Please visit the Little Buddy Biscuit Company Website or read Pete's Blog Groovalicious in Brooklyn

For all press inquiries, please contact Josie Diels 917-514-0485 Josiediels@verizon.net


Gretchen Rubin, founder of The Happiness Project, just released the book art for her new book!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009



Hey there busy New York moms, artists, and professionals!

I'd be delighted to help you:

* Cut down on clutter

* Create more space for you and your family

* Learn and implement simple time and paper management tools.

Call today to chat about your organizing needs!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009



Mike and I have been planning two weddings at once. We're having festivities in both Southern California and here in New York. It's an interesting journey, laden with emotion. I wake up every morning now at 5:00 with my mind racing.

How do you stay true to who you are and what you're about and still take into account all the folks who are also part of the process? Our families have been extremely supportive and our friends so genuinely pleased with the step we have decided to take.

Right before we met with the lovely Kim Meier who runs The Old Stone House, to talk about wedding options, Mike handed me a couple of wonderful gifts from Kinokuniya, a Japanese store located behind Bryant park. One was a 2010 dachsund wall calendar, and the other was Japanese stickers featuring cartoon-like bunnies and bears. It was such a sweet gesture, and kind of broke up the intensity around all the planning.

Little things mean a lot - the few kind words, the small gestures, the tiny gifts.

I am sure loving my boyfriend turned fiance!

Saturday, September 05, 2009


The Irondale Center presents

The Strike Anywhere Performance Ensemble & Anitya

in the world premiere of


@ Irondale

October 1 – 3, 2009

An event that brings together musicians, puppeteers, dancers, and actors in an audacious version of Shakespeare's Macbeth. Shakespeare would have been proud of this modern take of his classic”

-Daniel Brown, Radio France

What: Macbeth Variations II: a Shakespeare Soundpainting (Performed in French & English)

Who: Strike Anywhere Performance Ensemble (NYC) & Anitya (Paris, France)

When: October 1, 2, 3 at 8pm

Where: Irondale Center, 85 South Oxford Street, Brooklyn, NYC. Directions: www.irondale.org

Cost: $20-$40 (Sliding Scale) Tickets can be purchased online: www.strikeanywhere.info

BROOKLYN, NEW YORK, OCTOBER 1-3, 2009 - The Irondale Center, who are establishing themselves as one of Brooklyn’s leading performing arts laboratory and performance spaces, opens their 09/10 season with the critically acclaimed Strike Anywhere Performance Ensemble and their international collaborators Anitya in the world premiere of Macbeth Variations II, a dynamic performance event combining physical theater, improvised music, dance and a live-composing sign language called Soundpainting.

Macbeth Variations II is a set of improvised inter-disciplinary compositions exploring Shakespeare's play Macbeth. Just as jazz musicians improvise on jazz standards finding infinite variety within classic tunes, improvisers use Shakespeare's text as the melody from which they depart. The result is a highly-charged interdisciplinary performance event that is different every night. The piece is the perfect compliment to the mission of Irondale who strive to provide an enviroment where performance boundaries can be pushed and work with a social conciousness can be produced. This is the Irondale Center’s second season in their new space, and they are thrilled to host companies such as Strike Anywhere & Anitya who represent a new wave of experimental work today.

“Strike Anywhere Performance Ensemble merges music, theater, improvisation, and structured composition into a total multi-media experience – a ‘happening’ in which art leaps off the wall and into the seat next to us.” - Asbury Park Press

About Macbeth Variations II

Macbeth Variations II is the second stage of an international collaboration between NYC-based Strike Anywhere and Paris-based ANITYA. The performance features on-stage conductors who sculpt the improvisation through the complex language of Soundpainting. Soundpainting is the live composing sign language created by New York composer Walter Thompson for musicians, dancers, and actors. In May 2009, the Irondale Center hosted the pioneer of Soundpainting, Walter Thompson, in an incredible world premiere composition featuring acclaimed musician Anthony Braxton. Irondale is fast becoming the leading presenter of this type of performance work and both Strike Anywhere Performance Ensemble and ANITYA are the foremost practitioners of Soundpainting in their respective countries.

About Irondale

The Irondale Center is the permanent home of the Irondale Ensemble, a 26 year old Theater Company comprised of professional theater artists who have a commitment to creating theater and education programs that explore emerging themes in our society. The Center is also a multi-discipline laboratory for the work of other artists and companies. Ensemble members manage, and curate the Center, nurturing and presenting work that contributes to the cultural, social and educational life of the community. For more information please visit: www.irondale.org