The Brass Nameplate

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Little things can mean so much.

It was just your typical brass nameplate placed haphazardly on a desk, the same as the hundreds of others in the massive open plan office space on the far west side of the city.  But, to me it meant everything. My oldest child Thomas works at Apple in San Francisco. When he first started working there, Tom and I went to visit, and due to the stringent visitation rules, we met him in the lobby, took pictures in front of the Apple logo, and ate in the very impressive cafeteria. I was, and still am, extremely proud, however, when I try to construct a picture in my mind of him at work, things get a little fuzzy.

When my second son Hayden started work in June 2016 in Herald Square, I was thrilled he was so close by, and we would meet every so often for lunch. But, I never saw his desk, or met the people he worked with, and although I was proud, again, I couldn’t picture my boy at work.

This week I got an invite to visit Hayden at his new office, and have lunch in his cafeteria. It seems silly writing this, but seeing that nameplate just meant everything to me. It said that for all intents and purposes, I had done my job. He was a fully formed human, out in the world, responsible for himself and beholden to others. Now, when I get a text from him mid-day, I can picture him in his seat, or walking the long rows of other desks, and even ordering a chopped salad in his cafeteria. I think I’ll insist when next I’m in SF.

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I saw this the other day, and it struck me as pure wisdom. I eat out a lot, but I realize that it matters less what the food tastes like if you are sitting with the right people, and vice versa. #foodforthought

Speaking of #foodforthought, I’d like to invite all my readers to come to one of the most delicious fundraisers in NYC. Wednesday, March 6th at The Lighthouse at Chelsea PiersThe Bronx Letters Foundation will hold it’s annual Chefs’ Tasting Food for Thought Benefit. Chef Eric Ripert of Le Bernardin will be the night’s host, we will celebrate the life of our Patron Saint, Anthony Bourdain who helped us raise funds for our public school in the Bronx for the past ten years, and we will honor our past principal and the current  Senior Education Advisor in the NYC Mayor’s Office, Brandon Cardet-Hernandez.

Some of the best chefs in NYC will be there to cook! You can still buy tickets here. Trust me, this event can cause some of the worst #foodieFOMO.

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I went to see the new Frida Kahlo exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum this week. My tip: buy the timed tickets ahead, and go alone. This exhibit is dense. There is so much to see, and read. It’s the perfect way to spend a few hours to yourself. I discovered a new fabulous app while at the museum. It’s called ASK. Download it on your phone, take a picture of something you see in the museum, and ask your questions directly to the staff sitting in a room in the basement (I asked if it was AI or real people) waiting to answer. The team consists of an archaeologist, and anthropologist, as well as art historians and educators.

And eat in their restaurant, The Norm. The menu is Frida inspired and quite delicious. I first became obsessed with Frida when I read The Lacuna, by Barbara Kingsolver and my fascination continued when I saw Mercedes Ruehl play her at the theater in Sag Harbor a gozillion summers ago. One of my favorite quotes of hers (although I have many), “There have been two great accidents in my life. One was the trolley, and the other was Diego. Diego was by far the worst.”

She was comparing the love of her life to when she was hit by a bus.

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I can taste the spring in the waning winter days. But if it doesn’t come soon, I may purchase one of these.

Go see Network on Broadway. Bryan Cranston is fabulous. I bought the partial view last minute tickets on SeatGeek in Row E for $75, and I was very pleased with my purchase. There are so many monitors on display; you don’t miss much.

I am looking forward to seeing the premiere of the final season of Catastrophe at an upcoming NYTimesTalk. The show is hilarious and authentic. I’m sad that this will be the last season but thrilled to “meet” Rob Delaney and Sharon Horgan in person.

One last discovery of the week: Dr. Hilary Brenner! I never needed a podiatrist before I moved to NYC, but walking 5 miles everyday can be a killer on your feet. She takes insurance, her office is a one minute walk from the 4,5 Fulton Street stop, and she’s adorable.

The good news? March begins on Friday. I think we can say we officially made it through another NYC winter.

Have fun. Be bold.

 

 

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