Many moons ago, I wrote several articles that went mini-viral about the next hipster cities.
(Side note: Looking back at those articles, I want to barf.)
One of the cities I included on my next hipster city list was Pittsburgh.
Though I had never been to Pittsburgh, I had been seeing many articles about the Rust Belt city’s renaissance. (Barf X 2 that I wrote about a city I had never been to.)
I never would have imagined that five years later I would actually live in Pittsburgh.
So here I am–a Pittsburgher.
I now have a much clearer window into the city, and I can tell you: It’s not the next hipster city.
And maybe that’s a good thing.
Heinz Lofts in former Heinz factory
Pittsburgh is crumbling.
And it’s progressing (slowly).
There is a slew of empty storefronts.
But Google is here.
The air quality is some of the worse in the country.
But the area has made strides since the days when (more…)
Oh hello! Longtime no see, friend.
It’s been a hot minute since I’ve written here, and I’m currently sitting on the couch, bloated after eating an entire pizza, and thinking, “Maybe I should check in, see how everyone is doing and let them know I’m bloated on pizza.”
How are you?
Me? I’m bloated.
But other than that I’m ok.
I mean, my grandmother died this year.
Any of you who have hung in here with me know I thought the world of that ol’ broad.
A good cry sneaks in every day, particularly when I see a Golden Girls-branded anything (Grandma was my Dorothy) or smell garlic. Shit, pretty much EVERYTHING makes me think of her.
Mothballs (the sweaters in her armoire).
Crumpled tissues (she used to stuff them in her sleeves and drop them everywhere).
Shoulder pads (the woman LOVED them).
My beautiful grandmother.
Grief is a very, very strange thing. Sometimes you can joke about (more…)
Like many of you, I was moved by the unmasking of actor and teacher Geoffrey Owens as a Trader Joe’s employee by the Daily Mail.
My emotions were stoked further when I read Owen’s response to this unsolicited revelation.
“There is no job that’s better than another job. It might pay better, it might have better benefits, it might look better on a resume and on paper. But actually, it’s not better. Every job is worthwhile and valuable.” — Geoffrey Owens
In the same People Magazine interview, and numerous interviews Owens has given since, he has asked us not to feel sorry for him. “I’ve had a great life. I’ve had a great career. I’ve had a career that most actors would die for. So no one has to feel sorry for me. I’m doing fine!”
I don’t feel sorry for Owens; like many of you, I feel admiration.
I see a man of integrity who takes pride in being a productive member of society.
I see a man who is an artist and who will do whatever it takes to ensure he can continue to create his art (more…)
My beloved grandmother passed away recently, and my mother and I have been going through old photos. We rediscovered photos my grandfather took while stationed in Africa during WWII. Here are some of my favorites.
*As far as I can tell, these were all taken by my grandfather. I’ve tried to verify the accuracy of the photos as best I can. These photos were snapped with my iPhone, hence the added fuzziness.
This is my grandfather Carl. He was an airplane mechanic in the Army Air Forces during the North African Campaign of WWII. During the war, he had a pet monkey named Jocko, he was stabbed and he contracted malaria. Those were the only things he shared with my mother. He died in 1974, before I was born.
This is him with one of his favorite planes, 1943. (Possibly a B-25?) *I* wonder why it was his favorite…?
Here he is in the beginning of the war with some of his Army mates.
Here’s another. Grandpa is in the lower left corner. 1945.
Army mate working on an A-20. (I think (more…)
While growing up, we didn’t discuss being Jewish. We practiced no religious rituals, and no family member went to temple. A Yiddish swear word or phrase of exasperation often spilled from my grandma’s lips, something she picked up in her youth, or an occasional Jewish dish was prepared for family gatherings, but that was about as tribal as we got.
Our lack of Jewish cultural identity was not decided for us. It was chosen by my Eastern European great-grandmother Sophie, who upon coming to America erased any trace of Jewish identity. As I’ve aged and attempted to connect with my Ashkenazi roots, I’ve had to check my frustration with this woman I had never met. Why did you erase your past? I often ask out loud to her. And why did you decide that your kin would never know the truth?
These questions I’ve searched for in public records, DNA results and photos and documents hidden in my grandmother’s house to little avail. What facts I have been able to dig up often conflict with one another — Was (more…)
During the height of the #MeToo movement, I came really close to sharing a story that could have potentially changed my life in ways I wasn’t ready for.
I had been contacted by the media, and I had two drafts of my story sitting on my laptop. Between the calls and the daily stories of Hollywood men being taken down, my anxiety was through the roof.
While I was and still am overjoyed to see this day of reckoning upon us, and to see all the brave women and men coming forward with their distressing #MeToo stories, long lost feelings of smallness from a time I had chosen to forget came rushing back.
#MeToo was forcing me to think about something I had purposely left in the past.
In the months after the New York Times outed Harvey Weinstein as a sexual predator, I’d wake up each morning with a pit in my stomach, thinking about my own Hollywood sexual misconduct story and if I needed to say something. Every day my finger hovered over the publish button — I didn’t want to share my story with (more…)