Sunday, June 15, 2008


This weekend has been quite a cultural experience so far! I have two married friends, Ann and Greg, staying with me. They have three daughters, and yesterday we went out to Fifth Avenue to find the daughters some gifts. I can’t say exactly what we bought, on the off chance that the girls (Sarah, Mary and Eleanor) are watching my blog. But I will say that I went to “American Girl Place,” a huge department store full of dolls and dollwear.

I had never before set foot in American Girl Place. Even though I think dolls are a little creepy, it was fun to get a window onto this cultural phenomenon that I know little or nothing about -- not to mention a corner of my city that I’d never seen.

Last night, after our day of shopping, I took them out to dinner for their 20th anniversary, which is why they’re here in the first place. I knew Ann from college in Florida, and twenty years ago I flew up to Pittsburgh -- her hometown -- to attend her wedding to Greg. It blows my mind that I was there, at their wedding, and now here we are 20 years and three children later. Amazing.

Anyway, after dinner we went to the Cafe Carlyle, in the Hotel Carlyle, to see Eartha Kitt perform. It was a phenomenal show in a small, intimate cabaret space. You may remember Eartha primarily from Batman, where she played Catwoman. But she also had quite a recording career -- in fact, my mother had a 78-RPM vinyl record of Eartha’s “C’est Si Bon” that I used to attempt to play at 45 RPM (the best my turntable would do). Let’s just say it sounds much better when she sings it in person, even at age 82.

(Photo: Philadelphia, May 2008)


  1. ah you write 'so far' so we can expect there may be more wonderful new cultural experiences in store for you!

    happy anniversary 2 ann & greg! and what good parents to carve out some of their special time to go into the AGP - I agree with you about dolls, and do agree that anthropologically or sociologically speaking it would be pretty cool to go into the AGP.

    fortunately for me, even when little e inherited my aversion to dolls!

    how purrrfect to top off the day by seeing eartha kitt

  2. Please tell me that all those people are NOT staying in your small apartment! If so, BRAVO to you! I saw Eartha twice here in Seattle - at a favorite small jazz club (she comes on Valentine's Day), and she is superb! No one else like Eartha!

  3. You are such a wonderful host! xxxooo Your friends are lucky.

  4. Some of us, and by us, I mean me, are old enough to remember Eartha Kitt when she was simply Eartha Kitt.

  5. That is SO COOL that you saw Eartha. My goodness - wow!

    Very cool.

    Dolls are creepy, I agree.

  6. JDZS: Only Ann & Greg stayed with me. The girls are back home in Pittsburgh with their grandmother.