“Hey honey, let’s go to the movies. There’s a documentary I want to see about a man and a fermentation fetish.” Said no wife ever…until now.
That’s exactly how it happened when I asked my husband to join me at the premier of Sandorkraut at DOC NYC’s shorts program at IFC a couple of weeks ago. Sandorkraut is a documentary portrait of the famous food writer and fermentation guru, Sandor Katz. As a nutritionist, I’m a known probiotic pusher. However, on a more personal level, I was especially thrilled to attend the screening since one of Sandorkraut’s Producer/Director’s is a colleague of mine from my film days.
We hopped off the subway and exited conveniently right outside of the theatre where my longtime pal, Ann Husaini, spotted us in the sold-out crowd. Excited and glowing, she waved us through the mass. She’s exactly as I remember her fifteen years ago when I hired her for her first legit editing job—still youthful, friendly, funny and openhearted. But after viewing this fabulous film, I can also say that Ann has evolved into a wonderful filmmaker. The storytelling skills and tactful eye that I admired in her early days as an editor have served her well. Ann and her Co-Producer/Director Emily Lobsenz have created much more than a food film. Sandorkraut is an intimate story of the ancient culinary practice of fermentation and the mysteries around it. But, it’s what Sandor unearths in the process that gives the film its fertile worth. You see, the story is also about how Sandor has transformed his relationship with life and death.
Ok—maybe you […]
I became aware of my age, or better said, my mortality, when Joel- my boyfriend from the 1970’s died. In my mind, the two of us would forever remain nineteen. His death left me depressed and grieving beyond what seemed appropriate, given our brief relationship over thirty-five years earlier. It’s been more than three years since Joel’s death- still the sad and untimely news of his passing at only fifty-three years old remains a shock and a great loss. I’ve come to appreciate that in grieving Joel, I am also grieving my own youth. The rhetorical question, where have the years gone, takes on new meaning for me.
The fear of aging is really the fear of being irrelevant or worse yet, dead. Even after all of the remnants of the years—failing eyesight, grey hair and saggy skin are lifted and tummy-tucked away, the fear of no longer being relevant remains. We come to understand as I did through the jolt of Joel’s passing, that we are entering the last trimester of our lives. And even though we tend to focus on the external changes, it’s what’s happening inside of our heads that frighten us most—the thoughts and feelings that we’re working hard to avoid. Rather than looking inward for grace and enlightenment, we focus on superficial changes through procedures that are no more than diversions- like facelifts and fillers. The truth is, until our fears are reconciled on a spiritual level, we will never come to terms with aging. Never mind aging gracefully.
If you read my book, The French Twist, Twelve Secrets of Decadent Dining and Natural Weight Management, some of this philosophy may […]
“Joy is the Best Make-Up.”
I’ll never forget the time that I appeared on television to promote my first book. I arrived at the station feeling self-conscious, and in more make-up than usual, armed with a whole tool kit of concealers, eyeliners, bronzers and blushes. But still, nothing could have prepared me for when I sat down with the lovely young anchor who was interviewing me that morning. I paled by comparison. Her lashes—thick, black and false—were glued against her upper lids. In reality, her makeup was completely overdone, but when the monitor turned on us, she looked radiant. I looked like a washed out, beady-eyed lab rat. Despite the heavy eyeliner and mascara, my natural lashes couldn’t stand up to the harsh studio lighting.
Lesson learned. In the interviews that followed, I made sure to layer the makeup on thick, and invested in something even better than glued-on lashes—eyelash extensions. For the next several months I scheduled my life around the twice-monthly eyelash fills required to keep my lashes visible and fluttering. But it wasn’t long before I dreaded juggling my calendar to include the lash fills amongst my other ongoing upkeeps such as hair color and smoothing treatments, brow tints, manicures, pedicures and facials.
The vulnerability of on-camera work is one thing, but facing it at fifty-something is another beast entirely. ‘It’s not the way I look, but how I deliver my message,’ I reasoned. Still, only half joking, I asked my PR professionals to book me for some radio spots, where make-up, lighting, and age would […]
A few weeks back I had dinner with Shannon Ables, founder of The Simply Luxurious Life blog, along with our mutual editor, Pat Fogarty. Shannon lives on the West coast and was spending the week in New York City. During our meal together Shannon asked, “What’s your favorite part of living in the city?” Simultaneously, Pat and I answered, “Central Park!”
That night, I had a hard time articulating just what it is about Central Park that I love so much. There’s no argument that in a city the size of Manhattan, the park serves as a refuge from the manic pace and hustle of New York. But that’s not enough said. Central Park is a dichotomy of enchantment and disillusion—and always promises the unexpected.
I walk my dogs every morning in the park, and like them, each day I see, hear and smell something different, even though we take the same familiar route. The children’s zoo is part of our daily outing; we move past the seal pool and then the musical clock, and on through a tunnel passage where every day, without fail, a musician plays the saxophone. The echo of the tunnel broadens every note, and I never tire of the repertoire. Today, I noticed a man heading toward the black, velvet-lined music case placed open on the ground in front of the saxophonist. Digging into his pocket, the man pulled out a few coins and dropped them into the case. It was then that I recognized him as a homeless man from our neighborhood. Lugging a Duane Reade shopping bag—filled with what I can only assume are […]