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for July 31, 2002

It's a Thin Line Between Love and Cake
by Your Diva, Robin Pastorio-Newman

NBC's fall TV season brings us American Dreams, an homage to American Bandstand culture, presenting the 1960s as squeaky clean and optimistic. Throughout the sixties, young men were sent off to war, while Americans nervously awaited their return. There was racial unrest in the cities and suburbs. Violence in the Middle East occurred and recurred. There were riots, bombings, murders, and the nightly news featured daily body counts. It was a time of tremendous uncertainty. Sound familiar? Are we nostalgic for now?
You're from Jersey. Your close friend moves to New York City. After some time passes, you visit your friend's microscopic apartment. If you locked a chihuahua in a closet the size of your friend's bedroom you'd report yourself to the ASPCA. You notice your friend looks...different. Leaner. Perhaps you have this odd conversation.
Friend: You have to taste these grapes. They're fantastic. The bodega by my apartment has great fruit.
You: They're pretty good. Nice grapes. What'd you have for dinner? When's dinner?
Friend: These *are* dinner. They're huge and so juicy...
You: Are you out of your mind? Grapes aren't dinner. You can't put those on a plate and cut them with a steak knife. Eat something that had a snout! Criminy!
Emerging from the Holland Tunnel, one notices new New Yorkers adapt to the Big Apple by making themselves smaller, narrower, a strained physique Your Darling, Your Diva, Your One True Love terms "New York thin." Every extra ounce is a liability in the subway and on the loft bed. It's not just confined spaces - the expense of eating in New York is daunting. The Food Network's new show $40 a Day is as crazy as concepts come: who can afford this madness? Hasn't the Food Network noticed our economy's tanked and erstwhile dotcom millionaires endorse the ramen noodle diet? Your Fresh Lemonade asserts: show us elegant dining on $10 a day, and fans will kiss your feet. One other observation: recent excursions into Manhattan reveal that over the last year, New Yorkers gave up fruit and dove face-first into the fritatas. New Yorkers appear to have sought post-September 11th comfort in comfort food.
You're from Jersey. You're accomplished and secure. One day, your junior high school best friend emails you that her new CD was nominated for a Grammy. Your hesitation has nothing to do with jealousy and everything to do with re-examining your resumé - probably less uncomfortable than watching Katie Wagner interview her dad, saluting Robert Wagner with, "Hey, Sexy Beast." So! A Grammy nomination! More when the formidable Karen Kevra returns from vacation in a few weeks.
In the meantime, remain calm. Pass the macaroni and cheese.

©2002 Robin Pastorio-Newman

All material ©2001-2014 Sean Carolan, except as noted.


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