Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Clay Cole, RIP

This photo of Clay Cole was taken by me in October 2009, when I attended The Friends of Old Time Radio Convention. Here, Clay Cole is with Tracey Dey and Brian Gari.
Clay Cole passed away today.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Your Mission

"Good evening, Super Fans, Fixated Fans, and Totally Obsessed Fans. Your mission fans, should you decide to accept, is to discuss these photos until the tips of your fingers turn blue. Discuss the played out and vile blue fox coat from 1975. We should all never wear fur! Discuss the blue satin marabou trimmed robe. It's equally obnoxious. But, as always, should you or any of your fellow snarkmeisters fail to join in and type like a mad wild person, the others will disavow any knowledge of your actions... because misery loves company and all snarkmeisters deserve each other."

And a P.S.
Honey, I dig the false eyelashes, but... did you ever hear of the word "blend?"


Club LV

Here I was dragging the de rigueur LV bag into some club.

OK, enough narisha zach.. gotta get to Bergdorf's.
It's time for another Prada, lol.
And some divine Jo Malone.
And maybe, just maybe... a Fendi watch.
I am tired of the Philip Stein.

On Overload

This is me in San Francisco in 1975. I am sporting another Louis Vuitton bag. Looks like I was on LV overload.

Struttin' Stuff

This is me and Bobbi F, circa 1976... at Dougie F's Bar Mitzvah.
I was into Louis Vuitton back then I see, such a trend setter, me.

Now I dig the Balenciagas.

Saturday, December 18, 2010


mamala and tatala.... DISCUSS!!!
Talk amongst yourselves!

So nu?

Friday, December 17, 2010

On the Street Where I Live

I have a gorgeous view of the Empire State Building and on that day, at dusk, it was lit in beautiful fall colors. I run with exciting people in the greatest city in the world.
Fans? Discuss!

Monday, November 29, 2010

from The New York Sun

Letter to the Editor, July 20, 2004

Letters to the Editor
July 20, 2004

After I read "Education By Smoke and Mirrors," I sadly concluded that a discussion of the problems in the New York City schools has "jumped the shark" [Andrew Wolf, Opinion, July 9, 2004].

In Region 9's "Third Grade Summer Success Academy," the teachers were given a manual that has been adapted from the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project 2004.

The Balanced Literacy Program consists of a 95-minute Reading Workshop and a 55-minute Writing Workshop.

The components of the program include a read-aloud, independent reading, conferences, shared reading, guided reading, writing minilessons, independent writing, and word work.

The 2 1/2-hour block is so micromanaged that it includes prepared dialogue for the instruction of the children. When teachers help students choose a "just-right" nonfiction book, they are told what to say in order to model thinking:

"Hmm. Here's a book titled 'My Farm.' I've already read a lot about farms, and I don't want to learn more about farms right now. This is not a just-right book for me. It's not interesting."

Then, "Hmm. Here's a book called spiders. I've always been interested in spiders. Let me try reading a page. (Teacher reads page 10 fluently.) I'm used to reading a book with more words on a page and even some harder words. I think I won't learn enough. This is not a just-right book for me. It's too easy."

The teacher goes through a scripted process and then randomly distributes one nonfiction book to each student. She says, "Take a look at the book I just gave you. Decide if it is a just-right book for you by deciding if it's interesting, and checking a page to see that it's not too easy or too hard - a book you can make sense of while you're reading. Then turn and tell your partner what you were thinking.

At first glance, the lessons in the summer curriculum may be impressive and seem effectively crafted for successful results.

But, experienced traditional teachers would consider this learning model to be a major farce, where education has moved into the surreal world of "The Stepford Wives."

As more time passes, the articles on education seem to have deteriorated into redundant pieces "full of sound and fury, signifying nothing." I shake my head in disbelief and I am glad I am retired.


Letter to the Editor, October 10, 2006

Letters to the Editor
October 10, 2006

‘The Spin Doctors'

Andrew Wolf states [Op-ed, "The Spin Doctors," September 29-October 1, 2006], "This prevalent teaching methodology is the common thread that directs our national march to mediocrity."

At almost the end of my thirty-four year long teaching career, I was directed to change the seating arrangement in my classroom from rows to groups, develop an atmosphere of "productive noise," and construct mini-lessons. The new "balanced literacy" model was filled with layered components and the classroom was mandated to be have visual and heady appeal.

A student shortly pleaded to "go back to the old way of learning," which was a more no-frills and basic textbook approach. I discussed this with my supervisor, and I was told it was my fault my students didn't like the new style. I had not properly motivated the students or successfully implemented the model. The whole system has become like scenes in "Alice Through the Looking Glass."

New York, N.Y.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Friday, November 5, 2010

A Rich and Rewarding Life

Here are some class photos of my long career as a proud teacher.
Jon Hamm, in Parade magazine: “I got into acting because my teachers kept nudging me into it,” says Hamm, who taught school himself for a few years after graduating from the University of Missouri with an English degree. “The power a teacher has to influence someone is so great. I can’t think of a profession I have more respect for.”
Parade magazine

I was a teacher in NYC for almost 35 years. I have close to 35 class pictures to help reflect on my long career. I had read in the UFT paper, "The New York Teacher," about the long career of Regina Sayres, who is now 100 years old. She was a teacher at PS 41M in 1968 during the time of that long teachers' strike. I was a teacher at PS 41M during that time when
Ms. Sayres was there, and at a place when she was perhaps ending her career... mine was just beginning.
I looked through all the class photos in my collection, and I selected many for inclusion in this blog. They represent the four schools in which I taught... and the memories come flooding back. (please click on each photo to enlarge)

The year was 1973, and I was teaching grade 6 in a public school in the theater district of Manhattan. I entered my class in an essay contest sponsored by Bella Abzug and one of my students won. She went to Washington, DC to read her essay. I found this photo: Charity goes to Washington. And I also found the (now very wrinkled and faded) letter I received informing us that she won. That was over 35 years ago. It seems like so long ago. I guess it was.

This was my fourth grade class at PS 33 in 1986. The next year, when they were in the fifth grade, these students were chosen by Eugene M. Lang for his "I Have a Dream" college scholarship program. Over twenty years later... I am wondering: "Where are they now?"

And most bittersweet:

The year was 1974. I was teaching at a small school on West 45th Street. I had a wonderful 6th grade class. The students were bright, creative, and they had a real sense of humor. The school was on the same block as the Actor's Studio, the Manhattan Plaza had just been completed, and on nice days I could walk home. I loved going to work.
One day, a student named Christopher came to school a little bit late. I asked him the reason for his tardiness, and he told me that the night before he had attended an opening of a movie in which his father had a role. I asked him the name of the film, and he replied, "Godfather 2." "Oh," I said. I asked, "What part did your father have in the movie?" He replied, "Frankie Five Angels." I did know that Christopher's father was the playwright who had written "Hatful of Rain." But, I did not know that he was in the film, "Godfather II." So! Christopher's father was "Frankie Pentangeli;" interesting... Godfather II, was released and it opened at a Loew's theater on Broadway. It received phenomenal reviews and I couldn't wait to see it.
Soon thereafter were parent-teacher conferences. I am lucky Christopher was an excellent student. I do not think I would have had a comfort level sitting across from that father and giving a bad report. Mr. Gazzo had written a note to me during that school year asking permission for his son to be excused early on an October day and I saved the note. It was not just a signed note, it was an autograph.
A few months later, the Gazzo family moved to Los Angeles. Christopher kept in touch with all of us through letters he sent to the school addressed to me. In one letter, Christopher asked me if I was still singing because I was awful. I was a teacher who sang while she taught? He said he was going to a school 20 times better but he would rather be going to our school because he missed all of us.
I think about all of the students I had in so many classes over the years. Eddie, who died of a drug overdose. David, who fell off the roof of his building one hot summer day when he was up there with his brothers playing ball. Debbie, who was crossing 9th Avenue and was hit by a car. Brenda, whose mother we saved.
Larry David was asked why he still works. He clearly does not need to work. He said his mother had told him many years ago that we all need to always wake up in the morning and have a place to go. I had a place to go.

Didn't Mr. E's secretary leave out the 's' in comprehension in #4? He should have proofread that letter!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

a contest entry

Include the following words:


2007: It was a contest in the Kube Hotel that was similar to the Kevin Bacon game.

I was nervously up at bat. I was one of the kids who was a huge fan of Shirley Temple and I adored Bill Cullen. I wore nostalgia better than Lady Gaga wore red meat.

I referenced a super bowl game, an old movie, and the quiz show host who loved trivia. But, I was eliminated because I referenced the wrong "Heidi."

Years later, I wrote about the weekend in a book called, "Fear and Loathing in Paris." The experience was one big knock-off.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Open House New York

I visited the residence of the architects Fairfax and Sammons, located at 183-185 West 4th St near 7th Ave South. These are two carriage houses that are fused together.

Open House New York

Sunday, September 26, 2010

A View from the Street

This is a view of the street, looking south, in front of Lincoln Center. My pool is on the top floor of the building on the left. The views all the way up there of the Hudson River are amazing and the sunsets are glorious.

The New York Film Festival

I went today to The New York Film Festival at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall to see, "Translating Edwin Honig: A Poet's Alzheimer's," a short documentary film by Alan Berliner. It is an excellent, remarkable, and very touching and moving film.

"Remember how to forget. No more."

Edwin Honig: eight poems

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Did They?

Did they just insult anonymous internet posters on Glee? How rude! LMAO

Where's my anonymous commenter? Come out, come out, wherever you are!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Beyond COLOR: Color in American Photography 1950-1970

Today, I went to the Bruce Silverstein Gallery to view:
Beyond COLOR: Color in American Photography 1950-1970.

Eliot Porter (1901 - 1990)

Marie Cosindas

Pete Turner (b. 1934)

Ruth Orkin (1921 - 1985)

Ernst Hass (1921 - 1986)

Harry Callahan (1912 - 1999)

Inge Morath (1923 - 2002)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

contest entries

Jan. 16, 2011

1. Write a story in 100 words or fewer
2. Use the following words in the story


Auntie was killed with one swift blow to the head. The weapon was green jasper, a jasper that looked a bit like the color of mildew.

It was quite the scandal back then. At 4 PM, poor dear Auntie had left the drawing room with her usual flair to take her daily “snooze." And on that day so long ago, she never saw the enemy coming.

She was killed by her lover, Jasper, during a heady sex session, and the shame of it was she actually never did see him coming.

Tell me a story in 100 words or fewer. Use the following words in the story:


On the balcony above, he played Ravel's Sonatine on his viola and I stood on the patio below in a pink lace negligee smoking a cigarette.

He had entered my bedroom earlier... and he had left a note on a pink lace doily beside a pink picture frame. But, it was over and I was not to be seduced by music or song.

When I looked up... he jumped.

He jumped, and somehow managed to die by falling on his own sword. I collapsed over his body and cried, "Jimmy, you silly fool."

I held onto the pink tightly.


It was murky in the cabin as the minion prepared the table. She was setting out bakewell tarts, tarte tatins, faworkis, and a sinister looking ghorabiye. The heinous Backfire, had agreed to a sit down with her nemesis, Wisteria.

Backfire's fading fragrant French cologne- earlier a sweet elixir- melted under dim lights at the very moment the tattooed Wisteria held a lit match to her cigarette and started a small fire.

I put on my gable hood headgear because my head was about to explode, and I noticed my cup of chamomile was now strangely cold.


2035: On every corner of Fairbank there is a version of the old Antiques Roadshow.

People stake out for hours. I had brought the old honeywagon, left to me in my great aunt's will.

The appraiser lifted his ax and hit the floor with one swing. We peeked into the secret chamber. It was full of papers! They said, “queries for SlushPile Hell.” The E-mail address, to whom those pivotal queries had been sent, was clear with no flaws.

The old honeywagon might not be worth shit, but the identity of the now urban legend was about to be revealed.

The contest: in 115 words or less, tell a story starting with: "A monster-slaying governess, a vampire librarian, and a professorial zombie walk into a bar..."

A monster-slaying governess, a vampire librarian, and a professorial zombie walk into a bar...
And say to the barkeep, "Some libations, sir, for we have come very far."

"We come from a town, Podzeker, for the purpose of finding a child and freeing her."

"A child prodigy carrying books went missing one cold and dark day, is there anything you might have to say?”

The barkeep, named Krun, pulled out his silver gun,

and slayed all three with one shot.
Then, behind the curtain he checked on a little one, laughing and eating red velvet cupcakes on a polka dot cot.

"Thank you," she said in a grateful way.
"My hero, you saved the day."


Rex Reed loved a good Kevin Bacon film. He had gone to see "The River Wild," and when he returned home and put on the news he was shocked to see that O.J. Simpson had offered little resistance when he was arrested for murder.

Rex was exhausted. He decided on some light tv. He switched to "The Ren & Stimpy Show" and called his annoying sycophantic assistant, Fenske.

"Schmuck? Do you have Court TV? Get ready. This is going to be huge."

double agent

All the Real Housewives of New Jersey sat in Panera drinking coffee. The door burst open and in walked RaggedyAnn.

"Hello, you has beens," she smirked. "You are all so yesterday. Looks like your TV agent was a double agent. In September, Barbie and Ginny and Cabbage Patch Biker Chick and I will be starring in The Real Housewives of Toyland."

"Lanie will make a guest appearance and Rebecca will do a cameo if she can manage to time travel. You think you got razzmatazz? Wait until you see Cabbage Patch Causcasian boy zumba. Bite me, bitches!"


I took a short shuffle to the window. There was Vanessa, the dangerous yenta. It was my wedding day, and even today I was sweating and scared. The music began to play and I went downstairs and entered the lair.

On daddy's arm I had entered the chuppah. The rabbi whispered, "Till death us do part." I waited for Jake's foot to lift and smash the glass and I expected to hear, “Mazel tov.”

"Stop! She's a kurvah, a tramp." I swung around. Vanessa’s face was purple with rage. My day was ruined. My fail? Epic.


November 2005, Doing Lunch

Keith Kahla, editor to the stars, was going downtown to meet Perez Hilton, pest to the stars.

Bruce Willis and Josh Hartnett were filming a scene for "Lucky Number Slevin" and Park Avenue was a huge parking lot. Keith told the cab driver to take Broadway. The driver took a fast right off Park and Keith realized they were lucky they didn't crash.

Perez was waiting at the table. Keith sat down and when the waiter arrived Keith said, "I will have the strangozzi sage pasta. And easy on the oregano." Then, he began his spin.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Students' Art

Please take a look at the art work of my wonderful students from PS 97 for:
"One World Kids".

Monday, August 9, 2010

Travel Talk

I love to wax nostalgic. These are some old photos of my trips to Europe from the 70s.

The Grand Hotel Quisisana

Tauck travel

Thursday, August 5, 2010

What are you doing today?

I am going to drive to Engelwood. There are gorgeous views of the city as one drives through Port Imperial. Yes, I live in the city and I own a car. It enhances life in retirement.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Recently Found

I found an old photo of me that the photographer painted in watercolors.

Comedy Show

Tomorrow night, in Manhattan.
E-mail for details.
That's me on the stage of the old Eagle Tavern.
Guess who went on after me that night?
Jon Stewart. And from the stage, he hilariously imitated my shtik...
much to the delight of the audience.
At marjorie-digest you can read my interview with Howard Feller, who was Jon's announcer on the MTV show.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

On July 4th, 2010

On July 4th, I went to my pool to view the fireworks. The indoor pool is on the 44th floor of a Manhattan building and the views are incredible. It is surrounded by an outdoor patio. We watched the glorious sun set in an orange sky over the Hudson River. And when the fireworks began, we were so high up the flashes of color were eye level.