After six television seasons, a book and two movies, what do we really know about Carrie Bradshaw? Where is her family? Where did she grow up? Was Mr. Big her first real love? Who was she before Charlotte, Samantha and Miranda?
In Candace Bushnell’s prequel to the admired Sex in the City series, the Carrie Diaries, tells us about Carrie Bradshaw before New York City. Before the cosmos, the sex columns and the men Carrie was a not-so-popular, small town girl from Connecticut with three sisters and a dad. Little did we know during the show that Carrie’s mother died when she was a teenager, but her mother was actually her style icon. Always wearing her mother’s hammy-down dresses, hats and bags, Carrie wasn’t like the rest of the kids in her high school.
She longed for the City life. After a failed attempted into the New School’s summer writing program for the summer before her senior year Carrie was discouraged about life as a writer. She didn’t join the school newspaper and spent her senior year with her first real boyfriend, bad-boy Sebastian Kydd.
Through the couples ups and downs Carrie’s desire to write was only clear to her friend George. George was a college student Carrie met at Brown during a visit to her father’s alma mater (he was set on having his daughters follow in his footsteps and become a scientist also). George pushed Carrie to do what she wants and go where she wants to go.
And where she wanted to go was away from fictional Castlebury, Conn. and her high school enemies. The Mouse, Maggie, Walt, Peter and Lali had been friends with Carrie forever, and have all had the same enemies since grade school. But Carrie knew she would be the one to get out of Castlebury and start over, unlike the popular clique boys and girls Carrie and her friend’s hated.
As we all know, Carrie does make it to New York City and the book even ends with a cameo from one of our friends we have come to know and love. Possibly it’s a seek peak at Bushnell’s new book coming out this month, Summer in the City. Definitely a hard cover read.
After watching the first three seasons of one of my favorite city ladies in Bravo’s Real Housewives franchise, I have to say, I don’t know if I could write a blog a week about the Real Housewives of New York City
. Although this season has the most ladies of any other season in the entire franchise, I can’t see much happening this season.
We started off right where we ended last year, sans Bethenny Frankel. Alex and Jill are still feuding, which stems from last year’s fight between Bethenny and Jill, despite the queen bee, Jill, saying that she has totally changed this year. At a wedding Jill, Alex and Ramona all attended in the Hamptons, Jill is sitting in the corner talking shit about the other two ladies. She needs to get out of high school. It’s boring now.
Last year we saw Ramona and Alex becoming pretty close friends and as Ramona said in this episode, Alex’s husband Simon is finally growing on her, after four years of bickering. The couple has too begun growing on me, well Alex is at least. She has become more of her own person and less of a little puppy that follows her husband around. While she has grown on me, Simon is still probably one of the most annoying people I have never met. Alex was on speaker phone with her modeling agency (yes, modeling agency) and Simon put a weight in Alex’s hand to have her start working out. ANNOYING. I literally wanted to hit him.
Countess LuAnn fell in love again since last season. Her upgraded French man is a younger version of her ex-hubby. And well that’s it with her. Sonia, still sleeping around. Done. Kelly… still a freak.
And now on to the newest housewife that actually doesn’t seem like she is as catty as the rest of the ladies.
Cindy is a Long Island native who owns Completely Bare Spas. She is a 40-something-year-old mother of twin 10-month of girls which she had through the IVF process.
The New York Housewives started out as five self supporting business women whether it is them working for their husband’s companies, basically running it themselves, or running their own companies. Now they are seven catty women having high school fights. There really isn’t much to it besides that. End of season.
Last week Alexis had a botox, massage party where she invited all of the girls. Tamara took advantage of the event to make a dig at Gretchen and bring mace to keep away “animals” such as her fellow housewife. This week we find out that after the party Alexis let Tamera know how she felt about the joke, and she wasn’t happy about it. Drama, drama.
To add to the drama Frenanda, the newest, Brazilian, lesbian housewife celebrated her new citizenship by throwing herself a party with her lesbian friends. Tamera, who is Fernanda’s in into the group, was supposed to attend the party but last minute had to bail because she was moving. Fernanda made it appoint to make a small comment to her about it at Alexis’s party where Tamera saw a perfect opportunity to throw a pitty party for herself. “Do you even know what I’m going through right now!!?”
Obviously it’s not that terrible because Tamera and Eddie have time to head to Spain together this week. Yeah, yeah, they’re in love we get it. Now back to the Orange County.
In the past two weeks Vicki has made more of an attempt to spend time with her adult family but both times pushed the family to pick on her. Family drama. Her children, Michael and Briana, and husband, Donn, told Vicki that she isn’t spending enough time at home. It seemed like they were blaming her for the family growing apart where Vicki was trying to blame everyone else’s lives. Even on a nice boat ride through Newport Beach she seems to make it all about work chatting it up with Michael’s best friend, who just so happens to be one of her workers.
A season of the OC Housewives wouldn’t be complete without some plastic surgery and in this week’s episode we see Peggy have some boobie drama. After getting her breasts re-done Alexis does the housewife thing and brings her over some food for the week. But the meeting wouldn’t be TV worthy without Alexis making jabs about Peggy’s surgery. “She should have gone to my doctor,” Alexis said in her commentary.
I guess really the least amount of drama in the past two weeks was Gretchen and Slade. Oh the irony. In celebration of Gretchen’s parent’s 40th wedding anniversary (Orange County love) the couple planned a special weekend to surprise her parents. They took a drive in her mother’s first car to the church they were married in where Slade had set up Gretchen’s mother’s wedding dress and pictures from their wedding. From there Gretchen’s mom and dad took a limo ride to their favorite winery, and where they got all dolled up in a new dress and tux and renewed their vows. The most emotional parts of the entire weekend was first when they saw that the minister who originally wed them 40 years ago would be doing the renewal ceremony and next when her mother saw the gift Gretchen and her father had gotten her. Her first upgraded ring their entire marriage. A 4-caret diamond from her tiny ruby she normally had on her left hand ring finger.
The weeding was by far my favorite part of the show in the past two weeks. Next week the drama continues when Tamera and Alexis continue the fight about the mace.
The Tri-State area: home to me, little Italy, some of the most notorious mafia bosses, MTV’s Jersey Shore, and my favorite, pizza! New York and New Haven both have their own style that the area is proud of. (And then you have those holes in the wall places that still are better pizza than you can get anywhere else in the country.) When I moved to Los Angeles I knew the pizza would be a little different, but I didn’t think it would be nonexistent.
And no, Dominos and Pizza Hut don’t count.
So when I went home this past week my goal was to eat as much pizza as I could. PaPa’s Pizza 2 in Milford, Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana in New Haven, Colony Grill in Fairfield and my newest find Roseland Apizza in Derby. All have their own style and taste.
Pepe’s is famous for their brick oven, burnt bottom pie where Colony’s famous pie is called a hot oil pizza topped with a single pepperoncini. After all of the pizza I ate in a matter of eight days, I think it’s safe to say I am not going to be craving pizza anytime soon.
The story of a modern relationship and a family secret set in England shows how many families have adapted to modern times. Joanna Trollope’s the Other Family is a story about Richie Rossiter and his family.
Richie met the mother of his three daughters when he was in his early forties and she was twenty three. At the time he was a small-time pianist from North Shores, England and she was a city girl from London. Chrissie was young and exciting and Richie was married to his childhood sweetheart with a teenage son. Chrissie promised Richie a life of fame and fortune with her leading the way as his manager. So he left his wife, who was also his manager at the time, and moved south for a new life.
Twenty five years later, Richie and Chrissie have three grown daughters themselves who have all always believed their family is “normal.” But when Richie dies suddenly the Rossiter girls — Tamsin, Dilly and Amy – learn their parents not only have never been married, but Richie is actually still married to his first wife Margaret who lives up north with their son Scott.
This is an amazing story about not one, but two families getting over the death of a father, husband and homemaker. It’s a story of two families bonding and becoming the one family they always should have been. And the Other Family is the story of breaking the stereotypes of normalcy and a family creating their own “normal” and happiness.
Last night on Bravo’s original Real Housewives, the Orange County ladies all faced some sort of fear that was bothering them. Tamera and Vicki, the self proclaimed leaders of the group, took a much needed girls vacation alone to help heal their friendship. A friendship that took a complete 360 in the past year: from best friends, worst enemies and now working its way back to friends. Last season Tamera was in a rocky place in her diminishing marriage so in order to try to salvage the relationship she decided to side with her now ex-husband Simon rather than her friend Vicki who truly was there for her. But Vicki isn’t one to let it go. On their trip to Cabo last night it seems like Vicki really does want to move on but she sure as hell isn’t going to let Tamera forget how she treated her last year. Vicki told everyone and anyone that Tamera owes her and that she ruined their friendship and is now trying to “court” Vicki again. Really Vicki? Court you?
Back in the OC, Gretchen meets with her father regarding her relationship with housewife hunter, and her boyfriend, Slade. Gretchen’s dad can’t help but be a little uneasy about his daughter’s relationship with the unemployed, divorced father of two. Slade, who has dated one other housewife and rumored to have a relationship with another, is pushing towards making Gretchen his wife but she doesn’t seem to have the same want and need to get married. Gretchen, also a divorce, does want to start a family with her boyfriend of a year and a half but I don’t see the season ending with a wedding.
The newest housewife, Peggy, really let us see the real her in last night’s third episode of the season. The gun shooting, blonde, Orange County native and mother to two toddler girls admitted to the cameras last night that she has been suffering from postpartum depression since the birth of her oldest daughter two years ago. She explained, in tears, that after London and Capri (world travelers much?) were each born she felt as if all she could do was stay in bed. She admitted that she at times even wanted to kill herself and was thankful that her thoughts were only towards herself and not to hurt anyone else. The postpartum affects Peggy so much that when Capri, the younger of the two girls, cut her finger on plastic she forced her husband to take the baby to the hospital in case she needed stitches. We as viewers saw the extent of Peggy’s anxiety.
And then there was “queen” Alexis who, well let’s face it, had a less than boring segment showing off her dress line. Uhg, just another housewife who thinks she can be a designer because she has money. Over it.
Next week we get to see Tamera brush up to (literally) with her new lesbian friend and trainer for a Prop 8 photo, Gretchen commit a crime and probably Alexis dote on her husband and God a little more. ‘Til next week.
64 miles: Pea Soup Andersen’s
36 miles: Pea Soup Andersen’s
12 miles: Pea Soup Andersen’s
Next Exit: Pea Soup Andersen’s
From miles away, on both sides of the freeway, any commuter can see the billboards counting down the miles to Buellton, Calif. and the famous Pea Soup Andersen’s. The small town seems to be taken over by the last name with hotels, stores and restaurants named after the family.
I don’t know what I was expecting after I first saw the episode of “The Girls Next Door” a few years ago when the girlfriends of Hugh Hefner go to eat at Andersen’s but I was quite surprised to see that it really is just a popular diner. Serving breakfast foods, sandwiches, burgers, salads, and the occasional random entre all priced under $20, Andersen’s walls are even the color of their famous soup. Pea-soup green.
Their half sandwich, half soup option was perfect for my first time at the eatery 148 miles north of Los Angeles. The tuna sandwich was sitting on top sourdough bread and layered with 4 slices of tomato, 5 slices of onion and a generous helping of lettuce. There was so much tuna I had to finish it with a fork because my sandwich was over flowing. The side salad I ordered to go with the meal also came with a huge assortment of veggies that hit the spot.
Unfortunately, I don’t think I can say the same for the namesake of the restaurant. The pea soup wasn’t what I was used to, or what I was expecting. I am a fan of thick soups. Pea soup is usually thick and almost chunky with pieces of peas, carrots and ham in it. Not this soup. It was like, well, soup. The consistency was very thin like a chicken broth rather than a porridge.
A customer at the next table we began talking to said that he has been coming to Andersen’s for years and it just isn’t the same it used to be. He said peas and bacon used to be floating throughout the soup and it had a different texture. The waitress claimed the need to keep the soup vegetarian is why it is what it is today.
Overall, the little Danish diner was quite an experience. I don’t know if it’s worth the three and a half hour drive up from L.A. but driving through I guess it was worth the stop.
148 miles to Los Angeles.
The grand finale of awards season and award’s fashion didn’t impress like years before. There were no Million Dollar Baby dresses or crazy cut out dresses like Halle Berry has worn in past years. Instead the trend was simple lines, simple textures and simple colors. All of which were broken by some, but not all of which were good calls.
Best dressed for the evening for me goes hands down to Mila Kunis who broke the simple texture trend for the evening. She looked gorgeous in her Elie Saab lavender dress with lace. The dress was form-fitting where it counts and flowed gorgeous at the bottom. I couldn’t help but think this presenter stole the red carpet from the beginning as she was one of the first guests to arrive.
The colors for the evening were simple. A lot of nudes, whites, creams, and blacks; and in came Jennifer Hudson. Jennifer’s stunning tangerine Atelier Versace made her absolutely glow and showed off her new and improved figure. I think that this color, although a risk and big no-no for people of my pale and pasty skin tone, looked absolutely fabulous on her dark skin. Plain and simple: she looked beautiful.
And then there was one. Nicole Kidman is one of the most beautiful people in the world. Unfortunately I can’t always say the same for her fashion choices. Her far from simple silhouette of her Christian Dior dress was absolutely terrible. The white is again a color us pale ladies need to stay far away from because we just blend right in. However her simple ponytail was perfect and simple and brought out her natural beauty but unfortunately the extra fins around her waist took all of that away since all anyone could pay attention to was her hips.
I’m not one for sappy love movies but this one brought me to tears. Rachel McAdams knows what she is good at and she just continues taking these parts that make you feel the love she has for her co-star. McAdams plays a woman, Clare, who falls in love with a man she met when she was 6 in a meadow near her parent’s home. Henry, played by Eric Bana, learned his can time travel when he was 6-years-old and he and his mother were in a car accident. As Clare grows she sees Henry multiple times in her life leading up to when they meet and begin their relationship. You feel Clare’s pain of being in love with someone who at any time can disappear and never knowing when he will come back.
One place I love to find a new book is in an airport bookstore. They have the obvious: newest Danielle Steal or diet fad book to just hit the shelves. But then they also have those books, featured on book stands that you would never pick up if you were to go into an overwhelming Barnes and Noble or Boarders. The books that just stand out and yell, “read me now!”
That’s exactly what Jennifer Weiner’s newest novel “Best Friends Forever” did to me in an LAX bookstore before my Christmas trip home to Connecticut. (Ironically the same place Weiner herself grew up.) Since my move to L.A. I couldn’t help but feeling distant from some of my friends from home. A lot has changed in the nine months I have been in the sun and I guess I was feeling a little anxiety about having to actually face the change head on. This book, with two friends walking along the beach on the front cover, couldn’t help but make me feel like maybe it would be okay. So I picked it up.
The story of Addie Downs and Valerie Adler’s friendship is a rocky one. As childhood neighbors Valerie was one of the few people to give Addie a chance but when high school came and Val was put into the popular crowd, Addie’s best friend was gone faster than her midnight cookies. (She was a night time binge eater.) As time passed so did Val’s life. She lived all over the country while Addie just stayed cooped up in her parent’s home she had inherited until one night, when Val comes knocking on the door in need of help.
Not to ruin the ending for you but obviously it is a happy one. Addie, with her preparedness and calm attitude gets the two girls out of all of the sticky situations crazy Val puts them into.
While reading this book I couldn’t help but think of my friendships back at home. Although none of us are an Addie or a Val we are all growing, and in some cases that does mean growing apart. I hope I never have to know what not talking to my best friends for 15 years feels like, but if we are at all like these two ladies, I know that we would always be there for each other when we need it. And just because we don’t agree with each other or understand what each other are doing, it doesn’t mean we are drifting, it just means we are different. We are a loner and a cheerleader in two different circles but we will always have our neighborhood to go back to.