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Sunday, September 2, 2012

Pour Me a Trip to Italy

The Veneto region of Italy.
We just got back from Lesley and Vieri's "Wines of Veneto" party, a few houses up the block. Vieri is from the Veneto region of Northern Italy. [My Dad's family was from Northern Italy too, but near Genoa...]

I'm convinced, these are the Wonder Years. We have such a nice group of neighbors--funny, smart, successful, caring, forward-thinking, sophisticated--and stylish. More than that, we are all witnesses to the prime of our lives, the child-raising years. Chance and time and the real estate market threw us together, but parties like this elevate our roles to socialites and fun-lovers, detract from the duties of carpooling and disciplining. Now when we pass on the street or meet at the supermarket, we connect more.

Close your eyes and imagine you are John Cheever @ a cocktail party in Westchester. Paige and Lesley in their chic dresses--Paige's short, bright, color-blocked and mod, Lesley's white, draped and goddess-like--and high, hip shoes. George wearing a trendy shirt. Lydia, a vibrant psychologist with a big heart and so much fun to talk to. The candles flicker and the wine flows, and we laugh long into the night.

Once again, L and V pulled out all the corks, with a flight of wines for tasting, starting with a festive Proscecco, right on through a Pinot Grigio, an assortment of full-bodied reds in really cool glass decanters, and even a final grappa to seal the deal. The pours were paired with a feast: Parmesan, Provolone, Provolone with pepper, ricotta salata and other cheeses from the region. Also sandwiches on mini brioche rolls, crackers, tender sliced beef, fresh pesto, salamis, melon wrapped in prosciutto, antipasto platter. The dessert table was laden with a tall apothecary jar of Baci chocolates, Italian pastries under glass domes, and treats made by Lydia, Paige and me. [Paige's soft, buttery cookies contained Nutella, the Italian chocolate hazelnut spread].

I really can't hold my liquor well. so I had the first and second whites, one red, and a lot of ice water in between. I also tried not to be too hard on myself for not being slim, something easy to do in a roomful of beautiful neighbors. I tried to be present and aware, to listen, to pay attention--to what others said and to what I ate.

Now we have to go to sleep, thankful for this block we live on and for the generosity of friends. Good night.

  1. Support group. Listened and shared.
  2. Went to Whole Foods to buy some healthy things, like raspberries, dried figs and chicken salad.
  3. Nap.
  4. Biked 10 miles round trip with H. to the Paterson Falls. Hard hills, high heat. Proud.
  5. Walked Sug around block once.

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