Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Having dinner at the Sunset Towers Hotel the other evening with JG had me thinking about another time and another place when life was more calm, drivers were not as rude, and we dined at nine not at 7:30 (at that early hour it was called "eating" not "dining").  Also, the hotel brought back memories of when it was an very upscale apartment house.  I had a friend, Lloyd Pantages, who lived there and gave wonderful parties with a mix of guests such as Doris Duke, a Roosevelt or two, musicians, artists and the likes of FT and me.  Cocktails were at 7:30 and a simple buffet dinner was served at 9:00.  Nibbles were nuts or cherry tomatoes.  No waiters running around, interrupting your conversation with a tray of strange looking unwieldy bites.  Dinner was usually prepared by the host or a friend.  Civilized!

Republicans were of a different breed than those rabble rousers of today (Sarah Palin).  Some were our friends and lovers.  The men all wore blue blazers, khaki pants and heavy brogue shoes, with their hair always perfectly parted on the right side.  The women wore cloth coats:  not fur.  Pearls, cashmere sweater sets and pleated grey flannel skirts were the style.  Hair was usually worn straight, just grazing the neck of the sweater and parted on the right side.  (Maybe just a bit boring)  Civilized!

Which brings me back to our Sunset Towers dinner.  JG and I had our cocktails at the bar before being seated, the piano was tinkling in the background, the crowd was attractive and animated, and our conversation was interesting.  A real honest to god Maitre d'Hotel showed us to our table, the waiter was attentive and the food was understandable (not some chef's culinary wet dream).   Civilized!

Sunday, May 16, 2010


I have a file labeled Entertainment.  Each year I keep credit card receipts filed under different file labels just in case the IRS decides to require substantiation of expenses that will be deducted from my taxes.  Unfortunately, I no longer have those deductions because if one does not show a profit after three years of doing business, the government deems it as a hobby.  I no longer have a business. What made me think of this is this week there was plenty of entertainment.  This week I had two French lessons, two piano lessons with two different teachers (learning Mozart and Chopin with one and Rachmaninov with the other), dinner with M, C and S at BLD: a casual restaurant, lunch at Lucques: a superb restaurant, dinner at L and R's house (there were 10 of us), M and I discovered an interesting artist exhibiting on Beverly Blvd., and we went to a  play at the Ahmanson Theater: THE 39 STEPS.  The very funny, clever play has been running continuously in London since 2006 as well as being presently performed in a number of world capitals.  Plus!  Drinks before and during intermission in the Founders Room of the theater.  That is an entertaining week.  Guess I don't really need those files for the IRS, but at the end of the year they are a reminder of what a full and enjoyable life I have.

Sunday, May 9, 2010


The perfect setting for a birthday party with an Arabian Nights theme is the oasis in the desert: Palm Springs.  This past Thursday evening O celebrated his 50th birthday with 80 costume clad friends at the restaurant Vallauris.  (In my costume I could have been mistaken for Mother Theresa.)  A small orchestra played Arab music, a belly-dancer belly danced and the birthday boy gave a warm heartfelt speech thanking certain persons who had been important to him since his arrival 15 years ago from France.  The French know how to give a good party.  Food, wine, music and interesting guests.  A DJ played music for the partygoers and we danced till "dawn".  (Dawn being 11:30 PM Palm Springs time).

Friday and Saturday afternoons M and I buzzed around the desert discovering an interesting diversification of small shops and restaurants while we were driving from Palm Springs to La Quinta.  Dined at restaurants "Shame on the Moon" and "Trio" with friends and ended up after dinner Saturday night at a fun bar on Highway 111 appropriately named "One Eleven".  I think the name means that one out of eleven persons is under 60 years old.  They don't call Palm Springs "The Elephants Graveyard" for nuthin.

Monday, May 3, 2010


Friday evening we had 4 friends in for dinner.  M, who is grill-crazy, prepared a tri-tip steak and asparagus and I made a Panzanella salad and roasted Rosemary potatoes.  For dessert we gorged on Trader Joe's Mud Pie.  All accompanied by a sensational 2007Juan Gil red Monastrell wine from Spain.  The dinner was a success what with lively conversation and the guests staying at table until midnight.  Another great evening at 1584 Benedict.

The 26th annual Stage event benefiting AIDS Project Los Angeles , was held Saturday night at The Luckman Theater.  Named "Original Cast", the musical extravaganza featured numerous stars of   Broadway musicals doing a one number "turn".  The night was a night to remember.  Just to name a few, Betty Garrett, Tyne Daly, Ronald Dennis, Charlotte Rae, Joan Ryan, Patricia Morrison (who celebrated her 95th birthday singing a song from Kiss Me Kate), Constance Tower, Donna McKechnie, Melissa Manchester, Dale Kristien and many other outstanding performers.  All directed by David Galligan.  A rare musical event!

Sunday was what is becoming an almost weekly drive down to Rancho M.  We are becoming regulars for lunch at Spencer's in Palm Springs.  R & J joined us and I picked up the check 'cause I lost a bet with R that the house would be finished by May 1.  I must have been crazy to choose that date.  How about August or September?  Even tho' we wouldn't go down to the desert during July, August or September (115 degrees of heat), it would have been nice to have had my Paris belongings released from storage in San Pedro.  We spent over 2 hours with the contractors finalizing all types of details and realize the Housewarming will probably be October first.  So those of you who will be visiting for the weekend:  unpack your bags.  The weekend is long off.