Thursday, October 30, 2008

World Series

Not too much for me to say...not much of a baseball fan but we did take the little fella to a game back in September (dollar dog night!) and I know enough to impress the occasional guy. This is a true team...not one diva...just a hang on the edge of your seat several games (in the cold and rain and in Philly, yes it can do unprecedented things like be suspended). But it's what sports is all about.

Hours after the horn blowing and screaming and madness subsided, I, exhausted from no sleep because of the aforementioned commotion, canvased a 2 block radius of my office in and around 15th and Locust for the morning edition of the Inquirer but at 3 p.m. was happy to take home the "Extra." Thanks to for the commemorative cover photos in jpeg format. Now the city anticipates 1 million plus downtown for the parade tomorrow.

Thursday, October 02, 2008


Since I learned that the Performing Arts Exchange would be in Atlanta some time ago, I was beside myself with excitement. "Atlanta!" My eyebrows raised and I smiled. I had always wanted to go to the South and I was as excited as my favorite heroine in my favorite movie - Gone with the Wind.

That is where the trouble started. See, I had a very incorrect vision of what the city looked like in my brain. It's not that I expected sandy or cobble streets and horses and buggies...but I didn't expect NYC transplanted into Georgia. Skyscrapers and skywalks and tons of traffic welcomed me. I looked around downtown for some indication of a previous life...a turn-of-the-century life. Some sense of history.

Now this was a tight packed schedule and I didn't have as much free time to explore as I had in Kansas City. I ditched a professional development workshop to visit the Margaret Mitchell Museum to learn that Atlanta has a history of all historical places and things being burned, demolished, etc. in favor of new development. How horrifying and disappointing. But the tour of the author's little apartment was really very cool and the museum housed a collection of her letters documenting her writing the novel and the aftermath. As I walked back to my hotel, I decided I would simply need to schedule a real tour of the south...I'd have to do Charleston, Savannah and visit a plantation. Atlanta, while a bustling metropolitan, was not the "south" I wanted to experience.

And unlike Kansas City which teemed with cool photo opportunities, Atlanta left me wanting more. Every day I passed this one restaurant on the corner of Peachtree Street and Harris Street and something about it's huge wrap around porch and balconies made me think it might have been a special place back in the day. I imagined "polite society" throwing a party in their ballroom and greeting their guests...who arrived via in top hats and coats and the ladies in their hoop dresses, hats and the large parlor.

Then again, it could have been a saloon, the likes of which polite society never saw nor discussed.

Yes, this scene went through my head today. Photo to come.

Live from Kansas City

There were sequins glistening in the strobe lights and a crazy blonde bustin a move to a brass band when my head screamed - It's too much! Go back to your room!

I left the indie showcase party in the nick of was starting to look like an ad for Vegas. What was really cool was the Step Afrika spotlight showcase I caught at the very amazing, very old and beautifully restored Folly Theater. Once I locate my mem card adapter I can upload the footage. That was something else. Riverdance meets the Motherland. I wish the Dirty Dozen Brass Band could have been would have made for a killer collaboration.

This was after my 2 hour walk around attempt to locate the Arts & Culture "District." Walking down Main Street, I took tons of photos of cool old buildings and was even greeted by a sign that read "Arts & Culture District." I continued on foot, scouring the neighborhood for galleries and boutiques. Hmmm. Warehouse after warehouse in an otherwise industrial wasteland. Ooh - a fun antique shop! Oh closed 30 minutes ago? On a Friday night?

Around the block, up a hill - there were NO signs of life. I walked east on 18th Street and I was instantly reminded of that Brady Bunch episode where the gang stumbles upon a ghost town and somehow winds up locked up in the local jail. Brick buildings, sand swirling up in a poof, and me. I take a left and see 2 girls up ahead. Finally I found the "strip!" Whoo hoo! I approach what seems to be a bustling street to realize it was merely...a bustling corner. Now there was the local coffee joint and some shops so SCORE for me. I was so desperate to see life and some form of funky shop that I unloaded - financially - in this 100 yard stretch. I made some new friends, talked up the performing arts to this one gal who owns a lingerie shop and also created a 1-woman show, bought my son a cool vintage baby hoodie (there is actually baby vintage out there) and a few duds for myself. Like I said...I wanted a fun souvenir. I wasn't prepared to search all over the Plains for it so when I finally laid eyes on goodies I'd go berserk, but I did. I never did see any actual galleries.

Possibly, my expectations were a little too high for this very Midwest city? It gets kudos for being clean, friendly and laid back - I do love those traits. But as my NYC exhibit hall buddy and I joked - us east coasters want to walk out of our hotel and see our coffee shop RIGHT THERE. We're so demanding.

Beverly Hills

From earlier this fall.

Bah - the new show. I was dead set against watching this. I mean, really, how could I? I am a die hard fan of the original. But there I was tuning in (a little late though) and texting my friend the entire time giving her the back story on the old characters and typing "Seriously?" for nearly 2 hours. My two cents:

New cast: LAME. Our Jim & Cindy replacements - Rob Estes? Hello, Melrose Place transplant. Lori Laughlin? Only Aunt Becky forever on Full House (I will not go into her failed show from 2 seasons ago). The boys are ugly...where's the cute Luke Perry replacement??? The girls look like skinny sluts. Whatever. Stupid acting, stupid plot. Stupid. Just like all the other stupid teen shows today.

Kelly Taylor: Not surprised Jenny came back. She was on the show the entire time. I'm always a Kelly fan. The burning question of course is - WHO is the father of the little boy??

Brenda Walsh: Girl hasn't been on the show since '94 when she jetted off to London to explore the world of theater. We'd hear tall tales of her whereabouts and happenings - phone calls to Brandon, letters from Dylan after he tore out of town in '95. But the reality remains that Shannon was a bitch and had issues with everyone on the show and whether she was fired or quit, she was NOT friends with Jenny and neither were their characters at that point in time. When all the other peeps left the show they came back for weddings! Or send a video! They were special guest stars! Where was Shannon?! She never came back. WHERE did this rekindling come from? See the first adjective: LAME.

My final thoughts -- I'm convinced that the child spawned between Principal Rob Estes and the blond curly haired chick's mom (given up for adoption) will turn out to be Steve Sanders. Come on. Coincidence? I think not. Samantha Sanders was not his biological mother.

Per Erin's confession to that Annie girl, seriously? Mel, you cheated on Jackie AGAIN!? You got back together in the later episodes. Then you cheat again? No wonder Jackie is a wreck (I guess we'll see her next week).

This is where us loyal fans are left? We're stunned...confused...disappointed. But I'm not surprised...the very idea of this coming around again is silly and will never live up to our generation's was better for us leaving the world behind in 2000 when Donna and David married and we finally were sure Dylan and Kelly wound up together...


From 8/9/08
Saturday night the Bonanni crew (sans my mom and Johnny) swooped into the Wachovia Center to enjoy the timeless sounds of Neil Diamond. It's the second time I've seen him live. The first time was in October 2001, on the heels of our nation's tragedy. He had opened the concert with Coming to America and weeks (possibly even months) of grief and loss came streaming down my cheeks. The other night with the Olympics underway, I wondered WHEN are you going to sing this song, Neil? I patiently waited the entire show. His encore included this song as well as several other favorites of mine.

The entire show was fantastic...I managed to score us the most bangin seats. Not only did we have a terrific view of our star but also that hilarious guy in the front row who serenaded Neil the entire time! Tons of old tunes, a few new ones. It was humbling to look around at a packed Wachovia Center and know ALL THESE PEOPLE are here to see him (and clog the parking lot).

Here's the set list.

Holly Holy (one of my favorites!)
Beautiful Noise
Street Life
Love on the Rocks
Play Me
Cherry Cherry
Thank the Lord for the Nighttime
Home Before Dark
Don't Go There
Pretty Amazing Grace
Crunchy Granola Suite
Done Too Soon
Brooklyn Roads
I Am ... I Said
Solitary Man
Forever in Blue Jeans (Love this one too!)
Sweet Caroline
You Don't Bring Me Flowers
Song Sung Blue
I'm a Believer
Man of God
Hell Yeah


Cracklin' Rosie
Brother Love's Travelin' Salvation Show

My favorite tunes - I grew up rockin these tunes in the mid 80s - all the way up and down the NJ Turnpike when we schlepped from PA to NY! "Pack up the babies and grab the old ladies...everyone knows...everyone goes...Brother Love's shows..."