Posts Tagged ‘Sandra Lee’

Letter From New York 05 12 15 In a world of choices and not so many choices…

May 12, 2015

Once again, when I went to sleep last night, I expected rain today. When I woke it was cloudy but rain was not in the forecast. It’s sunny and warm and summery in the city. I am working from the office of Broderville Pictures, founded by my friend Todd and I’m doing some work for him.

Another friend is helping organize a documentary film festival in China in December and I’ve recommended a few people to him and will see if I can come up with others.

It’s been an interesting week. I’ve been networking with lots of friends and catching up with people. It’s been good. I had lunch yesterday with Ty West, who is producing “Charlie Rose: The Week” for PBS. He is a good friend; another one I met on the train between New York and Hudson.

Today I had my eyes examined and am just beginning to see again after having had my eyes dilated. My eyes have changed a fair amount in the last two years. My left eye is weaker. My right eye is stronger and now I need to go through the painful [for me] process of choosing new glasses.

I am lucky. I live in a world of choices. Too many people must feel like they have no choices when they are living in places like Yemen and Nepal.

Beleaguered Nepal suffered another massive earthquake, killing more, shaking down more buildings, and frightening the population even more. An American helicopter, involved in aid work, seems to have gone down there. The newest quake will make it even more difficult to get the aid to remote villages. Some roads that had been cleared are now filled again with rubble.

Today a ceasefire is to begin in Yemen. In the hours leading up to the ceasefire, the Saudi led coalition bombed Sana’a relentlessly. An Iranian cargo ship is headed there, convoyed by Iranian naval vessels. The UN is suggesting they deliver the aid to a distribution center in Djibouti, an African nation directly across from Yemen. The Iranian convey has everyone nervous. The Saudis are supporting the Sunni side and the Iranians the Shia side. The new UN envoy to Yemen is saying that fighting will solve nothing but that’s what they seem intent upon doing.

No longer having any choices whatever is Ananta Bijoy Das, a secular blogger in Pakistan who was hacked to death on his way to his day job at a bank in Sylhet, in the northeastern part of Bangladesh. He is the third secular blogger hacked to death in that country.

Tomorrow is the day when John Kerry is supposed to meet with Putin at the Black Sea resort of Sochi, site of the last Winter Olympics. Putin is supposed to be there; that’s why Kerry is en-route but today the Russians said Putin was yet to be confirmed. Last time Kerry saw him, Putin was three hours late for the meeting.

For the last five years the El Nino effect has been quiet. Now it is rearing its head again with unpredictable results. British forecasters are suggesting it might mean record snow next year in the UK, Australians are saying there might be severe drought in northern Australia. It could mean heavy rains on the US West Coast and its Gulf Coast but may be not enough or soon enough to ease the drought in California. The Australians think it is going to be severe and meteorologists in Canada and the US are suspecting it will be moderate. Wait and see. Weak or strong, it’s coming.

My friend, Lionel, just move to Baltimore to be Vice President of Ad Technology for AOL. Today I woke to the news that AOL had been purchased for $4.4 billion by Verizon, mostly for their ad technology. One business pundit said something like that was pocket change for Verizon and another said it was another bad move by Verizon in the Internet space while others thought it was a very smart move. Time will tell, as they always say.

In the long ago and far away days when I was working in Los Angeles for an Internet start-up, one of my very good friends was dating Sandra Lee, the TV food star.   Later I was best man in his wedding to another woman but during their tenure, I met Sandra a few times. She is now living with Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York. Today she announced she had breast cancer. I wish her well.

The day is beginning to come to a close. I am going up to the Café du Soleil tonight for a bite and then home to read a book.

Letter From New York 01 01 15 Passing from one year to the next…

January 1, 2015

The sun is setting again, just like it did last year and as it was when I finished the last Letter From New York, 2014. Just yesterday. Today, it is 2015 and, frankly, I started the day on the cranky side.

Somehow, during the day, I managed to work myself out of crankiness, a not usual feature of my personality. I listened to Zubin Mehta conduct the New Year’s Day performance of Vienna’s Philharmonic.

The day was spent unproductively except for a couple of loads of laundry and some other mundane household tasks. I took a short nap and felt better.

It is a brilliant first day of the year, chill but not really cold, with golden light playing across the woods outside my window. Unusually, there have been no deer sightings today.

Here in the little town of Claverack, all is peaceful.

It’s not so peaceful out there in the world.

A year ends and another begins in sadness. A transgender teen took her life; it appears, by putting herself in the way of a tractor-trailer. Such despair breaks my heart. In Florida, a schizophrenic man decapitated his mother with an ax because she was nagging him to take boxes to the attic. In Syria, the death toll from the war there climbed in 2014 to 76,000 and in Shanghai 36 people died in a stampede in the waterfront area not long after midnight. The bodies of victims of the AirAsia crash have started to be identified.

Life has a way of going on, flowing from one year into the next and stories from the end of 2014 continue to play out while new ones begin.

It is nearly two years until the Presidential election but the contenders are jockeying to be THE contender. Jeb Bush has resigned from board posts and Marco Rubio is seriously considering challenging Jeb Bush for the GOP top spot. And there is Chris Christie, too. The Democrats have Hillary and Joe Biden and maybe Elizabeth Warren. It will be interesting to watch the year unfold in politics.

Hillary has slipped a bit in some Democratic polls causing worry that she might be wearing out her welcome a bit as the Democratic front-runner. She hasn’t declared her intentions yet. I suspect she is being coy. And, of course, there is our own Governor Cuomo, who was inaugurated today for his second term as Governor at the newly built World Trade Center. He was sounding rather like he was interested in being something more than Governor of New York State.

Standing next to him was his long time girlfriend, Sandra Lee, whom I knew a bit back in the day in Los Angeles. She was dating a friend of mine then.

As I have been writing this, it has turned dark, the golden light has faded and I will turn on the Christmas lights in a few minutes. My tree still stands and will for a bit more time. I always have a hard time taking it down and surrendering the Holiday season to the fullness of the new year.