Friday Night Dinner 19

What We’re Eating and Drinking: No idea!

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Summer friday dinners are quickly becoming someone else’s responsibility and I’m okay with that!  This Friday is another busy end-of-school day for all of us, but the plan is to meet up with friends at a cocktail inaugurating for our art teacher’s latest exhibition around 6:30pm. Afterwards, we’re heading to the friends’ place for dinner in Centro. These lovely folks have been here for over three years, and plan to stay for a few more, so I look forward to hearing more stories about how their Bolognese life has unfolded thus far, and what journeys they’ve taken while living here.

Christine: Sounds great. Having someone else cook for you is always the way to go. I love that you have an art teacher! You’ll have to report back about the food–seems like dinners with friends  there are always great adventures–with so much food. How do they find all that time and energy to cook?


What We’re Talking About: Ballet, Art and New York Real Estate

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This week continued with the end of various classes including my semester of painting and Italian, as well as Leeloo’s year-long ballet class. The ballet classes have been a pain in everyone’s butt all year because they’re long, late in the day, far away and happen twice a week (including Fridays!). We’d all vowed to skip them next year, but then the class started rehearsing and working hard to put together their final performance. Strangely (or maybe not so strangely), Leeloo seemed to prefer the intensity of these last few weeks, explaining to me one night when I asked if she was having fun, “It’s not really fun, Mom, but I like it a lot.” Cool. You could definitely see all the extra practice the night of the recital. These 6- and 7- year olds memorized and performed a pretty complicated set of synchronized moves without any hints from the wings or from a teacher at the base of the stage miming the moves for them to follow. At dinner afterwards, Leeloo said that she had glanced to the sides to look for someone during the performance, and thought she might be “in trouble” when she spotted no one, but she proudly explained that in the end, she hadn’t needed the help after all! Now… we go back to convincing her that she’d really rather take a nice little  hip hop class, close by the house.

I can’t say that I ever worked all that intensely on Italian or painting this semester, yet I too liked them a lot! I wrote a bit about my Italian professor here, and my art class here. It would be very easy for me to exist in a foreign bubble, with kids in an international school where so many people speak English, and living out in the country instead of the bustling center,  but these two places have given me a foothold within the real Bologna, spaces where I’m immersed in the Italian language and culture, and am so thankful to have had them over this first year.

Lastly, our apartment is going back up for rent and dealing with these damn New Yorkers is really exhausting! Talk about intensity! A dozen emails with all manner of posturing and peacocking are kicked up in a matter of minutes, over the tiniest issue.  How is that more of  these people don’t die of heart attacks and bleeding ulcers!? I say that with love NYC, but really, calm down. The thing is, I know I was occasionally one of these people during my couple decades there, and I’m wondering if you can go back, but avoid getting sucked back into their crazy. I’d have to dial up the meditation and yoga way up high I think!

Christine: I’m so bummed about missing Leeloo dance. And Zo’s exhibition. And Stef’s book & music launch. And looking at your painting live in front of me and listening to you describe the process of making it in grammar-perfect Italian (not that I’d know the difference). I wish there was a worm hole between Cold Spring & Bologna for weekends like this! I hope you have video of the dance to share and photos of everything else. I LOVE Leeloo’s attitude, too. One that can’t be taught but must be embraced in order to master any skill. (But can she teach me?) ALSO, I can’t believe that you have to deal with renting your apartment from 4,000 miles away. It seems like you were JUST dealing with that angst a couple of months ago. (Was it last year? Two years ago? Jeez!) From what I hear, rental demand in NYC is at an all time high so hopefully it will be a swift process. As for living in NYC again—hmmmmm…. I just don’t know. I haven’t lived there since 2006 and I feel like that city reinvents itself so often it would be like moving to another planet if I went back there now (and one that I might not necessarily feel welcome on). That said, I certainly miss many elements of being in the epicenter that New York is, but I’ve gotten to the point that whenever I go into the city I’m utterly exhilarated for the first few hours (and start looking at apartment listings and trying to figure out how to move back) and then, after about five or six hours of the smell and the lines and the pushing and the flagrant consumerism and the NOISE, the adrenaline wears off and the noise becomes nothing but screeches and coercion and the energy doesn’t seem exhilarating as much as manic and, by that point, even the best ethnic food in the country (and some of the best art in the world) can’t replace the serenity and peace of mind and kindness I’ve found here at the river’s edge. The thing is, I KNOW that I’d get sucked back up into the ‘crazy’–which is why my anxiety level starts to rise after a few hours of watching myself coveting shoes and jobs and cars and dinner reservations. I don’t like myself very much when I’m like that and I need to get out before I relapse! That said, I am sure that yoga & meditation help the 9 million folks who happily (mostly happily?) call that grand city Home. 


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