FEBRUARY 6-7, 2002

Josie with drool

By Wednesday at 1 PM, I was steroid-enhanced, having begun 40 mg of prednisone a day for a recurrence of childhood asthma two days before. We love those 'roids. They give us such energy! So, I left work and drove down to New York in the new Merlot Maxima. It's no BMW, but it's a lovely car. The mid-life crisis is over, and my Kraut-hating friends can breathe more easily now, even without steroids.

Not much traffic, and I zipped in over the Triboro with my new EZ-Pass (thank you Jonathan) at 4 PM and parked near the apartment. There were Marjorie and Josie, along with Rita, the new Nanny. Rita is from Trinidad, and is a natural-born caregiver. She is sweet, sings all the time to the baby (I even caught a thread of Mendelssohn's Elijah), and radiates comfort and happiness.

After a few days of Cortisone cream, Josie's eczema is practically gone. She was in good spirits, although she is still in need
of sleep training.

Josie and Margie..Josie and Margie


She is brighter than ever, and cannot let a day go by without reading the New York Times, and can even do it upside down. It's ironic that she has all these fancy electric learning toys, but her favorite is a piece of newspaper that she can crumple to her heart's delight.

Josie with NY Times,,Josie and Margie

Carol joined us, and then Neal and Andy, just back from a marvelous trip to Italy, marked with culinary delights in Venice, Genova, and Mantova. They brought back gifts for us all. They are the best gift-givers--an Italian Haggadah for Carol and a mask of Gnaga from the Commedia del' Arte for me.


Marjorie and Jonathan took a night off and went out to eat and to a club, and the rest of us ordered in Chinese food and sushi. We dropped Neal and Andy off in Chelsea and drove up to the hovel, where we got some sleep, but had to get up early to move the car. A car in New York is an albatross. We stopped at Lenny's for a bagel and coffee, I dropped Carol at JTSA, and drove down to the East Village. I found a space good from 9:00 AM to 10:30 AM, then went out again and moved the car to a space good for the rest of the day. I changed a diaper! Two times! What a Zayde! Jonathan went off to work, and Marjorie joined two friends with new babies to stroll across town to their New Mothers Support Group. I made some phone calls, checked in with my nursing homes, conferred with a lawyer about a forensic case, and, exhausted, walked to Russ and Daughters to pick up some lunch. Having Russ & Daughters two blocks away is like being two steps from Heaven. Everything is so gorgeous, and they are so accommodating. I got little schmeers of chive cheese, whitefish-salmon salad, pickled salmon with cream sauce and onions, the world's best nova, and a Kossof's bialy. Marjorie and Josie returned, and we had lunch together.

Then I played with Josie for a solid 45 minutes. She is so engaging. She likes pulling on your hands to sit herself up. Then she leans forward and grabs her toes, trancing out in a yoga position.

Josie and her toes

She has begun to pull off my glasses. She likes signaling back with her tongue and echoing noises back and forth. Actually, she can speak now--she just hasn't learned words.

Josie and Zayde

Marjorie went out to do some shopping, and Josie slept on my belly. Such naches. I took my leave and drove up to pick up Carol, who ate the rest of the pickled lox, her favorite, with gusto as we left the city. For supper, we stopped at the famed Pepe's Pizza in New Haven, just off the highway on Wooster Street, a cute little street of Little Italy that has more pizzerias than Naples itself. Pepe's is the granddaddy of them all, and it's reputation is well-deserved. We ordered a spinach-mushroom pizza, which came with a thin chewy crust, divine sauce, lots of olive oil, and all fresh ingredients. It was perhaps the best pizza we ever ate. We washed it down with two juice glasses of chianti. Lots left over to take home. Next trip, we'll give a try to Sally's, Pepe's major competitor up the street.

Pizza waiter..PIzza oven

So, what a trip! The world's greatest foods for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, a joyful time with family, and the most delicious granddaughter in the world.

Pizza and Carol