Thursday, January 27, 2011

We Are Dad

In journalism school, one of my required classes was aptly nicknamed "InfoHell." Each student was required to pick a topic, form a question, and answer it through writing 100 or more pages of research. My topic was Gay Adoption. That semester taught me more about civil rights, national and state politics, and the diversity of this country than any other experience in my life. The most controversial state that I learned about was Florida, made famous by the case of two fathers and pediatric AIDS nurses who attempted to adopt the HIV positive foster children who they had raised. Unable to legally adopt their son when he becomes HIV negative, dads Steven and Roger took Florida all the way to the Supreme Court, and eventually moved to Oregon to be the parents that they so rightly deserved to be.

On January 19, a remarkable moment in history took place. Martin Gill, who had raised two biological brothers as his foster children for six years, legally adopted his sons, an event that marked the end to the 33-year ban on gay adoption in Florida.

“We are thrilled that after so many years, we are officially a family in the eyes of the law,” said Gill. “All children deserve a permanent, loving home. This is a happy day.” 

In a country with close to half a million children in the foster care system, the fact that people are judged as parents due to their sexual orientation would be laughable if it weren't so sad. This month we witnessed a beautiful event, and I hope that in the years to come, all Americans will be granted rights to parent, to adopt, and to care for children based on their ability, their love, and their character.


Sunday, January 23, 2011

With Sugar On Top

Never one to shy from dessert, I have spent my fair share of time in the bakeries of New York. In this city, cupcakes flow like cappuccinos, cookies are the size of your head, and you never have to go far to find a great piece of pie. If someone tells me they've had the best something, it is my personal challenge to see for myself. The inner child in me, with an extra, endless stomach for sweets, is always thrilled to happen upon the next best thing, and even happier to pass the news on to another delighter in dessert.

Best brownie: Fat Witch Bakery, in Chelsea Market. Extra bite? Fat Witch sells their brownie mix by the box.

Best cookie: Levain Bakery, at 74th and Amsterdam (also in Harlem and the Hamptons). Yummy tidbit? The cookies freeze well for a later on treat.

Best cupcake: Tribeca Treats, Reade between Church and West Broadway. Mix it up? A combination of classics like red velvet and creative choices like PB&J, key lime, or cinnamon.

Best spread: Martha's Country Bakery, Ditmars Boulevard, Astoria (also in Bayside and Forest Hills).


Monday, January 17, 2011

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Photo courtesy of WriteSpirit

 "I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear."

"Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity."

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."

"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character."


Golden Girls

The Golden Globes is one of my favorite award shows - the stars are out for a good time, with champagne and socializing at the top of the priority list. This year, with Natalie, Jake and Anne, Ryan and Michelle, Jeff, and the entire cast of Glee nominated, the night was studded with my favorites. In the style department, my best dressed goes to...

(Photos courtesy of
Both of these back baring beauties went bold in their gown choices and embraced their natural coloring. While neither of them took home a Globe, they proved to be forces to be reckoned with this year, on the big screen and the red carpet.


Sunday, January 9, 2011

My Favorite Melodies

As a little girl growing up, the music selections that played throughout my house were limited to classical, classic rock, and musicals. My Fair Lady, Oklahoma!, West Side Story, the Sound of Music, Show Boat, the King and I. We owned records, then tapes, then compact discs, and while the sound quality improved, the music remained timeless, brilliant, and untouchable. Where today's new musicals speak in song, with sometimes absent rhyming or continuity, the era of Rodgers and Hammerstein, Alan Jay Lerner, and Leonard Bernstein wrote poetry to music, a love letter played to a soundtrack. These musicals taught us about racism and segregation, cultures of the world, history, but most of all love. Songs like "If I Loved You" (Carousel) and "People Will Say We're in Love" (Oklahoma!) are like a first dance, a first kiss, the moment you realize that you're falling. What is especially beautiful is that the songs carry such proclamations of devotion, and state that it is possible, even moments after meeting someone, to be so overwhelmed that to burst into song is the only way to express the emotion. To call them romantic is an understatement. After the characters have finished singing, they are in love, because these songs have the power to say it all.

I have often walked down this street before;
But the pavement always stayed beneath my feet before.
All at once am I Several stories high.
Knowing I'm on the street where you live. 
My Fair Lady

I know how it feels to have wings on your heels,
And to fly down the street in a trance.
You fly down a street on the chance that you meet,
And you meet - not really by chance. 
The King and I