Westport – Connecticut

September 17, 2010

Next stop: Westport, Connecticut.

Why Westport?

Because my cousins, Lou and Dorothy, live there. Lou’s mother and my dad’s mother were sisters.

I arrived at 7:30 and was welcomed with wine and appetizers, then a delicious dinner of roasted chicken and vegetables that Lou grew on his plot in a community garden. Plus a green bean salad made with beans from a line of seeds that Lou’s family has maintained for decades.

I felt at home.

The next morning Lou and Dorothy’s daughter, Gina, came over with her three-year-old twins, Nathan and Elaina. The kids flew out of the mini van and stopped moving only once – to pose for a picture. Well, they didn’t really stop, but they slowed down at least

I then took the train into Manhattan. Kettle stayed at home with Dorothy, where he made sure that the big house and yard were fully appreciated.

I did 3 things in NYC that afternoon and evening:

1. I met up with Katherine, who is another daughter of Lou and Dorothy’s that lives and works in the city. We had coffee near Grand Central Station.

2. I met up with David Lipa, the significantly younger brother of my friend Bill. When Bill and I were in high school, Davey had just been born. Davey now does things like start companies, write novels, and hang out with New York models. We had drinks in SOHO.

3. I met up with Brion, a friend of Davey’s, who is a graphic designer and may help out with my game. We had gourmet smoothies and talked shop.

I then took the train back Westport, where Kettle met me at the door. He seemed quite at home with Dorothy and Lou.

And he’s not even related.

My original plan was to head to Washington D.C. the next day, but that changed because of what Davey told me while having drinks:

“You should stay and party at least one night in New York. It’s fashion week.”

I didn’t know what fashion week was, but I played along.

“You can come with me to an art gallery reception tomorrow. My girlfriend can get us in. And then maybe we’ll go out with her and her model friends.”

I called Steve in D.C. and told him I’d be a day late.

The next day in Westport I went to a yoga class, had a nice lunch with Lou and Dorothy (I had a swordfish wrap!), toured Lou’s community garden, and gave Kettle a much needed bath. I then took the train to Grand Central Station and walked to the Haunch of Venison art gallery on the 20th Floor of a midtown skyrise.

While I was on the train, Dorothy called and told me to be careful because there was just a tornado in Brooklyn.

It would be hard for anyone to say which was more odd:

a) that I was on a train to a trendy NYC art gallery reception

b) that the name of the gallery was “Haunch of Venison”

or

c) that there was a tornado in Brooklyn.

But there’s no doubt that the exhibition itself (Patricia Piccinini: Not As We Know It) was more odd than any of those things.

Her sculptures were partly human, partly animal, and completely freaky. Supposedly the things sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Nonetheless, you may want to skip the pictures.

I found Davey, who had just been in Brooklyn during the tornado and seen people outside running for cover. He introduced me to his girlfriend Emma, who works at the gallery, and his friend Ari, a writer originally from Santa Cruz.

After the show, Emma wasn’t able to take us out with her friends, so Davey, Ari and I did the next best thing.

We went to an Asian noodle place, where I gorged myself on Saigon noodles with vegetables.

Then Ari broke off, and Davey and I had a drink at the W, where two attractive girls in their early 20’s sat down and started talking to us.

Well, they sat down next to Davey and started talking to him.

But I was there.

It was then that I got a text from my cousin Katherine, asking if I was still in the city and whether we wanted to meet her and her boyfriend at a nearby bar.

Davey was fine with leaving the two girls – because he’s with Emma.

I was fine with leaving the two girls – because of the creepy rule: half my age plus 7 was more than their age.

And they weren’t talking to me anyway.

So we met Katherine and her guy, had beer and conversation, and played a bit of shuffleboard. I then caught a train back to Westport.

It was a good night. Nothing to write home about … but that’s not the standard for this blog.

Nathan-Gina-Dorothy-Elaina

Slowing Down

Me, Lou, and Lou's Beans

Emma and Davey

Thing 1

Thing 2

Thing 3

Thing 4

Thing 5 - front

Thing 5 - Back

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7 Responses to “Westport – Connecticut”

  1. Jason Says:

    I think I am permanently scarred for life. Maybe I can sue the artist for my future mental breakdown.

  2. Deb Says:

    Well, I must say, before scrolling down I thought “how bad could it be?” I guess it can be pretty bad. Or extremely disconcerting, at the least. But what about those beans? Are any seeds for sale?

    • Alex Beltramo Says:

      I apologize to everyone about the photos.

      Debbie, I should asked for some of the beans. I could have brought them to you.

  3. Bill L Says:

    wow, those are great. I especially like the half-elephant baby, or whatever the hell it is.

  4. Patty Hyde Says:

    that is weird!


  5. Evan would like that half elephant baby for his 6th birthday please.


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