Tag Archives: sister

Clip: The Engagement Room

25 Jul

Rain2Random International. Rain Room. 2012. Photo via

Have you heard about the Rain Room at MoMA? I read a really sweet story about it the other day and blogged about it for Burnside. You can read it here.


Explosions in the Sky

5 Jul


Hope you had a fantastic 4th of July weekend!!  Did anyone go away?  How were all the BBQs?  I want to thank one of my readers, who actually did invite me to a BBQ after reading my last post, after I begged all of you for an invite.

On Thursday night I had dinner with my sister at a Greek restaurant out in Astoria.  Afterward, we decided to walk around for a while.  We were chatting about this and that when all of a sudden from behind a leafy tree an explosion of color burst out over the black sky.  Fireworks!  We followed the glittery reds and purples and the gunshot boom of the explosions down the sidewalk.  Then we stood in the middle of the street with people who had suddenly stopped their car and gotten out to catch a glimpse of the show.

Colors lit up the sky.  Greens.  Purples.  Reds.  Whites.  Oranges.  Dots of color formed rings.  Dashes of color zoomed heavenward.  Color sizzled and dazzled.  Eyes opened wide.  Little kids put their sticky palms flush against their ears.  Others jumped up and down and pointed excitedly.  Cars honked.  We clapped.  We stood in amazement.

Sometimes, if you just look up, you’ll be amazed.

Recap of My Reading at the InterArts Summer Showcase

28 Jun


Friday’s InterArts Summer Showcase was a blast!  So much creativity filled the room.  I left feeling so inspired and wanting to be more experimental and collaborative.

There were ten of us presenting.  Four of us were representing the literary arts — personal essay, poetry, argument — while others were photographers, digital artists, singers, hip-hop artists, painters.  As evidenced from the picture above, one artist made a 3D film.  I was impressed by the quality of the projects and the thought process that had gone behind them.  I bought the poet’s chapbook, and if I were richer I’d love to own some of the art.

We each got eight minutes to present.  I’ll admit it: I was nervous.  I’m not a performer, and even though I write about myself a lot I don’t actually enjoy the spotlight.  But, I knew I had a story worth sharing.  I’m not typically a humor writer, but my story had a few funny moments in it, and I began to relax and enjoy myself as I heard the audience laughing.  When I got to the clincher at the end, I even heard someone audible gasp!

…And then my friends showed up.  I was the first presenter of the evening and even though we didn’t start on time, most of my friends missed my reading entirely.  I felt so bad!  Two of them had gotten stuck in rush hour traffic for two hours, another had cycled an hour and a half from another state, someone else had dragged along a friend who was visiting from out of town, and someone whom I had just met at NYFA‘s literary mingle had gotten stuck at work.  Some of my other friends were there, though, and my always-supportive and encouraging sister was there.  Afterward a group of us went out to a pub, so I got to at least catch up with most of them.  Some of them I hadn’t seen in 7+ months!  I’m so thankful for such great friends!  I know attending an arts event isn’t everyone’s ideal Friday night, and it meant a lot to me that my friends were supportive enough to travel–some of them from other boroughs, some from other states–to support my writing.  Awesome friends!

2011 Gabby Awards: Fashion Report

10 Jun

Euxaristo to all of you who have been checking out my Gabby Award coverage!  It was truly an amazing event.

Last Friday’s events for Gabby Awards Lifetime Achievement winner neon artist Stephen Antonakos and jewelry designer Konstantino were just precursors to Saturday’s main event — the presentation of the 2011 Gabby Awards!

I slept in as much as I could on Saturday morning — hey, a girl needs her beauty rest if there are going to be lots of cameras around! — but I was too excited to stay in bed.  I tried to Skype my parents in Greece — I’d been going back and forth on what to wear, and my mom has a great eye for fashion and style so I wanted her opinion  — but they were out.  Fortunately, I had booked an appointment with my hairstylist, Wendy, who did a great job on my hair!  Finally, after I’d already gotten dressed and was about to head out the door, my parents Skyped me.  The dress was Mom-approved!  It had a bit of a vintage feel to it.  It was a black chiffon number with white polka dots.  It had a deep V-neck and an asymmetrical cut.  I wore it with a simple strand of pearls to kick up the 50s flair.  For makeup, I wanted a fresh, springtime look so I wore Stila lip glaze in guava, which is what a makeup artist had used on me during Fashion’s Night Out.  I spritzed on Zara Creme eau du toilette, which my sister gave me for my birthday, and then I was out the door!

Probably one of my favorite aspect of going to the Gabby Awards was seeing what everyone was wearing!  I have to say, I was quite impressed with the men — they really picked some stylin’ suits and tuxes. Gabby Award founder Gregory Pappas wins the award for coolest tie!  Meletis Koropoulis wore a sharp suit and hipster-ish glasses … perhaps we can add him to our growing “gripster” list?

Of course the women looked gorgeous, as well.  Most opted for floor-length gowns in bright colors — canary yellow, azure, and cherry red were popular.  Many wore, not surprisingly, goddess gowns.  There were also some sparkling numbers.  Melina Kanakaredes dazzled in a patterned, one-shoulder dress.  Cat Cora looked spicy in a red dress with a fantastic neckline.  Jane Monzures was looking anything but plain in plum.

Everyone looked gorgeous!  You can view photos from the event on the Gabby Awards website and on the Gabby Awards Facebook page.

Penelope: NYC Restaurant Review and Mini Mythology Lesson

31 Jan

My sister treated me to lunch at Penelope on Friday, which was the perfect antidote to the snowy day.  The shabby chic look of the décor, in white and powder blue, reminded me of my Victorian dollhouse.  There were antique-looking light fixtures, salvaged wall art, and even a picket fence at the hostess desk.  Located in the Curry Hill area of New York, Penelope (159 Lexington Avenue, at 30th Street) is one of the cuter little restaurants in a neighborhood dominated by Indian buffets and grab-and-go bagel shops.

If you’re in the mood for a sophisticated take on comfort food, head over to Penelope.  The menu offered up so many vegetarian options, though there were also plenty of meat dishes.  There was Ellie’s Spinach Pie, which is described as “yia yia’s greek country recipe” [sic]; The John-Oliver, a goat cheese and olive tapenade sandwich on cranberry-pecan bread; and Grilled Three Cheese, which for a buck more you can add artichoke hearts to.

I ended up getting the Mac & Cheese.  It wasn’t quite as good as the one made at Chat’n’Chew, but I loved that they put tomato on it—just the way my mom serves it.

For dessert, my sister and I split a Peanut Butter Blondie, and I had a latte.  So good!

Next time, I’d like to come for brunch.  Their Nutella French Toast sounds amazing.

When Jennifer Potenza opened the restaurant in 2003, she named it after her pet turtle.

Fans of Greek literature, though, may remember that Penelope is also the name of Odysseus’ faithful wife in The Odyssey.  While much of the action in Homer’s epic poem revolves around the adventures of cunning Odysseus, who fends off the Cyclops and the sexy Sirens, it is also a story of profound love.  There’s no reason for Penelope to believe that her husband has survived when, days turn into years and still Odysseus has not returned from the Trojan War, and yet Penelope remains faithful to Odysseus by refusing to accept offers from any of the one hundred (108 to be exact) suitors that come into her life.

Twenty years later, Odysseus returns.  Penelope doesn’t believe it’s him at first, and it’s only after he tells the secret that only he and she knew about how part of their bed is made from an olive tree that she believes it is truly him.

One can pick out Penelope in artwork because artists depict her at a loom and with her legs crossed.