Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Foul Weather Friend

This visit has been a test for Mimi. Probably the whitest dog in Life Biz,(she will probably end up in Show Biz but will always try for a sense of Balance,) she has been groomed three times, or thrice, as Tommy Thompson would have writ, since coming to New York. Forced into boots, very smart but annoying, to preserve her paws in the snow, she has suffered in silence, waiting for Spring, which officially starts today but teased everyone into thinking it had come last week, only to be undone by ice storms and sleet storms and all the garbage that could possibly have been thrown into the atmosphere, sending us both into retreat, quite literally, giving us cabin fever, locked in as we were. When she could finally venture out, it was only the Beggin' Strips bought especially for her by King, the tall black doorman next door at the Essex House who missed the dogs of his boyhood, that gave her the strength and will to continue, the streets were so icy and slick.
Then yesterday, my mother's birthday and the 4th anniversary of the start of the Iraq war, something my mother would never have started unless it was with a husband, it seemed a fair enough day so we could walk up Fifth Avenue. The West Side of that majestic boulevard was still cluttered with empty grandstands from the St. Patrick's Day parade, the cracks in the sidewalk aglint with tiny fallen green foil shamrocks. So we walked uptown on the other side, where the grand hotels(what's left of them, the Pierre having been diminished along with the Sherry-Netherlands) and elegant apartment houses are, so the sidewalks are cleared, none of those buildings wishing to have lawsuits. (Snow is still piled high and black, as it used to be in Pittsburgh when I was a little girl, and the air was filthy, as it no longer is in Pittsburgh, the steel mills having been vanquished, apparently relocating here, or maybe it's just the smoke from politicians.) The Frick Museum, having the most money to lose, had salted the sidewalk alongside, so I had to carry her for a block, as that salt is murder to paws, and she wasn't wearing her boots. She has porked up in her confinement, so it was a furry handfull, and her belly had been blackened by the excursion, so it wasn't easy for either of us.
We visited my dermatologist, then returned on foot, and by the time we got back here she was filthy. So I put her into the tub, where the water turned black as her eyes, and she had her second home bath in-between groomings, and looked at me with a look of absolute betrayal. What had she done?
New York New York. If you can stay clean there, you'll stay clean anywhere. I shall not lament returning to LA, where all you have to deal with is your brain turning to mush and the occasional earthquake.
Meanwhile, my friend Tyne Daly who moved back here has just returned from the 'Ms.' Magazine cruise, and says that Eleanor Smeal is between a rock and a hard place what to do about Hillary, or, as I put it, Barack and a hard place. Tyne says it is exactly the same situation as after the Civil War, when they didn't know whether to give the vote to black men or women. I'm not sure of the accuracy of that statement, but she reads all the time, so it's probably true. But many are those who are trying to find the neat way to dump Hillary. Harris Wofford, once president of Bryn Mawr, which is how I know him, studied with Gandhi, worked with Martun Luther King, JFK, RFK and Clinton, and, difficult as it is for him, has stepped away from her as he doesn't "want to hear her voice coming out of the TV for the next 8years." He assured me that Barack can indeed, do the job, as he worked with poverty for ten years before he became a senator, and is three years older than "John" (I love that) was when he became president, and though "John did manage to graduate Harvard Law, he did so with no particular distinction, whereas Barack was the first black editor of the Law Review."
I watched Obama last night on Larry King and he certainly can handle himself, with enough grace and smarts to make even Larry King tolerable. I dreamt last night I went to visit the Obamas at their home, which was on the side of a hill, and they were wonderful hosts and very helpful afterwards when I couldn't remember where I parked my car-- there were a lot of cars and I think I had rented, so maybe the confusion was I didn't know which was mine. I am unable to interpret the dream, but I did want to report they were good company. But I still like Edwards.
Tonight I go to the Italian Cultural Institute for a reception for Charlotte Chandler, a nice woman who lives in my building, and has written a number of star biographies, tonight's being Ingrid Bergman's, Ingrid Bergman in Italy, the title of the book, celebrating her time with Rossellini, which I hope it was. A celebration I mean. She seemed borderline despondent when I met her later in her life, and told her in the rush of enthusiasm I always seem to have around those I admire, especially movie stars, that she was the most beautiful woman who had ever been in films('tis true: check out her supporting role in 'Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,') and she said, rather sadly, "How very lucky for me." I was strangely moved until I saw Saratoga Trunk on TV a few years later, and that was a line in the movie. You always think these people have brains, confused by their beauty and the sound of their voices.
The world will not feel that with Mimi. (Her picture TK. That's journalese, I think, for 'To come.') .