Thursday, May 23, 2013


It’s just about that time of year to start slapping the steak and ribs on the grill.  No doubt, you’ll either host a barbecue or be invited. It's Memorial Day weekend.

Some hosts will provide everything and will graciously accept your bottle of wine or homemade Sangria.  No need to surprise them with baked beans, thirty-six ears of corn or anything else they didn’t ask for.  The gesture is well intentioned but could take up valuable counter and/or table space and waste.   

If you’re hosting a potluck cook out, make sure guests check in with you for your needs, this way you won’t have too much dessert.  Oftentimes, guests think you can never go wrong with a pie, in fact you can go hungry with just pie and get awful sugar rushes that make small children go nuts.

If you’re a vegetarian, supply your own veggie burgers and faux hotdogs. Your hosts will probably appreciate it.  But you shouldn’t expect them to scrub away any traces of meat.  Take extra just in case others want to try a meatless Monday.

The best tip for all – respect and honor the significance of Memorial Day, it’s not just about the ribs.  That’s why wishing someone “Happy Memorial Day” is inappropriate, there is nothing happy about the thousands of men and women who died for their country. It is honorable.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


Pretty please National Etiquette Week, we all need you to stick around. If you do maybe people will stop spitting on the street. Maybe they’ll rinse away their dog’s puddle of pee away from the front of buildings. Who wants to be a human puddle jumper?

National Etiquette Week, we need you to stay with us so maybe our chests are no longer treated as luggage racks by back packers and ladies with huge handbags that they don’t seem to care about because they get in their way and end up in our way.

As you know, National Etiquette Week, Rome wasn’t built in a day but maybe if you’re around, we won’t have to listen to the music of tin bands coming out of the ear buds of people who think they’re cool or are too cool to care. Men may stop looking at women and the elderly standing as they sit in all of their coolness (they usually look to the floor, funny, when we listen to music in our homes we don’t stare at the floor) and ignore the world around them.

If you stay, compliments will be earnest, not half-baked and they will be received graciously. People will return phone calls and emails. They will say, “Thank you!” How about that? We could go on and on, but we prefer that you do that. All the best and it’s good to see you.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013


Strolling along Second Avenue on Manhattan's Upper East Side, where I’m convinced that all the restaurants share a vast industrial kitchen underground, a pizza pie caught my eye. It had just been placed on a sidewalk cafe table where a family of three was happy to see it and at the same time an acquaintance who’d spotted them. He didn’t step back to distance himself from the fully loaded pie, he just kept talking all over the salami, peppers cheese, etc. For me, he was too close for comfort food.

I am in touch with my germ issues. And it made me think about the time I saw friends with their daughter and marveled how properly she ate her bread, small pieces with little pats of butter. They were eating al fresco and I remember being mindful of not adding any moisture to their bread plate.  I'm sure they’ll let me know if I did the right thing after this post.

Unless you are begged to have a seat, a wave, or even an air kiss is fine but when the food comes, it’s time for you to go. Buon Appetito! Buon Viaggio!