October was a gift of a month — I only had one short TV gig to work, so I spent the rest of the time catching up on things I’ve neglected during busier, previous months: editing thousands of photos, writing blog posts, and doing major digital maintenance to condense old hard drives. Plus I had time to cook, visit family, go on long walks while listening to podcasts, catch up on TV shows, and of course see theater.
Celebrating Dad’s 65th
My dad turned 65 this month. We celebrated by taking a drive to the northwest corner of Connecticut to walk at the Sharon Audobon, eat lunch in town at J.P. Gifford, visit the West Cornwall bridge, explore downtown Litchfield, and indulge in ice cream at Arethusa Farm Dairy. I’ll share a whole post about this day soon, but in the meantime here are the highlights:
Later that night we ate dinner at East Side restaurant in New Britain, CT.
And we tried out Quandary escape room in Wallingford, CT. We got out with seven minutes to spare!
On my dad’s actual birthday I made him a pumpkin spice cake with cream cheese frosting:
And we had dinner at The Library in Wallingford, a restaurant in my hometown we’ve been meaning to try for awhile.
Speaking of Wallingford, here are a few fall photos from my recent walks:
Missy and Oscar say hi to you all:
Tolerating their Halloween costumes:
Niantic, CT with Mom
Views from our walk in town:
Another weekend my sister and I drove to Springfield, MA for our cousin Lauren’s shower — she just had her second baby, and it was so sweet to see him.
Literally sweet, in the case of these fall-themed cupcakes and cake pops made by our other cousin Liz:
Some of my cousins’ kids — here’s Landen, Faye, and little Oakley:
My sister holds Oakley, and Faye conquers the selfie… if only she can unlock the phone!
Love catching up with these people!
Visiting Elena’s Family
I also spent an evening hanging out with my cousin Elena’s family — we took some photos down at the Connecticut shoreline near their house, then came back for dinner and conversation until nearly midnight. Love them so much.
(Updated after the holidays — here is their Christmas card photo! Loved how it turned out!)
Both of Elena’s boys are the sweetest. Here I am with Rowyn:
Devan’s Album Release Party
My longtime camp friend Devan just released his first album Whippersnapper (available here… also on iTunes, Spotify, or wherever you listen to music) and he played a concert at Fiddledale in Easton, CT. What a treat to hear him play live. My current favorite song on the album is “Sweetest Descent,” although he played some new songs at the concert that I can’t wait to listen to again whenever he releases them.
A bunch of longtime camp friends were at the concert. I got to see two of my favorite people in the world: Val and Whendi! I’ve known these women since 1996 and admire them tremendously. Speaking of people I admire, I got to see Tim and Anne too! And meet Devan’s partner Lucy! My heart felt so full this night, getting to be around all these special souls.
Meeting Fellow Travel Blogger Kelsey!
Guess what? I got to meet a fellow travel blogger! Kelsey writes at Lust for Life & Adventure and we’ve followed each other on-line for the past two years or so. She lives in Seattle but was visiting friends in Boston, and they all came down to New Haven for the day. What a treat to talk shop with someone who does the same thing I do. The time went by so fast, but it was great to compare notes on photography and popular travel blogs we follow, plus share details about trips we’ve each taken or want to take in the future. Loved meeting her friends Maggie and Agnes too! From left to right, here’s Kelsey, Maggie, Agnes, and me:
Here are some photos from our walk around Yale:
The Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Yale is open to the public and very worth checking out if you are in New Haven. It was a huge hit with Kelsey, Maggie, and Agnes — I think we spent about 45 minutes walking around inside, admiring the glowing granite / marble “windows.”
Photographer geek-out moment: I accidentally left my 15mm fisheye lens at home, but Kelsey has THE EXACT SAME LENS so I was able to borrow hers to snap this photo!
It was a lovely fall day and they had food trucks there. We walked around and then sat for awhile to chat more.
New York City
I spent about nine days in New York City this month — seeing lots of theater, catching up with friends, and working one TV show.
Torch Song was a wonderful night at the theater. I laughed and cried for nearly three hours. Michael Urie takes on the role made famous by Harvey Fierstein in the 1980’s in this newly trimmed version of Torch Song Trilogy. More to come in part two of my fall theater recap soon.
The theatrical magic show In & Of Itself blew me away. Magician and storyteller Derek Delgaudio has created a very unique experience. When you walk into the theater, audience members pick a card from a board that reads “I AM…” with a noun after it: parent, lover, teacher, ninja, ventriloquist, etc. This comes into play later in the show. Read more about Derek in this NYT article, The Magician Who Wants to Break Magic.
And I got to see Arthur!!! The multiple exclamation marks are necessary because he is a dear friend and we probably haven’t seen each other since 2012. We occasionally worked on shows together in LA from 2009-2012, including a long run of West Side Story which Arthur directed and choreographed. Now he’s working as a swing dresser for the Broadway musical Anastasia. We got to catch up over dinner and it was such a treat to see him.
St. Ann’s Warehouse is a theater venue right next to the Brooklyn Bridge. Isn’t this view dreamy?
I saw a play called People Places Things by Duncan MacMillan that just opened in NY after a long and successful run in London. It’s about a woman struggling with addiction (played by the transcendent Denise Gough — if there is any justice in the world she will win Oscars in the coming years) and this play broke me apart and put me back together again. Remarkable storytelling and inventive staging by director Jeremy Herrin.
Here are a few shots from this trip — I got dinner at Luke’s Lobster under the Brooklyn Bridge, stayed at this Airbnb in Brooklyn, and enjoyed this delicious salmon kale sweet potato bowl at HoneyBrains.
Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards
I spent four days working on the 2nd Annual Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards at BRIC in Brooklyn. Really enjoyed being a part of this show. Hopefully next year it will secure streaming rights or air on a network, because more people need to see it — it honors the best documentaries of the year and I think would garner decent ratings if it were made available to the public.
Our script / writer / directing team:
And that wraps up October! I leave for Los Angeles this week and will spend the rest of the year out west.
Hope your month was swell!