Showing posts from December 19, 2010

Macy's Santaland: Many Santas Make Light Work

‎*** WARNNG: Parental Guidance Alert! Santa Spoiler! ***
Visiting the Macy's Santaland on the top floor of this iconic NYC retailer in 2009, with Bike Friday customer Brenda Carlton. When I was a kid, there was just one Santa, needless to say, me and my nosy camera were hustled out of there ever so nicely by the tireless, velvet suited elves - they deserve a great Christmas tip! Merry Christmas everyone!

Gal Travel Stories: Doing the Dishes in County Kerry Part II

Read Part 1

My life as a trainee chef
Ireland 1998

After my three-week waitressing career sank like a lead meringue I found myself out in the drizzling rain looking for a new job, and more pressingly, a new place to sleep. Kenmare suddenly took on a grey, miserable pallor, a trick of the brain when life takes an awkward turn.


I was still frazzled by being fired, though it wasn't the first time in my life. I argued that really, I never wanted to be a waitress; it was just a way to possibly get into the kitchen to do what I really wanted to do: learn to cook.

I woke at 6am after a fitful night digesting my last supper, which I had brazenly chosen to take place at my former place of employment - the same day I was fired. What was I not thinking? I chose the hand-rolled tortellini in a tomato-olive sauce, followed by a perfectly executed lemon tart - neither too sweet or too sour, with a light, feathery creaminess not unlike an expensive beauty cream that comes in a fancy froste…

Gal Travel Stories: Doing the Dishes in County Kerry - Part I

Read Part 2
One wonders in this place
Why anyone is left in Dublin, or London, or Paris
Where it would be better, one would think
To live in a tent or hut
With this magnificent sea and sky
And to breathe this wonderful air
Which is like wine in one's teeth
John Millington Synge
From the wall at the Barracks History Centre, Cahirsiveen, West Ireland
"Ye fooked oop."

Katherine's Irish eyes weren't smiling.

I stood between Elaine and Meabh, the three of us as raw at this game as the strainer full of chicken livers sweating in the sink.

"With good people out front, we can do double what we did tonight."

Her tiny hands sliced and diced the air. A dancer’s arms, al dente, like spaghetti. If anyone was eating the profits, it certainly wasn't her.

We shuffled our feet and stared at the unswept floor. It was the first week of my new career in the waitressing business, and I was wishing I'd studied harder.

I got the job through one of the six backpackers …