Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Lauren Takes Leave!

I am thrilled to announce that my novel, Lauren Takes Leave, is now available for purchase at and Barnes &  Click HERE to go to the book's page on Amazon!

IMPORTANT!  In other news, my blog has been moved to my new website,  I will not be updating this On the Verge site after July, 2012.  All new content -- plus the older posts -- can now be found at one convenient cyber-location.  I'd love to have you follow me there!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Summer Cocktails for Moms

We moms have it hard in May and June.  The social calendar that we tend to throughout the year virtually explodes for the spring season, with graduation parties and birthday parties and class parties and final exams and proms and cookies to bake and brownies to bake and teachers to thank and yearbooks to distribute and camp trunks to pack and backpacks to unpack and trip forms to fill out and letters to send to camp and Father’s Day to plan and little league playoffs and final recitals and band concerts and about a million other obligations that keep our heads spinning.  Until now.  Because now, we have reached Nirvana.  We have reached the end of June.
Ah.  Say it with me.  The end of June.  Now exhale.
At the end of June, and well into July and August, Mommy needs – no, Mommy deserves - a cocktail.
Here are some of my personal summer faves.  Continue here.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Relax at Yoga Haven

I recently got the chance to try a class at Yoga Haven 2, located at 91 Montgomery Avenue in Scarsdale.  The studio, owned by Betsy Kase, is the new outpost of the beloved Tuckahoe yoga studio, which Kase first opened 15 years ago.
This is not me.
“Back then, Madonna was on the cover of Time magazine doing yoga, and people couldn’t believe that you could look like her from doing only that,” Kase explained.  “Now, people have more understanding of it.”  In the past few years, in addition to growing her studio across the board, she has seen an increased interest from prenatal clients, seniors, men, and even children.
“Eleven year olds spend 8 hours a day sitting in a chair in school,” she said.  And then they go to play sports, sports, sports nonstop, without much stretching, “so they are getting tighter and tighter,” which can be rough on the body.  That’s why Yoga Haven offers a variety of classes for kids and teens, including a Monday evening class just for boys.  “We do handstands and hang from ropes, and lots of other fun things,” she explained. 

Now, as you may know from other articles I’ve written, I am into spinning, not stretching.  But after pulling my calf from three consecutive days of fast, repetitive pedaling, I knew that I needed to try something else. Continue here.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Interview with Annabel Monaghan, author of new YA novel, A Girl Named Digit

You know that feeling you get from holding a new book in your hands, excited by the promise of the first few pages?  That’s how I felt when I first read A Girl Named Digit by Annabel Monaghan.  It was a Saturday morning.  My Kindle and I crept downstairs in the dim morning light and hid under a blanket on the far end of the couch in the sunroom, pretending that we were still asleep.  In that way, I disappeared from my family’s radar for the better part of the morning, and by the time they found me and begged for breakfast, I was already hooked on Digit.
And that was good news, because before reading her novel, I was already hooked on Annabel Monaghan.

Annabel and I met in a novel writing workshop at Sarah Lawrence College in the Fall of 2010.  She was there to workshop a project called Digit, and since her novel was completed and the rest of ours were not, we read her manuscript first.  In person, Annabel is funny and self-deprecating and humble and smart.  She’s the one you want to sit next to in class so that you can pass notes back and forth and give each other meaningful eye rolls, as if a continuing education course at a local college is the same setting as your high school biology lab.  (Which, in a way, it is.) By week two, we had our own little inside jokes. As I sank into my couch, I desperately hoped that her book would live up to the real her. Continue reading here.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Grace's Table: A Restaurant Review in the Gerstenblatt Style

Grilled octopi!
There’s no doubt about it:  Scarsdale village, with eight local eateries featuring outdoor dining options, is the new European capital of Westchester.   Meanwhile, Central Avenue is… still Central Avenue.  That being said, it’s worth leaving the Village proper (and all the chocolate croissants one could want) every now and then for fine dining at a pretty spot called Grace’s Table, located at 324 Central Avenue in White Plains. 
Grace’s Table is part of the restaurant and marketplace team led by the Balducci and Doria families, known for the Balducci’s markets, Grace’s Marketplace, and Grace’s Trattoria.  In other words, as soon as I heard the name “Grace Balducci Doria” I made a reservation for dinner.  And you should too.  The restaurant serves upscale American fare for lunch Mon-Fri and dinner nightly.  They also have a private party room in a wine cave on the lower level.
Brett and I arrived about 45 minutes early for an 8:30 reservation, checked in with the hostess, and went to have a drink at the bar.  “If you have a table ready any earlier, we’d love to take it.  It’s just that the babysitter arrived and we had to escape while we could,” I explained.
“Understood.  If you’d like, I could give you this table right here,” she said.  We did like.  We sat.  (There are several rooms to choose from, so you might want to poke around; we were happy to just sit.)
The table next to us happened to be occupied by two couples from Edgemont that I’ve known for years.  We chatted for a while and I told them that Brett and I were here on an official culinary assignment.  Everyone got very excited and started telling me about their tasty selections.

Friday, June 1, 2012

The 10:52 Local

A day in free verse poetry

On the Starbucks lanai
dappled sunlight
watching the trains go by
iced grande green tea
two dollars and thiry one
cents a day
after spin class
on a warm spring day
I stay hydrated and,
finished chatting,
head to DeCicco’s for
taco meat.
It’s Monday
So that is
dinner always
before piano practice and after
tennis, perhaps a stop at
the candy store
Where I steal a mini
peanut butter cup from Andrew’s
thoughtfully curated bag.
“Hey!” he shouts, but I unwrap
it and, pop, into my mouth it goes.
There are no calories from candy
meant for your kids;
knows that.
Zoe’s collection is mostly
chewy and bad
for my temporary crown.
I dig through and hand it back.
I could have bought
a Celine bag
with the money spent
on endodontics
but I needed
the new tooth
and the pocketbook
is always only a fantasy
like the beach house
and the movie deal
so I wave
to my reflection
in the storefront window
whenever I drive by.
There are always
nice things, as
my mother would say.
Finished shopping
for camp clothes
all labeled
Andrew’s first time away.
Upon safe return,
will he still let me kiss
him in public?
Do you have time for a mani-pedi?
a friend asks.
I have a book to sell and another
to write
(there’s always something
to write, a text, an email
a pin, a tweet)
but sure, mademoiselle.
Zoe and I will bond in July,
hang out at the town pool
apply sunscreen
and be lazy together.
There’s so much
I don’t know.
An uncertain world,
I manage it
through certain, predictable routines,
and try not to worry
like Brett does
as another train passes.
Digging through the junk,
we find small bits of beauty,
and in that way
life is like the sidewalk sale.
I drink it in.
And that’s my tale.
Looking forward to
summertime in the ‘dale.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

My husband the...triathlete?

Artist, yes. Successful businessman, sure. Snarky comment maker, indeed. But here are words I'd never thought I'd utter: I'd like to introduce you to my husband, Brett, the triathlete. When Brett and I met in 1996, he was merely a summertime tennis player, and, when I was not chain-smoking, I occasionally attended a step-aerobics class. In Central Park, we went to Sheep Meadow to hang out instead of going for a run around the reservoir. I thought we were perfectly matched in every way.

When we moved in together in Brooklyn a few years later, we joined a gym and attended spin and yoga classes side by side. Skip ahead 12 years, and you will find that spin and yoga is where I still remain. Brett, however, has moved on. Way on.

My husband now goes to the gym. A lot. He has a trainer. He does something called box jumps. He wears something called a weight vest. When I said I'd marry him in sickness and in health, I didn't know quite how healthy he meant.

Continue reading here...