The first five weeks….

Hi everyone!  It’s the Friday of Columbus Day weekend (and also Yom Kippur), and I hope most of you are getting ready for an amazing and well-deserved three-day weekend.  I remember being SO grateful for Columbus Day when I was in highschool – only a month in, and already I would be more than ready for a break.  I know this year I’m definitely taking the day off, because it’s been a craaaaazy week.  And it’s been a momentous fall in general, because, as most of you know, I’m spending it in New York.  Just to get you in the mood, here’s a quick shot I took last month:

And here are a few highlights (and a couple lowlights) of my past five weeks in the Big Apple:

1.  HIGHLIGHT: Meeting Valentino’s pugs

One crisp morning Edie and I trudged into the Park for her morning walk.  All kinds of dogs are in there, and I’m used to Edie dragging me over to anyone and everyone to say hi.  But on this morning we were approached by a woman and a very good-looking Italian man walking two pugs. “Can we say hi?” she asked.  “Of course!” I said.  Edie and the other pugs started doing this amazing puppy game of faking-left-and-dodging-right and out of nowhere the woman informed me that these were Valentino’s pugs!   “He never travels without this one here,” she said, pointing to one of the dogs, who I swear gave me a haughty look from above its pushed-in nose.  “Valentino, really?” I said.  I wasn’t sure I could believe her… and then the guy started speaking perfect Italian to them.  “Vieni” (come) and “gentile!” (be nice!)  (If you’ve never seen the documentary on Valentino, called Valentino: The Last Emperor, it is well worth seeing, even if you’re not a pug fan!) We walked home with a little Italian spring in our step…

2. HIGHLIGHT: Starting SoulCycle

SoulCycle is the newest fitness craze to hit New York.  It’s basically a spinning class, but with one small tweak: IT’S THE HARDEST SPINNING CLASS IN THE WORLD.  I’m serious.  First of all, it can be challenging just to get into the class, since signups are done a week in advance online.  And it’s done by candlelight, with an instructor who runs around the room and can see you if you’re cheating.  I know. And you even do pushups and lift weights on the bike.  Yes, lift weights on the bike!  Kelly Ripa, my dad’s co-host, is a huge fan of the class, and I’d been asking her what it was like, so one day last month she brought me with her.  I thought that I might be able to hide in the back row, and slowly ease myself back into “the spinning thing.”  But there were only 4 of us in the early afternoon class, meaning front row, and nowhere to hide!  Somehow, I got through it, even with all the crazy choreography.  (“Touch backs in four, now two!”) Maybe it was Kelly sitting next to me, spurring me on with her dedication, or maybe it was the awesome Erasure mix the teacher was playing, but I survived – and loved it.  And in the last three classes I’ve taken, I’ve left not only drenched, but exhilarated and on cloud nine for the rest of the day.  Rumor is it’s hitting L.A. soon.  Fingers crossed.  We need it.

3.  HIGHLIGHT: The subway.

I love the subway. You can read, the ads are fantastic (in a sort of ironic way), and you don’t have to parallel park.  I don’t miss driving AT ALL.  Fighting my way through the seventh circle of hell that is the Trader Joe’s parking lot on La Brea and Third Street… yeah, don’t miss it.

4.  HIGHLIGHT: Pizza.

Because L.A. has a weird water pH,  decent bagels or pizza can’t really be had there. Now, it’s catch-up time.  Enter La Traviata Pizza on West 68th between Columbus and Broadway.  The best cheese slice in Manhattan.  There, I said it.


This is sort of new for us.  Edie, especially.  Our second week here it was like being in a monsoon every day.  So I had to buckle down and get Edie a slicker.  Which she DID NOT like.  As you can see:

6.  LOWLIGHT: Bladder Stones

Because Edie is so small, and because we’re living in an apartment building for the first time, I’ve been walking her more than I would in L.A. just to keep her comfortable, and she’s been wonderful – no accidents, doing her business outside. And then one day, she just started doing her business ALL OVER THE APARTMENT.  I knew instantly that something was wrong.  I ferried her over to the vet and got the diagnosis that every pet owner fears: “Your dog has bladder stones, and she’s going to need surgery.”  What?? I thought.  My little dog needs to be operated on?  Fortunately, Edie could still pee, so it wasn’t a complete emergency.  I took her to another (nicer) vet for a second opinion.  The diagnosis was the same.  Edie had surgery on Tuesday.  Thankfully, she came through it fine.  She’ll probably need to be on a special diet the rest of her life, and she’s on pain meds for her stitches, and antibiotics, but she came back yesterday, and she’s already back to being herself.  Here she is, giving me her don’t-bother-me-I’m-trying-to-nap-face:

That’s it for now.  I’m exhausted from the week and ready to hang at home for the night. I hope everyone has a terrific weekend, and I’ll be in touch soon!

xoxoxox  Joanna


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2 Responses to The first five weeks….

  1. Jannette Nguyen says:

    Awww I really really hope that Edie gets better! He is absolutely adorable!!! That is sooo cool how you got to see Valentino’s dogs!! Have an awesome Columbus day!!!!

  2. mamabunny13 says:

    I sure hope Edie feels better now that she has had surgery. She is adorable! I have 3 very small dogs too. Our pets are not really “pets”, they are our babies 🙂

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