It was the winter of 2000 and I was out of a job. In my complete moronic stupidity I had thrown in with a dot.com and it did not end well. The dot.com went out of business a couple of weeks before Christmas. Fa. La. La.
But by early January, my life was looking up dramatically. I obtained what turned out to be the best job of my journalistic career. A short balding man named Brian Brown gave me my very own newspaper.
This is going to be a long way of getting to the fact that I was featured in an HGTV blog post. Read it here. But please keep up with me.
The City Paper, which celebrates its 13th birthday this year, was a collection of pirates, which was why I immediately fit in. Human resources and established protocols meant nothing to these people. I liked that. We had the editor who liked to work totally in the dark and a designer who only communicated through phone conversations even though he was right behind his office door from the rest of the newsroom. We had the writer who labeled all of his pens with masking tape so no one would take them and performed bathroom rituals that he was all too happy to discuss but which we won’t reveal here.
And then there was Danny Solomon, the author of the HGTV blog post. Danny was the features editor. Danny is a she, most decidedly. Take a look. We’ll just get right to the highlights. Like when the Junior League visited the office one day and found Danny sitting in her office dressed like a dominatrix. It was Halloween. Why wouldn’t you encourage your staff to arrive for work carrying a whip? She did killer impressions – some that would have been highly inappropriate had we actually had a HR department – of the tape labeling pen reporter. She carried on a torrid and completely public fake affair with our general manager, who happened to be a proud and very out lesbian.
And, this wasn’t actually funny at the time, but she planned her New Orleans destination wedding to the sports editor (probably also some HR infraction) the day Hurricane Katrina struck.
I loved hanging with this crew. They were so unacceptable. So not politically correct. They were what newspaper people used to be. And to bring it back to food, they were all about the food. We would regularly convene at the Indian buffet, the Chinese Kitchen and the Korean place where one reporter famously downed a huge forkful of Kim-chi because he thought it was coleslaw.
So, Danny married the sports editor, who then went on to work for Sports Illustrated. They now live in California. Danny has written about food (she was also the restaurant critic – nobody wore one hat at the City Paper) for several noted publications and is now the doting mother of Jude, who is cute as a button.
Don’t you treasure the odd connections you make in life? I blog for Char-Broil because I knew a BBQ judge who knew a writer who worked for Char-Broil. I run a nonprofit because I knew a guy who asked me to run for Oyster Queen (another story for another time) and then asked me to join the board of CRC. And I’m featured in an HGTV blog because I know a woman who knows her way around a black bustier and isn’t afraid to show it.
Next up, why I want to be Ina Garten. Anyone have a connection?