The Big Apple, Slice One: Zombies & Momma’s Lasagna

This morning I had to make a quick decison: dart out of the house and do A, B and C and make the most of this my third day in New York City; or NOT dart out of the house, at the risk of being stuck at home all day and do not much of anything for a whole, precious day of my one-week stay in New York City.

I chose the latter. The morning was grey and serene, and the six degree breeze whispered to me that I had made the right decision.

And sue me for using your swanky and very legally-protected little catch-phrase, Mickey Dee’s, but this relaxing business? I’m lovin’ it.

You see. I’m staying with a friend and we haven’t picked up the spare set of keys yet. So. I would have had to leave with my friend on his way to work and to return after he got home. Which is fine. Except that I have been here not forty-eight hours and it has already been a whirlwind of adventure and excitement (details to follow below, hold tight!). I haven’t even had time to figure out a loose plan for my week and…well…well I heard a rumour once that vacations were meant for relaxing and recharging. Can you imagine!?

So here I am. In Jersey City (just outside NYC). Chillin’ like Dylan on penicilin. Snack. Type. Write. Cigarette. Email. Pee break. Repeat.

Lovely, peaceful monotony.

Yet still productive. I now have planned one token destination per day with LOTS of room for flexibility and spontaneity built in.

Yet still adventurous. Being a total couch-potato in Jersey. Never done that before. And another – swish! – check for the bucket list.

Oh. And I also had the time to wash my hair extensions that were full of fake blood from my zombie shoot yesterday. Can someone say « perfect segue »!?!?

I arrived at Newark airport on Saturday at fiveish after meeting a very cute boy on the plane. A dj who spins funk and soul and lives in Brooklyn. I told him we should hang out while I’m here and I gave him my email address and phone number. We’ll see if he calls! Fingers remain crossed.

My dear friend Ruben picked me up and we went for dinner and drinks at a very cool Mexican restaurant called Boca Grande here in Jersey City. It was delish, and it was so nice…really, really great…to see my precious friend Ruben again.

Sunday morning, I had to report for work at eight o’clock to the set of a shoot for a zombie wepisode that I must unfortunately leave nameless because in the shoot you see part of okay all of my naked body and it is just a naked body walking and not some lurid sex scene but still nudity is bad and immorale, logically, and so I have to use an alias in the credits and not tell you the name of the production even though I would love to promote the series because it is Pretty. Damn. Cool.

And, breathe!

In the first shoot, I am one of three dead bodies. I am slumped back in a chair with a plastic bag over my head. Then it was off to a different set, just the director and I and a wack of zombie make-up and fake blood. It’s amazing how much time and effort goes into a one-minute scene of something as simple as a zombie walking down a hall.

The second location was Very Cool. An old leather factory. Some floors still in use, some seemingly defunct. It was a gorilla shoot and judging from the rampant graffiti on the walls there on the fifth floor, we were not the only uninvited guests who made a practice of stopping by. As a non-actress and virgin to doing any sort of « extras work, » for me this was…terribly exciting. I even got to keep the white zombie contacts!


We were finished by noon. The afternoon included, randomly, a 6-year-old birthday party in Hoboken of a little boy I had never met before. The friend of the son of my friend. And then…THEN…dinner at Momma’s. Momma, or Marianna, is the sweet, old Italian mother of the director whom happens to be the husband of my dear friend Shareen (from post « The Poster Girl For Getting Over It »). Momma, Shareen, her husband Corrado, her son Jonathan and I crowded around the supper table. It was a nice moment to be a part of this traditional family gathering, one I have had the privilege of enjoying before. And because I had had this honour before, I knew what was coming:

Momma’s cooking.

Momma's Lasagna

Momma’s Lasagna

Homemade lasagna. An enormous, plate-sized serving of gorgeous layers of tender noodles, a creamy beschemel sauce, a light but flavourful tomato sauce, and a light sprinkling of tender ground beef that I scared myself by finishing entirely. Oh so delish. Thank you so much, I said. That’s when heads turned and looked at me as if I really were a zombie. That was only the first course, you little Mangia-Cake! Right. I had remembered the delicious cooking but now the amount of it!


Second course? Marinated beef steaks with a garden salad of juicy cucumber chunks, thick ruby red tomato slices, oil and vinegar dressing. Somehow I found room.

Third course? Plump, succulent cubes of pineapple. Naked and beautifully delicious as is. However, I opted to finish the bottle of Bordeaux rather than indulge in the sweets. I also passed up the the fresh crostini and butter during dinner. In that way I could tell myself I was not a complete glutton.

For the record, if I would ever allow myself to grow fat, THAT is how I would do it. Momma’s cooking.

It is now almost 3:30pm. The morning’s greyness has gone and the sun is now shining brightly, invitingly. After a day indoors, as relaxed as mine has been, I am bursting to get out there and go for my run. I’ve timed it with Ruben so we will both arrive home at the same time, which will also mark exactly forty-eight hours of my trip so far. Cute boy on plane, dinner with dear, darling Ruben, crazy cool zombie shoot, momma’s marvelous cooking, a rare and much-enjoyed day of sweet peace and relaxation, a physically and mentally therapeutic run.

Big apple, slice one.


À propos de Stina

If I could tell you about me in a neat and tidy definitive statement, I don't think I'd be writing this blog.
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