Hometown: Westchester, NY/Bronx, NY
Favorite Quotes: “Brevity is the soul of wit,” Dorothy Parker; “Don’t panic,” Douglas Adams
Trapped on a desert island foods: Lasagna and strawberries
Today’s bucket list is a very near and dear person whom I share 50% of my genetic code with – my darling mother! I love my mom. I call her Mamasan. She’s an incredible font of knowledge about English literature, gardening, and humorous life lessons from her absurd Italian-American childhood. She never kept my brother or me on a tight leash, but she was firm about us cultivating our curious minds with reading and exploration. There weren’t many rules – my mom knew that sometimes you had to leave your flowers alone for them to grow. She’s an amazing person just to be around, and her bucket list echoes with the tranquility, poise, and dash of eccentricity that I’ve come to associate with my mother.
– Spend at least a season in Europe
– Have an apartment in Manhattan. “That’s like my springboard to another world. It’s never boring. You can grow old as gracelessly as you want. You can have a Mohawk, slippers, a little dog, and lipstick when you’re 90 and no one has to know shit about you. You can be private and in the middle of things at the same time.”
– Make jewelry and get back to sculpting. “I would sculpt things that I would cast in silver, like interesting little figurines– things that would be kind of like amulet. People carry rabbits’ foot or a rosary or whatever, so like little things people could see and have on them and hold onto.”
– Write. “I could amuse myself for hours just from writing.”
– Work with plants or in a nursery. “I used to want to hybridize things, make my own creations. I’m fascinated with the idea of bringing back the American Elms. I was never really good at painting but to me gardening is like 3D painting.”
– Visit the Smithsonian
– Visit the Vatican and its museum – “They’re supposed to have an astonishing art collection, plus I love old buildings. I love run-down buildings too. People want to go to Vegas for the lights; I’d want to go see the desert and the rocks.”
– Go back to Australia and explore more of it, especially the nature.
– Learn how to drive stick shift.
– Spend time in San Francisco. “There’s a train that runs all the way up to Seattle, and down to San Diego, I really wanted to take it. It’s very beautiful to look up the coast. It’s nice to walk on the beach and just keep walking and walking and actually have very pretty things off in the distance.”
– Spend time in Montauk, Long Island.
– “I’d love to go to one of those [observatory] places and look up at the stars through one of those very cool, fantastically expensive telescopes. I find it fascinating, I could stare at those things all night. You look close, they’re just these burning fizzling balls of energy. It’s very strange, it’s kind of like looking an ember from the fireplace, but it doesn’t change, it doesn’t go out, it doesn’t get smaller, it’s just there. It sort of makes me feel connected to the universe.”
– Go to a resort in the middle of nature, like a tree house hotel.
– “I’d like to try a proper French meal one day just because I’m curious. Is it really that good, is it worth it? Or are you just going to walk out of there and say, ‘I could use McDonalds or a slice or pizza right now’”
– Reread all of Paradise Lost and actually understand it. “Literature is brain-food.”
– Learn Italian
– Go horseback riding again
– “I always wanted a little house in the woods somewhere. Aside from my Manhattan apartment, fantasy would be house in the woods somewhere, off on my own. It’d sort of be like those little English cottages where mostly you’re heating it by chucking wood in the fireplace and you can be completely self-sufficient. And it’s quiet and peaceful and you can watch the wildlife go through your yard. Have a dog or two. If I wanted just to retreat there as an old lady and be eccentric I could. If it snowed out and I didn’t leave for two weeks, I’d be okay. I’d have my books and I’d be snug and warm.”
– Learn how to handle/fire a weapon, either a firearm or archery
– “I always thought it would be fun to have a falcon. You have it on your glove or shoulder and you can send it out, it does your bidding, and then it comes back. I don’t know that I actually want one, I just like the notion of it.”
– Live with love.
– Get back into weight-lifting
– Take a trip with best friend across the world, probably to friend’s home in the Philippines, and experience a completely different culture.
– See wonders of the world. Both natural wonders and architectural ruins or castles. “I would love to do that; or just living in a town that’s been there for two thousand years. America, we’re like babies compared to these places.”