waffle_iron_sm.jpg Who knew that making waffles could be so fraught with symbolism and stress?  As a single woman, I never gave a thought about waffles, irons or, come to think about it, marriage. One day my mother called to say she couldn't, just couldn't send me a waffle iron. Why? She had read a "Cathy" comic strip where Cathy's mother went on her usual neurotic rant about how she couldn't buy Cathy a waffle iron because waffle irons meant children, which meant marriage, which meant husbands, none of which Cathy had. 

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200px-ibook_g4.jpgIt happened suddenly.  One minute we were together, touching, my hands on his body, as close as always, and then suddenly, out of nowhere, signs of dire distress.  It sounded like a heave or a deep sigh.  But I heard a click in there somewhere as well.  Something more than the whirl of a distant fan.  I heard danger.  I heard Mac’s finally gasp.

And then, after four years together, nine to ten hours a day, seven days a week, for all 52 weeks of the year – half of those trying to work, the other half simply searching together for answers – it was over. 

Lately, he was the first thing I reached for in the morning after my husband, who gets up early, was gone.  I pulled him off the table and woke him up from his sleep.  I demanded that he bring me the New York Times.  That was always the start.

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From the L.A. Times

la_breakfast.jpgWhen Campanile stopped serving daily breakfast a decade ago, the regulars (but obviously not enough of them) who'd made a cappuccino and pastry or poached eggs and ham at the restaurant part of their morning routine were devastated. They had become accustomed to using the white tablecloth restaurant as an office away from the office. Over a sumptuous breakfast, they would meet clients, hold meetings, plot goals and projects. Screenwriters scribbled, actors pored over scripts and there may already have been a few bloggers at their keyboards. And then it ended (except for weekend brunch, which is still going strong).

If Campanile couldn't keep breakfast going, what ambitious restaurant could? Du-par's and the Original Pantry rarely venture beyond the basics. Yet there's reason for optimism: After several years of deprivation for diners, the L.A. breakfast is making a comeback.

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I read “Look Homeward, Angel” by Thomas Wolfe the summer I worked as a busboy in a Catskill Hotel. His hero Eugene Gant was a lover of the morning meal but I had to help serve it.

blintzes2.jpgGetting up at six in the morning for the breakfast shift was hell made worse by sharing a room with medical student waiters who were all too willing to roll you out of your bunk and drag you into a cold shower. If you were lucky enough to escape you took a ‘waiter’s bath’: generous helpings of Old Spice; like French nobility at Versailles we stunk under a layer of perfume.

Breakfast in the Catskills was bountiful. If the hotel was kosher it combined the menu of a Second Avenue dairy restaurant with the display case of a King’s Highway Brooklyn bakery. Juices, fruits, sour cream, cottage pot and farmer cheese, blintzes, all manner of eggs, cereals hot and cold, lox, herring in cream or wine sauce, smoked whitefish, cod and kippers. Fresh baked onion rolls, poppy seed rolls, caraway crescents, fruit Danishes, coffee cakes, and last night’s left over strudel.  If the hotel wasn’t Kosher – and the one I worked in wasn’t – then there was the gift of the forbidden animal; bacon and ham.

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coffee.jpgIt’s 4 o’clock on Sunday afternoon, and like any well-adjusted twentysomething, I’m eating breakfast.  More specifically, I’m having brioche french toast and cappuccino at the Little Next Door on 3rd with my friend Gloria.  After living in LA for six months, I have determined that breakfast in the afternoon is exactly the sort of reckless behavior Sundays demand.

Typically in New York, Sundays amounted to consumption of greasy brunch complemented by mimosas and black coffee.  Following brunch was an inevitable headache, followed by more consumption in the form of excessive window-shopping, followed by an indulgent nap upon what appeared to be a laundry pile, but was in fact my bed.

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