Gina Vivinetto’s Greatest Hits

Archive for the category “Trips and Travels”

We passed 100,000 hits today!

Congratulations, everyone. GV’sGH has passed the 100,000 hits point today!

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Thanks to all of you!

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Happy Anniversary!

Let’s take a second to acknowledge that it’s GV’sGH six month anniversary. I was hoping for around 70,000 hits today so imagine my surprise (and joy) to note that we’ve had over 85,000 hits!

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I’ve picked up a lot of new readers during this last month, which I can only speculate is because of rampant unemployment. Glad to have you here, whatever the reason. Thanks for six great months, everyone!

My fun weekend

I had such a fun weekend. My friend Ginger has been here and Saturday a group of us spent the day in Baltimore, a city that I’m crazy about. We had lunch at Yabba Pot, a great vegan restaurant:

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Then we visited Ginger’s Uncle Dudley, a writer whose huge apartment is covered head-to-toe in folk art and “outsider art”.

Paintings were hung on every inch of the wall, salon-style (and still more were in stacks leaning against walls). It was thrilling. I recognized work by Ned Cartledge, Ruby C. Williams and friend-of-a-friend Carrie Price among the lot.

Then the five of us walked around Hampden, the hipster section — and incidentally my favorite part –of Baltimore. Will someone please explain to me why the word “Hon” is on every sign and bumper sticker in Baltimore? For example, “Come here and pray, hon!” on a church sign. And cafes and bars with the word “Hon” in their monikers. I understand that it’s some kind of Baltimore-ese.

The city is also not afraid to capitalize on being the home of cult director John Waters, as evidenced by this gigantic pink flamingo above –where else? –Cafe Hon:

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On Sunday night, Ginger, who’s an actor, hooked us up with tickets to see The Dog In The Manger, a funny 17th century Spanish play about love and class, at D.C.’s Shakespeare Theatre Company Lansburg Theatre. My lady friend was most excited because she recognized Michelle Hurd, the lead actress, from her brief stint on Gossip Girl. (She also played a detective on the first season of Law & Order: SVU. Not that I checked out her IMDB page).

We finished off Sunday night by dining at Clyde’s, an almost anachronistic restaurant. Here’s the description on its own web pages:

The grand Victorian saloon recalls Hong Kong’s Empire-era opulence and celebrates the sporting life in an impressive collection bronze sculpture and oil paintings.

And it doesn’t even mention the large tiki statues in the faux jungle greenery.

How about you? Was your weekend good?

Off to see Howard Zinn

I’m heading out the door to hop on the 96 bus and ride to Busboys and Poets where famed historian Howard Zinn is giving a talk.

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Zinn is the author of A People’s History of the United States, among other terrific books that rexamine the role our leaders have played in our own nation’s history and that of many others. Hint: Zinn’s not impressed.

I think he’s a smart man and I love what he says. I highly highly recommend his books.

This is the first time I’m seeing him in person. I’m excited!

UPDATE: I got to the event a good 30 minutes early and was worried by the line that stretched down the street. Busboys and Poets, whose capacity I’ve heard is around 350, quickly filled up. Dozens of us didn’t get inside. The venue was good enough to put speakers outside so we could hear Zinn talk, but I felt like Tiny Tim standing out in the cold (30 degrees?), peeking in the window at everyone inside comfortably eating dinner. I briefly considered rubbing some charcoal on my cheeks to look even more pathetic in a bid to be invited inside, but I didn’t. I left.

Yes, I went to Barack Obama’s inauguration

I went to Barack Obama’s inauguration today in Washington DC. Two of my friends and I got to the general area of the city via the Metro and then walked about two miles with thousands of others to the Mall. When I say I have never seen so many people in my life, I mean every street in every direction had people steadily streaming in, people that took up the width of the street and went back as far as your eye could see.

It was cold, like in the 20s, and everyone we saw was smiling.

When we got to the Mall, where the actual ceremony took place, we turned to look behind us and our mouths fell open. There was just no end in sight to the rows and rows of people.

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We stood outside in the cold for more than two hours. Organizers were replaying Saturday night’s rock concert and we stood there watching footage of Bono and Bruce Springsteen with two million people. It was powerful to stand there with everyone, but, honestly, we were so far from the video screen that we couldn’t see very well or hear the speakers at all. And we were very, very cold.

At around 10:30 am, we figured if we hustled, we could make it all the way back to the metro and get to our apartments in time to see the actual inaugural ceremony on CNN. When we left the Mall, we were amazed to find that the crowd was still coming in just as strong as it was when we first arrived two hours before. (We heard the crowds started arriving at 6 a.m.)

I’ll never forgot how exciting D.C. has been for the past week. This was my first presidential inauguration. I could not have picked a more important one. If we can sustain just a fraction of this hope for the rest of the year, we’ll be doing better than we have for nearly a decade.

Bravo to everyone who came to Washington, D.C. to be a part of history. And thanks.

Here’s to a new era.

My new celebrity friend

So, last night I was perusing TMZ and I saw pictures of Whitney Houston and Mike Tyson leaving LAX during the day to fly to Washington D.C. for Obama‘s inauguration. I told my lady friend this and we discussed all the celebrities that were in town for this historic event and its festivities.

“We should go to Dupont Circle and walk around and see who’s there,” I said.

But my lady friend, who is infinitely more brilliant, said, “We should go to the aiport!”

Within minutes we were on the metro and after a quick transfer, we exited at Reagan National Airport where, scanning the monitors, we determined a New York flight would arrive any minute and that star-studded flight from LAX? Just two hours later.

We waited in the right area and watched as people strolled off of their planes. No celebrities.

We walked into a nearby Borders bookstore to kill time before the L.A. flight landed, but I heard a loud voice outside. I looked out and saw a famous face and even more famous hair. My lady friend and I ran after him, camera in hand. We had found our star!

Ladies and gentleman, me and Don King:

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He was standing at the baggage carousel, surrounded by about 20 people asking for pictures. One by one, he posed with them, grinning and repeating, “Only in America, only in America.”

So true. On so many levels.

What an amazing week we’re going to have here in the national’s capitol.

Happy New Year, everyone!

To everyone in the GV’sGH family, Happy New Year!

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Yeah, I know that’s the same fireworks snapshot we use to celebrate our monthly anniversaries, but we’re feeling the recession here, too.

Let’s do a bunch of amazing shit in 2009!

Hi, I’m back! Let’s catch up.

I hope each and every one of you had a wonderful holiday season. I didn’t hear “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer” once and that was enough reason to celebrate. I went to Florida to spend the season (or a week of it) with my dad, who turned 67- –Yay! Tommy V!—and my brother and his wife.

I got to see all of my friends, too, and a snotty new bumper sticker on some mini-vans that reads “We say Merry Christmas.” I guess some people are retaliating! Yeah! Fightin’ back at the damned terrorist anti-Christians who dare to celebrate a different holiday.

Also, GV’s GH reader Cheese Food Product was savvy enough to send me the following quote (from 2005) from Christian right-wing nut Ann Coulter, knowing it would get under my skin:

“Oh, It was so much fun this year, because saying ‘Merry Christmas’ is like saying ‘Fuck You.’ I’ve said it to everyone. You know, cab drivers, passing people on the street, whatever.”

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Bravo, Ann. You are truly doing the Lord’s work. (If Ann said something as asinine this season, will somebody please forward it to me? GVivinetto@gmail.com).

I saw a few things in the news while I was away from you that I wanted to share, but I only managed to save one item that made me chuckle. Here is an ad for a Chicago furniture store as it appeared in the Chicago Tribune:

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That’s awesome, isn’t it? I haven’t talked about Gov. Blagojevich yet on the blog because I was afraid he would come after me with his magic hair brush.

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Doesn’t he look like a gayer John Travolta?

I’m very excited about New Year’s Eve for the first time in nearly a decade. I can’t believe our country has something to look forward to. 2009 is gonna rock. We’re gonna end this idiotic, unjust war and we are gonna get the economy crawling back onto its feet. I’m psyched! I’m ready! I hope you are as enthusiastic as I am.

Happy Anniversary!

It’s our four month anniversary here at Gina Vivinetto’s Greatest Hits and we’re celebrating it with a whopping 48,000 blog hits! Yay!

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Thanks to all of you for visiting GV’sGH.

Heading to North Carolina tomorrow

So, you kids are on your own again. Mama’s got more traveling to do. My lady friend and I have secured an Avis rental car and we’re trekking on down to North Carolina early tomorrow morning.

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My lady friend’s brother is a U.S. Marine and lives on a base in Havelock. I’ve been there once before and we spent a lot of time at the Wal-Mart — and yes, it was painful for me and my lady friend, being all eco-warrior-anti-corportate-vegan-recycle-people. But guess what? Wal-Mart has cheap ass organic food. There’s a novel idea: give broke people, too, the opportunity to make healthy and ethical choices!

I’ll be back and blogging soon, maybe over the weekend if something noteworthy happens.

Be good. Don’t play with the stove.

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