Alice Zhao at 19 and under – Pasadena Star News
You know that Steinberg’s New Yorker cartoon, “View of the World”, where most of the frame is taken up by a view west of Manhattan towards the Hudson, and the rest of the globe – New Jersey, Kansas City, Los Angeles, followed by the Pacific, with Russia, China, and Japan floating in the distance – is it relatively small?
Well, I don’t write from Ninth Avenue. It’s a picnic table on a veranda under the plane trees at the back of an Airbnb apartment on West 69th Street that my laptop is set up on.
I was on vacation last week, first in a graffiti-covered but bohemian-fascinating hotel in Soho, then in the beautiful – scorching, hot, green – of western New York State, in the town of Finger Lakes in Geneva, for the glorious wedding of Eagle Rocker Theresa Kelley and Dillon Buckley, her classmate from Amherst, are now married after a decade together. She’s the talented winemaker of Hermann Wiemer, and she also works in this great area, and I’m here to point out that the only decent side effect of global warming is that today it’s not just good rieslings. which can be made in a northern climate – that’s amazing Cabernet Francs too.
Wild, wonderful and elegant wedding – the celebrations spanned days. Thursday’s rehearsal dinner at Buckleys’ Lake House on the shores of Seneca, the largest of the glacial lakes, 600 feet deep and 38 miles long. The ball game wiffles in a park Friday night after a meal of grilled white hots – think skinny bratwurst – that pitted West Coasters against East Coasters on Team Theresa against Team Dillon. Theresa led her team from the pitcher’s mound. A softball legend as a pitcher for the Lady Dukes in college, she also has a medium backhand. Her father, Martin, my dear friend since elementary school in Altadena, led the encouragement team when she needed a boost: “West Coast, best coast, nobody gets hurt!
Players were cautioned not to please break a leg, as they were needed on the dance floor at the Cracker Factory reception after the nuptials.
Over 150 celebrants rocked those legs at the party. Delicious dinner. Wines from this bourgeois world, as our colleague Patt Diroll says so charming every time she is at a good party. (Welcome back, Patt – now that people are coming together again, her social column picks up in these pages.) And when the mother of the bride is the brilliant cook and cookbook author Jeanne Kelley, cakes were everything. simply the best wedding cakes ever. – olive oil cake, with raspberry glaze. Wedding Cake You Really Want To Eat!
Then when the Amtrak folks messed up our return train tickets, they made up for it by putting Phoebe and I in a sleeping car back into town through the Hudson Valley. Not that we slept. But the peace and quiet was good, and the lunch was not bad, and since I was on time, it was a beautiful room overlooking the great river in which to write and edit newspapers.
As a cousin of mine in Austin said about laptops, they just make us work hard on longer leashes. But what a pleasure to be able to travel again, and work does not bother me. Masked when you’re in town? Yes, we are masked and vaccinated. The restaurants here are now doing the vaccine-passport thing. Great by me. And the house follows me everywhere. I just went to Trader Joe’s on 72nd and Broadway, and sure enough I had to tell the origin story to the clerk. He had no idea that Joe was a real person. When I mentioned that he had just died, the kid denied New York’s notion of indifference: “I’m sorry for your loss,” he said. Sweet. Alice, I’m spreading the word, 3000 miles from home.
Brookside Golf Course big boss Dave Sams met me here on the West Side – well, he texted me; again, the wonders of technology: “I have a great story. The lowest tournament score ever on our course was that of a 12 year old over the weekend. She shot 19 under par on 54 holes to win the Pasadena Women’s Golf Championship. I mean, the lowest score for any professional or amateur, male or female, in Brookside’s 96 year history. I got a glimpse of Alice Zhao’s scorecard from Irvine – 63, 72, 67 – and as someone who plays the tough course every week, I remain in disbelief. “She should drop out of college and join the LPGA,” wrote a friend. Well no. She should keep killing him until college, then turn pro. But you heard his name here first.
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