I wake up between 8 a.m. and noon every day, depending on my schedule. (I know, I know...you gotta sleep sometimes!) Today’s Saturday -- a day off from homeschooling -- but I’m up early because I’m going to my uncle’s house in New Jersey to interview my cousin’s boyfriend for a documentary I’m directing about 9/11. My dad makes me a cup of coffee with cream and sugar, then we’re off.
We always bring my uncle fresh mozzarella and roasted peppers from Russo Mozzarella and Pasta (212-254-7452), an Italian market near our apartment in Manhattan. Then we make two important stops in Summit, New Jersey, where my mom grew up, first at Natale's Summit Bakery for the best cake and Italian bread. (I had my 14th birthday cake made there with the Grateful Dead logo in the center.) Then we get sandwiches at the Towne Deli. My mom and I love their special Sloppy Joe sandwiches: deli meat, coleslaw and Russian dressing on three pieces of rye bread. These are the best sandwiches I've ever had. My dad likes a roast beef sub and my sister, Abigail, always gets a plain turkey sandwich on plain white bread.
When we get to my uncle’s in Hopatcong, we goof off for a while and watch Uncle Buck (John Candy is my favorite), then my uncle gets the barbecue going while I talk with Anthony, my cousin’s boyfriend. His father was a police officer who died saving people in the rubble of the World Trade Center. I am grateful that Anthony is willing to be part of my movie. When the grill is ready, everyone puts in an order. I have a cheeseburger and a hot dog with some chips and a Diet Pepsi.
By the time we get home I have only enough time to eat a big piece of chocolate cake from Natale's and to say, "Good night."