Category: A Martinez


A Girls Weekend To Remember

May 28th, 2012 — 10:07pm

When it comes to the start of summer, what better way to celebrate than by catching up with a dear friend? This weekend, that’s exactly what I did — heading to Ohio to visit my good friend of more than twenty years, Marilyn

Friends Forever: Marilyn and me

As always, visiting Marilyn is a perfect, soul soothing combination of female bonding time and laidback fun. Marilyn lives near Youngstown in Boardman, a charming hamlet with friendly people and a strong sense of community, not to mention great restaurants and scenic parks. Over the last couple of days, we enjoyed a taste of it all.

Friday night, we had dinner at Caffe Capri, a colorful Italian bistro that delights with gracious staff, Sinatra tunes in the background and a marvelous menu. We nibbled on fresh baked bread with cheese-sprinkled oil before savoring a lemon arugula salad and swordfish with balsamic vinegar and watermelon salsa that was out of this world.

Saturday was one of those perfect, relaxing days that made me thankful all over again for the blessings of girlfriends. After sleeping in late, Marilyn and I had a leisurely breakfast on her screened-in porch, made all the more cozy by her lovingly tended plants and the lush surrounding trees outside. Then, it was off to Kohl’s to do some shopping. I love, love, love Kohl’s, especially since I found some fun, flirty dresses for next girls weekend — South Beach in June.

From Kohl‘s, after hitting a few more stores, we stopped in Barnes and Noble for late-afternoon smoothies (strawberry banana — yum) before going back to Marilyn’s for a couch potato evening of TV, pizza and reminiscing about what brought us together in the first place: our love and affection for actor A Martinez.

Yesterday, after driving around town and renting the entertaining George Clooney-Ryan Gosling flick “Ides of March,” we continued a longtime annual tradition — doing dinner on my last night at Springfield Grille. On the menu — crab stuffed orange roughy with a side of baked sweet potato drizzled with cinnamon butter. Yuuuum.

 Of course, the best part of all these wonderful meals was sharing them with Marilyn. As you can only do with true, lifelong friends, we picked up right where left off, talking about so many things — family, love, career, travel, politics and how time really does race by. Having soul sisters like Marilyn to share it with is a big part of what makes life so sweet. I can’t wait to see her again.

2 comments » | A Martinez, Barnes And Noble, girls weekends, Kohl's, Ohio

Dinner With A Dear Friend

June 18th, 2009 — 11:53pm

Last week, I caught up with my dear friend Marilyn, in town from Ohio, and her lovely daughter Karen.

The three of us met for dinner at Basso 56, a delightful downstairs bistro in NYC’s Theater District with staffers who have mastered the art of swift service that doesn’t feel rushed.

Basso 56: I couldn’t have been happier to stumble upon this slice of Italian charm in NYC’s Theater District

Marilyn and I hadn’t seen each other since our glorious brunch last summer with mutual friend, actor A Martinez. Over a delicious dinner (grilled salmon with roasted pepper puree sauce for me), we talked about A’s recent exit from “One Life To Live,” the five-star entertainment of this year’s Tony Awards and the budding writing talents of Marilyn’s teenage grandson.

Marilyn is an amazing woman. In addition to being a wonderful friend, she’s a devoted mother and grandmother with a great sense of fun and a true appreciation of life’s pleasures, big and small.

I’ve lost count of how many times, over the years, we’ve curled up on her couch and shared hours of effortless conversation over a cup of tea. The pleasure of her company has comforted me through many a trial — from the deaths of my beloved parents to multiple breakups — and remains one of life’s sweetest joys.

She and Karen were off to see “Jersey Boys” so our time together was far too brief. Still, I know whenever we see each other again, we’ll pick up right where we left off.

We always do.

1 comment » | A Martinez, Basso 56, Jersey Boys, long-distance friends, NYC's Theater District, the pleasures of tea, Tony Awards

Dinner With A Dear Friend

June 18th, 2009 — 6:53pm

Last week, I caught up with my dear friend Marilyn, in town from Ohio, and her lovely daughter Karen.

The three of us met for dinner at Basso 56, a delightful downstairs bistro in NYC’s Theater District with staffers who have mastered the art of swift service that doesn’t feel rushed.

Basso 56: I couldn’t have been happier to stumble upon this slice of Italian charm in NYC’s Theater District

Marilyn and I hadn’t seen each other since our glorious brunch last summer with mutual friend, actor A Martinez. Over a delicious dinner (grilled salmon with roasted pepper puree sauce for me), we talked about A’s recent exit from “One Life To Live,” the five-star entertainment of this year’s Tony Awards and the budding writing talents of Marilyn’s teenage grandson.

Marilyn is an amazing woman. In addition to being a wonderful friend, she’s a devoted mother and grandmother with a great sense of fun and a true appreciation of life’s pleasures, big and small.

I’ve lost count of how many times, over the years, we’ve curled up on her couch and shared hours of effortless conversation over a cup of tea. The pleasure of her company has comforted me through many a trial — from the deaths of my beloved parents to multiple breakups — and remains one of life’s sweetest joys.

She and Karen were off to see “Jersey Boys” so our time together was far too brief. Still, I know whenever we see each other again, we’ll pick up right where we left off.

We always do.

Comment » | A Martinez, Basso 56, Jersey Boys, long-distance friends, NYC's Theater District, the pleasures of tea, Tony Awards

Inside The GLAAD Awards

April 1st, 2009 — 11:52pm

Saturday night, I attended the 20th annual GLAAD Media Awards, recognizing excellence in representations of the LGBT community.

Held at the Marriott Marquis hotel in Times Square, the two hour plus ceremony included nominees in film, television, documentary and journalism — and featured celebrities from each of those realms.

The evening kicked off with presenters and former “Law & Order” co-stars S. Epatha Merkerson and Chris “Mr. Big” Noth.

Former “Law & Order” co-stars S. Epatha Merkerson and Chris Noth

As I mentioned on Sunday, I managed to catch Chris just as he was leaving and get a picture with him. My heart was racing as I told him I “really, really, really, really” appreciated it. At 53, the man still has what it takes to make this single gal swoon.

After my Big encounter, I returned to my seat in the balcony of the Marquis’ Broadway Ballroom.

Actress Judith Light introduced a moving montage of historical figures in the LGBT movement, from Brandon Teena and Matthew Shepard to Harvey Milk and Ellen DeGeneres. Among the additional star-studded presenters were actress/singer Vanessa Williams…

Vanessa Williams received a very warm reception from the crowd

…Her “Ugly Betty” co-stars Ana Ortiz and Michael Urie…

Ana Ortiz and Michael Urie presented People En Español with the GLAAD Award for outstanding Spanish Language magazine

…and “Gray’s Anatomy” star T.R. Knight. Special Recognition Awards were given to Suze Orman and Phil Donahue, while MSNBC anchor Keith Olbermann was recognized for his segment and YouTube sensation criticizing California’s passage of Proposition 8.

MSNBC anchor Keith Olbermann received thunderous applause

As I watched the GLAAD winners take to the stage, I couldn’t help thinking about past award galas I’ve attended at the Marquis.

Back in 1990, I watched my good friend A Martinez win a Daytime Emmy for Best Actor for his work on NBC’s “Santa Barbara.” Just a few years ago in 2007, I enjoyed the recognition of my peers as well, picking up (along with my Quinn & Co. colleagues) the HSMAI Adrian Award for Best Travel PR Campaign of the year.

Yes, it’s definitely an honor to be nominated. But, as Kate Winslet said after picking up her long-awaited Oscar — winning is a lot better!

Comment » | A Martinez, Adrian Awards, Chris Noth, Daytime Emmys, GLAAD Media Awards, HSMAI, Keith Olbermann, Marriott Marquis, Oscar winners, Proposition 8, Quinn and Company, Suze Orman, YouTube

Inside The GLAAD Awards

April 1st, 2009 — 6:52pm

Saturday night, I attended the 20th annual GLAAD Media Awards, recognizing excellence in representations of the LGBT community.

Held at the Marriott Marquis hotel in Times Square, the two hour plus ceremony included nominees in film, television, documentary and journalism — and featured celebrities from each of those realms.

The evening kicked off with presenters and former “Law & Order” co-stars S. Epatha Merkerson and Chris “Mr. Big” Noth.

Former “Law & Order” co-stars S. Epatha Merkerson and Chris Noth

As I mentioned on Sunday, I managed to catch Chris just as he was leaving and get a picture with him. My heart was racing as I told him I “really, really, really, really” appreciated it. At 53, the man still has what it takes to make this single gal swoon.

After my Big encounter, I returned to my seat in the balcony of the Marquis’ Broadway Ballroom.

Actress Judith Light introduced a moving montage of historical figures in the LGBT movement, from Brandon Teena and Matthew Shepard to Harvey Milk and Ellen DeGeneres. Among the additional star-studded presenters were actress/singer Vanessa Williams…

Vanessa Williams received a very warm reception from the crowd

…Her “Ugly Betty” co-stars Ana Ortiz and Michael Urie…

Ana Ortiz and Michael Urie presented People En Español with the GLAAD Award for outstanding Spanish Language magazine

…and “Gray’s Anatomy” star T.R. Knight. Special Recognition Awards were given to Suze Orman and Phil Donahue, while MSNBC anchor Keith Olbermann was recognized for his segment and YouTube sensation criticizing California’s passage of Proposition 8.

MSNBC anchor Keith Olbermann received thunderous applause

As I watched the GLAAD winners take to the stage, I couldn’t help thinking about past award galas I’ve attended at the Marquis.

Back in 1990, I watched my good friend A Martinez win a Daytime Emmy for Best Actor for his work on NBC’s “Santa Barbara.” Just a few years ago in 2007, I enjoyed the recognition of my peers as well, picking up (along with my Quinn & Co. colleagues) the HSMAI Adrian Award for Best Travel PR Campaign of the year.

Yes, it’s definitely an honor to be nominated. But, as Kate Winslet said after picking up her long-awaited Oscar — winning is a lot better!

Comment » | A Martinez, Adrian Awards, Chris Noth, Daytime Emmys, GLAAD Media Awards, HSMAI, Keith Olbermann, Marriott Marquis, Oscar winners, Proposition 8, Quinn and Company, Suze Orman, YouTube

An A-mazing Friday Night

November 18th, 2008 — 12:26am

Friday night, I had the unexpected pleasure of catching up with my good friend, actor A Martinez. A was in town for his second recurring stint on ABC’s “One Life to Live.”

A Martinez as villainous Ray Montez in a scene from ABC-TV’s “One Life to Live”

As I mentioned in August, A and I became friends when we met at the Daytime Emmy Awards back in 1988, during his heyday as the heroic lead character on another soap opera, NBC’s “Santa Barbara.” Over the course of the last two decades, we’ve shared many memorable meals together and Friday was no exception.

A and I had dinner at Coppola’s on the Upper West Side. A cozy, moderately-priced bistro, Coppola’s has been serving up brick oven pizza and homestyle Italian fare for nearly 20 years.

Coppola’s West: A cozy slice of Italian charm on NYC’s Upper West Side

While I savored roasted tilapia over paglia e fieno pasta complemented by a glass of Chardonnay, A enjoyed chicken Milanese and we shared a sinfully rich chocolate cake for dessert.

Our conversation covered everything from this year’s historic presidential election and Obama’s brilliant use of the Internet in engaging Americans of all ages, to coping with the departure of a beloved co-worker. I told A about my PR colleague and dear friend, Morty, whose upcoming exit will leave an enormous void in my workday. A empathized, having gone through the same experience when his “Santa Barbara” leading lady of seven years left the show several months before he did.

After we hugged each other goodbye, I was surprised to check the time and discover that four and a half hours had gone by. That’s the wonderful thing about good friends — you can always pick up right where you left off.

Be sure to catch A when he turns up on OLTL again as villainous Ray Montez. His scenes are slated to air at the end of December.

Comment » | 2008 presidential election, A Martinez, coping with a co-worker's departure, Coppola's West, Daytime Emmys, Obama, OLTL, One Life to Live, Santa Barbara, Upper West Side

An A-mazing Friday Night

November 17th, 2008 — 7:26pm

Friday night, I had the unexpected pleasure of catching up with my good friend, actor A Martinez. A was in town for his second recurring stint on ABC’s “One Life to Live.”

A Martinez as villainous Ray Montez in a scene from ABC-TV’s “One Life to Live”

As I mentioned in August, A and I became friends when we met at the Daytime Emmy Awards back in 1988, during his heyday as the heroic lead character on another soap opera, NBC’s “Santa Barbara.” Over the course of the last two decades, we’ve shared many memorable meals together and Friday was no exception.

A and I had dinner at Coppola’s on the Upper West Side. A cozy, moderately-priced bistro, Coppola’s has been serving up brick oven pizza and homestyle Italian fare for nearly 20 years.

Coppola’s West: A cozy slice of Italian charm on NYC’s Upper West Side

While I savored roasted tilapia over paglia e fieno pasta complemented by a glass of Chardonnay, A enjoyed chicken Milanese and we shared a sinfully rich chocolate cake for dessert.

Our conversation covered everything from this year’s historic presidential election and Obama’s brilliant use of the Internet in engaging Americans of all ages, to coping with the departure of a beloved co-worker. I told A about my PR colleague and dear friend, Morty, whose upcoming exit will leave an enormous void in my workday. A empathized, having gone through the same experience when his “Santa Barbara” leading lady of seven years left the show several months before he did.

After we hugged each other goodbye, I was surprised to check the time and discover that four and a half hours had gone by. That’s the wonderful thing about good friends — you can always pick up right where you left off.

Be sure to catch A when he turns up on OLTL again as villainous Ray Montez. His scenes are slated to air at the end of December.

Comment » | 2008 presidential election, A Martinez, coping with a co-worker's departure, Coppola's West, Daytime Emmys, Obama, OLTL, One Life to Live, Santa Barbara, Upper West Side

Big Sunday Postscript

November 17th, 2008 — 3:03am

This weekend of family fun was bookended too perfectly to let it close without a postscript.

It kicked off with a most fabulous Friday, thanks to a surprise dinner with my longtime dear friend, actor A Martinez. It ended tonight with meeting Chris “Mr. Big” Noth after his riveting performance in “Farragut North.”

Chris Noth and Me: The perfect end to a perfect weekend

I can’t wait to see what the rest of this week has in store for me!

Coming up…a review of “Farragut North” and a recap of my A-mazing Friday night.

Comment » | A Martinez, Chris Noth, Farragut North, Mr. Big

Big Sunday Postscript

November 16th, 2008 — 10:03pm

This weekend of family fun was bookended too perfectly to let it close without a postscript.

It kicked off with a most fabulous Friday, thanks to a surprise dinner with my longtime dear friend, actor A Martinez. It ended tonight with meeting Chris “Mr. Big” Noth after his riveting performance in “Farragut North.”

Chris Noth and Me: The perfect end to a perfect weekend

I can’t wait to see what the rest of this week has in store for me!

Coming up…a review of “Farragut North” and a recap of my A-mazing Friday night.

Comment » | A Martinez, Chris Noth, Farragut North, Mr. Big

An A-mazing Afternoon

August 27th, 2008 — 12:46am

Sunday, I had brunch with my dear friend of 17 years Marilyn, in town from Ohio. It was a very special afternoon for us, because we were joined by our mutual friend, actor A Martinez and his family.

This get together was nearly two decades in the making. Marilyn and I connected back in 1991 over our shared affection for A and his work on the NBC soap opera “Santa Barbara.” As I blogged last week (http://melissa-singlegalinthecity.blogspot.com/2008/08/brunch-with-one-of-my-heroes.html), A and I became friends after meeting at the 1988 Daytime Emmys. Marilyn too has become good friends with him.

Still, with Marilyn in Ohio, A in California and me in New York, the stars never aligned for all of us to be in the same place at the same time. Serendipity finally smiled upon us on the other day, with an afternoon that was more than worth the wait.

While I had met A’s delightful wife Leslie years ago at the Emmys, this was my first encounter with their children–Cody, 21, Devon, 19, and Ren, 14. All three of them are exceptional–engaging, intelligent people who have inherited their parents’ warmth and compassion, not to mention their father’s acting and musical talents.

Over a three-hour brunch at Arte Café on the Upper West Side–which serves a brioche French Toast with apple cinnamon sauce that is to die for–the free-flowing conversation covered a lot of ground. Devon mentioned her excitement about going to see “Rent” with her siblings, while the rest of the Martinez clan raved so much about “Osage: August County” that I’m going to see it this weekend. Cody shared his poignant take on the artistic struggles of a musician while Ren told us about building homes this summer on a Navajo reservation.

By the time we got around to sharing an assortment of desserts–cheesecake, chocolate mousse, caramel gelato, and passionfruit sorbet–I felt like I had come to know another side of A. Through the years, he has spoken at great length and with great affection for his family. Now I know why.

With hugs all around, we parted outside the restaurant, but not before taking one last picture…

Together At Last: Marilyn, A and me

As Marilyn and I walked away, we marveled over our memorable afternoon. And I felt thankful all over again for the blessing of good friends, including one who just happens to be one of the greatest stars in the galaxy.

Comment » | A Martinez, Arte Cafe, Daytime Emmys, Santa Barbara

Back to top