Dani Shapiro
April 9, 2007

Book Tour

Every time I land in LA I feel like I’m walking into a sliding doors version of my life. I’ve never lived in Los Angeles though in aggregate I’ve probably spent a year here in dribs and drabs–a few weeks here, a month there. It’s a city I know well, but only as a visitor. My husband and I regularly entertain fantasies of moving here–especially because it would be an easier commute for him, as a screenwriter, than the CT/LA trips that he makes regularly. But what would it be like to live here? Certainly my days wouldn’t be like these few days: beautiful hotel on the beach, room service coffee with hot milk first thing in the morning, meetings and phone interviews and even a lunchtime trip to the LA Barney’s New York — which may well be my favorite department store in the world. Michael and I had lunch at Barney Greengrass –on the roof of Barney’s in Beverly Hills –which bears little or no resemblance to the Barney Greengrass of the Upper West Side, which has catered every Yom Kippur break-the-fast we’ve ever had, as well as my son’s bris and my mother’s shiva. That Barney Greengrass is one of the only places left where the Upper West Side feels like the Upper West Side, complete with cranky, overwhelmed waiters. But the Bevery Hills Barney Greengrass has a Cobb Salad on the menu and happy, attentive surfer-waiters, and the conversation drifting around us was a pleasant blur of Hollywood speak. I actually heard the word “characterization” at the next table. You never hear that word in Connecticut. Could we live here? Today–as I look out over the Pacific, at a view we could never afford, as I get ready to go downstairs and meet my agent for a glass of good white wine, as I contemplate tomorrow’s yoga schedule instead of the solitary unrolling of my mat–today, I think perhaps yes.