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2020 Journal

JANUARAY 29, 2020

I’m seeing a lot of “energetic themes” running around out there. One is that people are becoming aware of their inability to let go of things that are not in their highest and best. Whether it’s a relationship, your past, a house, a job, something you regret, someone that hurt you....You can never see it clearly and heal from it unless you let go from your attachment to it. Sometimes we don’t even know we are holding onto to things that are dragging us. How much thought are you giving something? How much importance are you giving either to a person, a situation, an object or an outcome? and how is that serving you? There is no use in trying to dissect past problems and look for answers; you do not really need answers. Holding on to pain doesn’t fix anything. Replaying the past over and over again doesn’t change it, and wishing things were different doesn’t help anything...and neither does going back to a relationship that has stopped evolving or serving you. The beauty is that I've found that releasing who or what no longer serves our highest and best, brings about manifestation. Things we've desired to manifest start showing up for us as we release who and what has been blocking the way. It is precisely the things our ego holds on to that block the things we want the most. The comfort that comes after releasing and then seeing the benefits of it is priceless.




MARCH 3, 2020

It’s not the virus itself that is causing issues, it’s the panic and fear that are deeply effecting our bella Italia. Travel bans, restaurant/hotel closures, empty streets, loss of revenue... all these things are causing distress and fears. She needs a little love and healing. Our group is so powerful with a shared, focused intention. Let’s do this tonight. 10pm Italan and most of Europe, 9pm London, 4pm NYC, 1pm PST, 8am Wednesday morning Sydney. Set your alarm now!!!





MARCH 7, 2020





Can you feel the change coming? Let’s hurry it along by changing the conversation and looking at things differently.








MARCH 9, 2020


Every morning I wake up to messages from people all over the world asking how our family is doing. Thank you all. I always see that the worst of times often brings out the best in people. First of all, I am in Florence, which is in a “yellow zone” that is located just south of the “red zone” – and that means that the people here are not quarantined and free to come and go as we please. Schools all across the country have been closed since Thursday and we are told they will reopen on March 15th, but the persistent rumor says that they will remain closed until after Easter. Even though Dean is super interesting and one of my favorite people in the world, I may kill him – but wait – all funerals and weddings are cancelled, so maybe I'll wait. In fact, so many things are cancelled or closed - like theaters, museums and churches. And if something is open or there is some kind of gathering, you must remain one meter away from each other. I still need to convert from feet and inches to figure that out.


The vibe here is NOT one of panic or fear – it’s just eerie. I mean I have lived here for 6 glorious years so far and feel so incredibly blessed to be living la dolce vita, but one of the things I hate about living here is the amount of tourists that fill the city. Now I actually miss them. As you walk the streets of Florence, you notice how many of the shops, restaurants and hotels that are closed. All the piazzas are empty. As a city (country) that makes most of its income through tourism, the repercussions of this ring very loudly in the air. I even miss the loud voices of the American college kids, who were forced to go back home during their semester abroad. So many dreams crushed. Yes, the vibe is eerie.

But we are making the best of it. Dean is leaving for college in September (we are still unsure where, as we are still waiting for decisions) so I’m getting to spend more time with him and teaching him how to cook, which has been so much fun. We get to snuggle more with our poochies (Junior is starting Chemotherapy today, so keep him in your prayers). We are reading more and catching up with all those movies and shows we’ve been meaning to watch. We go for long walks and breathe in the beauty of the landscape and of spring starting to show herself. I often escape to Esselunga (my supermarket) which is still stocked with everything. See, Italy really is a self-sufficient country, supplying itself with its own delicious foods and products. As such, we are cooking and eating too much – of course Seth Bogner and Dean have not gained any weight… We are supposed to respect the new rules and be responsible citizens and not gather, but we are social creatures and have been getting together with some friends and family over the past few days. Eating and drinking wine; being normal.


I follow the lead of the Italians, who are so incredibly resilient. Italy’s history is long and they have endured much, but somehow, they always survive and come out looking fabulous and drinking wine and eating pasta. Seth and I admire the Italians and have a great deal of respect on how they are dealing with this crisis. Understand something very important – Italy has one of the best healthcare systems in the world, which is one of the main reasons they are so on top of the situation. Perhaps that is why we know of so many cases of the virus here – everyone goes to the doctor if they aren’t feeling well, because they can. They don’t have to fear if they can’t afford it or don’t have insurance. The other thing to keep in mind is that Italy has a huge population of elderly people (because of the great healthcare system) therefore, it is a reason that people are dying of the virus – it is mostly the elderly. The virus doesn’t really effect the young and healthy.


Want to do something for us here in Italy? Go out and buy something “made in Italy” today. Whether it’s some olive oil, wine, leather goods or an article of clothing. Just anything. We need it. You may not realize it, but so much of our lives have been influenced by the Italians – beyond the food you eat and the clothes you wear. So, please, support Italy. And when this is over, please come visit!! Oh, and please keep the prayers and love coming.




MARCH 11, 2020


A few hours after I wrote my first post, we had received notification from the government that indeed schools would be closed until April 5th. We spent the rest of the day wondering if maybe we could find an International School where Dean might be able to go to finish his IB program and senior year outside of Italy. It could be an adventure! Or maybe we would just go back to NYC for bit and see old friends or maybe to Florida to surprise Miles Bogner. Or maybe, we would all pile in the car and go south to Puglia or Calabria and wait this out on a beach. Or catch a short, plane ride to Spain or France or Portugal and see some cities we’ve been wanting to tour. Ahh, the possibilities seemed endless. We should absolutely take advantage of this time. That evening, I went to bed only to wake up a few hours later to Seth Bogner saying, “All of Italy is on lockdown. The whole country is quarantined.” It wasn’t necessarily a surprise; a few people had mentioned the possibility (to which, of course, I had rolled my eyes at them). I immediately thought of 2 friends who had to leave in the morning to be with their kids and wondered if they would be able to get out…and suddenly I realized that all those possibilities I’d considered only a few hours before, were gone. It was the first time I was feeling a bit of panic. Honestly, I had no idea what was meant by being in a quarantined country, but it wasn’t good.


I woke in the morning to find that one of my friends that was supposed to leave in the morning, had heard the news the night before and got into her car and drove to Austria and is keeping herself quarantined at her home there. My other friend was lucky enough to have booked what would be the last flight out of Italy. The last flight. That sounded like a heavy door closing.


I grabbed Dean and at 8:30am we went food shopping at Esselunga. It turns out that this was a major error on my part; the new “Decreto Ministeriale” (Government decree) says that while the supermarkets will remain open and you are free to go, it must be only one family member allowed to go. Breaking rules was never less fun. It also turns out that some Italians already knew what was coming and had shopped the day before, leaving the shelves not as full as I would have like to see them, but there was still plenty. There was also a guard at the entrance of the supermarket who was monitoring the amount of people entering and making sure they were staying a healthy distance apart from each other (this is also part of the new decree). By the time I left the guard had his work cut out for him as the crowds rushed in.


There were a lot of people wearing masks and many people took advantage of the free plastic gloves Esselunga was supplying. But the vibe was chill. In fact, people were actually kind of nice. I am not saying that Florentine people are not normally nice, but don’t ever expect easy smiles or any kind of warmth…let’s say that they are a very reserved people. But they were being courteous and making eye contact, which felt good. Making my way to the pasta aisle, I chuckled a bit to myself when I saw all the pasta picked over, except for the whole grain section, which seemed perfectly untouched. You gotta love the Italians; they’d rather starve than eat that shit. I was curious to make my way over to the toilet paper section, for I have been hearing from so many of my American friends of the TP shortage. Yesterday, I spoke to a friend in Sydney, Australia who said the same thing, but added that the Chinese were buying cases of it to send back to quarantined China, where I suppose lots of people are waiting to wipe their tushes. When I turned the corner and saw loads of TP, I just smiled. Another reason you gotta love Italy…we’ve got bidets.…we don’t need to hoard TP…BTW, why doesn’t everyone have bidets?


So, the next order of business was understanding exactly WTF was in this new decree, which is being referred to as #iorestoacasa (I will remain home)…and, basically, like the name suggests, we are expected to stay at home until April 3rd, which is 23 days from today. Italy is divided into 20 regions and each region is divided into provinces. So, I live in the Tuscan region and in the province of Florence and the city of Florence. Basically, you are only allowed to stay in your province if you leave the house and you are only allowed to leave the house for 3 reasons… the first is if you must go to work (assuming that your job hasn’t figured out how to get you to work from home), #2 to buy food and #3 for a medical reason. There will be police check points that will stop you and ask you why you aren’t home…you need to carry around proof or sort of an affidavit saying that you need to travel for work or medical reason. better have one of those 3 reasons and proof of that, otherwise your ass is getting a 200 euro fine. If you are stopped, you can make a verbal declaration that the police will transcribe, but they will check to see if your ass is lying on subsequent checks. Supermarkets are to stay open, but not past 6pm and will be closed on the weekends. Coffee shops and restaurants can be open, as long as they are able to maintain a “distanza di sicurezza” between guests (a secure distance, which is a meter space between people or 3’2”) and they must also close by 6pm. Museums, gyms, theaters…all closed. No gatherings of any kind allowed – that includes weddings and funerals. You can go out for walks/runs/bike rides as long as it’s not in a group.

People keep asking us “So what do you think about the virus?” Well, I honestly don’t know, but I need to have faith in the Italian government. They have sacrificed the economy of the entire country to protect the lives of its citizens. That's pretty intense and we need to respect that. If you would have asked me a few weeks ago, I would have been screaming like so many, “big deal! it’s the fucking flu! Every year thousands of people die of the flu. If you’re young and healthy, you’ve got nothing to worry about!” Looking back, I can say that was grossly ignorant and selfish. Sure, if I got the virus, I probably would heal quickly, but that’s not the problem. The problem is that many people don’t have the virus, but they are carriers, who end up infecting the elderly and the sick. There are only a few thousand respirators in Italy, which means that hospitals will start having to make decisions on who lives and who dies. So, no, it’s not like the regular flu in that sense. Last week, when all of Northern Italy was told they would be quarantined, thousands flocked to the trains and their cars and tried to escape to the south. At the time, I really didn’t understand the ramifications of this, but now I do...the whole country is understanding the consequences. Even tho these people thought they weren’t sick, many were carriers and brought the virus with them and infected people who may have never gotten sick. I had been planning the same; I wanted to wait this out at some beach in Southern Italy. Did I realize I was being incredibly selfish? Of course not, but now I do. As someone who lived in Manhattan during 9/11 and the blackout of 2003, I thought I understood the rules, but this is a whole different ballgame that I am learning more about every day.


I think that everything that happens can serve as a lesson and an opportunity for growth. Your growth depends on your reaction. I know a lot of people are still busy blaming “them” (and it seems there are plenty of “thems” to choose from) and there are a lot of conspiracy theories. Maybe they’re right…but what difference does it make? It’s here now and how are we going to react to it? I think that this virus is here to help us realize that we’re all ONE and we are all in this together. What affects one person anywhere affects everyone everywhere, since we are part of this system called Nature. And maybe it’s also a time to sit still. To reflect. To look within. To slow down. A time to test how long you can be confined in a house with your husband and your son without killing them. We’ve made it to day 2…only 23 to go. #prayforitaly #buymadeinitaly



MARCH 13, 2020


Greetings from Florence, Italy on day 4 of the lockdown.... and it sounds like the rest of Europe and the US are not far behind us. Mother Earth needs a little love and healing. Our group is so powerful with a shared, focused intention. Let’s do this tonight. 8pm Italy and most of Europe, 7pm London, 3pm NYC, 12pm PST, 6am tomorrow morning Sydney. Set your alarm now!!!



MARCH 15, 2020




My gorgeous nephews Alessandro and Mattia with the Italian slogan that is helping us all get thru this - "Andra Tutto Bene" - everything is going to be alright





MARCH 15, 2020


Day 5 of the Lockdown… Welcome to a New World.

So, a few hours after I wrote my second update, the Italian government decided that its citizens weren’t taking the rules seriously enough, and made them even stricter. Basically, the message is “just stay the fuck home.” They have now closed most cafes, restaurants, stores and parks. The Italians took away everything but the essentials; supermarkets are open, pharmacies are open and the tobacco shops are open (they usually sell coffee as well). Ya gotta love the Italians. Eat. Drink. Smoke. Stay home with your family. WTF is the problem? And they are being really strict about the “distanza di sicurezza” and as such there are these crazy lines waiting to get into the supermarkets and pharmacies. The lines were long, because everyone is respecting the space and keeping meter of distance between each person waiting. Ya gotta love the Italians.


They even got into the nitty gritties – so only one person in your family can do the food shopping. In fact, the limit on the number of people that can be in a car is 2; one person driving and the other person in the back seat. Got 3 people in the car? Your ass is getting a fine. And are you in your car for any other reason than getting food, medical assistance or you perform some type of important work? Yes, a fine for you too. I tried to convince my cleaning lady that she really does perform a vital service, but she still refuses to come.


And they even set rules for walking your dog…Yes, you’re free to walk your poochies, but you have to do it alone and it should not be longer than “necessary.” I wonder what my Zelda and Junior would say to that? Seth Bogner and I have enjoyed our walks with the dogs more than usual. And even if you’re just walking your dog or taking a stroll (which is frowned upon) you must carry around a signed affidavit from the “Ministero dell’Interno” stating what you’re doing, in case you are stopped. Italians love their paperwork. So, no one is afraid of the virus anymore, now everyone is afraid of getting stopped for a “controllo” (check) and getting fined. You better have your documents and paperwork ready.


At about 4pm yesterday, our bell rang and I jumped up with so much excitement! I mean normally if my bell rings, I turn into the Grinch and scream “Who the f is here?” But yesterday, I buzzed the gate open and ran outside to greet my visitor as he came up the hill to my house. It was the Amazon delivery guy (home deliveries are not only acceptable, but encouraged so you can stay home). This poor delivery guy was not expecting this woman in funky pajamas and gray roots (note to self, don’t be lazy, when it’s time, go get your roots touched up) running up to his truck with a crazed smile. I was telling him how happy I was to see him and he was kind of looking around like who is this girl talking to? While I do speak fluent-ish Italian, it’s not exactly that Sofia Loren sexy Italian; I have a peculiar American/Calabrese accent that makes me seem a little “special” to the Italians, but especially to the Florentines, who are the gatekeepers to speaking proper Italian. So, this guy was not exactly sure WTF my intentions were. He thought I was just excited to receive my package and didn’t catch on to my attempts at starting conversation. I even offered him a coffee, but he wanted nothing to do with me LOL

I’ve continued giving Dean cooking lessons – he now can make a Bolognese sauce, pasta e fazool, chicken curry, rice, butter cake, French toast... Dean is supposed to be doing school work, but for some reason no one can concentrate. I’ve been in discussions with people here and we all seem to be suffering from “fog brain”….I am not sure exactly why, but it seems to have affected nearly everyone here. Maybe it’s some kind of defense mechanism that clicked into place to deal with this trauma and uncertainty? Listen, we are all interconnected and we are all ONE, so we all feel each other – and right now, the intense emotions that are going on in the collective consciousness are making us retreat into this fog. And you know what else is funny? You would think that sitting home all day you would want to reach out and talk to people, but there’s something more powerful at work here – it’s nature working through us. The government has told us to isolate, but intuitively, I believe we all know to do it. It is the time of the metamorphosis. We are in our cocoons waiting for the new world to emerge.


I tell you, one of the most difficult part of this has been hearing from my friends in the USA telling me about the chaos going on in our country. There is that part of me that feels so incredibly lucky to be here in Italy, but then I feel an ache in me that I am not with my fellow New Yorkers. I wish everyone would look at Italy and take notes. Did you all watch the videos of the Italians all throughout the country singing together with their neighbors from their windows and balconies? I mean, if you haven’t, please look it up or check out the amazing compilation Girl in Florence put up. And look at the profile picture I posted today of my 2 young nephews with their sign… “Andra tutto bene” – everything is going to be all right. All the kids are making these signs and hanging them all over. It’s the words of the faith that runs deep here. Music, kind words, respecting space…You gotta love the Italians…and I have a feeling that this New World emerging can be a kinder place if we follow the lead of the Italians. Maybe we can all envision the world as a kinder place, so we can all manifest it together? I know that there are not many great leaders in the world, but let’s push this reset button together and start behaving how we want our New World to look.


Maybe humanity is already in the middle of manifesting something special… How many of us have been so tired and wished we could just take a break lately? How many times have we complained that life is going too fast and everything is too hectic? My baby is supposed to go to college in September and I’ve been so stressed that I have so precious little time with him and can I just get a little more…and so here it is. Maybe the whole world needs a break. Did you know that in just this short period of time in China where the factories have been shut down, the levels of the air pollutant nitrogen dioxide are already down by 30%?!? Maybe this virus is a blessing to the whole Earth?

It’s a beautiful day here in Italy and we’re taking it slow and enjoying life. I wish the same for you and your family.



MARCH 17, 2020


Greetings from Florence where we are in our 8th day of the lockdown. Today is also the anniversary of the Lightworkers of Florence. 6 years ago, I held the first class in my living room and today we are over 200 strong 💪 We are the frontline people in this metamorphosis that will give way to a new world and we need to shine our light brighter to manifest a better world. Do not despair; this is an opportunity. Be the light that beckons people. Be the love that quells the fears. Be the Lightworker in all your thoughts and behaviors.



MARCH 23, 2020


Greetings From Florence Italy on lockdown day 14. One day, you will be asked, “Where were you during the Corona lockdown of 2020?” because this is an unprecedented period in history. What will you say about this time? What will others say about you during this time? We are shaping history right now. Many of us in this group have children that will forever be molded by these events. Your energy and your behavior and your reactions will shape our children and therefore, the future. How would you like to be remembered during this time? How will your actions now have a ripple effect into the future? Is your behavior part of the problem or part of the solution? This is not only a time to talk, but to listen…with not only your ears, but with your energetic senses. Reach out to people. Let them know you’re thinking about them. Send kind and comforting notes and listen to people.



MARCH 25, 2020


Lockdown Day 16…or is it 17? What day is it? I keep getting messages from people saying, “hey, where’s the next update…are you ok?” Ahhh, I remember when I was able to communicate. It’s been less than 2 weeks since my last update, yet it feels like ages. You would think that being such a social person, I would want to reach out, but no. I was never a phone person, but now, I see that facetime shit ringing on my phone and I am like, dude, are you kidding me? It seems like every day there was such heavy news.…more cases, more new deaths and now my hometown of NYC is in lockdown. And with all that, the fog brain has become more intense. I have moments of clarity followed by stretches of fog. Living in a country that’s in survival mode puts a lot of stress on the collective consciousness, so the fog brain is keeping us all sane I guess…well, as sane as we all can be. But the fog is also the heaviness of the collective grief we are feeling. The loss of lives, the loss of our normal way of being and the loss of any kind of certainty. This field of grief, fear and uncertainty is the fog. I am, however, still convinced that it has been ages I’ve been locked in here, because I look like I have aged 10 years in the past 3 weeks. It’s not just the 3 inches of gray roots sticking out. You know how sometimes you catch reflections of yourself? I swear I am like who the fuck is that woman?

Oh, but my husband Seth Bogner looks fabulous. I fucking hate him. And then the fog rolls in.

Sometimes if I have the right music playing in the background, I can almost have a groovy flash back. The NYC rave scene of the 90s; the gift that keeps on giving.

So, the Italian government is freaking out, because they think that people aren’t respecting the “io resto a casa” rules, so every few days, they keep making the rules stricter. The supermarkets, pharmacies and tobacco stores are still open, but yesterday I went to my Esselunga to do my weekly shopping. Stood on a line for 45 minutes wearing my mask - I said I would not wear one, but there I was wearing a mask (note to Apple; please change face recognition on my iphone to recognize me with mask on). I mean the lines getting into the supermarket are very civilized in one sense, because everyone waits their turn patiently; in another sense, they’re fucking creepy. Everyone is silent and no one will look at you. I tried to strike up a conversation with the woman in front of me and she just turned her back to me.


I got into the supermarket and was pleased to see that the shelves were still pretty fully stocked, but then I started to notice that certain aisles and sections were roped off with a sign saying you couldn’t buy those items. I got up enough courage to ask one of the workers what that was about and she looked at me like I was crazy and said, “those are unessential items.” So, you could buy any kind of food, cleaning products, beverages, pet supplies – but you cannot buy gardening supplies, toys, office supplies, pots/pans or any cooking utensils, paper plates/cups, candles, socks, underwear… Now, I don’t want to say that the Italian government has not been doing a great job, but seriously? I wanna meet the fucking sadistic bastard who walked around our only lifeline and made the decision about what was essential and what wasn’t. How do you know what’s essential for me? Who was that asshole that said toys aren’t essential right now? Let me tell you something, I am so grateful my kid is 17 and keeps himself entertained, but if this were 10 years ago, you bet your ass I would have had a shitfit in the aisle if I couldn’t buy a Lego set. I had planned on doing a little gardening during this time, but no seeds and soil for me. Unessential. You gotta love the Italians.


Did you all see the videos of the various Italian mayors losing their shit on people, screaming at them to say home?? If you haven’t, please search it. It’s hysterical. You gotta love the Italians and their passionate nature. I grew up with an Italian father who lost his shit like that quite often, so I actually found it comforting. And yeah, it reminded me why I married a nice Jewish boy. A lot of them were screaming about people excessively walking dogs as an excuse to go outside. And in fact, at one point, our dogs were looking at us like WTF, I just peed? As such, the new rule is that you cannot walk your dog further than 200 meters from your house. In fact, no one can go out for a stroll, but if you must, you need to be all by yourself and within 200 meters of your home, which for my NY friends, is about a city block.


I didn’t realize how lucky I was having a roomy house and lots of property to roam on. Some people are in little apartments with no outdoor space and little kids to entertain and make sure they do their homework. It seems that Dean is not doing all the work he’s supposed to do, but I don’t care that much. What am I going to do? Punish him? This is his senior year, so isn’t this punishment enough? Dean was born in June 2002. He is what you call a “9/11 baby” conceived in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, when we all sat home in shock for months glued to the TV. It was a self-imposed isolation in response to another time we sat in this collective fear and grief. But this was supposed to be the special year for our 9/11 babies, high school seniors ready to celebrate their hard work. Graduation ceremonies, prom, senior trips…all but officially cancelled. These babies, who were our beacons of hope in dark times – they were proof that we would not allow the fear to overtake us and they represented our hope for the future – they’re being screwed again…a lifetime of uncertainty for them. But you know that I think everything has a higher purpose. These 9/11 babies and all the “Gen Z” kids have a job to do. It’s a heavy job, but they’re equipped to do it. They will be the change, because they think differently. Burdened with all the problems of the generations before them, is it any wonder so many of these kids suffer from “unexplained” anxiety? And it’s interesting that so many of these Gen Z kids were born “different” with ADD, ADHD, on the autism spectrum, crazy allergies, cognitive and processing issues, social and behavioral issues… and a plethora of diagnoses that have kept parents running from one doctor to another…maybe they were born evolved and ready for what’s to come. Maybe they have this new hard drive that we’ve been trying to fix with our prehistoric thinking, schools and beliefs. We’ve been trying to fit these kids into boxes that will soon be obsolete. It’s us old bastards who are trying to run these old programs on their new, evolved hard drives. Maybe our social norms are of the past and they’re the ones to show us how to move into the future with a deeper understanding of how things should work. Maybe it’s not so much about the physical touch and niceties, but a new understanding of the connection between things, like Nature moves - respecting everyone’s role and the natural relationship between things. Things that maybe we don’t necessarily feel or see, but somehow, they intuitively understand it. Yes, I believe these Gen Zers will help us change. They will be the great leaders we are looking for. I know that my Dean is so into politics and wants to bring great change to the world (no idea how he came out of my vagina), but he is not in that crazed, stuck political way that so many people are that I find so disturbing. He observes politics, politicians and leaders in such a different way – he learns from and understands them all and doesn’t ever get nuts if someone doesn’t agree with his position. And I see a lot of kids his age being similar. They’re not about what separates us; but finding what can bring us together. In the meanwhile, we are still waiting for university acceptance letters…and when those rejections come in, I am going to be really pissed off.


As I watch my fellow New Yorkers and Americans starting to realize that this shit is real, I ask you all to just stay the fuck home. I am not sure if we are doing the “right thing” because this is unprecedented shit and everyone is just taking a guess, but I can tell you that this shit needs to stop and this is the only solution that we have right now. This whole experience is definitely a battle against your ego and selfishness. I mean, you don’t ever think you’re being selfish, right? You’re living your little life and you perceive your own little reality based on your environment and the limiting beliefs that you were either taught or just accepted. And life is so full of distractions now – information being sent to you whether you like it or not. A constant flow of input. Do we really ever get to be the gentle observer of our actions and behaviors? No, because we are always looking outside ourselves for the answer. Something sucks, well it’s someone else’s fault. Everyone sucks. Everyone’s at fault. It’s the media’s fault. My point is that we are so inundated with all these judgments that define who we are that we have stopped taking personal responsibility for the realty that we create. That’s the selfishness I am talking about. The selfishness that we don’t even realize is controlling us. Yes, I am aware of the things that maybe are being handled wrong and all the possible conspiracy theories and the lack of faith we have in our leaders, but if we all are simply responsible for our own actions, reactions and behavior and most importantly, the connection between us, we will be ok. You know, one of the greatest movements in history was the Italian renaissance. It was a time that people came out of the “dark ages” and the plague and there was a rebirth. How did this happen? New thinking. The collective consciousness was able to change the conversation through art, literature and discoveries in the sciences and other fields. The idea that we, as a species, had the ability to evolve just by seeing things in a new way. Every day when you wake up and choose how to perceive things, maybe elevate it a little bit. Whenever you do or say anything, ask yourself if you’re being part of the problem or the solution? This is an unprecedented period in history and we will all remember the people who lifted us. How will you be remembered during this time?






MARCH 29, 2020


Greetings from Florence on Lockdown Day 20… as we hear the rumors that they will extend this lockdown for another month, we’ve taken on my husband Seth’s motto for this time, “We own this lockdown.” While the thought of extending this lockdown sucks to think about, I wonder if everyone is just complaining and rushing for this to be over, without ever really understanding the lessons and taking the opportunity for inner growth right now? What if people miss the point? I fear the lack of inner and social growth far more than I fear the lockdown being extended. If you can’t go outside; go inside. What will you find? Will you be able to find who you really are and who you want to be when this is over? I wish you an amazing inner journey.


MARCH 30, 2020


Lockdown Day 21. So, I went to take my poochies for a walk the other day on our property and I suddenly heard this loud, whirring noise. Like a machine of some kind or maybe a small plane. I looked up and saw nothing and I looked down the hill overlooking Florence and saw nothing. I called Seth Bogner and a few neighbors and they just dismissed me and the noise, but I tell you, there was something about that sound that gave me the heebeegeebees. It lasted about a half hour and then it was gone. The next day, I was told that “they” now have implemented the use of drones here in Italy to check if people are out on the streets. I am so creeped out by that. Italy has become a police state. The cops are everywhere. And in case you didn’t know this, Italy many different types of cops – The Carabinieri, who are the military police force that wear very tight, dark blue uniforms (which can be quite nice depending on the dude), The Polizia di Stato, who are the principal police force here and they wear lighter blue uniforms and cars to match - and then there are the local cops - The Polizia Municipale, who give tickets and they wear silly hats and carry around white, cross-body bags that match their white belts (in fine, Italian leather of course) so you can recognize that they’re assholes waiting to put a ticket on your car. Anyway, so these various cops are out on the streets ready to stop you and check that you have your documents and your signed “autocertificazione” (self-certification) on which you declare where live, where you’re going and that you’re not ill. If you’re stopped and the cops determine you’ve left your house for a reason besides getting food, getting medicine or you’re an essential worker, your ass will get a fine anywhere from 400 to 4000 euros…and prison time is also possible. I just heard that a friend was riding his bike too far from his house and got a 400 euro fine, plus they took his bike and he can’t have it back until April 3rd. These Italians are not fucking around. I’ve heard rumors that it’s much worse in the north of Italy (where most of the cases are) and they are thinking of tracking its citizens via their smartphones to see who came into contact with someone infected with the coronavirus. I am starting to hear what really went on in China from several Chinese friends here – they had a variety of tracking methods…so, don’t tell me that China didn’t have more than 3,000 deaths...

It’s mind-blowing how quickly your rights can disappear. But that’s the moment you have to go within and figure out who you really are. When your position, your way of life and your story are no longer relevant, who are you?


In our house, we don’t watch the news, but every night at 6pm, we listen to the government release the numbers of how many dead and how many more cases. The number of deaths have been so heavy. Italy has over 10,000 deaths now in just a couple of months. But the truth is that every year, Italy has always had the highest flu mortality rate in Europe. I have my theories about why this is… First of all, for those of you who’ve spent any time here in Italy, you will notice that Italians have absolutely no concept of personal space. It was something that took a lot of getting used to. People touch you, bump into you, and stand on top of you even if there’s plenty of space. This Brooklyn girl has given many Italians my infamous death glare while waiting in line and someone behind me stands right on top of me. Back up, bitch. The second thing is the way we all greet here is everyone kisses each other on both cheeks – even the men - which I love, but that’s double the chances. The third thing is, Italians live longer than most other Europeans and so we have a huge elderly population here. Think about the stories of Italians of the early 20th century giving birth to at least 5 kids per family. I mean my mom, who was born in 1928 Calabria, was one of like 9 kids. Now, over the last few decades, the birth rate has dropped dramatically and Italians average less than 2 kids. I suck at math, but that tells you we have a lot of old people.


The other reason, which I know is not based on anything you can really research, is the Italian phenomena of “colpo d’aria”. Literally translated, it means a “hit of air” and let me tell you, this shit is incredibly dangerous for Italians. The Italians believe that if you get hit with air – like a breeze or some kind draft – you will get sick and maybe even die. So, if you come down with a cold, a virus, the flu or some other illness, an Italian will say, “maybe you got un colpo di’aria”. This never ceases to enrage me and I have lost my shit on Italians who say this. But they believe it with every fiber of their being! When we first moved here, Dean was about 12 years old and your average American boy. The temperature would be in the 50s (like 12 C) and the Italian kids at his school would be dressed in down coats, scarves, gloves and God knows how many layers underneath, protecting them against any evil air trying to have contact with skin. And then there would be Dean and the other international kids all dressed in t-shirts. Oh, the glares I would get from these Italian mothers, judging me as the stupid, negligent, American mother. So, when you add this limiting belief to the mix, of course they get sick more! Yet, they live longer. That, I attribute to just living la dolce vita, which, gratefully, is more powerful than any colpo di’aria.


The rumors are heavy that we are going to be in quarantine until at least May, but and soon as the numbers go down, I think we need to get out of the house and start educating people on social and personal responsibility. They should have new autocertificazione that make you certify that you now understand the concept of personal space, the implementation of air kissing and that a colpo di’aria is total bullshit.

While the thought of extending this lockdown sucks to think about, I wonder if everyone is just complaining and rushing for this to be over, without ever really understanding the lessons and taking the opportunity for inner growth right now? What if people miss the point? I fear the lack of inner and social growth far more than I fear the lockdown being extended.


My husband’s new motto in the house is “we own this lockdown” (let us not forget that he’s a bit antisocial). As such, we’ve been faring pretty well, playing cards, having great conversations, watching the wisteria bloom and I’ve been continuing my cooking lessons with Dean. Suddenly he’s Gorden fucking Ramsey. I’ve been cooking longer than I can remember and he’s yelling at me on how to chop onions, how much spice to use and how to hold a knife. He doesn’t understand that I will stab him and make it look like an accident.


The hardest part right now is watching America – and specifically my home town of NYC. Everyone is so frightened and the media there is this enormous, narcissistic, energy vampire that sucks the life out of everyone. Shut that shit off! You know what you have to do right now - and it’s all about personal and social responsibility. The fear is something we’re conditioned to believe when we start thinking we’re the victims. They cannot take away your choice to be personally responsible. They cannot take away your faith. They cannot take away the choice to “own this lockdown”. The other day, I started my book club with my group via WhatsApp. Actually, many others outside my group have joined as well…almost 90 participants from New Zealand to Hawaii! We’re reading “A New Earth” by Eckhart Tolle. I am humbled by the amount of people who are prepared to change their perspective and choose faith over fear.


If you can’t go outside; go inside. What will you find? Will you be able to find who you really are and who you want to be when this is over? I wish you an amazing inner journey.

Love, Ali





APRIL 4, 2020


Lockdown Day 26. While still in the midst of our continued lockdown here in Italy, my thoughts are constantly moving to my hometown of NYC. In terms of this pandemic, NY is where Italy was a few weeks ago. Here, we hope that we are seeing an end in sight, while they are starting to feel the dreaded curve. Did you all see those pictures of the medical ship coming into NY harbor, passing the Statue of Liberty? That was a powerful image for me that made me quite emotional. NY’s got this!! Ships coming into NY harbor and passing our beautiful Lady Liberty has been a symbol of hope and opportunity for millions of people, including my mother who arrived by ship in the early 60’s from Italy. In my last post, a few people thought that I was criticizing Italy for how it’s handling this crisis. I mean I am not exactly comfortable with what’s going on, but I do think the Italians are doing the best they can and I am incredibly grateful to the Italians, who have endured much in their long history. Also, somehow, it’s a source of comfort for me to be quarantined in Italy. You see, history has a funny way of repeating itself to show you what you need to see. In fact, you might say that my story here today started way before I was conceived. It started when my mother spent over 3 years of her life in quarantine in Italy.

My mother grew up in a tiny, but beautiful town in Calabria, called San Lucido. The town is perched on top of a hill on the Tyrrhenian Sea. She was one of 9 kids. My grandfather was a professor of music and an orchestra leader. When WWII hit, no one needed a musician, so they were poor as shit. Calabria was ravaged by the war. My mother used to tell me stories of these holes that were dug into the ground so their skinny little bodies could jump into one when the planes started bombing. I wonder the effectiveness of this strategy? No fucking way would I jump in that hole. But, then again, no one ever knows what they’ll do until they’re faced with survival.


My mother and her family would survive the war and start getting on their feet again when my mother contracted tuberculosis in 1949. TB is a nasty disease that is highly contagious and attacks your lungs and it was an epidemic in Italy for a long time. But, during the fascist era, the Italian government created a medical task force to deal with the problem, which led to many great things like the Italian medical insurance system, some worthy drugs and the implementation of the sanitarium hospital. These sanitariums were medical facilities created to treat long-term illnesses and quarantine the infected. They were usually located in the mountains, as they believed that the clean air and isolation would help cure patients. Basically, you were sent to a sanitarium in hopes that you would be cured, if not, you would die there without the risk of infecting others. So, my 20-year-old mother, who had a very severe case of TB, had to leave her family and was sent to one of these sanitariums somewhere in Salerno; a few hours north of her home town. Shall we say #italyquarantine1949?


I grew up hearing my mother tell the horror stories of poverty, hunger, death, and war, but actually, my mother spoke quite fondly of her time in quarantine. Some of my happiest memories are sitting next to my mother as she taught me how to crochet, which is a skill that she learned at the sanitarium. She’d also tell me dirty jokes that would make me blush and then add the name of the person who had told her the joke in the sanitarium. I would wonder how all this would go on, but again, no one knows what they will do when faced with survival. She also learned how to give injections, which would be how she would earn money when she would finally return to San Lucido in mid 1952.


Those were the stories my mom would tell me, but I wouldn’t hear the rest of her story until the summer of 1989 when I was 20 years old and my father had died a few months earlier in May. You see, my mother had met my father in New York in 1964, only a few months after she had arrived in her new country at the age of 34. For my father, (who was also originally from Calabria, but had spent nearly 20 years in Florence before leaving for New York), it was love at first sight. He was 38 and had arrived a year before my mother, but was planning on going back to Italy, because he wasn’t happy in NY, but then he met my mother and was mesmerized by her. My mother says she wasn’t so convinced of him. She made many comments of noticing his hands that were quite beautiful, but a little too small and that worried her. I heard that story as a little girl and didn’t get that joke for many years, and when I did, I was mortified. How was my mother - the virgin - capable of making such jokes? Ahhh, the ignorance of youth. Anyway, my parents met in June of 1964 and were married by September. They had my sister Daniela Scornaienchi Salvatore in 1966 and I followed in 1969, when my mother was 41 years old, which for 1969 was fucking old to be having babies. I was very lucky to grow up with parents who were really in love. This love was evident in what they endured together, starting with the disabling illness of my father in 1976 and my mother’s leukemia that was diagnosed in 1981. Neither one of my parents were able to work, so there wasn’t much money. I grew up watching my parents take care of each other – and us – with an incredible amount of love, patience (well, not my father, but my mother had plenty for both of them) and so much good food. See, abundance is not about how much money you have, but something you align yourself with. As such, you can ask any of my neighbors growing up on our Brooklyn street and they will remember only kindness and really kick-ass pizza my mother would make for any gathering.


When my father finally succumbed to all his illnesses in ‘89, my mother was left completely broken-hearted. She fell into a depression a grieved in her all-black clothing. Obviously, I was grief-stricken too losing my father, but at 20 years old, I was not able to understand the true grief of losing the love of your life. I wish I had. I would try in my own pathetic way to support my mother, but her grief grew every passing day. I had been trying to convince her that we should take a trip to Italy to visit all her brothers and sister, who lived in San Lucido and Napoli, but she kept saying NO, she didn’t want to. I was convinced if I could just get my mother to Italy, she would be able to heal surrounded by her family, which she hadn’t seen since leaving Italy. So, one day, I really became insistent with her and said, “I’m working now, I can afford it and I will buy us 2 tickets to Italy!” and she yelled back at me in a moment of anger and frustration, “I can’t go back to Italy!! I have a son there!”


Now, I’m not entirely sure what happened to my psyche at that moment, but that’s irrelevant to the story, so I’ll just tell you what she told me.


While she was at this sanitarium, she had surrendered to the fact that she would probably die there. The medications available at the time had no effect on her and she lived as if every day were her last. So, when she met one of the staff at the sanitarium, she really didn’t give a flying fuck that he was already married with a son. Survival is a very funny thing, isn’t it? So, she has this affair with this dude and ends up pregnant. Now we are talking 1951 in Southern Italy. If you don’t know what that means, I suggest you read the Elena Ferrante novels to get a better picture of the attitudes and culture towards women of that time. Not fucking cool. Somehow, the news reached her younger brother Franco in San Lucido, who proceeded to make the trip north to see his disgraced sister. He beat the shit out of my sick, pregnant mother and told her “get rid of the kid, or I will.” Asshole is too nice of a name for him. To make matters worse, my mother’s lover was killed in an accident, leaving my pregnant mother bruised, broken-hearted, alone and scared. If you’re looking for a shred of good news, it was that the pregnancy was curing my mother of the TB. Call it a miracle.



My mother soon received a visitor – get this – it was the mother-in-law of her deceased lover. Let’s call her Anna. She had come to see the woman who was pregnant by her daughter’s husband. How’s that for a twisted story? I am not sure what Anna’s original intention had been, but she ended up becoming like a second mother to my mother. I grew up wishing to be Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman, but Anna, was a real super hero. So, Anna would spend countless days by my mother’s side offering her the comfort and love that no one else would. She introduced her to her daughter – yes, the wife of my mother’s lover – and tried to convince my mother to let her daughter adopt her unborn child. It seemed like the perfect solution to a fucked-up situation. Anna and her daughter promised to care for the child like their own. The child could grow up with a brother in a loving home and my mother could go back to Calabria and keep her past a secret. My mother refused. But when the baby boy was born in March of 1952 and her attempts to soften her brother’s heart by naming the child Franco failed, she finally gave in. But not fully. She agreed to give Little Frank to Anna and her daughter (talk about superheroes) but she refused to have her legally adopt him, so he kept his name. Perhaps she thought that one day she could go back and scoop him up into her arms. But that was not to be.

For the next 10 years, my mother would secretly travel to Salerno and watch her little son grow up from a distance. I am not sure what she must’ve felt, but one can imagine the weight she carried in her heart. My mother spent her days in San Lucido giving injections to the sick and bringing laughter to everyone. The greatest gift my mother gave me was her sense of humor, which was her superpower in difficult times. And now it’s mine. She said she had a few boyfriends, but well, none of them really turned her on. Virgin my ass.

In 1962, my mother’s brother Mario, who was already living in Brooklyn with his wife and 2 kids, found out about what had happened to my mother (Italians know how to keep a secret; until they don’t) and he knew that his little sister needed to leave Italy. He did all he could to get her to America, the land of hope and new opportunities. And he succeeded. She arrived by ship into NY harbor, passing Lady Liberty, on a cold day in February 1964. A few months later, when my father asked her for her hand in marriage, she went to her brother Mario and his wife and told them that from that day on, she wanted to start new life and that her future husband was to never know of her past. They promised her to never speak of it again and my mother married my father, burying her past deep within her heart. My father never knew. She never spoke of it again until that summer day in 1989 after my father had been buried. On the 7-month anniversary of my father’s death, my mother died also. If you read the medical report, it will say that she died because the leukemia came back, but we all know that she really died of a broken heart, leaving me to sort out the lessons that were hers, but now passed down to me.


Eventually, in my grief, I told my sister the secret our mother had told me. While I kept her story close to my heart, my sister is more tenacious than I will ever be. She became obsessed with finding our brother. Don’t fuck with my sister when she becomes obsessed. It wasn’t until the arrival of the internet many years later that my sister tracked down our brother. Frank lives in England with his wife and two kids (and now a granddaughter!) Frank didn’t know much about how he came into this world, but he was raised by 2 superwomen, so he had a happy childhood and became a musician, like his maternal grandfather he never knew about. Blood is indeed thicker than water. I am super grateful to say that I have an amazing brother. Frank looks just like my mother and is always smiling like her too.


When I tell this story, so many people ask me about my mother’s brother Franco and how angry I must be with him. You know, forgiveness is an amazing super power. It took me a while, but I forgave him, as my mother did. Not forgiving him and holding on to the resentment would make me his victim, and I gotta tell you...fuck that. Besides, the fates were at work; Franco was just a pawn. Linda and Davide needed to meet in 1964 in New York, Frank, Daniela and I needed to be born and I needed my mother to send me the love of my life Seth Bogner…and I needed to be here right now to tell this story of all the beauty that came from another quarantine in Italy when things seemed really dark.

So, at almost a month into the lockdown, I can tell you we are doing well. War, death, poverty, sickness and 3 years of quarantine, yeah, we're good. And when I ask how will you be remembered during this time in history, think about the stories that will be told of you long after this is over. What role will you play in someone else’s story? What is your super power? How will you share it? While these days may seem bleak and sad, rest assured that the fates are doing their thing and much love will come of this as long as we allow for good humor and space for miracles to happen. And what is a miracle, but a shift in perception from fear to love. We got this.

-Ali








My mother Linda after WWII











And because so many people asked for a picture of my wisteria…



















APRIL 6, 2020


Greetings from Florence Italy on Lockdown day 28. These are unprecedented times that are very heavy, but also give us an opportunity to evolve. Adversity forces us to go deeper to know who you are -beyond your ego and those pesky voices in your head. No one awakens in their comfort zone. You are in the cocoon now…who do you want to be when you emerge? What aspects of your personality have served you and what parts of you do you wish to leave behind? What has this crisis taught you? How will this crisis make you grow? What habits will you leave behind? How will you elevate the collective consciousness? If you asked your 7, 9, 12, 15 year old self – would they be proud of the person you are today? What changes would your younger self make? Everything we are doing is to create this “reset button”. Let us not dream for the old world, let us manifest the world you want to see. Don’t go back to the person you used to be; not that s/he was bad, but you know more now; you’re more aware. What parts of you will be doing the driving when this crisis is over?




APRIL 11, 2020







Tuscany passed a law that you must wear a mask out in public. So today, these guys from Misericordia delivered 2 masks per registered resident to our house.








APRIL 13, 2020


















APRIL 17, 2020

Greetings from Florence lockdown day 39. People are talking about all the amazing things they’ve accomplished during this lockdown...cleaning out closets, reorganizing their house, cooking gourmet meals, planting a vegetable garden, sticking to an intense workout regime, writing a fucking book...good for them!! And then there are those who have fleeting moments of energy and focus or people who are struggling with financial, relationship or health issues. Some people are dealing with the grief that this has brought. Whatever state of being you’re in, just be kind to yourself. Please don’t feel guilty because you think you should be more productive. Comparing yourself to others is an act of betrayal towards yourself. The collective consciousness is full of fear and uncertainty right now so the greatest thing you can do is be a badass beam of Light...and that starts with being kind to yourself.