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02/23/09 09:18

A lovely weekend with Louisiana friends who are escaping Mardi Gras.

"I'm a little worried about this place," Mark said as we headed to dinner Saturday evening. "I was looking at one of the weekly newspapers and there were five pages in the back on pain management. What is this place doing to people to make them feel so bad?

"And then there was an ad for this woman Ebony, who will come to your house and give you a massage," he said. "I don't think that's her real name. I don't."

The conch fritters (at Southport Raw Bar) were a big success. Afterwards we drove down to Hollywood for gelato at Paciugo. The streets were lively; we sat outside on Harrison and watched the parade of people untouched by, or happily ignoring, the recession.

Then we strolled Hollywood Blvd. I pointed out the Octopus Bar (where, if I wrote fiction, I would set a short story), and the PRL (Polska Republika Ludowa) bar. A woman passed by in a very short, very tight skirt.

"I think that's Ebony," Mark said.

Last night we watched the Academy Awards under the tent outside Cinema Paradiso. (It was free; inside was $20. There's a recession folks.) Mark's favorite part is always "the obits," as he called them. Running a close second this year was Philippe Petit's magic and balancing acts.

Watching Danny Boyle's ear-to-ear grin all night, the happy family of Slumdog Millionaire overpopulating the stage, the admiring tributes to Mumbai, you could almost forget that the movie depicts (unfairly in my view) a city of ruthless, heartless people.

By Thomas Swick • Category: hometown

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