By Nora Zelevansky / February 7th, 2011


I grew up in an unusual family, though I didn't fully acknowledge that fact until I arrived at college in California and exchanged stories about backgrounds with new friends.  Lo and behold, I was the only girl at school with a performance artist father, contemporary curator mother and theater directing sister.

Don't get me wrong: I knew I was different when friend's families invited my parents to The Hamptons for weekends at "the club" and my parents always politely declined, noting – in the privacy of our Upper West Side apartment – that they didn't "do" The Hamptons.

My parents may also be the only people in history who frequented Studio 54 (because of the art scene element) and completely hated it.  "It was awful," my mother still says without apology.  My father agrees even more fervently.

So, I suppose maybe it was a given on some level that I would wind up with creative and interesting in-laws instead of some status quo.  And, yes, though maybe not as esoteric in their interests as my art world parents, Hal & Marilyn Weiner are Emmy Award-winning documentarians, who constantly travel the globe for their work.

Since Andrew and I have been involved, their focus has been primarily environmental.  I'm sure you can guess on which side of the debate they tend to fall, once they've completed their exhaustive research.  For awhile now, their company, Screenscope, has worked with Matt Damon as narrator on these projects; mostly segments for PBS series, Journey to Planet Earth).

Their newest film though is based around the teachings of climate control expert Lester Brown and once again, as reported here, Matt Damon is the voice for the cause.  They follow Brown all over the world, as he imparts information and meets with lawmakers and such.

But certain things remain the same: I'm pretty sure they never hit The Hamptons.

xo – N.



By Nora Zelevansky / March 19th, 2009

Picture 4

The Best Link Today:

Last winter (as in 2007), Andrew and I road-tripped up through Northern Cali all the way to Portland and back.  That trip was one of the best I've ever taken in my life and, one of these days, I promise I'll blog about all the great spots we discovered along the way. Some day soon.  Promise.  Every time I think about that trip, I wish I was on it again. looking out the window at snowy Mount Shasta.  If you've never taken a winter road trip, I really recommend.

Anyway, Andrew grew up traveling all over the globe with his sister and documentarian parents (whose latest PBS segment "Journey To Planet Earth: The State of the Planet's Oceans" with narrator Matt Damon debuted yesterday).  And my parents took C. & I from Europe to Mexico City, but neither Andre nor I had ever been to wine country.  We ended up staying at the lovely The Lodge at Sonoma and exploring vineyards in the general vicinity before driving up through Napa en route to our next destination.

And, as much as I enjoyed the wine tasting, I loved the olive oil tasting at The Olive Press most.  I guess that's not surprising, since I'm an olive and olive oil fanatic, but I hadn't really known about the nuances of different varieties: some are more bitter, sweeter, lighter, saltier, tangier, thicker, thinner, infused with jalapeno or garlic.

They're almost all amazing.

Today, Daily Candy LA's Weekend Guide included an olive oil tasting this Saturday at GRACE (in association with the California Olive Oil Council).  GRACE is truly one of LA's best restaurants.  In fact, after that road trip, I wrote a store for The LA Times about high-end restaurants and resorts joining the locavore movement and GRACE was the first spot I mentioned.  This eatery has a few great "special" nights, including their donut bonanza, which is truly not to be missed.  Beignet, anyone?  I know it's not technically a donut, but c'mon.

Anyway: donuts and olive oil.  Seriously, does life get better than that?

xo – N.

P.S.  Sadly, I never get to Boston, but Tasting Table Everywhere's post today is about restos in Beantown, so: Here's a shout out to all you Boston lovers and livers (M., V.,you know who you are).