I made it home to JFK in one piece, and surprisingly so did my five bottles of olive oil, four bottles of wine, balsamic vinegar, grappa and honey. It's not often that I thank an airline, especially after seeing the bill, but I think I owe a bit of gratitude to Delta for noticing my "FRAGILE" sticker. And another shoutout to Delta for organizing a celebrity sighting in honor of my New York homecoming (you shouldn't have).
It was Wyclef Jean, he was sportin' a shaved head, army green jacket and was waiting for his luggage at baggage claim 3 (I was at 4). I debated harassing him for an autograph to show my students in Italy, but then I remembered I'm home, quickly put on my "Jaded New Yorker" cap and went about my business.
Customs was a breeze and reuniting with my mom was a wonderful (and very Hallmark) moment. In the car I flipped on Z100 to get a crash course in the latest American pop music. I'm sorry, but who is Flo Rida (not to be confused with the sunny state of Florida) and why is he popular? Maybe I'm missing something, but his song "Low" sounds like every other recent hip hop artist. Where's the originality? And how can I explain shawty, apple-bottom jeans, and booty smackin' to my Italian friends? I miss the days of Tribe Called Quest, Missy, Biggy, and Nas. Luckily my friends over at Vh1 are still serving up kick-ass Hip Hop Honors shows. If you aren't in the know, click here.
When I got home I crashed on my palatial-seeming bed. It was a strange feeling--the sheets were soft, the pillows fluffy, and I could actually roll over without falling off. I started channel surfing only to find that nothing has changed on TV. Oprah is still having "aha" moments, the Hogan clan is causing hijinks, TMZ's hunting celebs and that annoying Head On commercial is still in rotation.