It is amazing to me, a guy who grew up in an Italian American community in upstate New York, how much I learned about being Italian when I left that community to live among the medighans of Los Angeles. I didn’t realize that real Italians went around saying for-ged-aboud-it and we didn’t call it sauce, but gravy, a debate to be addressed at another time. I also didn’t realize that there was a dish called fettuccini Alfredo. The night I learned that, however, stands out very clearly in my mind.
I was at a soiree, not just a party, but a soiree. It was my first real grownup party with professionals, all dressed up and drinking cocktails. Of course, with my very Italian last name and my New York accent, I stood out. I fit the image of the