When I was a little girl, growing up in NYC, I didn’t think I was allowed in the Waldorf=Astoria. I believed that it was a place only for famous or important people. So you might imagine how surreal it was for me to work there during my career in catering and event planning from 1996-2003. This photo was taken in the Silver Corridor when I was there last week for what may have been my final visit before this grand dame closes at the end of February. Feeling 😰
More than three quarters of a century after the brutal murder of her grandmother, Angela Derecas Taylor set out to untangle her family’s closely guarded secrets, learn about the grandmother she never knew, and come to terms with the reality that her own beloved grandfather was a murderer. Finding YiaYia: A Greek Tragedy is the story of Angela’s search for the truth, in the face of resistance and animosity from her family members, to bring her grandmother’s story to life, uncover the circumstances that led to her tragic death and bring honor to the memory of a woman, Mary Derecas, who was left in an unmarked grave.
“WOW! Thank you so much for doing this program for At Home On The Sound. You are a fabulous storyteller and held our audience spellbound as you spun your tale. It was an extraordinary afternoon”
— Elinor Fredston, Founding Board Member, At Home On the Sound, Larchmont, New York
“You spoke so beautifully about trying to find and know your grandmother. You are a brave woman, deeply passionate, filling your life with meaning and much more. Thank you for sharing your journey and I look forward to your next chapter.”
— Reena Kashyap, Ceramic Artist, New York City
“It was a wonderful talk, not only factual but moreover from the heart…. The story has been with me ever since I left.”
— Frank Buddingh’, Dunedin, New Zealand and New York, USA on twitter @buddinghtree
Angela Derecas Taylor’s collection of stories and memories are set in and around her family’s Italian restaurant, founded in 1936 in Greenwich Village. At turns heartwarming and horrifying, comical and catastrophic, Just a Waitress: An Italian Opera introduces four generations of strong-willed Italian women plus a host of family members, colorful locals, criminals, hangers-on, and one frighteningly jealous cat. Angela’s candid accounts of her upbringing and experiences entertain while celebrating family, perseverance, survival, independence – and making one’s own way in the world.
“Vivid descriptions, flavorful dialogue and a dessert-like final sentence. I loved the story (and thanks for reminding me about Zito’s bread).”
— James Tobin, Author, Willamsburgh, VA
A native New Yorker, born into a family of restaurateurs, Angela Derecas Taylor realized at a young age that there was a whole world beyond the boundaries of Manhattan Island. A child of divorce, Angela bounced between the secretive, old-world immigrant ways of her mother’s family and the laid-back, permissive lifestyle adopted by her father in the 1960s. In At Your Service: An American Dream, Angela shares stories of her growing up and striking out on her own. With both humor and devastating honesty, she recounts the highlights of her career and her personal life – a journey filled with obstacles, heartbreaks and triumphs encountered on her path toward inner peace and purpose.
“Powerful, moving, captivating! Four stars! And that is just on the promotional flyer!!!”
— Jill Casey Drum, 20 year Facilitator of “The Real Book Club”, Greenlawn, NY