Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Home again, naturally

We're finally back from 3 weeks on the east coast. Saw many friends and family - salute to you all! Life is a cabaret and all that. Thanks for all the good times.

Vacation Reading:

I finished Woodward's latest. His writing style is pure Dragnet - nothing but the facts, ma'am. If you've been following the major media news, I don't think you'll find many more startling revelations here. Generally, it will document and confirm your presently held opinions about the administration - whichever side of the fence you prefer.

A faster read was Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential. Adventures in the culinary underbelly; at least as experienced by this NYC/via Provincetown MA chef. It's a tell-it-like-it-really-is expose and will add a sense of apprehension to your next dining out experience. Curiously and coincidentally, I started the book just as we were heading to Provincetown, for a few days of beach laziness. The very first chapter begins with a reminiscence of his earliest restauranting experiences there. He mentions names... so when we checked into our lodgings, I asked the proprietor, who has lived in P'town all her life, if she knew where 'The Dreadnought' restaurant used to be. It didn't ring a bell at first - it's was a mid 70's joint. Then a light bulb went off. "Have you read Kitchen Confidential? That's Tony's book. He used to chef for my dad!" So now we (and you) know "The Dreadnought" is really the old "Flagship Restaurant" and it was located where "Jackson's" is currently situated. I think Bourdain is currently executive chef at Brasserie Les Halles, in NYC. We spent a couple of days in midtown Manhattan on this trip too, but unfortunately couldn't make time to visit his restaurant. It would have been interesting, even though I can guess he's probably tired of foodie-readers dropping in.

A few other books in progress, or picked up along the way: Hello: A Journal by Robert Creely. Poems influenced by the author's journeys in Asia, during the late 70s. I can relate. The Future of Freedom, by Fareed Zakaria. So far, it's actually fun to read - strange for such an ambitious title. Ending Hunger in our Lifetime, C.Ford Runge, et al. While in Manhattan, we stopped by the UN bookstore. The UN these days looks like a lifeless fortress these days - such a pity. In my yoot, I remember it as better than Epcot. Cape Encounters, Dan Gordon. A standard beach-read: contemporary Cape Cod ghost stories. Hey, sue me.

Other vacation diversions, of the entertainment variety:

Movies - Spidey Deux (eh), and Fahrenheit 9/11. I really hope everyone, including the Bushies, see the later. Even where Moore obviously manipulates the material to maximize entertainment value, the movie makes a supremely powerful impact. Way to be, Mike.

Live entertainment - If you're getting married in P'town this summer (it's always been a gay vacation spot. But with same sex marriage legal - for now - in MA, it's also become quite the little honeymooning destination), drop into the Landmark Restaurant lounge to see the amazing Bobby Wetherbee. Sing-alongs around the baby grand, with a very accommodating bar-staff at the ready. It's decadently delicious, dahling. I have a new appreciation for B'way show tunes. Just in time to get on the De-Lovely bandwagon, I guess. Elvis Costello would be proud.

Speaking of, we saw him perform at Avery Fisher Hall. Huge YAWN. Thankfully we used the show as an excuse to visit with the awesome Wolf-san and another buddy we don't see near enough, Dennis McG. Dennis, we're proud of you, man. And Mikey, don't forget the Chestnut comp - I'll reciprocate with some early, choice, Billy Joel. ;~>

We spent Canada day in Toronto. A big THANK YOU shout-out goes to Jim Kelly (not the exQB), for a super personalized tour of your fair city. Seeing The Rheostatics in the evening was the icing on the tooq.

We also caught one B'way musical: Wicked. Color me pleasantly surprised. Interesting premise (ever wonder about the pre-Dorothy Oz?), very clever writing. Genuinely funny and even topical (kudos to Glinda for those anti-Bush digs!!) in spots. We were sitting in a sea of adolescent girls - apparently there's quite a cult developing around the play. I'm glad we finally saw it, after missing its' early run in SF.

I'll spare you from droning on about the less public (family and friend) visits and events. Except for a few thanks and salutes are due. To the aforementioned Jimbo; Macs - you so rule; Scottie, Susan & Ben - live is truly a cabaret; Robin B - your daughters flirt as well as you do; Henry's - great to see you all and we'll watch for Nicolas on ZOOM in Sept; Matt, Linda, Mandy, Mark, Joanne - it's Still The Town of Friendly People; parental units, siblings, nieces and nephews - you're all in our hearts. And finally, DeRek & Corey - did you guys get as sick as we did from those Union House clams? The lobstahs looked ok, but now I'm totally convinced those clams were tres nasty.


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