Picks for May 08
Book: ‘Secret Ingredients’: a compilation from the New Yorker, going back to the 1930’s, of essays on food. Oh, it’s just fantastic. Every night, I read an essay and it’s like eating a little morsel of the best thing ever. A.J. Leibling, who was closely associated with the New Yorker from 1935 until his death in 1963, is my absolute favorite writer in this collection. He is so deeply knowledgeable and passionate about food that it is hard to believe that writing about food is only one of his many talents and areas of expertise. He also wrote about boxing and horse racing, among other subjects. I love reading writers on topics completely unrelated to music, and then learning about art, music and writing from reading them. For instance, M.F.K. Fisher, one of my favorite authors, wrote about the deepest and most subtle areas of her life by writing about food, in the same way that John McEnroe was writing about a lot more than tennis in his autobiography. In my next life—sports and fine wines. No feelings. Enjoy.
Film: Okay. I saw the new "Indiana Jones". (I think I am required by law to do so, since I have a nine-year-old boy in my household.) I liked it. Cate Blanchett was scary as a Nazi. I was happy to see Karen Allen return and look like a normal 50-something year old woman, just as adorable as ever. I liked the special effects. I just generally like Steven Spielberg and whatever he does is okay in my book. It’s not the kind of film that I’m going to THINK about, like "The Lives of Others" or even "Michael Clayton", but kudos to Spielberg for doing what he does, and being the best at it, as far as I’m concerned.
Music: loving "Momofuku", Elvis’ new venture, and I’m not even saying that because I co-wrote a song on the record.
Special event: The World Science Festival, here in New York City, May 29-June 1. WOW. This was so exciting. I attended the opening program, ‘Parallel Worlds, Parallel Lives’, and one of the closing programs, "The Laws Of Life", and I was completely knocked out by both. I can’t believe we didn’t have this festival before now. A big round of applause to Brian Greene, a physicist at Columbia, the author of ‘The Elegant Universe’, and one of the founders of the event, for bringing this science festival to New York. Check out some of the programs we were privileged to witness.