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Found 12 results

  1. Priscilla Allen is a legend in the San Diego theater world, having been active on the stage there for decades. People outside of San Diego will probably best know her from a couple of films she was in. If you ask me how long I've been thinking of writing this post, my answer would be, about two weeks.
  2. File this away for future visits to the Newseum: Online tickets are 15% off (substantial when you consider general admission is $24.95). Even at full price, this museum is worth the admission - I suspect attendance is dropping off, and it may not be around forever. Also, the tickets include the "next day free" - useful for those (like me!) who quickly develop Museum Fatigue. I went back for the second consecutive day yesterday, and I'm glad I did (I combined day two with a trip to the National Archives - nothing like strolling down the street to see the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, an original copy of the Magna Carta, and the Emancipation Proclamation. These documents aren't terribly beautiful, but just being in their presence is positively awe-inspiring). Make sure to follow their suggested itinerary: Go downstairs to the bottom floor, look around (make sure to see the FBI exhibit down there), then take the extraordinary hydraulic elevators (the largest cars in the world, I believe) up to the 6th floor (where you can go outside onto a large balcony, giving you perhaps the best views in all of Washington, DC), and work your way down a floor at a time. Must-sees include the 9/11 exhibit, the Pulitzer Prize Photos exhibit (one in particular cut deeply into my psyche - a starving child, who collapsed on the way to a food-relief center in South Sudan, with a vulture just sitting there, waiting - do not click on this if it will bother you, and it might). The famous photo of South Vietnamese Police Chief Loan is there - believe it or not, he ran a *PIZZA PARLOR* in Burke, Virginia, called "Les Trois Continents," for fourteen years, until his identity was made known, and was forced to close down. (I couldn't believe it when I first heard this, but I verified it to be true.) There's a strong exhibit about the Kennedy family, in honor of JFK's 100th birthday, but I'm a little "Kennedy'd-out" of late, so I didn't spend too much time there). Also, there's a 100-foot-wide movie screen which I didn't get to see, but you should check on its schedule. And if you've never seen pieces of the Berlin Wall (which started going up the very night I was born!), they have the largest display of it in the Western Hemisphere, alongside an intimidating, three-story, guard tower. I'm probably missing a couple of things, but this list is a pretty good starting itinerary. I remember so well when this museum was in Rosslyn (it opened there in 1997, and moved to its present location in 2008) - it was small, free, and really amazing even then - the outside portion was something people often stumbled upon by accident - but now it has had some serious money pumped into it, and is a major tourist attraction in DC.
  3. I just saw "Cool Hand Luke" for the second time - it is a fantastic film, difficult to watch due to its cruelty. Rod Steiger won the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1968 - Sidney Poitier deserved it more within the same film ("In the Heat of the Night"), and Newman deserved it more still for "Cool Hand Luke." Newman's 1987 Best Actor Award for "The Color of Money" was a make-up call for past transgressions, plain and simple - that movie was pedestrian, and handing Newman the Oscar was something akin to a "Lifetime Achievement Award."
  4. "Between Two Ferns" is extremely funny, and Zach Galifianakis is a gifted comedian - I recently saw him on an episode of "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee" (now on Netflix), and it was one of the better episodes of that series. As an example, I submit the episode with Barack Obama: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UnW3xkHxIEQ
  5. This is my absolute favorite U.S. President trivia question, because it's one where you hear the answer, say, "I don't believe it," and go running off to Google to disprove it. Here's the question: Between the 1948 "Dewey defeats Truman" election, and the 2008 "First Barack Obama" election, how many Presidential elections didn't include Nixon, Dole, or Bush on the ticket? Run your mouse over this for the answer, which will simply floor you: ONE
  6. I belong to a cookbook club here in San Francisco. Our first dinner is in two weeks. It's kind of like a potluck and social thing: everyone cooks from the same book, then on the big day, brings the dish to someone's house for a get-together. It's about cooking, entertaining, belonging and making new friends. It's a groovy thing. What I am so not in love with is the cookbook that was chosen, sort of like an icebreaker, because not everyone attending is on the same skill level. There are some very accomplished cooks who will be attending, including at least one person who has his own catering business. And some newbies, I'm sure. So you need something that will not intimidate. I do appreciate that. Unfortunately, Mark Bittman's "How to Cook Everything" was the book that was chosen and reading it makes me rage. A recipe for chicken adobo (page 658) calls for 1 cup soy sauce and 1/2 cup vinegar - which, if you think about it - changes it from chicken braised in vinegar with soy sauce and garlic to chicken braised in soy sauce with vinegar and garlic. A recipe for chicken biryani (page 654) calls for 4 tbsp. butter instead of ghee and saffron instead of turmeric. Ghee is butter with the water removed and milk solids are caramelized - so it has a butterier and nuttier flavor than butter, plus you don't need to use that much. I had heard Bittman's book was "basic" but I hadn't considered that his recipes were nearly unworkable from a technical standpoint. Holy fucking shit. This guy is supposed to be an authority. On what planet?
  7. You know who really pushed the price point up in DC for fine dining? Fabio. I distinctly remember a Facebook post of his that was self-musing about what the big deal was about paying $40 for something ... I think it was lamb. It wasn't anything critical, but I recall thinking that he was going to make a play to get prices up in this town (and I'm not sure that's a bad thing; just reporting something with a foggy memory, before I fly out the door).
  8. Recently, I introduced a friend to David Foster Wallace, and he asked me what about his writing strikes me to the point where I say, without hesitation, that he was a genius. And quite frankly, I didn't know how to answer - unless you read his work, he's almost impossible to describe. One of the things I said was that reading his work is like reading a perfectly written Lisp program, his language being almost function-like and polyphonic - you're not really "finished" with one of his books until you read the final word, and only then does the entire thing mesh together. I was listening to this 1996 interview with Christopher Lydon on "The Connection": I was struck by what Wallace said about entertainment and the internet starting at around the 30:00 point - let me qualify this by saying he's *very* hard to quote, because he changes gears and shifts back-and-forth when he speaks, so this won't be perfect: "The book [infinite Jest] is strategically set in the future. It's not really supposed to be a reflection of the way things are now, but a kind of extrapolation on trends ... I remember seeing Terry Gilliam's "Brazil," where everybody sort of has TVs ... on rods coming out of their foreheads and everybody's watching TV all the time. It's not quite that ... when you think about it, first, HDTV's going to come out, and then there's going to be virtual reality, and then the prospect of things like virtual reality porn ... We're going to have to come to some sort of understanding with ourselves about how much of this we're going to allow ourselves because it's probably going to get a lot more fun than real life is." and then: "The idea that improved technology is going to solve the problems that technology has caused seems to me to be a bit Quixotic. For me, I understand there's a certain amount of hope about the internet democratizing people ... The fact of the matter is, if you've still got a nation of people sitting in front of screens pretending ... interacting with images rather than each other, feeling lonely and so needing more and more images, you're going to have the same basic problem. And the better the images get, the more tempting it's going to be to interact with images rather than other people, and I think the emptier it's going to get. That's just a suspicion and just my own opinion."
  9. I'd call this "trivia," except that it's too historically significant to be trivia; it's simply an amazing statistic that you'll need to self-verify in order to believe: How many Presidential elections between 1948 and 2008 (not including 1948 and 2008) had a Republican Ticket *without* Nixon, Dole, or Bush on it? Answer: One. Look it up. If we add Roosevelt and include both Tickets, we can go back to 1928 and the answer will be Two (1948 and 1964) - that's eighty years! This is presented as interesting, historical fact, and isn't subject to partisan commentary. Sorry.
  10. Hey Folks, We have some tickets left to the hottest party in D.C. in 75 years! But they're not going to last. BUY TICKETS to REPEAL DAY! I look forward to toasting you there. Here's a teaser.... Drink to me only with good hard cider. Or rye, or a Scotch highball. Drink to me with any old thing, Just as long as it's alcohol. For now that the wets have won the day, And prohibition is through, To drink to me only with thine eyes Is a hell of a thing to do. MORE INFO... On December 5th, The DC Craft Bartenders' Guild is inviting Washington area residents to party like it's 1933. The group, made up of DC's top mixologists, is hosting Washington's only Repeal Day party, taking place at The City Tavern Club from 8 P.M. to midnight. Priced at $80 per person if purchased before November 20th ($90 per person thereafter) with proceeds benefiting the Club's Preservation Fund and the Museum of the American Cocktail, this fundraising event honors the 75th anniversary of the date when the 18th Amendment - which established Prohibition in the United States - was repealed. During the ball, guests will be treated to classic cocktails such as the Aviation, Bee's Knees and Pisco Punch recreated by the best in the business. Hors d'oeuvres will be provided throughout the night by the City Tavern Club while a 1930s jazz band, The Red Hot Rhythm Chiefs, sets the mood and provide the tunes for dancing. Locals mixology talent, including Owen Thompson (Bourbon), Todd Thrasher (PX), Gina Chersevani (EatBar) and Derek Brown (The Gibson), will be featured along side special guests Tony Abou-Ganim (Host of Fine Living Network's "Raising the Bar"), Jeffrey Morgenthaler (RepealDay.org founder) and other top bartenders from throughout the United States. "Americans never stopped exercising their 'right' to have a drink, but after prohibition ended they could now do it out in the open. What a party that must have been - that's the mood we're recreating," says Dan Searing, Guild spokesperson. Thanks to the vital support of our sponsors, we will be featuring drinks made by only quality brands, including Martin Millers Gin, Domaine de Canton Ginger Liqueur, Skyy Vodka, Willett Rye & Bourbon, Old Forester Bourbon, The Bitter Truth Bitters, Macallan Single Malt Scotch, Mt. Gay Rum and Fiji Water. The City Tavern Club is located in one of the oldest buildings in DC, City Tavern, built in 1796. In addition to serving as President John Adams' headquarters while he was supervising the construction of the national capital, the historic building has also played host to numerous presidents and dignitaries. The City Tavern Club is located at 3206 M Street, NW in Washington, DC. For more information about the event or to buy tickets please visit repealday.org or www.dccraftbartendersguild.org. The DC Craft Bartenders Guild is an active body of professionals and enthusiasts dedicated to craft bartending--its history and practice--and providing training and services to its members and the general public in keeping with our guiding principles of professionalism, knowledge, hospitality, outreach and civic engagement.
  11. Another slamming afrobeat band, this time from England - London Afrobeat Collective. By now you should know the drill when it comes to afrobeat: multi-piece bands (usually 10-12 people), killer horn section, driving percussion, and songs that stretch into the 10 minute plus range. Their new album, Food Chain, will be released May 25, 2015, with album art work by Ben Hito. Their debut album, L.A.C., was released in 2010. "Lagos Junction" (album) "Prime Minister" (live) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=INZ13Una1aA "Agbajo Owo" (live)
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