Round Up

31 03 2006

Good – Batman Begins
Bad – Nanny McPhee (I was inflight)
Fugly – The Perfect Storm

Marie Antoinette
Alpha Dog
An American Haunting

La Mujer de Mi Hermano


American Gun

Red – Casa Lapostolle “Clos Apalta” 2001, Apalta Vineyard, Colchagua, Limited Edition
White – Anapamu Chardonnay, Monterey 2001
SparklingVeuve de Verney
I do confess I tasted many hard-to-find Southern Italian wines this month which I know I will not ever find Stateside so it was pretty pointless to save labels. The Chardonnays, however, were uniformly pointless.

Red Heart

Combine equal proportions of pomegranate vodka, pomegranate juice, lychee juice and grenadine. Simple yet succulent. I like to garnish with heart of one lychee. Yum yum yum.


Week in Wine

30 03 2006

New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc
2005 Craggy Range Te Muna Road Vineyard Martinborough Sauvignon Blanc ($25)
2005 Fairhall Downs Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc ($16)
2005 Forrest Estate Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc ($16)
2005 Framingham Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc ($17)
2005Jackson Estate Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc ($17)
2005 Kim Crawford Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc ($17)
2005 Lawson’s Dry Hills Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc ($16)
2005 Matua Valley Paretai Estate Series Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc ($17)
2005 Nobilo Icon Collection Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc ($22)
2005 Saint Clair Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc ($16)
2005 Sauvignon Republic Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc ($18)
2005 Selaks Premium Selection Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc ($16)
2005 Silver Birch Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc ($14)
2005 TENZ Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc ($19)
2004 Tohu Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc ($13)
2005 Whitehaven Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc ($18)
2004 Woodthorpe Te Mata Estate Hawkes Bay Sauvignon Blanc ($17)

Millennium Park

29 03 2006

Something about Millennium Park implores me to while away time there. This happens rarely. I have to “give myself” permission to do nothing. I know not why. I am not on the clock. I purposefully have nothing to do today (Oh yes, my compulsive nature could find another play I need to see, another gelateria I need to sample, another wine bar I need to evaluate, another so on and so forth) and yet I hesitate albeit briefly before I decide I am going to have a Coke and a smile. Right here, right now. But before the light leaves me, I should attempt an arty picture because bot h of the monoliths cannot be framed in one shot. See , I had to indulge my compulsions. Now I can rest back and people watch.

Michigan Avenue

28 03 2006

Nobody really calls it the Magnificent Mile, right? Right? Because that would be so faux pas (in the words of M, whom I am incredibly missing right now; no matter, we have a whole day in Napa on Tax Day and I am looking forward to to it so much) and yet it is in the travel brochures, in the in-hotel “informational” channels, in the magazines filled with places only Desperate Housewives from Wisconsin could love. Speaking of the Heartland, I caught not one (as is my wont) but two performances of Second City (The Best Of, an d the current mainstage show called Iraqtile Dysfunction). The former was stellar, the latter rescued only by the talents of Brian Gallivan (you read his name here first). I was amazed at the number of heartland heroes (what should I call them without passing judgment?) who left during the show. During intermission, I saw letters posted near concessions written on actual hotel letter paper (Ritz, Hilton, Hyatt, Essex Inn too!) protesting the anti-American nature of the shows. Some people don’t get satire. Then again, what would you expect when you come to Second City? Seinfeld?

Chicago Theater

27 03 2006

Chicago has a rich theater tradition and this Spring (officially, I tell you), I have been extraordinarily lucky. The David Mamet Festival is in town. He is one of the living playwrights who bites the hands that feed him, and has a diabolically wonderful time doing so. I saw “Romance” (a piffle of a courtroom farce which was crisply written but unmemorably so) and “A Life in the Theater” (essentially a 78 minute conversation between a veteran actor who’s done it all and a young up and comer joining up for a season of repertory/purgatory). For entertainment, there was French farce in the new translation, award-winning, of Georges Feydeau’s “A Flea in Her Ear”, made quintessentially American with bon mots too contemporary and brazen to be truly anachronistic, and “25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” , a Broadway show with just enough audience interaction to keep things jiggy. Unfortunately, the latter was attended by masses of parents from said Heartland who brought their munchkins from elementary school. A key plotpoint hinges on a centerpiece song entitled “My Unfortunate Erection”. Lucy, you got some ‘splainin’ to do tonight.

Navy Pier

26 03 2006

Navy Pier is part of the “new” Chicago to me. Anything that wasn’t there when I first enjoyed the fruits of the city is nouvel, perhaps erroneously but this is my Sblog so I have liberties and license. I always like the passagiatta there. It is brilliant execution on the part of the Chicago Park District, the Chicago Eye (or whatever that monstrosity is called) nothwithstanding. If you have not been, it kind of resembles the British Airways London Eye but having been funded by McDonald’s, you sit in little capsule that look like – and I am not making this up – packets for French Fries as the McWheel makes its 29 minute “flight”. It is best to take this flight around sundown. There is a water garden just aft near the Children’s museum and there are several green parks about to unwind yourself. I was in astonishment that, despite the balmy weather, there were not enough persons of a certain age about. Then I made a cut through the shiny doors to the Skyline Stage for my performance time at the Shakespeare Theater. Suddenly, I saw the multitudes. All of them gobbling down food in the various food courts spilling out oodles of unhealthful junk food. Do we have a childhood obesity epidemic coming up or are the fatties just trapped behind the revolving doors I wondered and fled for the Juice Bar.

Down Town

25 03 2006

When you’re alone and life is making you lonely
You can always go
Down Town
When you’ve got worries all the noise and the hurry
You can always go
Down town
Just listen to the music of the traffic in the city
Linger on the sidewalk where the neon signs are pretty
How can you lose?
The lights are much brighter there
You can forget all your troubles
Forget all your cares
So go
Down town
Things will be great when you’re down town
No finer place for sure
Down town
Everything’s waiting for you
Down Town

That’s the first song lyrics I can recall. I first heard it when I was seven. I was, at that time, in New York City. I always knew I wanted to be down town. I now am. And I like it. But I want to go home. What is it about symmetry that whenever we get where we want to be we realize we should have never left in the first place? The journey home is never too long: your heart arrives before the train. Not every road you come across is one you have to take. For sometimes standing still is the best move you ever make. Wistful much? I need one of those Cosmopolitans with Keten One that C knows to make for me when I need them most.