October 3, 2001 |
Matching food and wine is a game much like any other. A lot of the enjoyment comes from how much you are willing to put into it. Many Americans don't understand soccer. They say there is no score; there is no excitement. But there is so much that goes into a soccer game that someone like me, who has been living soccer all his life, will appreciate. You understand the position of the players, the harmonies and the strategy of the game. Personally, I think people who watch baseball are crazy.
October 2, 2001 |
This is an old-fashioned novel, written in lush, pre-Hemingway prose, set in a small Ohio town at the turn of the last century. Robb Forman Dew, who won a National Book Award for "Dale Loves Sophie to Death," faithfully imitates the tone of American domestic fiction in an era that began with Louisa May Alcott and ended, perhaps, with Willa Cather.
October 1, 2001 |
Which is worse: an abusive parent or a parent who simply abandons a child? The parents whom Paula Fox depicts in her restrained yet unsparing memoir "Borrowed Finery" combine the worst of both modes. Not content with consigning their infant daughter to a Manhattan orphanage, Fox's birth parents had the gall five years later to come back into her life and whisk her away from the nurturing home she had found with a poor but kindly small-town minister in upstate New York.
September 30, 2001 |
When I think of Carey McWilliams, I do not think of a liberal; it is far too limiting a category. An informed skeptic, yes. A western populist, certainly, suspicious of order, the bureaucracy of order and the predators of order. But, primarily, when I think of Carey McWilliams, I think of a writer, a writer of astonishing gifts whose insights I have tapped shamelessly over the years.
September 30, 2001 |
More than a half century ago, the late Carey McWilliams described the rough going that awaited those who would attempt to interpret his adopted state: "The analyst of California is like a navigator who is trying to chart a course in a storm: the instruments will not work; the landmarks are lost; and the maps make little sense."
September 27, 2001 |
It is an oddity of our time that, while psychoanalysis is widely derided by both highbrows and populists, its mutant stepchild--the therapeutic culture--grows monstrously stronger year by year. The therapeutic culture flourishes everywhere: in women's (and now men's) magazines, talk shows, advertisements, nursery schools and universities, even the highest levels of government (best example: Bill "I Feel Your Pain" Clinton).
September 26, 2001
A big bowl of heartwarming soup, brimming with vegetables, clear broth and a chunk of tender beef. That's cocido as served at Tila's Kitchen, a small restaurant just east of downtown Los Angeles. Tila's will pack cocido to go, along with lime wedges and red chile salsa that you can add--carefully--for bolder flavor. Rice, beans and tortillas also come with the order. Cocido, $6.25 for one serving; $7.25 for two servings at Tila's Kitchen, 3909 Whittier Blvd., Los Angeles.
September 26, 2001 |
Haiti, situated right in the middle of the Caribbean, shows all the cultural influences that have played over the area. For instance, the Haitians speak Creole French, but they get their words for goat and eggplant from Spanish --kabrit and berejen , respectively. The most distinctive elements come from West Africa. A favorite snack is akra , a sort of bean-and-taro falafel originating in Nigeria; the New Orleans rice fritters known as calas may be related to it.
September 25, 2001 |
Gen. Curtis LeMay, who masterminded the fire and atomic bombings of Japanese cities during World War II, once remarked that, if the United States had lost the war, he would have been hanged as a war criminal. So reports Philip Terzian of the Providence Journal in a recent column reminding us that the definition of war crimes--even when the defendant is Slobodan Milosevic--depends heavily on who is doing the judging.