Category Archives: people

Remembering Sebastian Horsley … and more!

He was eccentric by any standard.

Sebastian Horsley - Balans Soho Society

At the end of the day, one might say just that he was an entertainer.  Goring further than Wilde ever did in his extravagant life style.

This quote from The Guardian obit says it all

His turbulent life was ripe for a memoir. Dandy in the Underworld (renamed from Mein Camp) was published in 2007 to critical acclaim. The following year he was proud to be denied entry into America on the grounds of “moral turpitude”. His autobiography was adapted as a one-man show for the Soho theatre, written and directed by Tim Fountain, with Milo Twomey as Sebastian. Sebastian professed to be horrified by the idea of it: “Why should I go to the theatre to see rape, sodomy, alcoholism and drug addiction? I can get all that at home.”

And he was a “dandy”. Londonist offers a montage of London’s great dandies.

Douglas Adams Talks about Birds … and More!

Adams, as you may recall, was the author of “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” and its progeny. Not just that, he had a wonderful sense of humor. You see that on display in this interview with Clive Anderson. Enjoy!

Is Elon Musk Going Bonkers?

Elon Musk used to be focused mainly on his businesses. And he had and still has an inspiring way of looking at meeting major challenges facing humanity through business. Not just that, Musk is driven and he has driven his employees to achieve some brilliant things. All that is great.

But there is another side to this. Musk appears to have changed a bit. More recently, he has courted  controversy without goo reason (that whole Thai rescue thing), and feuded with authority. Now he openly says that Tesla will disobey the law.

Has Elon lost it from overwork and over stressed lifestyle? I think the answer is “yes”. And I think he needs to step back and cool off before things get worse for him and for the people he is connected with.

What do you think?

Rogue’s Gallery – Wicked Jimmy!

What is it about the “rogue” that makes for such great story telling? It is not that we would like to be the rogue. Nor is it that we wish we had known the rogue. Instead, the rogue gets and holds our attention as a person who breaks the rules and gets away with it, at least for a time.

So I was delighted to find a YouTube thread called “Rogue’s Gallery”. I watched the video below on “Wicked Jimmy” and was shocked. And yes, I watched the whole thing. Were all of the anecdotes true? Even if they are not, they are eye popping!

Check it out with your morning espresso! Enjoy!

Giampaolo Ottazzi’s View at the Ciprianni in Venice

Venice is quiet for now. And that is a strange sort of interlude. Giampaol is the GM at the Belmond Hotel Cipriani, and he says

“I spend my days admiring (the) beauty (of the canals) from my altana [a rooftop terrace typical of Venice], and now I can really appreciate every sunrise and sunset,” he continues. “But most of all I keep on working and getting ready for the hotel to reopen its doors because in our DNA it’s engraved to never give up.”

Belmond Hotel Cipriani - Wikipedia


When Dave Lebovitz Met Marcella Hazan and more!

From Dave’s post on making bolognese sauce

I met her twice. Once when she came to dinner at a restaurant I worked at. At the time, the coat rack for guests was near the pastry area and when I saw the enormous mink coat she wore into the restaurant being hung up on the coat rack, well, I don’t think I need to tell you know what I had to do: Try it on! Which I did, and for a moment, I felt like Marcella. (The cigarette smoke that clung to the coat also helped me get into the mood.) Another time I was at a dinner and seated to her left. The waiter came by and told her that one course was going to have Parmesan cheese on it, and specifically said in her direction that Parmesan cheese wasn’t the stuff in the green can, and he was going to explain it to her.

After his explanation and he left the table, she turned to look at me, with her signature glass of Jack Daniel’s in one hand, and said, “What the f*ck is he talking about?”

BTW, Dave goes on about putting butter in the bolognese. Hmm … I have never done that. But I am now going to give it a try!

Thanks Dave! And thanks Marcella (where ever you are)

Here is Marcella in her younger days

Marcella Hazan | lizzyoungbookseller

She was very famous in her day! Here she is being interviewed by Mark Bittman.

Remembering Bill Withers

Sadly, Bill just passed on at age 81

Bill had a few big hits, but the one hit that will always stick with me is “Aint no sunshine when she’s gone”. It is a slow and melancholy song  and the way Bill sang it, you can’t help but feel the emptiness. You heart opens up to it. Here it is. Enjoy.

BTW, the other great melancholy number from that era was by Otis Reading, “Sitting on the Dock in the Bay.”