Category Archives: travel

A Homily to French Wine

Just what is a homily? It is

a religious discourse which is intended primarily for spiritual edification rather than doctrinal instruction.

It nurtures the soul rather than tells you what to do.

That about sums up my attitude towards wine in general. You can, if you choose to, get into the mechanics of how wine is made. But you don’t need to do that to fall in love with the experience that certain wines can offer.

Marissa Ross writes about her path to this sort of enlightenment. This captures the flavor of the thing

That chaos (of wine making experiences) also leads to everything real and beautiful and memorable. That’s what I learned I loved about French wines. It’s not one specific thing but rather the space created for so many possibilities. It’s what brought me to my knees, scribbling about Domaine Plageoles’ Gamay on the wet cellar floor. It’s why I stayed out too late drinking Domaine Rimbert’s Cinsault and got lost in misty ivy-covered alleyways along the river in Saint-Chinian.


The Street Food Capital of Asia is Banning Street Food!

God save us!

Thai street food in Bangkok is famous. It is a tourist draw. It is the only way many Thais can afford to eat. And street food will be banned in Bankok by the end of the year.

Image result for Bangkok street food

The reason? The government claims that it is to promote cleanliness and safety. The real reason may be the way the military junta is thinking. They want Bangkok to be like Singapore. And street food is too yucky to fit into that vision.

Disaster? I think so. And not just for the folks who have for decades manned the food stalls. But there you go.

What’s in the Bathroom at Oriole?

Oriole is a cool new restaurant in Chicago. Cool, in part, because they have thought about each and every detail in the restaurant to make it so. As BA notes, that includes the restrooms

We don’t typically cover, uh, the surprises in restaurant bathrooms. But at Oriole in Chicago, a James Beard nominee for best new restaurant and best chef, no detail is under-thought, from the non-alcoholic drink pairings to tiny takeaway pies at the end of the night. When you’re going to inspect the seeds stuck in your teeth, they’ve stocked the restroom with everything you could possibly need, except for maybe college loan forgiveness. What caught our eye the most: vials of little mints that a certain Alice (zipcode: Wonderland) would definitely snag.

BTW, those mints are homemade.  So for some images!

Image result for Oriole Chicago

On the plate

Image result for Oriole Chicago


New York: I’ll have a Short Story with that Martini!

Literary New York has its haunts. This picture gives you a peek

Dylan Thomas liked to get schnookered at the White Horse.  And there is Chumley’s in the Village – now reopened after a lost decade

Image result for Chumley's

And the old Chumley’s`? New York Times offers a few thoughts, this included

Maybe there really are no new ideas. If so, the idea of Chumley’s as a place to go on a date is one of them. Michael Kilian, who went on to be a correspondent for The Chicago Tribune and to write the comic strip “Dick Tracy” with the cartoonist Dick Locher, once explained that he was introduced to Chumley’s in 1957, when he was 18. Chumley’s, he wrote, came well recommended when he was seeking a place to take “a ‘nice girl’ instead of the rattraps I usually patronized.”

And there is more! Messy Nessy offers you a pictorial tour.

Go for it!

Bon Appetite Multi-City Dining Out guide

The truth is that even if we are not traveling all the time, we want to know what is going on all the time.  We especially want to know what cool things are happening in places where we would like to visit.

That is why travel guides are so popular. and why there are so many of them. And I love travel guides. I especially like travel guides that are produced by people who have the same tastes that I do.

So, drum roll please, Bon Appetit has come out with its restaurant, bar and hotel guides for selected cities.  Not just a few places but

  • Atlanta
  • Austin
  • Boston
  • Charleston
  • Chicago
  • Los Vegas
  • London
  • Los Angeles
  • Mexico City
  • Miami
  • New Orleans
  • New York
  • Paris
  • Philadelphia
  • Portland
  • San Fransisco
  • Seattle
  • Washington D.D.

Wow! And you can sign up for e-mail updates to their lists. I signed up and will be tracking this here.