Pigs Spotted

The Spotted Pig, trendy mainstay of the West Village has been the fodder for recent #MeToo due to bad behavior by restaurateur duo Mario Batali and Ken Friedman. Friedman’s chef co-owner April Bloomfield has parted ways with him after pretending to be oblivious to the debauched behavior in the venue’s after-hours-upstairs. Drugging and raping staff. Allegedly.

News today that another woman is going to partner with Friedman to revive The Spotted Pig. Gabrielle Hamilton, author of Blood, Bones & Butter and decades-acclaimed chef owner of East Village gem Prune. A renegade rebel from lobster fiascos at upscale camps in the Berkshires, to line chef at Curtis & Schwartz in Northampton while at Hampshire College, as told in Table’s Edge. This is an interesting decision. But. Hey. Go Gabrielle! You are a true survivor.

Collateral Sadness

Bea and Ariane. Kate Spade’s and Anthony Bourdain’s daughters. 13 and 11. They are the true victims of their parent’s suicides this week. Their loss is exacerbated by a future of questions and abandonment. Whether intended or not. Also feel for Eric Ripert who found his pal Tony. It’s not something he’ll ever forget. Guilt. Remorse. Who knows. For other family and loved ones as well. These acts take such a toll.

Bourdain’s poetic storytelling was masterful. He brought people from far away cultures into our homes. His joie de vivre was contagious. It seemed. But, his dark side crept out in many journeys as he recalled past demons of substance abuse. Credit him with shining a bright light on the opioid epidemic in Western Massachusetts. It was a catalyst to delve into the rural crises which became a national focus in the 2016 campaign.

Parts unknown. Indeed. Sad sad days.

Signs of the Times

It’s as true now as it was in May of 2016 in Hatfield, Massachusetts. One house. Two signs. Same message.

Socioeconomic stratification. It’s still the driving force in current geopolitical nationalistic leanings. Not silos of identities. Race. Gender. Ethnicity. Religion. Even political party affiliation. Middle classes continue to yearn for recognition, respect and relevance. Whether in Hillbilly Elegy country, America’s heartland and rust-belt. Or. In Italy. The U.K. France. Steve Bannon &  now  Barack Obama understand this. Who will embrace it and run in the next generation?

White Wolfe

Author Tom Wolfe. His books stand the test of time. No one ever coined cultures better. Social x-rays. Limousine liberals. Radical chic. The ME generation. University athletics as centers of corruption. Astronauts as heroes of a generation. Wolfe’s white suits and literary legacy live on.

I Am Charlotte Simmons. Bonfire of the Vanities. The Right Stuff. Back to Blood. All-time favorites on the Book-Treks shelf.

It seems that Tom’s first job in journalism was as a reporter at The Springfield Union, in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Gone to the Dogs

BROKEN RECORD ALERT!

Okay. I surrender. Dogs win. If you are allergic to them, you are screwed. Now it seems my alma mater Mount Holyoke College and many others are allowing “comfort” pets in dorms to soothe the nerves of snowflakes. Forget that some poor kid is anxious about having an asthma attack or getting mauled. And. Unless human passengers can prove they can fly without having a medical reaction, they are dragged off the plane. The dogs stay.

Allergies to cigarette smoke, peanuts. Totally accommodated. Allergies to pets. Nope. Sorry. Not politically correct.