MadMen’s Season 5 is in doubt, but mAdBen is beginning Season 1. Ogilvy was smart enough to select him as one of their prestigious Associates. After a couple thousand applications, they interviewed 400, then invited 53 to participate in “Super Saturday”, a grueling day of presentations and interviews this past weekend. Today Ben got the happy news that he was chosen as one of 23 new Associates. Congrats! Now we can breathe, but no martinis until after noon.

Full circle from Ghirardelli Square to Ogilvy Chocolate Factory. Sweeeeeet. 

Woolf Trek

It’s a good day to reprise my 4/27/10 post- favorite obit headline ever: ‘Helen Lavalle, 94, Advised Elizabeth Taylor’. “Amongst her many jobs, Helen was a waitress at the former Williams House, where she was the only waitress who could tell Elizabeth Taylor that one lobster was enough.” -Gazette

Elizabeth Taylor was here at Smith College in the 60’s filming “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf”, with Richard Burton. Assume that’s when she may have tried to indulge in local lobster binge-ing and Helen would have none of it. The old Williams House in nearby Williamsburg, Massachusetts, was famous for its haute cuisine brought to the Valley by Jim Wolff, featured in Table’s Edge.

Cool Spring

Birthday souvenirs from Lisbon before its own quake and tsunami in 1755, presented by returning traveler at Dovetail on Columbus in NY. Great visit with Ben and then a healthy looking Betsey. Super Moon bright as vernal equinox greeted us in Pound Ridge. Savory sole dinner by versatile chef Alicat. Jake Jake Jaked his booty. Best B&B around.

TrekBooks features new favorites as well as some old ones with recent press. The River Gods, by Brian Kiteley came to us from Nancy in Boise a year ago. It’s about ghosts of the Connecticut River Valley and just got noticed by Gazette when Denver author visited Forbes Library in Northampton. Local ‘Good Fellas’ saga begins as ‘Big Al’ Bruno trial takes center stage. The inimitable defense attorney, Stacey Richman, will hold Fed court Downtown Manhattan.

Cool start to Spring. Crocuses sprouting, tho’ timid in forty degree temps all week. Warm porch soon? See TravelTreks for new Dr.H photos and locales.

St. Madness

Saints preserve you who are celebrating wedding anniversaries. St. Patrick’s fete for Dr.Serta and Merrysmum. St. Joseph’s for GemQueen and A-Man. Can it be 17 years ago that we all gathered at the Fairmont in San Fran? Mazel tov. Bienvenido de Lisboa y Madrid, Ben.

What are final four picks this year? You can’t sit on the sidelines. Man up. Anybody can pick Kansas. Or St. John’s, Louisville, Vanderbilt. Oops. Loved Gabrielle Hamilton’s beautifully written memoir, Blood, Bones & Butter. She worked at Northampton’s Jake’s, Curtis & Schwartz Cafe back in the day.
TrekBooks Review.

Side Bridges

The Spring edition of MSKCC’s Bridges Newsletter for cancer survivors and their loved ones is available here. An inspirational friend of TheSideTrek describes how he’s thrived from an exercise and diet program that both changed perspective and improved his health. After reading these stories, I’m always blown away by how much people have gone through with such dignity, grace and quiet courage. Editor Eileen Gould provides an invaluable resource.

In keeping with healthier diet choices, I’ve been craving spaghetti. Trying not to eat pasta. So? Created Zucchinetti. See Recipe Detours.

Middle March

Nod to Mary Ann Evans aka George Eliot. Sad maelstrom in Japan. More reminiscent of thousands of ‘dollops’, The Mill on the Floss. Back to reality.

Birthday weekend to remember. There aren’t enough stars for Ocean House in Watch Hill, RI. Great hotel of yesteryear captures spirit and architecture of the original. Service as it used to be, only better. Some things in life worth the price.

Frank Rich, former editorial board chair of Harvard’s Crimson and friend of WSN former same, received Goldsmith Award at Joan Shorenstein Center for Press, Politics, Public Policy on March 7. Will miss his op-eds at NYTimes. Have to catch him now in NYMag. Thinking ahead to May NYU graduation. Bill Clinton just announced as Commencement speaker. Yankee Stadium, with honorees including Clive Davis and Danny Meyer. Cool. Graduation already?!