Wolf Treks

Local newspaper, Daily Hampshire Gazette, has taken to putting headlines above each obituary. This one caught my eye the other day, “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.” Therein lies her illustrious advisory career.

Ms. Taylor was here at Smith College in the 60’s filming “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf”, assume that’s when she may have tried to indulge in local lobster binge-ing. Of course, the old Williams House was famous for its haute cuisine brought to the Valley by Jim Wolf, both featured in Table’s Edge.

Good news, Alice Waters is coming to television, the pioneer of green cuisine actually started the notion that real food is better than all the processed crap we were brought up on. We do need new cooking people on t.v., cannot stand Rachel, Paula, Emeril. Now that aging hair and skin have been covered, it’s time to talk diets. Shorts season is upon us. I have gone back to actually skipping dinner, rather than pretending to skip dinner, and it’s helped. Last night’s Final Jeopardy was about Danielle Steel’s book “The Ghost”. It’s the only Steel book I’ve ever read, really. But, it was well researched about the French-Indian-Anglo skirmishes around Deerfield, Ma. It was fun and I learned stuff.

Ben Meets Frank

When Ben Levine was invited to sit in on a New York Times editorial board meeting yesterday, he ran into a familiar looking guy. Frank Rich. “Frank” asked what brought him to the meeting. Ben told “Frank” that he was the Editorial Board Chair of NYU’s newspaper.  “Frank” said, “oh, the Washington Square News!” Ben was surprised and impressed and had a great time sitting in on the meeting- found the discussions to be heady and educational. Outsiders are rarely invited to the ‘Times’ inner sanctum, so quite a coup.

See Trek Books for March List.

Carol Colitti Levine – I Heart Men

I “heart” men. There I said it. I think they get a bad rap. It started with The Berenstain Bears series. Wife and kids ridicule the ever silly things Dad does. Look at most current TV commercials. Wife wiltingly indulges her dolt of a husband’s feeble attempts at one thing or another. Kids giggle as Mom makes him feel bad by doing it better. They give him a look of pity and derision. Women who make jokes about how lame men are. Do they have sons? Why make it us vs. them? Men are not perfect. Neither are women. Men are not from Mars. Women are not from Venus. Bottom line. It’s about the person, not the gender.

Aside from that, Nancy and Bronco celebrated her bday together in Boise. Welcome to all you Facebook people. Love to have your book, movie, political, restaurant, recipe ideas here!  Oh, yeah and Phippy still can’t putt.

Friday Asides- Comings, Goings

Fitting Tribute– hundreds gathered in Manhattan on Wednesday to honor the life of Jordan Nager.  It is widely reported that his daughter Alison delivered a remarkably poignant eulogy – soon she will deliver a living legacy.

NYU gang heading off to San Juan for spring break… “real housewives of nyc” fans to dine Sunday in their ‘hood… indoor deli picnic Saturday with Betsey chez kittay… old girl to hit young spot in East Village…Agawam baseball star college hunting in Worcester… Stonehill tennis captain gearing up for her spring season in Florida…recent UMASS grad celebrating in Costa Rica while bro gets tonsils out at Baystate… Goddess and G colliding at Liquors44… GemQueen happening upon Lyd & daughter at Bouchon bakery Time Warner (only in NY)

CandyPantsRant:  Tickle-me-Massa visits Glennbeckistan- dueling lunatics – must see TV.

ETreks- Vintage Fashion and…

“Valentino, the Last Emperor” on Showtime TV.  Recommended by “Shadow”.  He is not a typical fashionista, so worth a look.
“Coco Avant Chanel” movie, dvd, Sony, Maria loved this story about a woman who trusted her instincts, made sacrifices, triumphed.

“NY Book Club Without the Book”: A monthly appointment at Monkey Bar, “tasty” desserts and fun.  So far this season of American Idol, yawny and baddy, so lame this year.  Olympics cross country skiing better, oy.  Idol has jumped the shark.   New Vinyasa yoga class at Brassworks in Williamsburg, MA- NY trained Peter Rizzo, Sundays 10-12.

CandyPants Rant: I hear “pitchiness” and I can’t even sing.  Sis deserves a CD, BaldGuy!

ETreks-Dogs vs. Rings

Watching the Westminster Dog Show is far more entertaining than bouncing back and forth from pairs skating, commercials, back stories, to downhill skiing and boarding so far.  Most of the dogs are cuter than the athletes to date.  Best in Show tonight!

Favorite New Eateries: Local – Blue House Cafe, Williamsburg, black bean burritos, tortilla melts in your mouth; Amherst Chinese Food, Main Street, local fresh ingredients, no “hangover” from chemicals.  NYC –  Morandi, West Village, fun casual people watching, not glitzy, great meatballs, http://www.tripadvisor.com/tablesedge – see the review; Flex Mussels, Upper East Side, new, happening, fresh clams.  What are your new favorites, where?

Laissez les bon temps roulez– giving up watermelon seeds again for Lent, family tradition

Treks for Thought

If you’ve overdosed on pajama-grams or the nordic combined, here are some diverse treks for thought:

Local hero- Dr. Ian Goodman went from Springfield, MA to Haiti last week to rescue severely injured children.  He was able to bring eight of those who could be most helped back to Massachusetts.   A former pediatric resident, Ian is currently an ER fellow at the Baystate Medical Children’s Hospital (Tufts University) in Springfield.  His story is inspirational.

The Moth, is a story telling organization.  It was founded in 1997 by George Dawes Green, poet and novelist from Georgia, to recreate summer evening porch stories, told by everyday folks.  Now a New York City institution, you can hear the famous and not-famous recount their personal tales.  It could be replicated in any local community’s school, senior center, theater group.

If you like Sarah Palin, don’t read this provocative editorial from NYU’s Washington Square News.

CandyPants Rant:  Does anybody understand the ice skating scoring?  I liked the chauvinistic, corrupt but simple 9’s and 10’s.  And what’s with the mogul ski guys lounging on futons?


Weekend Treks- Olympic Wasteland

Opening Ceremonies: Torchurous
Nordic Combined:  Eating ice cream and Drinking frozen Vodka
Downhill: Too much of the above
Slalom: Navigating commercials
Luge: Phlegmy Cough
Bobsled: What about?
Triple Axle: 3 times spinning on the butt
Curling: Merry Maids Gone Wild
Snowboarding: Full Pipe
Hockey: Pucks

CandyPants Rant:  Valentine’s Day.

From the frig: Six minute shrimp scampi for 4- see Recipe Detours

ETrek Theater, Sightings, Lunch

Liberty Square Review:  NY- “Time Stands Still”, Donald Margulies’ play about an Iraq war-torn couple features Laura Linney and Brian d’Arcy James.  They struggle with the psychological and physical toll of their experiences, as Alicia Silverstone, a “spritely” girlfriend of their friend, steals the show.

Sightings- Joey “Three Sticks” at Via Quadronno on 73rd and Mad, sipping wine with his lovely companion and a high profile criminal attorney during the blizzard Wednesday afternoon… a prominent insurance lawyer from Springfield recently dining at Commerce in the West Village with a lively group… local Judge & real estate exec canoodling on St. John…AND a very happy bday to the “hottest” business magnate in San Francisco

Movies:  Word is that Benicio del “Lobo” will cause nightmares for weeks in the new “Wolfman” remake.

From the frig, Zucchini “Cordon Bleu”: (sort of), for lunch:  See Recipe Detours.

CandyPants(on the Ground)Rant:  Why all these new commercials featuring old people with big bellies in 50’s underwear?  eeeeuuuu

The Side Trek- Launch

Happy 2010. A mAd friend Michael said I should start a blog. This is it.

The Side Trek~ ‘Back Roads Thoughts’

First Post:

Northampton, Massachusetts isn’t New York or San Francisco, but this week~ Monday night, Jay Leno read the police log from our local newspaper.  He remarked to Kevin Eubanks, “I think we’ve got the white trash trifecta here”: –   A Florence Road resident reported at 7:30 a.m. that someone had broken into his home overnight while he was out drinking with his dog in his sister’s parking lot, and stole his snow blower

Pulitzer Prize winning author Tracy Kidder, Mountains Beyond Mountains, is holding a benefit concert for Haiti with local musicians in Shelburne Falls this weekend.  He lives in the nearby town of Williamsburg.

The horrible Mel Gibson’s horrible new movie “Edge of Darkness” has scenes of Northampton’s Main Street and Court House, and a magnificent view of the Pioneer Valley from Mount Sugarloaf  just 15 minutes up 91 in Deerfield.