My good friend Dave Wondrich, who happens to be one of the foremost cocktail experts (hence a reason he is a good friend) and a Professor in both the senses of the word, has a fantastic new book out next week called Imbibe. It is a combination of a history of a amazing age and a guide to recreating authentic cocktails that pulls from and enhances the work of the original Professor of the bar Jerry Thomas. The author of the first cocktail book and a keen member of the sporting life Thomas lived and worked in NY, SF, Virgina City, and spots in between. The book covers the gold rush, the reasons for Georgia having peaches, and interesting tales of the sporting life. The cocktail part enables you to adopt measures, make syrups and bitters, flaming drinks, punches (I can attest to their potency and find myself thankful that the Navy no longer presses people) and generally travel back in time to great cocktails which you will be happy to imbibe. And since glasses were smaller back then you can have more of them.
In this day and age when many older things seem new again, the announcement that CondeNast has invested in a company called Tastebook, which enables users to create custom cookbooks took me back to a now defunct company called Booktailor which enabled users to create custom travel guides in 2000. That company funded by Bertelsmann and then shut down.
Posted at 08:04 PM | Permalink
This morning we found a dead bird on our deck. My immediate thought was to call 311 where I was told that if I wanted to file a "complaint" about a possible case of West Nile virus, it would take two business days. I was also given instructions on how to dispose of the bird. I chose the latter, but as I was putting it into the garbage bag it turned over and had the most extraordinary beak. Immediately we got out the Sibley and I (in retrospect ignoring the sizing info) identified it as something like a Hudsonian Godwit or a Bristle-Thighed Curlew. Armed with that exciting info we decided to call the Prospect Park Audubon Center who asked us to send these photos to their Chief Naturalist. He identified it as an American Woodcock (Scolopax minor), an upland shorebird (basically a sandpiper that is adapted for a forest habitat). They migrate overland and sadly are particularly prone to colliding with windows. Poor bird.
Shalom Auslander wrote a very funny essay about the experience of wearing a Thom Browne. suit as an assignment. It appeared in the past weekend's NYT Magazine about wealth and NYC. Thom Browne. is also responsible for the Black Fleece line at Brooks Brothers which Auslander should try next as I'd love his take on wearing a cape and knickers. Other must reads in that issue are Daphne Merkin's essay in the back and James Traub's Measures of Wealth.