I had a long, long trip yesterday, not that I'm complaining. I woke up at 5:07 am in a cliffside suite at the amazing Oil Nut Bay in Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands, then hopped a ferry to Tortola, where a twin-engine Cessna buzzed me over to San Juan to meet my JetBlue flight back to JFK. There I decided I had more time than money and took the AirTrain to the subway to Brooklyn. I was at once exhausted and exhilarated, and decided to grab my wife and toast the end of a sublime adventure with a sublime sparkling wine, the newly-released Mumm Napa Supernatural Rosé. It's the latest collaboration that the California winemakers have with legendary guitarist Carlos Santana, and it's about the best welcome-back drink I can imagine, a complex, refreshing, moderately sweet sparkling wine that may or may not have some ghosts in it.
Rob Ryan is one hard-working comedian. Not only does he have a relentless tour schedule at comedy clubs throughout the country, he's also quite a prolific video maker. And his videos aren't just shaky camcorder footage of his live shows, he does excellent sendups of the topics of the times, set to popular songs. Most famously, he did "Newark State of Mind," an ode to America's worst city set to the music of Jay-Z and Alicia Keys, but he's done many others, including one exclusively for BlackBook entitled "Lenox Hill Glory" that poked just a little bit of fun at the circus surrounding Blue Ivy Carter's birth. Today, he's back again with a spot-on takedown of the two different types of fan reactions to the recent Game of Thrones finale on HBO, as set to Pink's "Just Give Me a Reason." It's called, fittingly, "Just Give Me a Season."
It seems like only yesterday that writer Claire Bidwell Smith and her husband, Greg Boose, who is also a writer, were among BlackBook's most prolific contributors, first covering dining and nightlife from their chilly home in Chicago, and later, doing that and more from the warmer climes of Los Angeles. All the while, though, Claire was working on a memoir entitled The Rules of Inheritance that was published last year. (Of course we covered it.) It's a wonderful book that describes the agony she felt at losing both of her parents while she was still quite young, and the long process of finding herself in the years that followed. And of course it's sad--my eyes welled up on the subway reading it more than once--but it's also at times funny, fascinating, and uplifting. Apparently actor and producer Jennifer Lawrence liked it too, because she's turning the book into a movie that's she's going to star in. As Claire. Yes, Jennifer Lawrence as Claire Bidwell Smith. That's trippy just for me to wrap my head around, Claire must be like whoah.
I'm pretty sure London has had the pay-for-puking rule for a long time. They're more advanced than we are in the puking arts. (June 26, 2012)