Thursday, March 29, 2012
Washington, D.C. & New York City
Ortolan is the French common name for a finch-like bunting that is a native of Europe and parts of Asia and Africa. Even though there are strict laws protecting these migratory birds, they are a great delicacy still being captured in nets in southwest France. Weighing less than an ounce, the tiny songbirds are first kept in a lightless box, prompting them to instinctively gorge on millet, grapes, and figs. Once the bird has quadrupled in size, becoming nothing more than a four-ounce lump of richly-flavored fat, it is drowned in Armagnac, plucked, roasted, and flambéed.
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
The fifth season of the television series “Mad Men” will begin on March 25th. The soap opera-esque drama about New York’s advertising industry in the 1960s is addictive, in spite of leaving you with an unsettled feeling at the end of each episode. One keeps wishing for everything to return to normal, but it never works out that way, primarily because of the constant philandering that only compounds the problems. The two-hour debut is sure to deliver a double dose of dysfunctional behavior, leaving the viewers in the same disquieted mood as when the show last aired seventeen months ago. Therefore, we should take advantage of this tranquil interlude and return to the beginning of the last century, remembered in popular culture as a time when life was simpler and more wholesome, perhaps even for those working on Madison Avenue.