From Paul Levine...
ONE PICTURE IS WORTH...A C IN TORTS: When I was in law school, I would find a secluded carrel in the library and pretend to study. Actually, I would spend hours browsing the bound editions of LIFE and LOOK magazines from the 1940's and 1950's. My own personal time machine. On display now at the Museum of the City of New York, hundreds of photos from LIFE. Here's a 1947 shot of Salvador Dali. Working, sort of.
RECOMMENDED READING: I'm thoroughly enjoying Gerald Posner's "Miami Babylon: Crime, Wealth, and Power," his non-fiction account of the growth of my former (and perhaps future) home. Sometimes, we forget how young the city is. In 1896, when New York City had 3.5 million people, the City of Miami had 300. Miami Beach, zero, but lots of mosquitoes.
HOLIDAY SWEETS: I can't spell Pffereneuse, but I sure like the cookies. Peppermint bark, too. I'm written before about the new rage, combining bacon with chocolate. Check out "Bacon Gets Its Just Deserts" for recipes for Chocolate Bacon Peanut Bark, Maple Apple Bacon Cake (pictured), and more.
SHERLOCK HOLMES, TOUGH GUY? I don't know about you, but I'm not keen to see Sherlock Holmes a scruffy, kung-fu action star. On the other hand, I was reluctant to see "Avatar," and the picture took my breath away. Astonishing. Other movies I've enjoyed this year:
"A Serious Man," the Coen brothers dry and deadly satire set in the Jewish suburb of St. Louis Park, MN in 1967. Lots of Woody Allen influence here. Existential questions raised, and the answers are grim. A kick-ass ending.
"The Hurt Locker," bomb disposal squad in Iraq. You'll dig your fingernails into the armrest. (Any critic who says "explosive" should be shot).
"Precious." Abused Harlem girl fights back. It's no day at the beach.
"Up in the Air," timely George Clooney vehicle in the era of downsizing.
"Brothers," Tobey Maguire, Jake Gyllenhaal and Natalie Portman on the effect of war (Afghan) on soldiers' families at home.
HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL...