Sunday, March 13, 2016

Cultural Notes

To help chase away the late winter blahs, I have been actively scouting around for little doses of joy.  Here are a few things that fit that description for me:

Lionel Messi -- Anyone who likes sport or, dare I say it, beauty, should be catching every minute of Messi they can while he is still at his peak.  Unfortunately, this week that will mean watching him destroy my beloved Arsenal.


Noises Off -- I have seen this show three times, including a recent trip to the Roundabout's version on Broadway.  I don't think I have ever laughed harder at the theater.  After the laugher fades, you realize what a truly amazing piece of writing this is.

The Feelies -- I've written before about my affection for the Feelies, a band that I think has aged remarkably well.  They marked their 40th anniversary this year by re-issuing their two best albums, complete with new material, including a killer live version of the Stooges' "I Wanna Be Your Dog."


Emma -- At the end of last year, my wife helped to organize an event at the New School to honor the 200th anniversary of Emma.  It was a good fun, but my enjoyment was slightly dampened by the fact that I hadn't read the novel.  I recently rectified that problem and can now say with even greater force that it is worth checking out the panels that the New School put together.


Bruce Springsteen -- I was a huge Springsteen fan in my youth.  When I fell in love with hip-hop in the late '80s, I started to gravitate away from the Boss, but the roots are still there.  The  lavish re-release of The River has been a good excuse for me to listen to Springsteen again.  There are lots of gems in the box set -- and in this free download of a vintage show from that era: Tempe, Arizona 1980.

The Clam -- Eating out is one of my favorite things to do in New York City.  The thing that I have eaten most recently that brought a smile to my face was the lobster roll/fried clam slider at The Clam in the Village.

Stephen Curry -- The conventional wisdom seems to be that there has never been another player in the NBA quite like Steph Curry.  I suppose that this is true, although I agree with Phil Jackson that a case can be made for Chris Jackson/Mahmoud Abdul Rauf (not to mention Steve Nash).  I actually think the best analogy for Curry at the moment is Messi -- another great little man who seems to be operating at a different speed than those around him.  The shot he hit to beat Oklahoma City the other week is worth watching again and again for its sheer audacity and the great call by Mike Breen.  "Bang!" indeed.