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La Vita… Not so Dolce

HPB III

I’ve written a number of blogs about friendship and recently read a study showing that social relationships (friendships) are as important as an active lifestyle and good nutrition when it comes to longevity.

My best friend, Harry Bingham, had all those elements in his life but still didn’t make it. Occasionally, personal pain or a faulty gene gets in the way. It happened to Harry. A graduate of St. Paul’s, Harvard, and Tufts Medical School, he committed suicide and denied us a lifetime of shared friendship and adventures. He was 36 years old. read more

Speed Dining in NOLA…

There are so many great things to do in New Orleans. It was the last stop on our odyssey through the South, but with temperatures in the mid-90’s and only 48 hours in town, M and I opted to pass on the sites and do some serious speed eating. We were there four years ago and tried several of the better-known restaurants – Emeril’s, Central Grocery, Café du Monde, Johnny’s Po’ Boys, Superior Seafood – and I had eaten at Brennan’s and Commander’s Palace in years past. This time we were looking for a more local experience. Two friends, a public defender in NOLA and another friend who went to school at Tulane, gave us their top picks. So, we culled the list of referrals and came up with four – dinner at Upperline, lunch and dinner the next day at Pêche and Jewel of the South, and lunch at Le Petite Grocery before heading to the airport.  read more

Travels in the Low Country…

This is the “Low Country.” Before our recent trip through the “Old South,” I knew almost nothing about this 187 miles of South Carolina coastline with its barrier or Sea Islands. Traditionally, the phrase refers to the former slave holding areas where rice and indigo, both labor intensive crops that thrived in the hot, wet, sub-tropical climate, were the foundation of its economy. I’ve always had an affinity for the “big sky” vistas of the western high desert, but this astonishingly beautiful landscape with its long chartreuse-colored sea grasses, blue sky, live oak, Spanish moss, and tidewater is equally striking. read more

One Life to Live…

I’m a big James Taylor fan. I own most of his music – recorded, printed, and filmed – but my favorite song is undoubtedly the one whose first and last lines are “The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time.”

The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time
Any fool can do it
There ain’t nothing to it
Nobody knows how we got to
The top of the hill
But since we’re on our way down
We might as well enjoy the ride

The secret of love is in opening up your heart
It’s okay to feel afraid
But don’t let that stand in your way
‘Cause anyone knows that love is the only road
And since we’re only here for a while read more

A Steyn for a Stain…

Sebastian Gorka

Remember him? Sebastian Gorka? He’s like Bozo, the inflatable clown punching bag, he just keeps bouncing back. He’s such an unlikely success story – if this is what success looks like – a Hungarian anti-Semite and neo-Nazi sympathizer is granted a US Green Card on the strength of his marriage to an American heiress, and together they seize onto a feverish alt-right dream they can pedal to right-wing American media.

In a calculated move, on arrival in the US, thanks to his wife’s conservative connections, he meets Robert and Rebekah Mercer, underwriters of Breitbart News, and soon he’s a Breitbart on-air darling. In time, he moves over to Fox News where he serves up self-important, European-styled expert opinion on immigration and terrorism. Next, in a giant leap far beyond his inflated resume’, he impresses “the chosen one” and gets himself appointed Deputy White House Assistant for Counter-Terrorism. read more