Things that tickle me in one way or another!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Sesame Street Explains the Madoff Scandal

Friday, March 27, 2009

Elvis Presley Flips the Dead Bird for 20 Grand

t's just a little piece of stationary on which Elvis Presley sloppily wrote a poem about the unnecessary slaughter of cute little birdie -- and it just sold for a whopping $20,035.20 at an auction.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


I never thought I would see this again, but here it is!
I was so psyched to see this in 1980 when it was on that I took polaroids of the TV


Monday, March 23, 2009

Laugh-In restaurant???

Anybody know that there was a chain of Laugh-In restaurants?? I picked up this napkin and french fry bag on ebay but have no idea where these places were. Pass on any info pleasee...

Saturday, March 21, 2009


so magical!

Thursday, March 19, 2009


Really rare to find this Dee Dee Ramone rap video on youtube-enjoy it while you can! It's hilarious.

Monday, March 16, 2009

45 Year Old Posters Surface on Harlem Wall

As an old building at 117th and Frederick Douglass Boulevard in Harlem gets renovated, some pieces of the past are surfacing. Joe Schumacher recently discovered these three old posters, one for a supreme court judge election in Manhattan and the Bronx, another unidentifiable one, and finally one for British Invasion band the Dave Clark 5's performance at the now-closed Paramount Theater. What a nice urban archaeology find! Allegedly the DC5 played the Paramount around the time of one of their many appearances on the Ed Sullivan show in early 1964, just before the theater closed—making these posters about 45 years old!

UPDATE: The blue poster is most likely for the Johnson, Humphrey, Kennedy campaign, as pointed out in the comments.
from gothamist

Carvel cookie o puss Commercial

Better order your cake for tomorrow!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Cake of Resignation

Cake of Resignation, originally uploaded by neiltron.

Cake of Resignation

Today I gave a two week's notice of my intent to resign. The letter was written in frosting on a full sheet size cake. The cake was delicious and it was well received.

"Dear Mr. Bowers,

During the past three years, my tenure at the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard has been nothing short of pure excitement, joy and whim.

However, I have decided to spend more tyime with my family and attend to health issues that have recently arisen. I am proud to have been part of such an outstanding team and I wish this organization only the finest in future endeavors.

Please accept this cake as not notification that I am leaving my position with NWT on March 27.


W. Neil berrett"

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Spring in LA

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Guide For The Married Man THE TURTLES!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

x the band John DOE Hollywood 1980's

Monday, March 9, 2009


Saturday, March 7, 2009

I Want This Chair!

Graphic design meets anatomy in a stylish interior design with this chair created by AK-LH, a Paris-based design company that specializes in 'dressing the inanimate objects of our daily lives to liven them up.'

This anatomically upholstered chair is named 'Flow' and is part of AK-LH’s 'Tante Wera' series of 50s style Swedish armchairs (limited edition of 7).

Moreover, AK-LH creates many other textile objects as linen and cushions.

You can have a look at all of that at www.ak-lh.com

Designer: AK-LH (France)
Manufacturer: AK-LH (France)

Friday, March 6, 2009

Arena Chelsea Hotel Pt1

1981 BBC documentary about New York's venerable Chelsea Hotel and its colourful inhabitants.

If Mirrors Could Speak -- creepy self-image film (1976)

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Horton Foote, Chronicler of America in Plays and Film, Dies at 92

I worked for Horton jr. for 4 years at Tavern on Jane and besides it being the best restaurant job I ever had , I was honored to help Horton Sr out anytime.

NY times slide show here

Horton Foote, who chronicled a wistful American odyssey through the 20th century in plays and films mostly set in a small town in Texas and who left a literary legacy as one of the country’s foremost storytellers, died on Wednesday in Hartford. He was 92 and lived in Pacific Palisades, Calif., and Wharton, Tex.

Mr. Foote died after a brief illness, his daughter Hallie Foote said. He had recently been living in Hartford while adapting his nine-play “Orphans’ Home Cycle” into a three-part production that will be staged next fall at the Hartford Stage Company and the Signature Theater in New York. In a body of work for which he won the Pulitzer Prize and two Academy Awards, Mr. Foote was known as a writer’s writer, an author who never abandoned his vision even when Broadway and Hollywood temporarily turned their backs on him.

In screenplays for movies like “Tender Mercies,” “To Kill a Mockingbird” and “The Trip to Bountiful,” and in plays like “The Young Man From Atlanta” and “The Carpetbagger’s Children,” Mr. Foote depicted the way ordinary people shoulder the ordinary burdens of life, finding drama in the resilience by which they carry on in the face of change, economic hardship, disappointment, loss and death.

Robert Duvall, an actor who was one of Mr. Foote’s most frequent interpreters, making his screen debut in “To Kill a Mockingbird” (1962) and winning an Oscar for best actor in “Tender Mercies” (1983), said on Wednesday that “Horton was the great American voice.” He added, “His work was native to his own region, but it was also universal.”

Frank Rich, who as chief theater critic of The New York Times in the 1980s was one of Mr. Foote’s champions, once called him “one of America’s living literary wonders.” On Wednesday Mr. Rich described Mr. Foote as “a major American dramatist whose epic body of work recalls Chekhov in its quotidian comedy and heartbreak, and Faulkner in its ability to make his own corner of America stand for the whole.”

In 1986, in an interview with The New York Times Magazine, Mr. Foote expounded on the themes that run through his work, saying, “I believe very deeply in the human spirit and I have a sense of awe about it because I don’t know how people carry on.” He added: “I’ve known people that the world has thrown everything at to discourage them, to kill them, to break their spirit. And yet something about them retains a dignity. They face life and they don’t ask quarters.”

Mr. Foote spent most of his life writing about such people. In more than 60 plays and films, most set in the fictive town of Harrison, Tex., he charted their struggle through the century by recording their familial conflicts.

He often seemed to resemble a character from one of his plays. Always courteous and courtly, he spoke with a Texas drawl. He enjoyed good food and wine, but he usually opted for barbecue and iced tea or fried chicken with a Coca-Cola when he was home in Texas. He was jovial with a wry humor, and his white hair and robust frame gave him the appearance of a Southern senator or the favorite uncle who always had a story. Harper Lee, a lifelong friend since Mr. Foote adapted her novel “To Kill a Mockingbird,” once said that Mr. Foote “looked like God, only cleanshaven.”

Albert Horton Foote Jr., one of three sons of Albert Horton Foote and the former Hallie Brooks, was born March 14, 1916, in Wharton, Tex., a town about 40 miles southwest of Houston. His father was a haberdasher and his mother taught piano.

Although he boarded a train for Dallas at 16 to pursue acting, Mr. Foote never really left home. From his first efforts as a playwright, he returned again and again to set his plays and films amid the pecan groves and Victorian houses with large front porches on the tree-lined streets of Wharton. His inspiration came from the people he knew and the stories he heard growing up there.

Mr. Foote spent two years studying acting at the Pasadena Playhouse in California, then went to New York to become a Broadway star. He continued his studies there with Tamara Daykarhanova, a Russian émigré, and joined Mary Hunter’s American Actors Company. While rehearsing a production of one-acts, Ms. Hunter had her cast perform improvisations based on life in the actors’ hometowns. After Mr. Foote performed his, Agnes De Mille, who was doing choreography for another show, asked Mr. Foote if he had ever considered writing.

“No,” he replied. “What on earth would I write about?”

Ms. DeMille, who became a lifelong friend, gave Mr. Foote the age-old advice to every beginning playwright. “Write what you know about,” she said.

Mr. Foote went home that night and wrote a one-act called “Wharton Dance,” about the Friday-night dances in his hometown. He wrote the lead part for himself. The company performed the play in an evening of one-acts.

Mr. Foote continued to pursue acting and appeared in a few other plays. Then, during a trip home, he decided to write another play. This time he spread a large canvas, writing a three-act, multilayered drama set in a small-town drugstore. He called it “Texas Town,” and the American Actors Company staged it in 1941, with Mr. Foote in the lead.

To Mr. Foote’s and the company’s surprise, Brooks Atkinson, the critic for The Times, came to see it. Atkinson called it an “engrossing portrait of small-town life.” He praised it for being “simply written” and for giving “a real and languid impression of a town changing in its relation to the world.” He added, “Mr. Foote’s play is “an able evocation of a part of life in America.”

To support himself, Mr. Foote took various jobs, including night elevator operator and bookstore clerk. While working in the bookstore a Vassar student came in looking for a summer job. Her name was Lillian Vallish. Mr. Foote asked her on a date, and the two were married the next year, on June 4, 1945. They had four children and remained together until Ms. Foote’s death in 1992.

Besides his daughter Hallie, an actress who became a main interpreter of her father’s plays, Mr. Foote is survived by his three other children — Horton Jr., who also acted and directed and is a restaurant owner in New York; Walter, a lawyer; and Daisy, also a playwright — and two grandchildren.

After World War II, Mr. Foote and Lillian moved to Washington to run the King Smith School along with Vincent Donehue. (Mr. Foote had been barred from serving in the military during the war because of a hernia.) The new theater fashion in those years was to blend words, music and dance into one theatrical experience, and Mr. Foote tried to write in the new form. One achievement during the Washington years was that Mr. Foote opened the King Smith theater to all races, the first integrated audiences in the nation’s capital.

Mr. Foote returned to New York in 1950, just as television was beginning to command America’s attention and producers like Fred Coe were recruiting writers to work for it. Mr. Donehue was hired by Mr. Coe to produce a weekly TV show for children that starred Gabby Hayes, the cowboy movie star and Roy Rogers sidekick.

Mr. Foote went to work for Mr. Coe at NBC, and his first assignment was to help write weekly half-hour episodes of “The Gabby Hayes Show.” In his spare time he continued to write plays. One, “The Chase,” in 1952, introduced Kim Stanley to Broadway, although it did not have great critical success.

Mr. Coe shortly signed Mr. Foote to a contract to write nine one-hour dramas for television. Mr. Coe liked to have one-page plot synopses from his writers, but for his third TV drama, Mr. Foote recalled, he didn’t know how to put it on paper. So, by his account, he just told Mr. Coe the plot.

“It’s about an old lady who wants to go home,” Mr. Foote said.

“That’s it?” Mr. Coe asked

“That’s it,” Mr. Foote replied.

“Go ahead,” Mr. Coe said. “I trust you.”

“The Trip to Bountiful” starred Lillian Gish as the gentle and long-suffering widow Carrie Watts. The play would have several incarnations over Mr. Foote’s life, including a version on Broadway, a revival Off Broadway, a London production and, three decades later, a 1985 movie for which Geraldine Page would receive an Academy Award for best actress and Mr. Foote was nominated for the screenplay.

Mr. Foote went on to write 10 plays for television, mostly for Television Playhouse and mostly directed by Mr. Donehue. When Mr. Coe moved from NBC to CBS, Mr. Foote wrote several teleplays for “Playhouse 90,” including adaptations of the Faulkner stories “Old Man” and “Tomorrow.” Faulkner was so impressed with the latter that he offered to split the publication royalties with him.

Television had moved to the West Coast by this time, and Mr. Foote’s work in TV there led to his first film projects. One of them was to adapt a screenplay of Ms. Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird,” about a white Southern lawyer defending a black man on rape charges. For his screenplay Mr. Foote received his first Academy Award. Gregory Peck won best actor for his performance as the lawyer, Atticus Finch, and the film introduced to the screen a young actor named Robert Duvall as the eccentric Boo Radley.

Mr. Foote had another film success with “Baby, the Rain Must Fall” (1965), a reworking of his play “The Traveling Lady.” The film starred Steve McQueen.

But Mr. Foote’s Hollywood honeymoon began to sour. His next Hollywood venture was to adapt his play “The Chase” into a screenplay. But studio executives were unhappy with the script, and the producer Sam Spiegel hired Lillian Hellman to rewrite it. When the final film version was released, almost none of Mr. Foote’s original material remained. Mr. Foote was then hired by Otto Preminger to work on a screenplay for “Hurry Sundown” (1967), but the producer never used a word of his dialogue, although Mr. Foot appeared in the credits as a co-writer.

The experiences so depressed Mr. Foote that he moved to New Hampshire to live on a farm, and even contemplated giving up writing. It was after the death of his parents that Mr. Foote began the nine-play cycle called “The Orphans’ Home,” inspired by his father’s family and spanning 1902 to 1928. The first of these plays were staged in New York by Herbert Berghof, who with his wife, Uta Hagen, ran the H-B Theater workshop. It marked the start of the Foote revival.

If Brooks Atkinson helped launch Mr. Foote’s first career as a writer, it was Mr. Rich, of The Times, who helped start his revival with enthusiastic reviews of the cycle’s plays. Producers started paying attention to Foote’s work again, and a new generation of audiences was introduced to his work.

One of those who applauded Mr. Foote’s return was the director and producer Alan J. Pakula, who had hired him to write the screenplay for “Mockingbird.” “In a seemingly undramatic way,” Mr. Pakula said, Mr. Foote “has a specific voice, a specific style, and he has never abandoned it, even though it has cost him.”

While Mr. Foote worked on “The Orphans’ Home” cycle, his agent, Lucy Kroll, suggested he write an original screenplay. He began working on a story about a group of young singers trying to break into country and western music. When his daughter Hallie reminded him that Mr. Duvall could sing, Mr. Foote started molding a character for him.

The movie, “Tender Mercies,” was written specifically with Mr. Duvall in mind for the role of Mac Sledge, a washed-up, alcoholic singer who finds redemption in the love of a young Vietnam War widow and her small son. The film was shot in Waxahachie, Tex., for only $4.5 million, and at first no studio wanted to distribute it. But, Mr. Duvall went on to win the best-actor Academy Award and Mr. Foote received his second Oscar for the screenplay.

With his new success, Mr. Foote again turned toward writing movies, but this time he pursued an independent route. With his wife, Lillian, as producer and the rest of his family acting or working behind the scenes, he made movies of two plays in the “The Orphans’ Home” cycle, “1918” and “On Valentine’s Day.” Both were shot in Waxahachie, cost under $2 million each and starred Hallie Foote.

The second act of Mr. Foote’s career was given an extended run by the Signature Theater, an Off Off Broadway company that devoted its 1994-95 season to his work. One of the Foote plays that season had been written some years earlier, but had never been performed. It was “The Young Man From Atlanta” and was about a couple nearing retirement in Houston in the 1950s and trying to come to terms with their grown son’s suicide and suspected homosexuality. It won the Pulitzer Prize in 1995.

As the 21st-century dawned, Mr. Foote wrote “The Carpetbagger’s Children,” a play in which three grown daughters of a carpetbagger look back over their lives and the 20th century in alternating monologues. It was staged at Lincoln Center and drew sold-out audiences in an extended run. Another revival of “The Trip to Bountiful,” with Lois Smith, was a hit for Signature Theater, and Mr. Foote scored a Broadway success with the revival of “Dividing the Estate,” under Michael Wilson’s direction.

Mr. Wilson, director of the Hartford Stage, and James Houghton of the Signature, put together the production of “The Orphans’ Home Cycle” that will be staged in the fall and was Mr. Foote’s lifelong dream.

Mr. Foote had all but completed work on adapting those plays at his death. Only a week ago, he had seen a preview performance of the stage version of “To Kill a Mockingbird” at the Hartford Stage Company and had been anticipating the staging of “Dividing the Estate” there in April.

“I don’t think I’ll ever stop writing,” he said in a 1999 interview. “I write almost every day. I’d write plays even if they were never done again. You’re at the mercy of whatever talent you have.”

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The World's Ugliest Cat!

breakfast song

Monday, March 2, 2009

From the Bowery to Bordeaux

I LOVE Fred & Paula and am dying to try their wine!

tish & snooky on the label!

Fred Smith and Paula Cereghino make wine in their renovated barn.
The wines of Cereghino-Smith

by Peter Barrett and photographs by Jennifer May, February 26, 2009
The essential point of collaboration—whether in marriage, art, music, or winemaking—is to create something that the individuals involved could not achieve separately. A few miles south of Kingston, in a funky old stone house, a collaboration that encompasses all four Cereghino-Smith strong suits is producing some high-quality wine in an improbable place.

Paula Cereghino is a visual artist who worked for years in the fashion and wine businesses, and Fred Smith is the bass player for the seminal New York punk band Television. Cereghino’s grandfather, who emigrated from Genoa, Italy, had a cooperative farm in Tacoma, Washington, where she grew up. “Every year they made about 200 gallons of wine—as much as they could [legally] get away with,” she explains. On a trip to Northern Italy about 10 years ago that centered on a visit with a first-rate winemaker, she became inspired to try it for herself. Smith developed his palate on tour: “Playing in a band that traveled to Europe often gave me lots of opportunities to try many wines,” he says. “I was lucky enough once to get a week off in Bordeaux while I was accompanied by a couple of English wine-enthusiast roadies. We rented a car and took off to Saint-Emilion, where we went on a shopping spree. After that I was able to get ‘two bottles of good Bordeaux’ put on the band’s backstage food rider.” Cereghino accompanied him on tour whenever possible, and they tasted together everywhere they went.

The duo began making wine in their apartment on Houston Street in 1999, shortly after Cereghino returned from Italy. They bought some California Zinfandel grapes and fermented the wine in 15-gallon glass demijohns. “‘I’ve got some homemade wine’ is one of the scariest things you can hear when visiting someone,” Smith says. “But it was just kind of fun to do. And when I had the first sip, at racking [siphoning the wine off the sediment], I couldn’t believe how good it tasted; it tasted like wine. Then the finished product was better than I had dreamed was possible.” Later, he bought Cereghino a small oak barrel for aging their wine as a gift. She remembers being relieved upon unwrapping it that it wasn’t “something dumb, like a computer.” Their enthusiasm quickly increased, and they began taking courses and seminars on winemaking—at the New York Horticultural Society, Cornell Cooperative Extension, and elsewhere. In 2003, they bought a 250-year-old house in Bloomington, renovated the accompanying barn, and began making wine at a professional level.

They buy their grapes from high-quality growers in California and hand-select and de-stem them before crushing. Fermentation takes place in three stainless tanks, and then the wine is aged in custom barrels, unique to this winery, with Canadian oak staves and American oak ends. This unusual combination allows the wines to benefit from the different qualities of the two woods; Canadian oak is considered to be a little closer to French oak in the subtler flavors it imparts to wine but costs substantially less. Smith’s recording studio is upstairs from the winemaking operation, and combines some seriously funky vintage processors with a computer and Protools, thus taking advantage of the best that old and new technologies have to offer. He clearly enjoys being an engineer as well as a musician, and this extends to the winemaking downstairs.

“He’s the scientist and I’m the artist,” Cereghino says as a shorthand way of explaining their complementary abilities. “We’re comfortable in our roles.” Smith explains that “what we make is dictated by what there is,” and describes the process of reconciling their passion for flavor with the technical process of achieving it as being similar to producing live-sounding music in the studio. As winemakers, they have their priorities carefully tuned; since most wine is bought to accompany a meal, all of their wines have refreshingly low alcohol—ranging between 12 and 14 percent—which makes them uncommonly nimble and food-friendly for wine made from California grapes these days. Paula explains that “we love food, so we try to make wine that goes well with food.”Their two most popular and inexpensive (around $20) wines are blends. Eaten By Bears is a blend of 42 percent Sangiovese, 37 percent Petite Sirah, and 21 percent Mourvedre. The name comes from a friend’s warning when he heard that they were moving to the country (“You’ll be eaten by bears!”) and the wine is bright and cheerful. Rock `n Roll Red is a blend of the same grapes, but in reverse proportion; Mourvedre dominates at 60 percent of the blend, with 25 percent Petite Sirah and 15 percent Sangiovese, making the wine sturdier and better suited to hearty fare. Genoa ($26), their newest blend of 75 percent Sangiovese and 25 percent Petite Sirah, features a pencil drawing by Cereghino on the label; taken from old family photos, she tinted it with espresso. Tasted from the barrel just prior to bottling, it revealed a more complex aromatic profile and depth of flavor than the other blends, which should easily justify its higher price.
They also make four single-varietal wines (in tiny quantities, from 150 to 180 hand-numbered bottles of each wine) and these represent the full expression of their passion for winemaking. The 2007 vintage is in bottle and available now. The Sangiovese ($26) is light in both color and flavor, with characteristic red fruit and a whiff of the nail polish smell that seems to haunt some California Sangiovese. The Mourvedre ($27) is darker and rounder, with more physicality and some of the feral fruit that makes this grape so special in Southern France. Most interesting right now is their Syrah (the label says “San Giuseppe,” a reference both to Paula’s Italian grandfather and to Saint-Joseph in France, one of the world’s best expressions of the Syrah grape). It showed well, drinking elegantly, and after a few days open on the kitchen counter continued to maintain ebullient fruit and structure—a sure sign of well made wine.

Their 2007 Petite Sirah ($45)—which they consider their flagship wine—has a lovely rich nose, but needs more time to unwind in the bottle before it’s ready to drink. This is a wine to lie down for three to five years and then open with a charred hunk of animal. The 2008 Petite Sirah is still in barrels: One is unadulterated, and the other has two percent Petit Verdot added as an experiment. Both versions are a deep, opaque purple—this grape is notoriously dark—and yet they have an astonishing and incongruous aroma of apricots and peaches that hovers above the inky fuchsia juice.

Still in barrel, the 2007 Little House ($40) is another blend that they consider to be their homage to Chateauneuf-du-Pape, the King of Southern Rhône wines in France. Named after their 18th-century house (built by the Huguenot immigrants, who brought wine grapes to New York), it includes Syrah, Mourvedre, and Petite Sirah. It looks to combine the best qualities of all three grapes, and they are clearly proud of it. Their house is pictured on the label, and they have high hopes that it will become a defining wine for them.

Their operation is not without hindrances, however; the barn is small, and so far they have room for only 14 barrels, though they may try to fit a couple more in soon. They now regret not rebuilding it completely, instead of renovating, but they were taken with the aesthetics of the barn’s old post-and-beam frame. The house is ancient, and beset with plumbing and other problems. Profitability is likely several years off, and the limits on volume will keep the margins tight for the foreseeable future. Their product is not really local, since the grapes are trucked 3,000 miles; though they are currently fermenting some Finger Lakes Cabernet Franc to see what it has to offer, they have resisted making Chardonnay or Riesling since they feel that there’s enough of those already being grown and made around here.

Yet these constraints also add to the appeal; this is very limited-edition boutique wine by two people with obvious talent and vision, and a very clear desire to emulate the Rhone wines they love best—but on their own terms. After only a few years in the business, they are making a distinct group of wines with unique character and indie cred. Word is spreading; Tim Sweeney of Stone Ridge Wine carries the blends and thinks “they’ve done a great job; good wine is not easy to make, and theirs are vibrant and elegant.” Rich Reeve, chef-owner of Elephant in Kingston, especially likes the Rock `n Roll Red with the tapas he serves. “Mourvedre is called Monastrell in Spain, and the wine is similar in flavor points to a good Spanish red,” he says.
With total production of a few hundred cases—a small fraction of even an average boutique winery—Cereghino-Smith is giving our area a taste of DIY wine with a sterling punk pedigree.

For a list of the local restaurants and retailers who carry Cereghino-Smith wines, visit www.cereghinosmith.com.