Now, if that’s not the best book title of the year I don’t know what is.
[Photo Credit: George Clinton]
A few weeks ago, Holland Cotter reviewed the new Matisse show in the Times:
For Matisse, self-appointed purveyor of luxe, calme, and volupté, it seems that trial-and-error rawness, some evidence of struggle, validated the work. You find a lot of such evidence in the zesty pinned-paper maquettes he made in 1943 for his book “Jazz,” for which he had high hopes. But when it was finally published in 1947, he hated it. All the irregularities of texture, the paper-on-paper depths, what Matisse referred to as the “sensitivity” of the designs, were missing. Printing had cleaned and pressed them in high-contrast graphics, polished, perfect and dead.
Texture. It’s the first thing I noticed about today’s apple a day: Hudson’s Golden Gem. It is rough and beautiful like a pear. Close your eyes and take a bite and damn if it doesn’t taste like a pear too.
Today’s apple-a-day is: Calville blanc d’hiver.
It’s tart with some sweetness. Not cloyingly sweet though. Almost too tart for my taste, at least as an eating apple (as opposed to a baking one).
And it’s beyond crisp. It’s dense and hard and crunchy.
The heirloom apple a day is: Reine des Reinettes.
This one has a lovely name, especially when a French-speaking person like my Ma says it.
Hold that Tiger.
Seeing isn’t necessarily believing. Case in point: Tucker, Francis Ford Coppola’s new movie about the man who created a glamorous and controversial wonder car of the postwar ’40s but never quite got it into production. According to Coppola’s film, the Tucker was the Great American Automobile of its era, a dazzling experiment that advanced the automotive art by at least a decade. As for Preston Thomas Tucker, the man who made this miracle happen, Coppola presents him—and Jeff Bridges plays him—as a martyred saint of transportation, an endearing idealist betrayed by a sinister conspiracy hatched by Detroit’s Big Three: General Motors, Ford and Chrysler.
All of which adds up to a nice piece of innocent entertainment—and a considerable rearrangement of the truth. The Tucker car, in fact, was in some respects a streamlined lemon. And Tucker himself was a living jigsaw puzzle: industrial visionary, half-educated opportunist, promotional genius, amusing con artist, tender husband, big-spending boozer, loving father—and in the opinion of his adversaries, an out-and-out crook. Put the pieces together and you get the John De Lorean of a heartier time, an American primitive who grappled boldly for power and was swiftly destroyed in a spectacular financial scandal.
Everything about Tucker was spectacular. He stood 6’2″ and weighed 200 lbs., most of it muscle. Boldly handsome, he had large, dominating eyes and razor-thin lips. His black wavy hair was slicked back in the lounge-lizard style affected by George Raft, and a subtle effluence of Lucky Tiger hair tonic trailed him wherever he went. Invariably duded up in custom-tailored suits, jaunty black homburgs, expensive chesterfields and two-tone shoes, he could have passed for a modish mobster—except for his screechy bow ties and the white cotton socks he wore for his athlete’s foot.
My mom visited over the weekend and brought with her a fun treat from up north. A selection of apples. Five different varieties.
And so: An Apple a Day. First up, the Esopus Spitzenburg.
It’s a little tart but not too tart. Not mushy or crisp, somewhere in between.
I’m not expert but it’s a good apple.