"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Beat of the Day

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Tasty.

Picture by Bags.

Taster’s Cherce

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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.

Million Dollar Movie

Tucker

Hold that Tiger.

Dig this: Brad Darrach’s 1988 People magazine profile of Preston Thomas Tucker:

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.

It’s Only Rock n Roll

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But I like it.

[Photo Via: Max's Kansas City]

New York Minute

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The Bronx is Up…

Morning Art

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“Interior with Violin” By Henri Matisse (1918)

Taster’s Cherce

apples

My mom visited over the weekend and brought with her a fun treat from up north. A selection of apples. Five different varieties.

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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.

Where Have You Gone?

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Now you see him…

Sundazed Soul

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Oh, Hoagy. You still sounds fresh.

[Picture via opdrie photography.]

Things That Go Boom in the Night

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Wow.

[Photo Credit: David J. Phillip/Associated Press]

ABC: Always Be Closing

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Giants look to close out the Cards and head to the Whirled Serious.

But maybe the Cards’ll prove to be a tough out and take this series back to St. Louis.

Either way, we’ll be watching.

Let’s Go Base-ball!

[Photo Credit: Francois Cavelier via MPD]

Picture This

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Wish I was there…

Photograph by James Hawkesworth.

Beat of the Day

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You gots to chill.

Picture by Bags. 

Afternoon Art

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Marisol. 

New York Minute

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Hut, hut…

Picture via Kateoplis.

True Grit

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Dig this terrific profile of Angela Lee Duckworth by Marguerite Del Giudice over at National Geographic:

At the moment, Angela and her team are working on clever interventions to help students learn how to work hard and adapt in the face of temptation, distraction, and defeat. The total educational challenge is to accomplish this while at the same time steering them toward their passions, making sure they run around enough and enjoy childhood, and taking care not to inflict psychological damage.

How do you increase grit and self-control, not just in children but also in teachers and people in general, beyond just exhorting them to grin and bear it? Angela cites a current “big study” in and around Philadelphia in which randomly assigned students are asked to change their house or their bedroom in some way that would make studying easier. It could be as simple as having a better light in the room or putting their cell phones on a faraway shelf. If you want to start eating a healthful breakfast—oatmeal instead of a doughnut and coffee, say—you might decide to put the oatmeal out where you can see it first thing in the morning, take a route that doesn’t go by the Dunkin’ Donuts, or simply cover up any intrusive pastry with a napkin to make it less appealing. “Even young children know these tricks,” Angela says, “but adults sometimes forget them.”

These ideas, and her findings about hard work and persistence, are so plain and seemingly self-evident that Angela sometimes has a heck of a time getting across what a profound difference they could make in expanding human potential.

“It’s so simple,” she says, “that it’s hard to explain.”

At the University of Chicago, before a group of professors, she was asked why she studies perseverance. “Why?” she said. “Because life is hard. Because there are just obstacles every day to everything that we want to do. If it were easy, it would be done already, and I think that goes for any work that’s worthwhile.”

In our talent-obsessed culture, talent has been studied and is well understood. Perseverance? Not so much. Meanwhile, what college admissions officers and business leaders have told her they’re looking for these days from applicants is in keeping with her findings. It’s no longer students who’ve padded their résumés by doing a little bit of everything or just prospects with the best college grades; they want people who stuck with something meaningful to them over time and demonstrated some level of mastery, and it doesn’t necessarily matter in what. In a grit presentation by Skype with a group of educators from the Southwest that I sat in on, Angela quoted Martha Graham talking about what it takes for a mature dancer to make it look easy: “Fatigue so great that the body cries, even in its sleep” and—here’s Angela’s favorite line—”there are daily small deaths.”

In other words, children need to be taught to appreciate that they’re supposed to suffer when working hard on a challenge that exceeds their skill. They’re supposed to feel confused. Frustration is probably a sign that they’re on the right track and need to gut it out through the natural human aversion to mental effort and feeling overwhelmed so they can evolve.

[Photo Via PBS]

Would You Believe?

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Go figure, right?

My sense is that the Royals will cool down with the week off before the Whirled Serious and lose to either the Giants or the Cardinals. I hope I’m wrong. It’d be fun to see the Royals win it all. I don’t think it’ll happen though.

[Photo Credit: Matt Slocum/AP]

And For My Next Trick…

mooose

Can the Royals winning streak continue? Will the Cards tie up the NLCS?

Which one of these?

Let’s Go Base-ball!

[Photo Credit: Ed Zurga/Getty Images via It's a Long Season]

Taster’s Cherce

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Saveur gives Pecan Pie Ice Cream Pie. Wait–what? D’um, okay!

[Photo Credit: Maxime Iatton]

Back-to-Back

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Two games! Woo Hoo.

Let’s Go Base-ball!

[Photo Credit: Jed Jacobsohn for The New York Times]

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver