One of the hit films of the 1960s was La Dolce Vita, a bleak comedy about shallow, thrill-seeking hipsters in Rome. The title, which means “The Sweet Life,” is ironic in that the sophisticates have wealth but not the capacity to enjoy it, nor to appreciate simple pleasures and natural beauty. The essence of the…

Read More

The South Bay is full of older homes that have been added onto so many times that they acquire quirks – a switch somewhere that is on a different circuit than everything around it, pipes that come out of the wall and go right back in, a patch of wall where a door used to…

Read More

Among my thousands of vacation pictures, there are probably hundreds of images of bakeries all over the world. I’m notorious among my travel companions for not being able to pass one without at least slowing down, and preferably stopping to admire the breads, pies, pastries, and whatever else came out of that oven. If we’re…

Read More

As I sat at an outdoor table at The Lighthouse, I suddenly felt old. Fifty years before, I was a high school kid who rode my bicycle to hang around in the rear parking lot and hear the music that poured out of the place. I didn’t understand much of it, but the unpredictable time…

Read More

Lots of children are interested in aircraft, though most dream of flying them rather than designing them. A boy in Long Island named Michael Ciminera was one of the few who was obsessed with the engineering details, even as a teenager, and he still sounds surprised that two major aircraft companies took him seriously. “At…

Read More

About 50 years ago, upscale restaurant Chez Panisse shocked diners by serving a peach for dessert. Not a peach cobbler, shortcake, galette, or pudding, just a piece of fruit on a plate, with a knife next to it. It was symbolic of how they wanted diners to focus on the simple and natural. When you…

Read More

The South Bay’s foremost art impresario and curator would like to change the way you think about food, particularly how you season it. Though Homeira Goldstein has planned and executed creative dinners for up to 200 people, she made a startling admission for someone who has released a line of seasonings and written a cookbook.…

Read More

In 1976, someone asked Paul McCartney whether the Beatles would ever get back together. He responded, “You can’t reheat a souffle.” That quote has been repeated many times as an example of the futility of resurrecting creative enterprises, and the most amusing thing about it is that it’s wrong. Sir Paul is a great entertainer…

Read More

Names matter. They set expectations, telling you with varying degrees of subtlety what clientele a business owner wishes to attract. Changing them is no small matter – it’s more than hoisting a new sign. So what is a business to do when their concept shifts, or they want to appeal to a different demographic? In…

Read More

I’m going to start this article by stating a fact: any review of Table Manners that is written for a local audience will include a comparison with the former establishment in the location. This isn’t fair, but is inevitable. It is reflected in the emails that I have received from readers who emailed me either…

Read More

There’s a type of place that doesn’t often get attention from reviewers, but that just about everybody visits on at least an occasional basis. They do a solid job without calling attention to themselves. It can be a blind spot, like furniture you don’t notice details of because it’s always there. I noticed an example…

Read More

As much as I like variety, sometimes I’m happy to see a restaurant with a short, well defined menu. It signals confidence, essentially saying, “We don’t serve much, but we’ll bet you’ll like what we offer enough to come back for it.” It’s a strategy reminiscent of the days when a culturally conservative population valued…

Read More