Arts & Leisure

04/02/2019
(Globe Pequot Press) When nocturnal hijinks (and, by the way, a fantastic hair-raising start to a rollicking read) land two cousins, heirs to a merchant shipping company, in hot water, the uncle to Joseph Carlo and father to Suchet, decides a stint serving on the ship will give them the needed “encouragement” to become more serious about their futures. What seems like a successful idea to achieve just that is ambushed by unanticipated and disastrous events, the boys are forced to grow up even faster. No longer the favored members of a happy extended family, their ability to endure life on the...
04/02/2019
Just recently, I traveled to Napa for a culinary medicine conference. Culinary medicine is a relatively new field that integrates scientific principles related to nutrition, behavior and medicine. In the clinical realm, this is the practice of supporting patients to use nutrition and cooking habits to restore and maintain health. Healthcare providers, researchers, and chefs shared their knowledge and passion surrounding health and food in an inspiring week. It was also a delicious week, as we cooked together and noshed on culinary delights morning, noon and night. The timing of this...

LEWIS FRANCO AND the Missing Cats will swing Burnham Hall, 52 River Road, Lincoln, on Saturday, April 6, at 7:30 p.m. in the latest Ripton Community Coffe3 House performance. Photo courtesy Ripton Community Coffee House
04/02/2019
ADDISON COUNTY — The Ripton Community Coffee House is going on the road again to present Lewis Franco and the Missing Cats in concert on Saturday, April 6, at 7:30 p.m. at Burnham Hall in Lincoln. The concert is moved from its usual venue due to ongoing repairs at the Ripton Community House.  An acoustic jazz combo, Lewis Franco and the Missing Cats perform originals as well as gypsy swing and jive swing tunes from the 1930s and 1940s, featuring close three-part vocal rhythm harmonies and thrilling improvisation. The line-up for this concert includes Franco on guitar and vocals, Will Patton...

BRENDA MYRICK, A watercolor artist in Bristol, breaks into new mediums. Her Tibetan Terrier Maizie keeps her company at her home studio. Independent photo/Elsie Lynn Parini
01/08/2019
BRISTOL — When you’ve been doing something for more than 30 years, chances are you’ve experienced some changes. Brenda Myrick knows the feeling. In fact, she’s in the middle of a shift right now. “I’m at the point where I’m ready to stop painting watercolors the way I used to,” explained Myrick, who primarily painted commissioned portraits of loved ones — people, and pets, too. Her style was classic. Myrick painted layer, upon layer with thoughtful color and strokes to build an image with an intense realism that feels like it’s caught in a dream. “I think watercolors are the hardest medium,”...

Christian Bale plays Dick Cheney in “Vice” (2018).
01/08/2019
Vice — Running Time: 2:12 — Rating: R Moviemakers have fallen so in love with the new tools at their disposal that they are using them at a tough cost to the audience: confusion. “Vice” is a prime example. The political figures of our era are shown at different ages — young here, old there, handsome here, bald and fat there. The scenes shift at bullet speed while we try to sort it all out. That said, this is a movie full of revelations that never came through in the press at the time. The audience at the opening on Christmas Day was thoroughly absorbed as they made their way through the...
01/08/2019
(Berkley Books) Seraphine’s life has long been defined her family, born, as she was to influential parents and grandparents, as one of the infamous Summerbourne twins. Their lives and legacy are shrouded in mystery, shaped by the house itself, rife with rumors. Her older brother barely recalls the day Seraphine and Danny were born, the same day their mother tragically took her own life. Now, in the aftermath of her father’s suspicious and untimely death, Seraphine discovers a previously unseen photograph of her mother holding just one new infant. Which baby is it? Is it possible Seraphine isn...

GOSHEN NATIVE REBECCA Nase Chomyn works in her shop in Fairfield welding and bending metal into art.
12/18/2018
VERMONT — During her sophomore year in college, then 18-year-old Rebecca Nase Chomyn showed up to her first welding class in a skirt and flip flops. That was the day they were doing a demo of plasma cutting. “Basically you’re shooting fire toward the ground as you cut metal,” said Chomyn, who graduated from Pratt Institute, in Brooklyn, N.Y., with a Bachelor of Fine Arts majoring in sculpture. “And I had flip flops on! I never did that again.” Although her wardrobe choices weren’t great, her metal work was awesome. “Working with metal… it’s like you can take one thing and pull it over there...

JUDITH HAD A wonderful crop of winterberries this year — until they were discovered by a voracious crowd of cedar waxwings. Photo by Dick Conrad
12/18/2018
GOSHEN — Winter is the season of short days and dark nights when, even at midday, the sun gives little warmth as it rides low in the sky. By now my fall garden chores are done, my tools hang neatly in the toolshed and I have mostly retreated indoors. I am lucky enough to have a small cool greenhouse which becomes my indoor winter garden and, from October until May, is home for my potted camellias. Camellias flower from December to April — when our outdoor gardens are covered with snow — making their beautiful blooms all the more special. And yes, even though the summer flowers are but a...

Hugh Jackman stars in “The Front Runner” (2018).
12/18/2018
The Front Runner — Running Time: 1:53 — Rating: R “The Front Runner” is a movie for people who are captivated by presidential politics. For those who aren’t, this is a barrel of confusion that requires patience and imagination. Even if you followed Gary Hart’s presidential campaign from the early ’80s forward, it is likely that confusion will engulf you here. A problem common to non-fiction films always looms when the real-life characters are more recognizable than the actors who portray them. You are not likely to recognize Alfred Molina as Ben Bradlee or Spencer Garrett as Bob Woodward....
12/18/2018
(Farrar, Straus and Giroux) This collection of previously uncollected essays showcases an artisan of creative nonfiction, John McPhee, in a two-part book — Part I focuses on the sporting life, and Part II — a reworked amalgamation of fragments from magazine articles and other publications, which may sound messy but is actually quite polished, like a gem plucked from his oeuvre. Accounts of fly-fishing, golf ball hunting, men’s lacrosse and more figure in the first part. Brief biographical sketches of notable figures and visits to notable places, passages plucked from both public and private...

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