Books:"The Great Gatsby"by F.Scott Fitzgerald----the first
"grown-up" novel I read at 13. After that I never looked back at
"teenage" novels, and then read "Narcissus and Goldmund", by
Hermann Hesse---mainly because of the sexy women on the book cover,
but it was a deep novel about life, love, sexuality, and the
history of Middle-Ages Germany was also fascinating. And, "Brave
New World", by Aldous Huxley. Great satire, and tragedy; "The
Manchurian Candidate", by Richard Condon----the book is even more
disturbing than the movie. "The Alienist", by Caleb Carr---a great
story, plus a vivid portrait of old New York. "The Hobbit" and "The
Lord of the Rings" by J.R.R. Tolkien....they got me through some
interesting time as a teen, and I've never forgotten;
"Low Life", by Luc Sante, an informal history of the darker and
dirtier side of life in old New York; "The Times Were Never So
Bad", a collection of short stories by the late, great Andre
Dubus;"Patton: Ordeal and Triumph", by Ladislas Farago, a great
biography of the WWII general; "Pattons", by Robert Patton, a
loving, but even-handed family biography by a decendent of the
Movies:"Citizen Kane". I think the greatest movie ever made. After
taking film class in high school, and seeing Gregg Toland's
cinematography, it is just mesmerizing. "Touch of Evil"(restored
vesion), Welles' film noir masterpiece, reuniting him with many in
the Mercury Theater of the Air, in a story of corruption on the
Also, "The Manchurian Candidate"(original version), a fascinating
film version, with great performancrs, based on a really good
book(yes, I read it too!);
"The Sting". "SEE IT FROM THE BEGINNING" the trailer said 35 years
ago. On tv and on video I've seen it so many times I'm still
surprised. The best was 25 years ago, taking my one-time French
pen-pal and her family to see it dubbed IN FRENCH, where it was
entitled "L'arnaque", and it was fun to see their faces when they
saw the ending.
"Pulp Fiction". Very violent, but not bloody, and the conversations
and the words are so well thought out; "The Searchers"---old
fashioned John Ford/John Wayne western, great direction, acting,
and cinematography...and inspirational for other films, such as
Kurasawa's "The Hidden Fortress", and even "Star Wars".
"Aleksander Nevsky", the Soviet masterpiece by Sergei Eistenstein.
The acting is stilted, the story of the leader of the Kievan States
fighting the evil Teutonic Knights is rooted in historical fact,
but the movie is, in fact, an anti-German propaganda film, that was
pulled and banned as soon as the Soviets and the Germans started
WWII and carved up Poland. I digress...the cinematography is
stunning. The greates scene is the battle on the ice, and the badly
recorded score by the great composer, Sergei Prokoffiev, has since
been re-discovered, performed, and re-recorded. It may be the
greatest film score ever written.
Don't get me started on silent films....Growing up, I got to know
not only the films of Charlie Chaplin, but Charlie Chase, Harold
Lloyd, Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford, Rudolf Valentino, to name
a few. And if you enjoy the tones of the "Mighty Wurlitzer, that's
a plus too.
Most romantic movie moments: When George and Mary are on the phone
with Sam and you can see them fall in love...in "It's a Wonderful
I don't consider myslef a cinemaphile, but I could go on and on
Music:Classical:----Beetoven, Ravel, Prokoffiev, Bruckner, Wagner,
George Gershwin, Aaron Copland, Leonard Bernstein. "Rhapsody in
Blue", "Appalachian Spring", are so quintessentially "American",
and Bernstein was a great conductor and a great composer in his own
Jazz:Benny Goodman, Miles Davis.
Blues:Robert Johnson, BB King, John Coltrane, Willie Dixon.
Rock:The Doors, Led Zeppelin, The Who, Pink Floyd, Jethro Tull,
Sting, The Police, Coldplay, U2
Foods: porterhouse steak, steak au poivre, dim sum, sushi and
sashimi, beef carpaccio, saganaki...
I'm a very picky eater who hates yellow mustard, liver, and lots of
things, but, who, after visting Belgium years ago, has learned to
love "bitterballe"---deep fried meatballs rolled around in dijon
mustard, rabbit. I also like chicken almost any way, as well as
I love most Chinese and Japanese. I'm open to most Asian foods. I
love Italian and French...Willing to experiment. I'll let you know.