Adios, Buena Vista Social Club
The venerated Cuban act made famous by Ry Cooder's chart-topping recording are on their final tour, but even as octogenarians, the surviving legends send chills through the nervous system
By Rod Mickleburgh
It was a magical night, mixed with a heavy dose of poignancy, as the vaunted Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club made its final appearance in Vancouver. There will be no more tours. Many of the aging Cuban music stars we got to know and love from Ry Cooder’s venture to Havana in the 1990’s are no longer with us. Only five Buena Vista originals are left, and one of them, the incomparable diva Omara Portuondo, will soon be 85. She could barely walk onto the stage at the Chan Centre. As soon as the music started up, however, her fountain of youth kicked in, transfixing us still with the haunting power of her voice and an aching ability to caress the lyrics. Spanish really is the loving tongue. For most of her short set, we were on our feet, showering her with the adulation ...
The perfect potato ode to Thanksgiving
Yukon Gold and Sweet Potatoes Anna
The fancy potato cake first made famous by Julia Child is a tasty alternative to the standard holiday mash slathered in gravy
By Louise Crosby
Thanksgiving in my extended family has become a huge affair. That’s because we now number 25 people, plus any others who happen to be in the picture. The brave household that offers to host must find enough tables, dishes and cutlery to seat everyone, and usually cooks the main event, in this case a turkey. The rest of us bring appetizers, mashed potatoes and other vegetables, and a few desserts, typically involving pumpkin or apples. Pot luck, it’s the only way to go with a crowd like this.
Notice I said mashed potatoes. Feeling like a change, I offered to make Duchess potatoes this year. Admittedly, these are labour intensive. You start with mashed potatoes but then add egg yolks, cream and butter. This mixture is spooned into a pastry bag fitted with a star tip and piped into swirly mounds, ...
Mob Rule: Part 8
Dinner at Number 4 Patchin Place
Voltaire said ‘the finest system would be democracy with the occasional assassination,’ and New York's established mob families couldn't agree more
By John Armstrong
Don’t ever get Joe started on his apartment, if you can still call it that.
Every time he buys a few more paintings or sculptures he ends up buying the next unit over and knocking out a few non-essential walls. It’s more art gallery and warehouse now than it is living space. It’s beautiful though, don’t get me wrong; just that I wouldn’t want to dust it.
Number 4 Patchin Place is in a gated cul de sac in the Village just off West 10th between Sixth and Greenwich, 10 or so three-story row houses in red brick and black wrought iron in close proximity to the coffee bars and galleries of the bohemian district. That would have been enough for Joey to buy it but it’s who lived there before him that sunk the hook. The poet e.e. cummings lived at No. 5, long ...