Inhuman Swill : NYC : Page 7

Precious and rare scotches

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Hey, New Yorkers! Like scotch? Have a $120 burning a hole in your pocket? Free tomorrow night?

The Brandy Library's weekly Spirit School features a tasting of precious and rare scotches Tuesday at 6:30 pm. I'll be there along with a couple of friends. Why not give the Brandy Library a call and see if there are any other spots free in the class?

I plan to arrive at 5:30 and enjoy a leisurely cocktail before class. That's what Laura and I did two weeks ago for the calvados class, and it definitely gave us a chance to soak up the ambience of the place. The class itself was a small, informal affair in a tasting room in the basement. We started with a Jack Rose cocktail (calvados, lime juice, and grenadine), then were regaled with the Story of Calvados while tasting 8 progressively more aged calvadoses (sp? calvadi?). Hors d'oeuvres were served between each tasting. At the end, we each were served a large snifter of a super-mega-fabbo calvados as a bonus spirit. That was 10 drinks over the course of the tasting, albeit not full glasses, plus the earlier cocktail in the lounge. We felt awfully good on the way home.

"Spirit sommelier" Ethan Kelley is a great teacher and raconteur, and he told me that the rare scotches class would be a somewhat looser affair than the normal classes, and would focus on learning how to get the best value when purchasing expensive scotch. To that end, we would taste some phenomenal scotches and maybe a couple of awful ones. But he promised it would be fun. I don't doubt it!

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[info]
The elephants are coming! The elephants are coming!

I went with eleanor and a couple of other friends, wow, maybe three years ago to see the elephants emerge from the Queens-Midtown Tunnel, and it was a sight worth waiting around in the midnight cold for. It's a sight that must be seen one last time.

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NYRSF reading tonight!

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I hope you intrepid New Yorkers will brave the cold and the wind tonight at the South Street Seaport to attend March's entry in the New York Review of Science Fiction Reading Series. I am guest-curating, and I'm very pleased that our readers tonight will be Lauren McLaughlin and Andrea Kail, who both come to written SF from the worlds of visual media.

Lauren McLaughlin spent ten years in the film industry, writing the films Hypercube, Specimen, and Prisoner of Love and producing American Psycho, Buffalo '66 and several others. After a brief stint writing the flash animation series "Maatkara" and the award-wnning "Chi-Chian" for SciFi.com, she abandoned her screen ambitions to write fiction. Her first novel, Cycler, is due from Random House in the fall of 2008. Her short fiction has appeared in Interzone, Year's Best SF, Sybil's Garage and Salon. She is also at work on a science fiction musical about transhumanist love. Her website and blog are available at laurenmclaughlin.net.

A native New Yorker, Andrea Kail is a graduate of the Dramatic Writing Program at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts and of the Odyssey Writing Workshop. She has spent 20 years working in New York's film and television industry and is currently the script coordinator at "Late Night with Conan O'Brien." Her first story is set to appear in Issue 6 of Fantasy Magazine, and she was recently named a first-place winner in the Writers of the Future contest with a story that Robert J. Sawyer has called "a knockout" and "Hugo-caliber." Andrea has been advised to say, should anyone ask, that, yes indeed, she is working on a novel.

The reading series is held at the South Street Seaport Museum's Melville Gallery, 213 Water Street in Manhattan. Doors open at 6:30 pm, reading begins at 7:00 pm. A $5.00 donation is suggested.

Should be a great evening. I can't wait! Please come!

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Exploding news

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Gawker is reporting a "huge explosion" at Times Square, in front of the Conde Nast Building. I hear sirens.

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Bad news for Starbuck's

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From the New York section of this morning's Sun:

Mormons Make Inroads on Upper East Side

I'm just thinking of all the poor coffee vendors on the Upper East. How many of them do you think stock Postum?

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Okay, Greg's news about Rush is pretty damn cool, but how about this?

The Police at Madison Square Garden

(Yes, I know, sounds like the Republican National Convention, but hey.)

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29 of 365

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I sneaked out of the office for a while this afternoon and met photographer+ Bill Wadman at Grand Central Station. The goal was to shoot portrait #29 for his excellent 365 Portraits project, where he shoots and posts a portrait a day for a year.

We—I say we but it was really he—tried various high-concept shots in and around Grand Central, but the one he ended up using he took while I was leaning against a mailbox at Madison & 41st, signing the photo release. Bill's a nice guy, and it was a lot of fun. I hope I get to see some of the shots that didn't make the cut.

The photo is on the 365 Portraits home page for the next day or so. The permanent link is here.

I heard about the project from [info]steelbrassnwood, who was 6 of 365. If you're in NYC and you want to participate, you can hunt around Bill's sites for his email address and get in touch, or write to me and I'll send it to you. He's got plenty of white people on the roster, he tells me, and is hoping to have more people of color sign on.

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Happy birthday, Robert Burns!

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Yesterday's Times had an interesting and often amusing article about how haggis in America has mutated into something rather tastier than one can gets in Scotland, thanks in part to the fact that FDA regulations and other factors prevent the use of much of the offal that traditionally gets used as ingredients.

The article was strange to see when Laura pointed it out to me, because just Tuesday night we had met Paul and Kim for dinner and scotch—lots of it—at what purports to be the only Scottish restaurant and pub in the city, St. Andrews on 44th Street near Times Square. We had a fabulous time, and the haggis was very tasty indeed. (Not that Laura and I are afraid of traditional haggis, which we have eaten in Scotland and more or less enjoyed.) So was the other delicious food, which for me and Paul both included an entree of fresh brook trout stuffed with crab meat and oatmeal, in a whisky-maple sauce. Dessert for Laura and me was the cranachan, which is essentially whisky and whipped cream with berries and oatmeal.

Take note that it was painfully easy to get a table on a Tuesday night.

But while it was the prospect of haggis that drew us all there, it was the amazing scotch selection that had us arrive early and stay late afterward. I mean, 200 whiskies? Please. The bar at St. Andrews is our new favorite place in the world.

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Il a neigé

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Holy shit, it was snowing when I got out of the subway!

Of course, by the time I got to the office I could see blue sky and the snow had almost petered out.

And now the sun is shining through my office window.

All in ten minutes.

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Undeliverable

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It must be a year now since we moved from our old place. Last week we received a whole mess of holiday cards, automatically forwarded from our old address, from folks who apparently didn't get the memo about our change of address.

Today, though, I got word from a friend that a holiday card they had sent to the old address was returned as undeliverable. This means two things:

  1. Our 12-month forwarding order has just expired.
  2. There is no longer a house at 23-33 31st Avenue where the mail carrier can deposit unforwarded letters.
Yes, our old house is gone. Not a brick remains. It's now a giant hole in the ground surrounded by a tall plywood fence (though the Google satellite image, off by a couple hundred feet, still shows the happy house unmolested). We need to go take some pictures.

I hope there's no critical snail mail out there on its way to the wrong address, because it ain't gonna reach us.

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