The fact anyone else was paying attention came as a surprise to me. I was quietly hoping and expecting he would make it, and sure enough, he did! Still, most people don’t seem to follow obscure presidential trivia the way I do, so I assumed. Apparently this was an incorrect assumption on my part, as on March 22 such trivia proved to be quite a news story!
Aware the date was coming in later March, I was holding out until today, April 1, to truly mark the record. After all, this is the day the newly designated longest-living U.S. president in history marks his HALF birthday. That’s right– Jimmy Carter is now 94 AND A HALF years old, no longer sharing precisely the same age at which the runner-up to the title passed on. George H.W. Bush, of course, died last November at “just” 94. And in six months, we’ll have another presidential record yet!
Meanwhile, the first lady age record won’t soon be broken.
Countless remarkable images have filled our televisions, devices and publications throughout this past solemn week of remembrance, with history both celebrated and made. Three photos stand out as my personal favorites among all others, capturing rare yet powerful moments for the historical record, each of which speaks volumes for itself. RIP 41.
A big record was broken today among U.S presidents, and it has nothing to do with North Korea. John Adams lived to age 90, and so did Herbert Hoover more than a century later. Ronald Reagan made it to 93, as did Gerald Ford, who for a while became the oldest living former president in history. No U.S president has ever made it to his 94th birthday, until today. Happy 94th to President George H.W. Bush! Jimmy Carter will of course join him later this year.
While many appetizing descriptors come to mind, suffice to say this incredible mound of meat is worth every dollar, no matter how many more dollars it seems to command these days. There’s no substitution for steak tartare at the Polo Lounge. A true indulgence it continues to be!
What the Musso & Frank Grill has done for almost 100 years, it continues to do flawlessly. There’s just no going wrong here with liver and onions! This impeccable dish never fails; it’s a delicious classic well worth the trip on any given day,
A few weeks back, while strolling Manhattan’s Upper East Side in the late afternoon, I happened to come upon The Beach Cafe on the corner of 2nd Avenue and 70th Street, ironically named considering there’s no beach in sight. The place looked interesting and inviting, so I went inside and took a seat at the bar. Within minutes as I sipped my negroni, I caught sight of a posted notice overhead that struck me with delight, one with which I agree wholeheartedly. It prompted a conversation with the pleasant lady sitting a few stools down, and we quickly agreed this policy is one to encourage everywhere. In other words, men, take off your hats when sitting at a bar, and especially at a table! Thank you for the connection, Yvonne!
Not quite a year after marking his 90th birthday, we must now say goodbye to the truly legendary, one-of-a-kind pillar of “warmth” himself, Mr. Don Rickles. I can only dream of turning insults into a lucrative career, as others will certainly try. Still, no one will ever do it quite like he did.
Equally if not more impressive than a 25-point comeback to victory in Super Bowl LI, is the executor of the coin toss that got it all underway. A welcome and nostalgic appearance preceded the game as the elder Bush couple took the field, 92-year-old George H.W. and 91-year-old Barbara of course, the only living former president and first lady absent from this year’s inauguration. Fittingly enough, their latest public appearance came here two weeks later, a “super moment” indeed.
Among the many, one remarkable first of President Donald Trump’s inauguration stood out, to me at least. That is, a former president attended the event exactly 40 years to the day after taking his own oath of office. The longevity of Jimmy Carter calls for acknowledgement, even while he has more than a year to go before becoming the oldest-living president in history.
The past 24 hours have retriggered similar conversations to those many of us were having exactly 16 years ago at this time. The question now might well be: Will, and should, this system survive exactly as is for another century? Some thought here is warranted.
After three tedious debates, in addition to their countless daily soundbites, our two currently most watched Americans finally showed their supposedly humorous sides– or at least we should say: they tried (one of them succeeding more than the other, as some of us will agree). Now in hindsight, this notable evening sounds all the better when summarized in two and a half minutes!
Dean Martin and Phyllis Diller they’re not, but I commend their efforts nonetheless. If only we heard this sort of banter from them more often, perhaps the process through which we’re all now living would be a bit more palatable. All the more reason to enjoy such a rare occasion, I say.
Opt for the descending cable car ride, or choose the many terraced steps through lush foliage. Either way, you’ll soon have arrived more than halfway down a pristinely landscaped waterfront embankment to the front door of a truly unique and captivating establishment. While architecture dazzles and decor delights– both outside and in– where you end up sitting makes all the difference, not between good and bad, but rather excellent and outstanding.
The seating decision, while a challenging one, likely came well before your arrival. After all, do you have dining reservations, might you be looking for a lighter bite, or are you simply en route to a refreshing oak-cask Negroni at the bar? In any event, all of these scenarios are welcome here at this impressive spot of social history, the one-and-only watering hole of its kind.
The tuna poke appetizer is surprisingly generous; the unfortunate fried chicken sandwich can be forgotten, and may you not be misled by the “ahi melt”– not the rare steak I anticipated, but rather just a fancier name for… you guessed it. All this and much more is merely in the bar, on the Rock Room menu. The main show gets underway in the dining room, with seating options spread out over three descending levels no less. (Remember: you entered mid-embankment; the water is still a ways down.) Here now to razzle-dazzle your palate comes the impeccable blackened lamb, taking the gold medal on the dinner menu, if I may say so. Alongside it comes such close competitors as “seafood campanelle”, osso bucco and the typically fail-proof prime rib, among all else– and believe me, there’s plenty “else.”
After the last bite and sip– be it lighter bar fare or no-holds-barred dining– your satisfaction has no excuse for being any less complete than mine, unless of course you insisted on that one tired chicken sandwich. No matter what you eat and drink here, your ingestion is just half of the total experience, maybe two-thirds with the lamb, while the remainder comes in the unsurpassed architecture, layout and decor with which you’re surrounded. Altogether, this is the standout establishment to patronize whenever you pass through Capitola, California. This is where ‘excellent’ is trumped only by ‘outstanding’. This is Shadowbrook.
While watching the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, I’m taken back to my very favorite Olympic montage of all time– or should I say, of my time. Having worn out my original VHS recording from hundreds of viewings back in the day, thankfully in our present era of technology this classic piece is readily available online! From then to now, here’s to classic Olympic moments revisited.
True to the reality it portrays, the series begins and ends in Brentwood. Over the course of a very long 16 months, we’re taken– or rather, retaken– on one sadly unforgettable ride.
The brilliant portrayals of prosecutors Marcia Clark and Chris Darden, by actors Sarah Paulson and Sterling K. Brown respectively, culminate in the glaring illumination of an American legal tragedy and its immediate gut-wrenching aftermath. Thus concludes the insightful yet disturbing 10-episode run of American Crime Story, Season 1: The People vs. O.J. Simpson.
As dramatic imagination and creative effect work in unison to stitch together large swaths of stark actuality, never throughout the entire series comes a dull viewing moment– or I should say almost never, if you count most any scene with Judge Lance Ito, spineless and celebrity stricken as Kenneth Choi accurately plays him to be. Thankfully, comic relief regularly intercedes in the form of a salaciously smug Nathan Lane as legal mastermind F. Lee Bailey, not to mention my unmatched personal favorite: the almost cartoon version of defense attorney Robert Shapiro, perfectly re-created by a fittingly comical John Travolta.
But I digress. Ten weeks of a reproduced “trial of the century” ends with more than 30 minutes to go in the final episode. Anticipating some sort of post-verdict wrap up, we definitely get it, painfully yet completely, leaving us to wonder– all the way from Courtney B. Vance as Johnnie Cochran sipping office champagne, to Cuba Gooding Jr.’s O.J. slowly realizing his “party of the century” is proving smaller than he expected– when all this is finally going to end.
Altogether, we’ve been treated to a solid 10 weeks of 21-year-old history revisited, briskly yet as thoroughly as limited television time will allow. In the oh-so long-in-coming end, our minds– those old enough to recall the real deal– are left to once again ponder the unfortunate colossus of trial-based events, discoveries, developments and maneuverings that delivered O.J Simpson home to Brentwood a free man on October 3, 1995.
What began and ended in Brentwood leaves me contemplating that same sense of injustice now as I did that very day. All the while, shifting to terms of present-day production and talent, more than one Emmy nomination is most certainly in order.
Clark Photo Credit: POO/AFP/Getty Images; FX
Shapiro Photo Credit: Lee Celano/WireImage; Ray Mickshaw/FX
Very recently in fact, the subject of longest-living first ladies came up in conversation. Mindful of another birthday this summer, I realized it was time right about now to check the number of calendar days and see if the title of “second longest-living first lady” had changed hands.
Then came the news, before I completed that check, that Nancy Reagan passed away. Already well aware she was 94, or rather 94 1/2, the question for me remained as to the lifetime ranking with which she departed. After all, Lady Bird Johnson died in 2007 at age 94, or rather 94 1/2, while Mrs. Reagan was to turn 95 in July. Which one of these two long-living presidential wives lived the greater number of days, remained for me to investigate.
The answer of course came quickly and easily. Nancy Reagan was, and is, the second longest-living first lady in U.S. history, though not by much. Only in late January of this year, merely six weeks ago, did the length of her life surpass that of Lady Bird’s. As such, the perhaps obscure title did in fact change hands, as I had before today suspected.
Naturally I speak only of “second longest-living,” as the number one spot in this regard was not about to be overtaken any time soon. The longest living first lady has remained the same for more than 40 years now, as Mrs. Reagan was just beginning to close in on what still would have been a significant span of time. Now with her passing, it will be at least another seven years before another first lady breaks the record of life longevity.
In any event, my penchant for numerical presidential trivia aside, Nancy Reagan lived one long and complete life. In the Hollywood sense, she joins Abe Vigoda and George Kennedy in what’s shaping up early on to be a year of “senior loss.” I’ve always fondly recalled introducing myself to the first lady at a Christmas party in 2003, myself red-blazer clad of course. This personal memory stands out clearly in my mind today, polite as she proved herself. RIP Mrs. Reagan.
One truly stunning white-on-red classic effortlessly contributes a generous splash of panache to my neighborhood street. While such a specimen of historic German elegance emerges from a long line of attractive relatives competing for their place, this particular 1961 190 SL also happens to hold its own, making a powerfully nostalgic statement all by itself.
An occasion certainly a majority of Britons and a minority of Americans have been anticipating for some time– a moment I myself knew full well was on its way– this historic day has come. And she made it, not that there was much if any doubt she would. At 63 years, 216 days on the throne, Queen Elizabeth II today takes the title of longest reigning monarch in British history!
So comes a spellbinding walk down memory lane for any American over– let’s say– 50? Seeing as this number sits far in my future, who am I to talk? Naturally, yours truly being old for his age, I remember, appreciate and truly adore nearly all the moments featured in episode one of CNN’s The Seventies, aptly titled “Television Gets Real” — of which the above clip is a part.
What we have before us is one outstanding look back at what once was in the world of broadcasting, and what– sadly and ever the more painfully– now is not. Simply put, they don’t make TV like this anymore. Nevertheless, while loving every minute thus far, I can’t wait for episode two, no matter how unflattering Mr. Nixon will inevitably emerge.
Not in recent memory, if ever, have I seen such a famous and glamorous 74-year-old woman so “un-74” in every way. As the ever-lovely Donna Mills stepped into the spotlight this past weekend at the 42nd Annual Daytime Emmy Awards, she proved her actual age is so unlike her. (Photo: celebmafia.com)
Always a pleasure it is to see the incomparable Betty White, this newest time on stage at the 2015 TV Land Awards taped April 12 in Beverly Hills and aired April 18. Impressively enough, the 93-year-old comedienne clearly surpasses colleagues more than half her age in style, wit and overall energy! Suffice to say, she continues to lead by example. (AP Images)
While I’m away from this site and not posting anything current, please feel free to immerse yourself here in this very non-current gem, a true classic of all classics, television as they sadly don’t make it anymore. Old in years as this great show now is, it simply never gets old in appeal– especially as I get ready to turn another year older, still waiting for my own dais.
From a most auspicious Pi Day, to the famous annual green river, to bewaring the Ides of March, a full weekend this past one certainly has been– and it’s not even St. Patrick’s Day yet! Nevertheless, this annual trio of spirited occasions always deserves good mention, celebrated– in one unique way or another– as each might be.
The sight of Oscars host Neil Patrick Harris almost au naturel on stage may have triggered for you an infamous memory of Academy Awards show history, as it quickly did for me. While no comparing these two very different moments (except in above-waist result), the audience (i.e. the world) had not seen this much bare skin in more than 40 years, even on Cher, until last night!
Is it just me, or was this year’s lot of Super Bowl commercials rather bland and underwhelming? Wait, I can quickly answer my own question: It’s not just me. Never mind I seem to be saying the same thing every year; 2015 out-dulled itself. Oh sure, we were treated to everything from a JFK voiceover to Kardashian egocentrism, media history vis-a-vis a Couric-Gumbel reunion, celebrity appearances by the likes of Matt Damon and Chelsea Handler, and my personal favorite of the evening– the latest nostalgic nod to television sitcom history with the clever and winning union of “The Brady Bunch” and Snickers. Still, not enough I’m afraid.
Altogether, my favorite moment of the evening came not from an ad, but during the game itself. Imagine that! The final interception that sealed New England’s win– and Tom Brady’s immediate reaction to it– are far more memorable than any 30 or 60 second “break” from the action. Unlike last year, Super Bowl XLIX produced a close, unpredictable and truly exciting game to the very end, brawl included! The commercials will just have to keep trying.
In advance of this Sunday’s annual round of pricey TV spots, I like many have seen the so-called “controversial” GoDaddy Super Bowl commercial that– thanks to the typical set of complainers– will not be aired in its original, expensively scheduled time slot. First, join me if you will in a big eye roll. Then, let me say I echo the well-reasoned sentiments of Brett Baker:It’s fine.
But it’s gone, unfortunately. So let’s take this entire illogical mess a step further, as you too might appreciate the clever reasoning of Alexandra Petri. She certainly raises a few great points to make her point, begging the question: How much more ridiculous does the whole matter have to get? Or better yet, why was this ever an issue in the first place? At least GoDaddy is getting an excellent publicity return on its $4 million investment! (Click image to watch the :30 ad.)
The first time I watched this “behind-the-scenes” montage, late in 1987 I believe, it was a private piece for which you needed a connection to know it existed– which fortunately at the time I happened to have. Now all these years later, available online to the public, it’s just as funny. If you too are a “Knots Landing” fan and have never seen this, you’ll certainly appreciate it!