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Showing posts from February, 2015

DALTIN TRIO - A REVIEW

C.A.C 34 (Collectif d'Artistes de Capestang)(Artists' Collective of Capestandg) continued its tradition of bringing artists of outstanding quality to the region with their presentation on 20 February, 2015 of the Daltin Trio.These guys were good: Grégory Daltin ; Accordion, Accordina, Bandonéon / Julien Duthu ; Upright Bass / Sébastien Gisbert ; Percussion. They treated a full house to melodic, rhythmic jazz within tight, dynamic compositions. Each member contributed, demonstrating mastery of their instruments and a flair for composition. Check them out on Youtube and, if like what you hear and you get the opportunity, see them in person. We're glad that we did.

BAR LE 40, QUARANTE - A REVIEW

RETURNED FEBRUARY, 2017. THIS INITIAL REVIEW FEBRUARY, 2015. SEE EDIT AT END.

I live in the little French town of Quarante. Quarante also happens to be the French word for the number 40. Is it any wonder that the local sports bar/cafe is called Bar Le 40?

Let's be honest. Bar Le 40 is a local joint with no ambiance whatsoever, inside or out. Sitting on a busy intersection with cars whizzing by all day, you are protected from even a minimal view of that traffic by cars parked at the curb, obstructing your view (such as it is) because the sidewalk is only a few feet wide. Except for a few posters, the interior hasn't been redecorated since the town was liberated...in 1918. But as the only place in town where you can sit down at a table and be served a meal, nothing really matters as long as the food is edible. On a recent Friday, lunching with a couple of my neighbors while Cathey was out of town, the food was edible. Not great, but not bad and worth the price.

The three of us …

NETANYAHU, CONGRESS, AND A PALESTINIAN-ARAB STATE

I believe in Israel's right to exist in peace with its neighbors.

Is peace possible when the charters of the Palestinian Authority and Hamas call for Israel's destruction, when regional despots like Ayatollah Ali Khamenei call for death to Israeli Jews? There are those who would tell you to ignore the charters and the speeches, that they are just words. But Jews have come to understand, after centuries of being taught by example, that when a political movement or a government official says that they will kill Jews, they are to be believed. The original Zionists made that assumption and the Israeli government continues to operate on that premise.

Ask yourself a simple question: Which hypothetical circumstance would be most likely to lead to peace in the region, disarming the Palestinians Arabs or disarming the Israelis? As Golda Meir is reputed to have said, though she certainly wasn't the first: Disarming the Palestinians Arabs would lead to peace. Disarming the Israelis w…

SNOW IN THE LANGUEDOC - IT DOES, YOU KNOW

One of the reasons that we moved to the south of France was Cathey's vow, "I will never shovel snow again." Well, we won't have to shovel but it was a bit of a shock to wake up to a dusting of the white stuff.  It's the first week of February, after all. The temperature has seldom dipped below freezing and this is the first hint off wintry precipitation. So I suppose that we can't complain. However Sylvie, less than a year old, was befuddled. And once a flake landed on her nose, she wanted nothing more to do with the stuff except at a distance.


An hour after these pictures were taken, the snow was gone. Melted. As one friend in the States put it, the beauty of snow without the shoveling.

RESTAURANT L'AMBASSADE, BEZIERS - A REVIEW

When I was writing restaurant reviews professionally in the Lehigh Valley of eastern Pennsylvania, I would take copious notes. How was the room furnished? Did the acoustics allow for comfortable conversation? Crisp linens? Sparkling glassware? Was the service attentive, professional? And I would carefully describe every dish - visual presentation, aroma, texture, taste, ingredients, derivation. All grist for the mill. I was being paid to eat and I was determined to give my employer and the reader their money's worth.

I now live in the south of France, in the land of the Impressionist artists who taught us that beauty is not always best expressed through strict attention to photographic detail. It's possible, perhaps desirable, to simply sketch the outlines and let the imagination of the viewer fill in the forms. I'm certainly not in the same league on the printed page as the Impressionists were on canvas, but you get my meaning. My style is not as precise as it once was.…