Friday, July 25, 2014


This summer Marti and I have been going on frequent brief getaways to destinations like Normandy and Amsterdam rather than taking a single long vacation. That’s because we’ve booked a couple of extended trips for this coming November and January. In November Marti will visit Washington DC and Nashville. Then, after the holidays in Paris, we’re going to Greece for two weeks to celebrate my 70th birthday. Yesterday, however, we decided to don our tourist caps and enjoy our local vacation mecca: Paris!

We rode the #70 bus from our ‘hood to the end of the line, the Hôtel de Ville (City Hall). There the Big Bubble Guy was holding forth.

I had been trying to get Marti to Chez Julien for a long time. We finally made it to lunch.

Daurade with haricots verts. Simple, elegant summer meal.

After a leisurely lunch my bride and I walked off the cals by strolling through the Marais. These are allegedly the oldest houses in Paris.

No trip to this quartier is complete without a hang in the Place des Vosges, Marti’s favorite. The 17th century square was once home to Victor Hugo, who I’m told wrote a boffo Broadway musical.

I was on a mission. There were a few items I was looking for before the annual July Sales ended. We shopped briefly in the men’s stores in Rue de Turenne, but I was unsuccessful there. And I certainly wasn’t looking for a kitschy Eiffel Tower teapot. I did score a dress belt, socks and a bottle of YSL La Nuit de l’Homme cologne at BHV Homme.

I found a pair of summertime earrings for Ms. Marti in a nearby boutique.

Iced coffee break with Marti on the terrasse of a café in the heart of the Marais. It was taking a while to be served and I almost said out loud, "Who do you have to blow to get served up in here?" But I didn't want to see 17 hands go up.

One more impulse purchase. A cookbook entitled And If I Were Your Little Woman: Cooking In High Heels - 69 Easy Recipes To Give A Festive Taste To Your Daily Life. Talk about High Fucking Concept. Leafing through the display copy, however, I discovered recipe after recipe I’d like to try. What’s more, it was only ten euros.

Time for a visit to the temporary beach.

Paris Plages. Now in its 13th season.

Foosball under the bridge. I saw a photo of our mayor playing a game on opening day of the month-long artificial beach season.

The company jumps when he plays reveille/ He's the boogie woogie bugle boy of Company B.

Cultcha at the beach. The Louvre gets in on the act.

All the reproductions were bathing scenes.

The creator of the Friends Of The Eiffel Tower Facebook group in her element. Apparently the iconic bistro chair, like the Tower, is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year. Who knew? In any event, the company that manufactures them constructed this 43-foot-tall installation using 324 bistro chairs -- a figure that references the tower’s height of 324 meters.

How can you not love this town?

Friday, July 18, 2014

Pan-fried Saint-Pierre with Vegetables and Rocket Pesto.

4 filets of John Dory with skin on (Saint-Pierre in French, may substitute tilapia, snapper, or any other firm white fish)
2 cups rocket lettuce (arugula)
2 tablespoons pine nuts
1/2 cup parmesan
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 fennel bulbs, coarsely chopped
1 bunch scallions, sliced in half lengthwise
1 artichoke heart (canned)
5 tablespoons shallots, minced
12 baby carrots
1/3 cup of olive oil
4 tablespoons butter
2 cups fresh herb mixture (ex.: sorrel, oregano, tarragon, basil, dill)
2 tablespoons black cumin oil*
* “Black cumin is also known as Nigella sativa, black seeds and kalonji and has been healing maladies of the body for more than 2,000 years.” – Natural News

In a blender mix arugula, pine nuts, parmesan, 1 clove of minced garlic and 1/4 cup of olive oil. Set aside in a cool place or refrigerate.

Roughly cut the fennel into cubes, blanch for a minute or two in boiling water. Remove and sauté in a pan with the onions and a bit of olive oil over low heat to make a compote. Set aside, keep warm.

Cut thin slices of artichoke, marinate with 3 tablespoons of chopped shallots, olive oil, salt and pepper.

Scrub carrots. Leave a half inch of carrot tops, if possible. Blanch, cool and reserve.

When ready to serve, sauté carrots in butter with remaining crushed garlic and chopped shallots.

Brown the fish filets skin side down in a pan with the remaining olive oil. Cover tightly, or finish cooking briefly in a hot oven (180° C/350° F). The top of the flesh should remain slightly translucent.

Serve the filets over the herbs tossed in cumin oil, surrounded by the cool garnishes (pesto and marinated artichoke) and warm vegetables (carrots and fennel-scallion compote).

Adapted from Gilles Le Gallès’ recipe in Le Figaro Madame magazine.

Thursday, July 17, 2014


News came today of the passing of guitar great Johnny Winter. In his hotel room in Zurich. He was a true original and I’ll miss him.

I first heard Johnny Winter play in 1971 on what turned out to be an historic bill at the irrepressible Bill Graham’s Fillmore East. This was a time when I was living in a luxury apartment building on Dr. Seuss’s famous Mulberry Street in Springfield, Mass. My pals at the Mulberry House were hip entrepreneurs, dope dealers, or both. We thought nothing of jumping into a car, driving nearly three hours to Manhattan’s Lower East Side, parking on the street, catching a show at the Fillmore, then driving back home afterward. Road-tripping Seventies stoners.

That March 11, 12, 13, 1971 run at the Fillmore is known for the classic Allman Brothers two-record live set that was released four months later. Few people who owned the original vinyl or bought any of the subsequent re-issues and re-masters realize that the Allmans were not headlining on those shows.

The Brothers were an “Extra Added Attraction,” and they performed in the middle slot. At the top of the bill was a blues band that also featured a devastating twin lead guitar assault: Johnny Winter And.

For years I’ve referred to that evening as The Night Of The Five Killer Guitars. Leading off was Elvin Bishop, a guitarist who had logged five years with the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, worked with Mike Bloomfield and Al Kooper on their hit Live Adventures album, and who now was fielding a funky R&B-influenced ensemble called the Elvin Bishop Group.

The Allman Brothers played next, with the double-threat of Dickey Betts and Duane Allman trading memorable guitar solos, as documented on their best-selling double album. But it was guitar monster Johnny Winter – aided by Rick Derringer, his second guitarist – who closed the show. Loud, rowdy and spectacular. Called Johnny Winter And, the band also included Randy Jo Hobbs on bass and vocals and Bobby Caldwell on drums and percussion. One of Johnny’s best lineups ever.

A few years ago I had an opportunity to see Johnny Winter perform here in Paris at the Olympia Music Hall. The tickets were in hand, our friend Warren Haynes was sharing the bill, I was amped. Then I collapsed on the bathroom floor of our apartment and wound up in the hospital for five days. Severely anemic as the result of a bleeding ulcer. Show night rolled around and I was still recovering in a hospital bed. I convinced Marti to go to the concert anyway. She phoned her gal pal Ileana and they went together. Our friend Ron Holloway, who plays sax with Warren, picked up the ball and hooked Marti up with backstage passes. (Marti didn't get to meet Johnny Winter. He'd opened the show, wasn't well, and had already returned to the hotel.) Left to right in the above pic: Marti, Warren, Ron’s friend Deborah and Ron.

During the show, Marti texted me a few song titles from Johnny’s set: “Something about a school girl.” Right, honey. ”Good Morning Little School Girl.”

And Good Night, Johnny. I’ll catch ya on the flip side.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014


I received an e-mail this morning from a Washington DC-area friend who is going to Barcelona. I suggested that Marti and I train down to meet him and his wife for a drink at Boadas, which claims to be the oldest cockteleria in the city. It was founded in 1933 by Cuban-born Catalan Miguel Boadas (at right). As inspiration for this new venture, Boadas recalled the legendary Havana hangout La Floridita, where he had famously served as barman in the 1920s.

The bar, located right off the Ramblas, was originally recommended to us by our longtime Barcelona-based American expat pal, comedienne Rachel Arieff (pictured above with Marti and me at her zany weekly Anti-Karaoke Night). To this day at Boadas: Best.Ever.Mojitos.

The bar always has been a haven for the famous, the well-heeled and working stiffs alike. In 1978 the painter Joan Miró, our long-departed rue Blomet “neighbor,” wrote a loving note to Boadas’ daughter María Dolores; I have loosely translated it from Catalan: “I feel honored to say, remembering my youth, that when I lived in the Passatge del Crèdit and used to come to your bar in Tallers Street, I recall many charming adventures.”


Joan Miró Cocktail

Naturally, with the popularity of Bar Boadas, A-list celebrities from the arts, literature, politics, and even film stars such as Sophia Loren visited this smiling master. For his favorites, Boadas and his barmen dedicated cocktails. One regular customer was surrealist painter and sculptor Joan Miró for whom Boadas dedicated the Joan Miró Cocktail.

• 30 ml Chivas Regal
• 30 ml Dubonnet Rouge
• 30 ml Grand Marnier

Shake vigorously over cracked ice, strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a cocktail cherry.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Switzerland: Chaos in the streets when they're eliminated from the World Cup.

Friday, July 4, 2014


IT MUST BE SUMMER. Whether you’re bound for an exotic vacation, too busy to take time off from work or simply stuck in the grill smoke-clouded Valley of Malls, our Friday Mixtape featuring Fountains Of Wayne will help while away the krazy lazy daze.

For a limited time you can download an mp3 file set of this mixtape HERE (Click me).Enjoy!

01 [Intro]
02 Seatbacks And Traytables
03 Michael And Heather At The Baggage Claim
04 It Must Be Summer
05 Prom Theme
06 Planet Of Weed
07 Traffic And Weather
08 Stacy’s Mom
09 Laser Show
10 Leave The Biker
11 92 Subaru
12 Yolanda Hayes
13 Mexican Wine
14 Sick Day
15 Bright Future In Sales
16 Hat And Feet
17 Hung Up On You
18 Utopia Parkway
19 I-95
20 Hackensack
21 The Valley Of Malls

All songs by Fountains Of Wayne. BUY THEIR CDs!
This mixtape by Phil Demetrion.
Originally compiled April 15, 2008. Remastered May 27, 2011 – Paris.
Download an mp3 file set of this mixtape HERE (Click me).

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Free Download.

For a limited time obtain a free mp3 file set of the DIRTY CHATEAU mixtape HERE (Click me). Enjoy!

01 Chateau - Doobie Brothers
02 Chateau - Housse de Racket
03 Come September - Chateau Nowhere
04 Blue Chateau - The Ventures
05 Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters - Buckshot LeFonque
06 Dirty Chateau - Ry Cooder
07 Mobile Chateau - Matt Costa
08 West L.A. Fadeaway - The Grateful Dead
09 Off To The Races - Lana Del Rey
10 Chateau - The Brute Chorus
11 Happy - The Rolling Stones
This mixtape by Phil Demetrion. Compiled July 3, 2014 – Paris.


Free mp3 file set of this mixtape HERE (Click me).