When I was 9 or 10, I watched Raising Arizona on VHS and thought it was one of the weirdest and funniest things I had ever seen. A frequently jailed stickup artist with surprisingly florid diction (Nicolas Cage) and his barren police officer wife (Holly Hunter) kidnap a loudmouth furniture magnate's quintuplet and run into trouble with two escaped convicts and the Lone Biker of the Apocalypse. I didn't get it, really, but I didn't care: It was hilarious and strange, with amusingly quotable dialogue ("I'll be taking these Huggies and, uh, whatever cash ya got") and hummable music (the "Ode to Joy" on a banjo, yodeling) throughout. During my high-school years, I caught up with the rest of the Coens' output and considered myself a fan; their best movie to that point, Fargo, came out just before I graduated and was the first I saw in a theater.
Aretha Franklin sat alone with a Coke. It was the night of her 69th birthday, and all around, guests
Historically speaking, America and the King James Bible are almost twins. The first English colony in North America was established at Jamestown, Virginia in 1607; four years later, the Church of…
LENGTH: 6 minutes (1544 words)
Diana Kennedy was born in England some several decades ago (she does not like to be precise about such things) and grew up high-spirited, feisty, and no-nonsense. In 1957 she came to Mexico with her soon-to-be husband, Paul Kennedy, who was a foreign correspondent for The New York Times, and then she really fell in love—with her new life and with a universe of flavors, colors, textures, shapes, and aromas several light-years removed from her own. How could she have resisted? She was coming from the drab kitchens of postwar England, and in Mexico City just a short walk through any neighborhood market was enough to make her swoon.
PUBLISHED: April 10, 2011
LENGTH: 12 minutes (3093 words)