This just in: Bruce is stumping for Obama in Ohio. I love Bruce as anyone who reads this blog knows. I’m so excited to know that he will be lending his voice to the Obama campaign.
I just saw Bruce in New Jersey for the nth time on September 21. As always, it is a sheer pleasure for me to go to a Bruce concert. I went with my sister and my mother. The whole family are Bruce fans including my niece, nephew, dad and cats.
I’m going to seriously consider going to Ohio. BRRRUUCCEE. I guess if you scratch the surface, I’m just a Jersey girl at the end of the day.
I was on my way out on Thursday when an email caught my eye in my inbox – Pete Seeger will be playing at City Winery to support relief efforts in the Gulf by the Gulf Restoration Network the email said. I couldn’t believe my good fortune. Everyone knows who Pete Seeger is and what a wonderful, giving and inspiring man he is at 91.
Pete Seeger at City Winery
I was so touched and pleased to be able to see and hear him and to sing along to his songs. He played “Turn, Turn, Turn” and “If I Had A Hammer” and a new song that he’s just written about the spill. “Drill Baby Drill…Spill Baby Spill”, written in response to the ongoing environmental disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. I couldn’t believe my good fortune so a big thanks to City Winery. My parents were and are avid fans of Pete Seeger from the days of the Hootenannies many years ago. I went to sleep listening to Peter, Paul and Mary sing “If I Had A Hammer” for the first 5 years of my life I think. I loved that record. Seeger is just so great in so many ways I can’t begin to express them here. His work on the Hudson River with his sloop the Clearwater, for example, has changed life for all New Yorkers who use the River. What an accomplishment. Yes, he wasn’t alone but his fortitude has inspired so many people. Including, my favorite singer—-Bruce Springsteen. I love his album called the “Seeger Sessions” when he plays a tribute to Pete Seeger and his music.
Proceeds from the event went to the Gulf Restoration Network and Global Green, . Both non-profits support workers and fisherman along the Gulf Coast from New Orleans to the Florida Panhandle. They showed a video of many of the Fisherman who have lost their livelihoods. It was heartbreaking. I hope every donates something. City Winery is also holding concerts tonight and tomorrow to benefit the Gulf.
There were so many fabulous musicians singing last night that they are too many to mention, one really struck me though, Julie Gold. She wrote a song I love but haven’t thought of in maybe 20 years “From a Distance.”
. This version is by Nancy Griffith.
Three Cape Ladies
While listening to these artists sing for the Gulf, I slowly sipped a nice South African Wine called Three Cape Ladies.. The wine was from Warwick Estate. This family owned winery is well known for the Bordeaux style blends. This wine was a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot and Pinotage. I’m fond of blends from South Africa as any readers of this blog know. All in all, it was one of those memorable evenings that make you smile. I hope they raised a lot of money. The house was packed so that’s a good start. If you are in New York City this evening with no plans, head on over to City Winery to support a good cause.
Tonight, I get to see Bruce Springsteen do his thing in his “Hometown”. I am so excited that I can’t think about anything else. Tomorrow I hope to be more coherent and interesting. Today though, I’m just a Jersey Girl excited to hear all her favorite songs. Can you believe he’s 60??? I guess it’s the new 40….or 30.
I think I may toast him with a Super-Teaneck…to complement the New Jersey theme.
Today is an Italian national holiday known as la Festa della Repubblica. It celebrates the day in 1946 when Italians voted to become a republic. In Italy, most people go on holiday for a long weekend, affectionately known as il ponte or the bridge. Most took yesterday off to make it a four day affair. In New York, the Cipriani Group held a huge party last night at their location on Wall Street to celebrate. In a book that I read recently called Gringa Latina, an Italian woman and her husband who lived their entire adult lives in Peru used to hold a huge party on that day for the town. I found that somewhat touching. I never really celebrated July 4th or Memorial day all the years I lived in Italy. Who knows, I guess everyone is different.
I was invited to the Cipriani party but didn’t attend. I’m wined out for the moment and frustrated as many are by the economy. My somber mood was made even darker after I read an editorial by Bob Herbert in Saturday’s paper about the violence still going on in Darfur. When will that holocaust end and why isn’t the United States doing anything about it….I would like to organize something to help in someway but am not sure how. Reading that editorial was like a long ice cold shower. Man’s inhumanity often leaves me speechless. I know this is a wine blog but sometimes you just have to mention something so egregious and hope someone else takes note and that people do something…
On a cheerier note, I’m going to see my favorite man in the Fall and I am truly excited…Bruce will be back in town in September and I will be “waiting on a sunny day.”
I began making my own wine a few years ago. While I had a great time during the entire exercise, the results have been less than stellar. With enthusiasm, I bought grapes, crushed them, let them macerate for a time, added yeast for fermentation assistance, racked and bottled my wine. I went through this exercise for three years running and have many bottles of so-so wine.
My wines, from my I Due Gatti label, apparently are not the only bad homemade wine. Many people have told me this but no one has been more convincing than David Lecomte, the winemaker at City Winery. In the midst of an interview with David for another website, we began to speak about the difficulty of making wine in such small quantities. He gently reminded me that with a very small quantities, everything is dependent on when you do each step. If you are off by one or two days with anything, it can totally change your product and in some cases, ruin it. Blending from different barrels would smooth defects out and help to correct imbalances or make stylistic changes. With my limited amount of wine, I of course, had no recourse to do any of that. Relieved, I think I may not give up home-winemaking but may begin to take part in larger productions at a facility under the careful and intelligent eye of a wine maker.
City Winery is a very appealing place to have dinner as well as a drink. I went to a dinner last month hosted by Maslow 6. I wrote about one of the wine makers and his wines, Olivier Cousin, in another post but I didn’t mention the food. We had a long involved menu but what I remember most clearly were the short ribs. Delicious. Music is a very big part of the draw at City Winery as well. Many artists perform on their super technological stage.
My favorite musician, Bruce Springsteen, was on The Daily Show last night, playing a song from his new album Working on a Dream and speaking with Jon Stewart. I adore Jon Stewart and he usually has me in stitches but yesterday he seemed like a star struck Jersey guy. I can well understand. As a Jersey girl, Bruce has the same effect on me. Even if I was from Diamante in Calabria, he would have that effect on me.
In addition to being an italophile of the first order, I am also a crazed Bruce Springsteen fan. Yesterday I had the pleasure of taking my mother to her second Bruce concert. Seeing Bruce 10 minutes away from home, surrounded by thousands of people who love him as I do, is one of the very appealing things about having returned to this area. Before the concert, my mom and I had a toast with a touch of Ferrari, that delicious spumante from Trento made by the Fratelli Lunelli.
It is made with only Chardonnay grapes from a variety of vineyards surrounding the city of Trento. It has that classic Spumante taste to my palate: bread, nuts and yeast. Spumante is the Italian sparkling wine made by the traditional champagne method. I love to celebrate with this wine and have often wondered why Italian spumante hasn’t taken off in the United States to the extent that I think it should. The Prosecco craze is a phenomenon that I think Spumante could repeat. Perhaps it will now that Champagne has gotten so expensive.
Bruce would be a great testimonial I think but I am surely biased. Few things have given me as many hours of unbridled joy as listening to his music. Thank you Bruce. You are and always will be the Boss.