Fishing Boats The nation's capital welcomed the paintings of Vincent van Gogh to the National Gallery of Art, where 70 pictures will be on view till Jan. 3. The paintings arrived from Amsterdam's Van Gogh Museum, which is being renovated, and the show has been the hot ticket in town of late. In honor of the event, the Willard Inter-Continental Washington is offering a tasting menu by chef Gerard Madani, who was inspired to create the dishes by viewing the artist's work. Madani chose five paintings and patterned original dishes after them. The menu includes, for example, bread with fresh chive branches baked in its own flowerpot, after the painting "Flowerpot With Chives"; autumn vegetables; pan-fried sea bass fillet with country potatoes; roast corn-fed squab on a bed of wheat, and crispy quince mille-feuille (puff pastry) with lemon sauce. We always wondered why van Gogh paintings made us hungry, and now we know.

Something for nothing

PR firms inundate our office with press materials, giveaways, teasers, graft, come-ons, invitations, requests, pleas, threats and bribes. Many of these items clog the round files by day's end. Rarely do we receive something that requires nothing from us but our presence. So, the envelope arrived from a Manhattan-based company. Inside was just one piece of paper (no weighty press kit or duped slides). It was an invitation to a series of Friday-morning breakfast concerts performed live outside the firm's offices at Rockefeller Plaza--a truly clever way to take advantage of free entertainment in a great location. And it was a terrific lineup, something for everyone: Celine Dion, Dolly Parton, Neil Sedaka, Gloria Estefan among the performers. Insider wasted no time in responding to that invite.

Easy for them to say

Insider came upon a corporate title that is new to us, one that might represent the first instance we've seen of job title as advertisement. A major cruise line announced it had promoted someone to "vice president of total guest satisfaction." Just think of it: If, say, John Doe is VP of total guest satisfaction for Ajax Cruises and he gets elected to the local school board or takes his kid's Little League team to the championship, the cruise line gets a mention in the local paper with the words "total satisfaction" attached to it. Not bad.

Kewpie, shmoopie

ChurchFads come and go, but we are always at the ready to get a comment. The latest bit of editorial commentary came about at a Massachusetts attraction that happens to be housed in a former church. We were checking out the exhibits at Yesteryears Doll Museum in the Cape Cod village of Sandwich. A nearby visitor was standing before the Kewpie-doll exhibit. It featured several of the big-eyed, round-headed figures that were all the rage during the second decade of this century. Then, from the visitor, an epiphany: "My God," she called out, "those Teletubbies are just a rip-off of these guys!"

Saba update

The first annual Wheel of Purpose Conference on Saba has been postponed from November to sometime in April. The event was scheduled for Nov. 7 to 15 at the Gate House hotel, but damage from Hurricane You Know Who persuaded the sponsors to postpone it. Manuela de Goey, public relations director at the Gate House, said there had been "significant damage to foliage" but that by April "the island should look a lot better."

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