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
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.
Fads 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!"
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."