Dan Friedman

Archive for May, 2011|Monthly archive page

The Zen of Kosher Scotch

In Food, Travel on May 19, 2011 at 2:43 am

As anyone who has visited the dry garden at the Zen temple Ryoanji, in Kyoto, Japan, can tell you, it’s not just the raw materials that make a site worth visiting. If raked gravel were all it took to attract tourists, then the world’s quarries would be mobbed. Likewise, the aura that surrounds Scottish whisky distilleries goes beyond their relatively unprepossessing appearance and explains why visitors are increasingly drawn to the remote north of Britain. In recent years, kosher whisky tour groups have been among the buses pulling up into small parking lots located 600 miles, or more, north of London.

Questions Aplenty From New Installation at San Francisco Museum

In Exhibitions on May 5, 2011 at 3:51 am

Is someone asking a question in the Yud Gallery at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco? Has the CJM just opened a new sound installation in its Yud Gallery called “Are we there yet?” Has it been designed — based on Jews’ inquisitive impulse — by regular collaborators Ken Goldberg (artist and professor of robotics at U.C. Berkeley) and Gil Gershoni (commercial designer)? Did they talk to the Forward’s Dan Friedman by telephone? Did the chief rabbi eat matzo at Seder?

Dan Friedman: Are the Jews really the only people who ask questions?

Ken Goldberg: Who else asks questions? What are you trying to say? What do you mean?!

Keeping Score: a tale of self-discovery played out on the basketball court

In Books on May 5, 2011 at 3:29 am

In his new novel, Benjamin Markovits explains that “Dolmetscher” is an “ugly German word which describes what it means to be caught in the middle between two languages”. A Dolmetscher, though, negotiates not only between languages but also between cultures. For Markovits, who, like his narrator, is a Texan in London, a Jew with a Christian German mother, and an American nearer to seven than six feet tall (with a professed affinity for Romantic poets), there is plenty to negotiate.

Why the Royal Wedding Is Not so Royal

In Culture, Football (Soccer) on May 5, 2011 at 3:17 am

July 29, 1981 was a beautiful day for playing soccer. The sun was bright, the sky was blue and, like a schoolboy’s dream, the normally crowded streets were empty, making the whole world a soccer field. The only drawback was that I had to make my own sandwiches for lunch because my mum was otherwise occupied, glued to the television.

It was the day of The Royal Wedding, when the definite article was resounding. Television in a hundred countries played nothing else and chinaware in a million British households carried the imprint of a fresh-faced Lady Di opposite her less fresh, famously big-eared groom. The eyes of the world were on England and the eyes of England were on the thronged streets through which the royal carriages would proceed with pomp and ceremony.

Read more: Reuters Great Debate Blog

The Flowers That Spring in the Blum Have Nothing To Do With the Case

In Exhibitions on May 5, 2011 at 2:27 am

British-based Zionists were heartened to hear that their celebrations of Israeli Independence Day could include a visit to the most important solo show by an Israeli artist in London this year. By moving the closing date of “The Land of Light and Promise: 50 Years Painting Jerusalem and Beyond, Ludwig Blum (1891-1974)” from April 24 to May 29, the Ben Uri Gallery extended the exhibit to encompass the annual flurry of modern Jewish observances that run the gamut of emotions: Holocaust Rememberance Day, Independence Day and Memorial Day.