Dan Friedman

Archive for February, 2016|Monthly archive page

Collect the Letters of M. Blanc

In Books, Culture, Travel on February 20, 2016 at 4:55 pm

Meet M. Blanc. My strange new character is Polonius meets Blanchot, Borges meets Kafka, Prufrock meets the lack of social media in postwar Paris. Read, re-read. Repeat.

You can buy the e-book, “The Complete Letters of M. Blanc,” from Dutch Kills Press in three ways, from

Kindle in Americathe UK, or  Australia,
Atavist (for web, desktop folk),
or through iBooks at Apple.

Are Jewish Men All Shylocks?

In Books, Comedy, Culture on February 20, 2016 at 4:29 pm

What to do with Shylock? I was pondering this question recently while browsing in a Barnes and Noble, when I noticed that they’d helpfully labeled the Humor shelf, “Books that make you laugh.”

Included on the Farm

In Culture, Food on February 20, 2016 at 4:27 pm

For many developmentally disabled children and their parents, the future looks bleak. Getting a job, living a fulfilling life and being independent often seem, at best, like vague ideas on the far side of a wilderness of anxiety and hardship.

Jewish Farmers, Revolutionary or Ridiculous?

In Culture, Food, Visual Media on February 20, 2016 at 4:25 pm

The unfailing response from people when I tell them I’m going to the Jewish farmers conference here, just outside San Diego, is a smile to see if I’m joking. Then, when it’s clear I’m serious, comes: “I didn’t know that there were any Jewish farmers.”

Wheat, Whiskey and Women

In Food, Travel, Whisky on February 20, 2016 at 4:20 pm

Whiskey doesn’t seem like an agricultural product. But as we celebrate (or pray for) the rebirth of nature on Tu B’Shvat it’s good to bear in mind that what the Irish call “the brown” comes from fields of waving grain.

Amir Gutfreund, Writer of Wit and Power, Dies at 52

In Culture, history on February 20, 2016 at 4:18 pm

I first met Amir Gutfreund at the Pierre Hotel in the spring of 2007. To inaugurate the biggest Jewish literary prize ever, in honor of multi-millionaire Sami Rohr, literati, journalists and organizers had been gathered to one of Manhattan’s glitziest hotels. Gutfreund’s firm no-nonsense manner and even firmer sense of the absurd was in full force.

Read more: Forward, Culture

8 Whiskies for 8 Nights

In Food, Travel on February 20, 2016 at 4:14 pm

Enough with the oil. Cut the grease of the festival of “lets-celebrate-religious zealotry-by-inducing-heart-disease.” Its time to talk about eight nights of truly miraculous golden liquids — ones that are indeed flammable, but ones that would only confirm your insanity were you to put a match to them. Give the kids their toys and retire to a comfortable chair to sit with friends and family and sip one of these nectars, which will, miraculously, transform neurotic in-laws into charming raconteurs and bigoted relatives into kindly old uncles.

Sderot: Israel in (Rocking) Microcosm

In Culture, Films, Interviews, Politics on February 20, 2016 at 4:12 pm

Everyone should be able to agree on Sderot. Leftists, rightists, Jews, non-Jews. A small settlement of folks — unwanted by the countries they’d lived in for centuries, and thrown together in an inhospitable land within internationally accepted boundaries by the will of the central government — have combined to make a vibrant community whose musical output has transformed the region’s culture.

Whisky and the 1%

In Food, Travel, Whisky on February 20, 2016 at 4:10 pm

At New York’s Marriot Marquis hotel in late September, middle-aged white American men sipped high-end scotch and bourbon as their republic splintered.

Sipping in the Summer With Whisky Jewbilee

In Food, Travel, Whisky on February 20, 2016 at 4:08 pm

This is a story of change. Of winter transforming into summer and of Scotch whisky giving way to American spirits.