Dan Friedman

Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

Whisky Jewbilee Done All Grown Up

In Food, Travel, Whisky on June 22, 2016 at 9:16 pm

Older whiskies aren’t necessarily better, but aging is a crucial process in the development of their character. And the same is true of whisky events.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Hunting for Tears For Fears

In Culture, Food, Music, Travel on October 16, 2014 at 10:04 pm

I was heading to Portland, Oregon — America’s hipster haven — to take in the inaugural Project Pabst, a weekend-long music festival from the makers of Pabst Blue Ribbon. Despite Pabst Brewing Company’s recent sale to a Russian owner, PBR, the post-ironic beer ne plus ultra, seemed perfectly suited to Portland. Home of semi-constant rain, famed locavore cuisine and an unparalleled density of bearded baristas, Portland is no bland Anywhere, USA to be experienced from the tedious safety of a chain motel. With notebooks, recording equipment and research in hand, this middle-aged, tea-drinking Yorkshireman was ready for his ethnographic adventure.


Part 1 — where I ate shungiku: Souciant, Music
Part II — where I arrive at the unicorn: Souciant, Music
Part III — where I discover Wyatt Earp’s brother: Souciant, Music
Part IV — where I devour a cock ‘n’ balls (rest assured, SFW): Souciant, Music
Plus, a surprising epilogue, featuring Curt Smith: Frontier Psychiatrist, Music

Hipsters Go Middle Age

In Comedy, Culture, Films, Travel on September 22, 2014 at 9:51 pm

For most people, the middle of life isn’t so much marked by crisis as by a general, if heightened, anxiety. As your body gradually succumbs to entropy and gravity, you realize that history has taken place, and you have barely participated. You weren’t Madonna, you never won Wimbledon, you didn’t stop global warming.

And yet you carry on. You may no longer surprise yourself, but you make the best of the ragtag set of memories, skills and achievements you have. You live your life.


Read more at: Souciant, Film

Whisky Jewbilee

In Food, Travel on November 12, 2012 at 11:34 pm

The largest whisky event of the year took place last weekend at the Marriott Marquis. Stretching from sundown Friday to a later Saturday night, WhiskyFest NY was attended by hundreds of aficionados of the pungent malt. Sadly, I couldn’t make it this year, but I managed to stop by the first so-called “Whisky Jewbilee” run by Single Cask Nation just before the weekend. This wasn’t WhiskyFest, it wasn’t intended to be. It was more like a bar mitzvah Kiddush for whisky connoisseurs and the heksher gave it a distinctly Jewish ambience.

World Cup Winner

In Award Winning, Football (Soccer), Travel on July 3, 2011 at 3:31 am

As any soccer fan will tell you, it only takes seven games to win the FIFA World Cup once you’ve qualified for the final tournament. Unfortunately, Israel has reached the finals just once — Mexico 1970 — where, after losing to Uruguay and tying with Sweden and Italy, it failed to progress beyond the group stage. That year in Mexico, though, there was an outstanding Israeli success — referee Abraham Klein.