New York , NY
New York , NY
Mickey Rourke and Eric Roberts (L)
The POPE of GREENWICH VILLAGE
How to watch a movie? You go to the cinema or pop something on at home, no? Yes that one way. You can watch a movie and maybe it’s good and maybe it’s not. You got to a movie theater? Well not so much today, with Netflix, Cable TV, streaming, or picking out a Video (yes some still have them), or DVD from your home collection. Nowadays there are many ways to see a movie. There’s the old fashion way of going to the cinema, paying money and seeing the latest movie of your choice. That was fun, and it was an event, a night out, and much more affordable than today. “Isn’t everything?” Well yeah, most things are a lot more expensive than they were in years past, and somethings not. Candy bars for example are about 20 times more than they were when I was a kid. WHen I first started buying candy bars (Hershey Bar etc.) they were only 5 Cents. And guess what? They were only 5 Cents when my father was a boy, 30 years before. In 30 years, the price of a candy bar (all candy) hadn’t gone up at all. When I first started buying Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Hershey Bars, Almond Joys and such, they where just 5 cents, a Nickel a piece. Then they started going up, a nickel at a time, until they got to the point they are now, between 1 Dollar and a Buck 25 depending on where you buy one. That’s as muc as 25 times increase since I was a boy. The average workers weekly income has gone up only 2 1/2 to 3 times since then, yet a Hershey Bar has gone up 20 times or more. A home has gone up close to 20 times as well, yet the price of long distance phone calls have decreased 20 times. What’s a person to do. The price of a movie ticket? Yes it’s gone up about 25 times since I started paying for my own movie ticket 50 years gone buy at the Rivoli Theater in Rutherford, New Jersey when it was just .75 for for a “Double Feature,” two movies with Cartoons in between. No more Double Features, no more cartoons, doesn’t exist. And boy did I Love, and did I have oh so much fun and fantasy, seeing all those great movies as a boy, back in 1960s America, it was just great, it was a “Wonderland,” the movies and movie houses of yor.
Well, again, I’ve gone way off the track again. Were’nt we talking about how to watch a movie? Yep. Now watching a movie in your normal way, and watching a movie with my winemaker cousin Joseph Macari Jr. of the North Fork of Long Island, New York is a whole other story. First off, you’re got to have a great movie. A movie with great actors and a great director always helps. When Joe and I would be watching movies, most of them would tend to be what you’d call guy films, such as Mob Movies made by the likes of Italian-American Directors Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola. Movies like the Godfather I and II, Goodfellas, Casino, and Raging Bull. The Pope of Greenwich Village by Vincent Partrick, and starring Mickey Rourke and Eric Roberts is one of our all-time favorites, as is State of Greace about the Irish Mafia of Hell’s Kitchen , New York, and which Gary Oldman turned in one hell of an incredible performance, playing Irish Mob Boss (Ed Harris) crazy brother, Irish Mob Soldier.
So we’d pick a movie, get it ready, then Joe would go down into his wine cellar and grab an amazing bottle of Champagne. And I’m not talking about Vueve Cliquot (Orange Label) or MOET – White Star, I’m talking some really serious Champagne, “The Best of The Best.” Joe came back that night with a bottle of BILLECART – SALMON Rose. “Wow!” Well I never had this Champagne before, I’d never even heard of it. Joe popped the cork and poured me a glass. We toasted, and then I took my first sip. Again, “Wow,” It was absolutely amazing. And I was in love. Yes I do love that Champagne, Billecart – Salmon Rose. It is so very delicious, and some have said, the Brut Rose Champagne produced by the Champagne House of Billecart – Salmon is a reference point as to how a great French Rose Champagne should taste, and that’s absolutely marvelous. And it should “Blow Your Mind” so to speak as that wine did for my that night, way back in the Fall of the year 2000. Yes Billecart Rose, as we call it, has to be my number 1 al-time favorite of all the great CHampagnes of France. And I’ve had many great champagnes, and ones that are far more expensive, and some might think better, than the Rose of Billecart Salmon, but not me. It was that special night, hanging out with my cousin Joe, watching Mickey Rourke and Eric Roberts in The Pope of Greenwich Village, enjoying the film, laughing, talking about it, and savoring that fine Champagne.
Billecart – Salmon
The champagnes of Maison Billecart-Salmon are above all created thanks to the knowledge of the men who rigorously cultivate an estate of 100 hectares, obtaining grapes from an area totaling 300 hectares across 40 crus of the Champagne region.
The majority of the grapes used for vinification come from a radius of 20km around Epernay, where the Grand Crus of Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay co-exist, in the ethereal vineyards of the Montagne de Reims, the Vallée de la Marne and the Côte des Blancs.
Yes, we do love our Champagne, we’re music lover, gourmands, and film buffs, and we combine these interests into some very sepcial times. Over the years we watched Man on Fire with Denzel Washington and Dakota Fanning, True Romance, Pulp Fiction, The Silence of The Lambs and other great movies. And we drank wines like Solaia, Tiganello, Taittinger’s Comtes di Champagne and other great wines, and vintage Champagne. Our, and by the way, I haven’t completely set the scene. When Joe and I watched these movies and drank Champagne, it was after the whole family, after a long day at Macari Vineyards, we’d all have a nice dinner together. We cooked, ate, chatted, and drank some nice wine with dinner. Then, as everyone was quite tired and would retire to bed, Joe and I would get our movie, an awesome bottle of Champagne, and we’d dig in. Dig into a classic film and some Vintage Champagne.
“Now that my friends, is How You Watch a Movie. Wouldn’t you agree?”
Me & Cousin Joe
Drinking Prosecco in VENICE
James Caan, Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, and John Cazale
As The CORELONE FAMILY
Sonny, Don Vito, Michael, and Freddo
In FRANCIS FORD COPPOLA’S The GODFATHER
“Joe and I drank “MILLE Una NOTTE” from our friends The RALLO FAMILY of DONNAFUGATA , Marsala, SICILY when we watched this one. We had to, great Sicilian Wine and a Sicilian Family, The CORLEONES of Corleone, Sicilia …
STATE of GRACE
Wine Pairing ?
IRISH WHISKEY of Course !
Our Wine Pairing ?
RUINART BLANC di BLANC
BLANC de BLANCS
Mia Wallace (Uma Thurman) would approve of the Champagne selection, “I’m sure.”
For me, Pulp Fiction was an absolute Masterpiece, and easily director Quentin Tarrantino’s greatest film. I really liked Tarrantino’s first film Resevoir Dogs, but not nearly as much as Pulp Fiction, which is in my Top 10 Films.
John Travolta, Ving Raimes, Eric Stolz, Harvey Keitel, and Samuel L. Jackson were awesome in the film, as was Uma.
The screenplay by Tarrantio and Roger Avery was the base of this great film. I’m still waiting for tarrantino to make at least one more great film, but just for this masterpiece alone, for me he’s a genius. And I love another screenplay that Tarrantino wrote, but didn’t direct the movie. And that would be the movie True Romance, directed by the late great Tony Scott (RIP).
Robert DeNiro as JAKE LaMOTTA
In Martin Scorsese ‘s RAGING BULL
Wine Pairing ?
Raging Bull, another great film classic from director Martin Scorsese. KRUG Grande Cuvee, what can you say, “This Champagne is Amazing!” It’s KRUG after all?
Christopher Walken and Dennis Hopper
TONY SCOTT’S “TRUE ROMANCE”
As Vincenzo Cocotti and Cliff Worley
WINE PAIRING for TRUE ROMANCE ?
POL ROGER “SIR WINSTON CHURCHILL”
POL ROGER – SIR WINSTON CHURCHILL
“Dam I Love this Champagne!” What’s not to Love? Pol Roger- Sir Winston Churchill is one of the Best Champagne’s money can buy, “you just can’t get any better.” Full of those yeasty bready Brioche flavors that I love in fine Vintage Champagne. And the movie True Romance, what can I say? Dam, I just flipped for this film the first time I saw it. And seeing this movie and Christian Slater’s awesome performance as Clarence Worly, just blew my mind, and I finally gained respect for Christian’s acting abilities. I’ve know Christian since he was about 10 years old, and his mother, powerhouse Casting Director Mary Jo Slater used to bring him to a restaurant I worked in long ago (the 1980s).
This film was awesome from beginning to end, and is one of Quentin Tarrantino’s greatest works. he wrote the screenplay, but didn’t make the movie, which was directed by Tony Scott. The movie is filled with one awesome ensemble cast which includes: the stars Slater and Patricia Arquette (ALabama), along with cameos by Dennis Hopper (Slater’s father), Christopher Walkin as Mob Boss Vincenzo Cocotti, Brad Pitt as Michael Rappaport’s “Stoner Friend,” Val Kilmer plays ELVIS PRESLEY, Gary Oldman is aboslutely Electrifying as wannabe Rastafarian Drug Dealer / Pimp called Drexl.
Anyway, I love the movie, and was oh so happy to turn Joe on to it. He had never seen it before, and he abolutely loved it. We had a great time watching it together, and The Sir Winston Chruchill Champagne did not hurt at all. “It was incredible!”
to be Continued ….
I will add to my reviews of both the Movies, Actors, and Champagne’s at a later date. Hope you all enjoy this for now. So until the next great movie, and the next great French Champagne. As Arnold would say, “Hasta la Vista Baby!”
Rue d SEINE
I first went to the La Palette with my buddy Raoul in March of 1999. I went as I heard quite a bit about this bistro from my friend John Lee, who went to Paris once or twice every year. For years. He told me of the bistro which he said was a classic Parisian Bistro on Rue d Seine, just down from St Germain de Pres. He had told me of the owner Jean Marie who, though he was the owner, he dressed and worked as a waiter. John Lee told me that Jean Marie had a reputation as a bit of a hard-ass, but that he took a liking to my him (John Lee). John loved the place, and talked about it all Raoul and I were going to Paris for a week to meet up with Vicky and Raoul’s girlfriend who were in the fashion business and going to Paris for the Prete-a-Porter (Ready to Wear) fashion shows in Paris. Vicky worked for Jean Paul Gautier, and Lisa was a editor for Marie Claire Magazine. At the time, I had my restaurant Bar Cichetti on Houston Street in Greenwich Village, and one night when Lisa was there with Vicky, Lisa said to me, “Danny why don’t you come to Paris with Raoul and meet me and Vicky?” Lisa didn’t have to ask me twice, I’d be there. And so I booked a couple flights on Continetal Air, and Raoul and I flew over. We took a taxi into the city where Lisa was staying at the Hotel Montlalemert. We walked into the hotel and Lisa and Vicky were right there in the restauarant having lunch. Raoul and I joined the girls, I had a Club Sandwich, hung out for a bit, then got a taxi to go and check-in to my hotel, the Hotel Lille on Rue de Lille. I checked in.
That night we went to dinner at some new trendy restaurant that was not very good. Not my choice, but the Editor in Chief of Harper’s Bazzar Magazine, Glenda Bailey. I remember having to wait forever for the cocktail I ordered, and the food was just OK. Not good, but my friends would find out that when it came to me picking bistros and brasseries for us to eat at, I really knew my stuff and they loved my choices.
Each day of this trip, I’d get up early in the morning, have my breakfast, and walk around for about an hour before walking over to the Hotel Montalembert to pick up Raoul who wouldn’t get up until 11 am, and I’d meet him at the hotel at 12 noon. We walked out onto the street and Raoul asked me where we were going to eat. I told Raoul that we were going to La Palette, a place recommended by John Lee.
When we got to La Palette, the place was packed, every table was occupied. It was a quite likely scene, and it was getting my charged. Jean Marie greeted us and told us to wait at the bar, and he’d have a table for us in a few minutes. So we bellied up to the bar and I studied the menu. They had Gigot (Lamb Shank), Pate, Bouf Bourguignon and other bistro classics. And when I saw they had Pomme Dauphenoise, I told Raoul we had to have some. We waited just about 10 meinutes, and then Jean Marie brought us to a table. We got a Charcuterie Plate for started, then we both ordered Steak with Pomme Dauphenoise for our mains. I was disappointed when they said they were out of the Daupehnoise, but we could get Pomme Saute instead. We both drank Beaujolais with our meal. The meal was quite tasty, and when Raoul pulled out a couple of Cohiba Cuban Cigars that he bought the night before when we stopped at a cigar bar on Monparnasee, Jean Marie replied, “but of course.”
Well we had a really nice time at La Palette. Jean Marie was very nice to us, the food and the ambiance wonderful, and Raoul and I thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. So the next day when I met Raoul at his hotel, and asked him where he wanted to eat, I shouldn’t have been surprised when he said, “let’s go to Palette.” I asked him, “you want to go there again?”
“Why not?” Raoul replied. Ok, let’s go. It was jumping when we walked in. Jean Marie saw as and smiled, “Hello my Friends! Just a moment.” We were in like Flin. Jean Marie liked us, they had great food, and it was a wonderful old Parisian Bistro, where we’d be having another great lunch. Jean Marie even put us at the same corner table we sat at the day before. It was great.
The Bar at La PALETTE
Rue de Buci
Yes we had quite a good time on the trip. We had dinner one night at La Coupole and a great lunch one day at Brasserie Lipp. We hung out Cafe Duex Magots, and went to Hotel Costes. We were having a great time until Lisa and Raoul had a fight, and then a pick-pocket stole Raoul’s wallet when we were at Cafe Select. Raoul wasn’t feeling it and wanted to go home, so we cut our trip a couple days short, 5 instead of 7. Anyway we had a good time when we were there, and as you see here, I have fond memories of the trip.
Blvd. St Germain
Me at Cochon L’Orielle
BOBBY CALDWELL “He’S WHITE” !!!
WHAT YOU WON’T DO FOR LOVE Bobby Caldwell “
He’s Not a Black Man” ! He’s White !!! Dam, just found out a quite Funny Thing? Bobby Caldwell is White. Yes. I love this song, it’s one of my all-time favorites. The song is Fucking Awesome. and I’ve listened to it 1,00 times over the years. I always thought Bobby Caldwell was a black man. He sounded like a black man, and I never really thought about it. Well I love Youtube and I have this music blog “BEST MUSIC EVER” and post all my favorite songs, mostly of the 1960s, 70, and 80s, R&B, POP MUSIC, ROCK & ROLL, and Standards from such greats as Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Nat King Cole, Sammy Davis Jr., and the lot, just Great Music and NEVER Any SHITTY HIP HOP RAP CRAP or SHITTY so-called Alternative Rock “Whatever The FUCK That Is?” FUCK, What The FUCK Happened? What the Hell Happened to MUSIC. Why hasn’t anyone made any good music for some 20 years or so now? I just don’t Fucking get it. The 1960s 70s and even 1980s produced such an abundance of great music, “I thought it would never end.” Who knew? Did you? Anyway, Thank God for Records (recordings) and such things, so we don’t have to listen to any SHIT ASS RAP MUSIC or Alternative CRAP! We can listen to all the great recordings of such artists as; The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Marvin Gaye, The Supremes, Dionne Warwick, and on-and-on. I thought it would never end. And so, this is one of the reasons I created this blog, The Best Music Ever , from the 60s, 1970s and 80s, you NEVER EVER Have to listen to any SHITTY ASS RAP CRAP. Not unless you have SHITTY TASTE, as Millions of people do these this days. That’s the only explanation why such Shitty, talent-less so-called musical artist like; Justin Timberlake “He Sucks,” Taylor Swift “She Sucks,” and HORRIBLE HORRIBLE so-called artist like Kanye West can record SHIT and make Millions, “People have BAD TASTE.” the only explanation. Anyway, I got off the track a bit. Wasn’t I talking about Bobby Caldwell, his great song What You Won’t Do For Love and the fact that, not only me, but millions of people thought that when they listen to this wonderful romantic song “What You Won’t Do For Love” by Mr. Bobby Caldwell, you were listening to a black man? Hell Yeah, I did. When I was making this post and started reading the comments, I spotted a comment by a women, saying, “Didn’t you think Bobby Caldwell was Black?” Yep. Funny. But then I saw another and another, and another, many comments, all saying basically the same thing, “didn’t you think Bobby Caldwell was black,” When Did You find out that Bobby Caldwell was white, and on-and-on, so many comments saying the same thing, everyone thought Bobby Caldwell was a black man. Don’t believe me? Go check it out on youtube. Anyway, no matter that Bobby Caldwell isn’t a black man, like most everyone thought. Yes, Bobby Caldwell is white, and his rendition of What You Won’t Do For Love is absolutely awesome, one of the sexiest, most beautiful love songs ever sung, and by a white man who everyone thought was black, the song is just great, and the story quite funny, “What You Won’t Do For Love?”
Daniel Bellino Zwicke
“Yes, He’s White”
More on Bobby Old myths have a way of sticking around. Especially the one about Bobby Caldwell being black. It’s been 37 years since Caldwell broke through with the soul classic “What You Won’t Do For Love,” and yet, some are still shocked when they find out the singer is white. “Quite honestly, I never thought I sounded black,” says Caldwell. “I thought I sounded like a white guy that was influenced by R&B music. But people would swear up and down I was black. Huge amounts of money were lost in bets.” There are thousands of articles, and postings all over the Internet; on Twitter, Facebook, Buzzfeed, all over the places. What do you think of all this? We’d like to know. Please leave a comment below.
Cafe Aux Deux Magots
“One of Hemingway’s Favorites”
September 23, 2019 Marlton Hotel, NYC
Way back in about 1991 I wrote a piece about cafes as pertaining to New York and cafes in America, of European and Parisian Cafes, and how the United States was pretty much devoid of these things that were an absolute necessity of Parisian, French, Italia, and European life. I had written of how important cafes were particularly Paris, to the French and Italians, all over Italy, France, Spain, in Vienna, Budapest, Prague, and all over Europe, cafes were at the very center of European social life, and as a matter of fact, an absolute necessity to European life itself, but not of America at the time. Most Americans were totally unaware of this thing called “cafe life,” or the pleasures and necessities that the cafe offered. First and foremost, there is coffee and refuge, to sit, relax, socialize or not. The coffee (Espresso – Cappuccino) was relatively cheap (much more expensive these days).
The Parisian cafe has long been a place to meet (friends, lovers), rendezvous, socialize, read, write, eat, or just contemplate. For many their neighborhood cafe was their living room, eluding to the fact that many lived in tiny apartments or had just one room, the cafe became their living room, and or dining room. Artists and writers have long been inhabitants of cafes, especially writers who for the price of a Cafe Latte could linger for hours writing the great novel and what-not.
Maybe not all, but most Europeans, the cafe is absolutely necessary to living life. Americans, had not been accustomed to the same way of life, and I wrote that original piece in 1990, way before Starbucks, coffee bars, and other cafes ever became a thing. Now, I for one am not a fan of Starbucks, as I’ve been going to any number of wonderful independent cafes for years, and I have never been one to do restaurants or cafes that are part of any worldwide or national chain, “not for me.”
September 24, 2019
CAFFE REGGIO 11.15 PM
Well I’m having my 3rd cafe visit of the day. I’m at Caffe Reggio in Greenwich Village, the place I wrote that little piece on cafes so many years ago. On that day in 1991, it was a cold Winters day in New York. There was a major snow storm (18 inches) going on, and I was sitting at a window table, sipping my cappuccino and watching the heavy snow fall. It was just beautiful, and was inspiring me to write as I thought of Hemingway, writing at that cafe in Paris so many years ago. Hemingway wrote about it in a Moveable Feast and the image was set in my mind on this day, and so I wrote about cafes. If I remember correctly, it was on a cafe on the Boulevard St Michele in Paris. Hemingway did not give the name of the cafe, but he painted quite a memorable picture. From reading books about Hemingway, I knew that as far as Parisian Cafes were concerned, his favorites were; Cafe Select on the Boulevard Monparnasse, Cafe au Duex Magots, an unknown cafe on the Rue Mouffetard, and the Closerie d Lilas, also on Blvd. Monparnasse, but further down from where Select is.
So, needless to say, I’m quite a fan of Hemingway, the man, and his works. At the time, I was totally enamored of 1920 Paris, the writers and artists, and I’d read whatever I could get my hands on, on the era and subjects. I loved Paris, I still do, but you have a different way of looking at things in your 20s, everything so much more magical when you’re young and discovery things for the first time. And so I was, and my first trip to Paris in January of 1986 absolutely blew away. I was smitten, and I just ate the city up, both figuratively and literally, I ate up Paris. My favorite things to do was going to different cafes for breakfast or anytime during the day. I imagined myself a writer, I imagine myself Hemingway. “Hey, one can dream can’t they?” No I’d never become another Hemingway. I know this now. When you’re young you’re full of dreams, and as they say of young men, “Full of Piss & Vinegar.” Yes I could dream, and especially being the young man with so many dreams, and besides, I was on vacation, and I was going to live it, and enjoy it to the max. And so I did.
I found a wonderful hotel in my Frommer’s Guide, the Cluny Hotel on Boulevard Saint Michele in the Latin Quarter on the Left Bank of the Seine. It was a wonderful little hotel in a great location. close to all the great cafes and quite a lot of marvelous bistros, both of which were my two main interest and means of entertainment, and I live in both. I’d get up and go to some cafe on St Michele or St Germain, for Cafe Latte and a Croissant. “What else?” I was in Paris. At this point in time, I didn’t know of the famous cafes of Duex Magots, Flore, or Select, I’d learn of them latter. So in January of 86, any cafe that looked good to me, I’d go into. I did have Patricia Wells wonderful culinary guidebook The Food Lovers Guide to Paris which had me in so many wonderful bistros, even before I went, her writings ( and pictures) made me feel as though I was already there. I read that book feverishly, taking notes and planning my trip, and the bistros I wanted to go to. Yes this book is quite wonderful, and I highly recommend anyone going to Paris, don’t leave home without it, it’s indispensable
I just can’t tell you enough about how much I loved this trip, I savored it with all my being, as I’d done in Rome just 6 months before, I was like a kid on Christmas day, full of euphoria for what I was experiencing. Boy could I eat all up back then. Besides going to cafes, I’d have a wonderful lunch at one of the bistros I’d picked out, and have dinner at another, eating Foe Gras, Escargot, Bouf Bourgiononne and the lot of French Bistro Classics. I ate at Bistro Polidor on the Rue Monsiuer la Prince, La Coupole, and Brasserie Julien on St Denis. I ate Choucroute Garne at the Brasserie on Il Sr Louis, just over the bridge from Notre Dame and the Il d Cite. I ate at a wonderful little bistro for lunch one day by the great big Flea Market at Cligancourt.
I couldn’t wait to get to the tiny little bar / bistro that Patrica Wells said was the most beautiful bar in Paris. It was the Le Cochon L Orielle at 15 Rue Monmartre. When I got there, I was not disappointed. The place was just as gorgeous as Patricia had decribed, and I had to agree, this has to be the most beautiful little bar in all of Gay Paree, “I just Loved it.”
Daniel Bellino Zwicke
Me at Le COCHEON L ARIELLE
Le Cochon L’ Orielle no longer exist in its original state as it was when I first went ther in 1986, in 1991, and as was when I was there in 1999 (pictured above). You see me in the picture above taken of me and the couple who owned the place at the time. Rhe couple is behind the gorgeous old bar (original) and I’m on the other side. If you look at the picture below, you will see that the beautiful old bar no longer exist and there are tables in its place, with a new smaller bar at the end. Unfortunately this is not the original configuration as it was for many years and the 3 separate occasions when I ate there, once by myself (1986), once with my girlfriend Merceditas in 1991, and here with my buddy Raoul (took the picture) in March 1999.
I do not know when the place was renovated. I always hate to see things like this happen, but having been in the restaurant business for many years, I’m aware of the fact that these businesses have many expenses and that these changes most likely came about as a means of survival, and it’s better that the place is still there, rather than totally going out of business.
The other change is that the 3 cute little wooden booths where I had previously eaten my delightful lunches, are now gone. As you see the counter on the left hand side of the bar with the bar-stools, this is where the booths once were. Also, you can see the spiral staircase leading to a second floor, there is now a dining room that had never existed before. The place has many more tables now, which probably as tripled its seating capacity, thus increasing revenue, and keeping the place alive. However, I really miss the old place.
Le Cochon L’ Orielle
The GORGEOUS OLD BAR & BOOTHS are GONE
Le Cochon L’Orielle
A TILE MURAL of LES HALLES
Le COCHON L’ORIELLE