UPDATE | Back in the saddle

bathroomWe’re nearing the completion of the renovation of our guest bathroom, one of the many distractions that’s kept me away from regular blogging here.

I’ve been quiet for too long.

It’s been a busy year. I’ve been consumed by our new home, 67 Grandview Drive in Mount Kisco, and by writing a centennial book for Mrs. F’s family business.

With Labor Day passed and the book put to bed, it’s time to blog again. I will confess that I don’t honestly know if I’ll ever be able to keep up with my 2008-2009 pace here. I’ve tried to mimic that sprint on North Toward Home, my Tumblr, but I don’t think it’s comparable as I don’t do much writing there.

Still, there’s lots to discuss. We’re just completing a renovation of the guest bathroom and will be rebuilding our crumbling excuse for a driveway in the next month or so. We’re still drinking, so the cocktail reports will return. I’m still concerned with art, style, literature, ocean liners, “Mad Men,” matchbook, the 1960s and other leisurely pursuits. Reynolds will probably be firing weapons soon, so we’ll have reports about that. I might be able to cajole other contributors like the Brothers Briganti, Leifer and Maxie to take a turn from time to time, too.

And there will always be jazz videos, though YouTube’s embedding codes no longer seem to work in the player queue. I’ll figure something out. In the meantime, I hope Sarge Shriver has kept you good company.

CLIP | Thelonious Monk, ‘Epistrophy,’ 1966

CLIP | ‘Chinese Wall’

FRONT PAGES | Roger Clemens indicted

AMNewYorkToday’s AM New York.

Testifying before a House committee in 2008, Roger Clemens was unqequivocal: “I have never taken steroids or HGH.”

Turns out, he might have been lying. A Federal grand jury handed down a six-county indictment Thursday that alleges the Rocket perjured himself when testifying. Fans were ambivalent about the news, which carries the National Pastime’s worst scandal forward.

Newspapers across the country fronted the news, either referring to coverage inside their editions or starting on A1. See the gallery below.

Clemens began his major-league career with the Boston Red Sox in 1984. In 1997, he moved to the Toronto Blue Jays, and then to the Yankees in 1999. In 2004, he departed for a stint with the Houston Astros but returned to the Bronx for the 2007 season, after which he retired.

BULLETIN| Maps section goes live on ejforbes.com

View Lower Hudson Valley in a larger map

Our map of the Lower Hudson Valley, a work in progress.

It occurred to me recently that I didn’t have the grasp of Google Maps that I probably should. So, messing around last week and this week, I’ve knocked together maps of a few of our favorite places.

Included on these guides to the North Country, the Hudson Valley, Buffalo and Cape Cod are some of my favorite dining destinations, both formal and informal, gin mills of repute and disrepute and suppliers of good gear, be it sporting goods or clothing.

More maps, including guides to Old New York, New Orleans and Sarasota, will be in the works shortly. Feel free to add your own favorite haunts to these and let me know if there are any obvious omissions.

To get to the maps, navigate to the last button on the site’s main navigation bar.


BULLETIN| ‘Mad Men’ Season 3 DVD to release March 23

The DVD box set for Season 3 of “Mad Men.”

Season 3 of “Mad Men,” the Emmy-award-winning drama that chronicles the life of a 1960s advertising executive, will be released on DVD and BluRay on Tuesday, March 23.

All 13 episodes of the ground-breaking series’ third campaign will be included, as well as featurettes on American life in 1963, leaders of the Civil Rights movement and an animated gallery from graphic artist Dyna Moe.

For more, visit the show’s Web site and, to order your copy, visit Amazon.com.

BULLETIN| ejforbes.com now available on Facebook; fans sought

banbnerLoyal readers —

As of late last week, ejforbes.com is on Facebook. We’ve built a standard fan page to deliver daily updates to the world’s leading social-networking site. To date, 25 loyal readers, including lots of old St. Lawrence friends, have joined us.

We invite you, too, to join us there so that the latest cocktail recipes, weird finds and musings on classic style can be a part of your newsfeed. We hope you’ll get on board as soon as possible.

Visit ejforbes.com on Facebook today.

All the best —

Ed Forbes

FIND| ‘Gin and Titonic’ lend new meaning to ‘on the rocks’

CubesOcean liner- and iceberg-shaped ice cubes add an extra splash to any cocktail hour.

Sent along by the old Carl, these ice cube trays from World Wide Fred,“>World Wide Fred will add just a bit of extra sink into every drink. Shaped like ocean liners and the icebergs that menaced them, these cubes will make an excellent addition to any cocktail-loving ocean liner nut’s collection.

The set includes a tray that will ice up four ocean liners and four bergs and is available for $6.99 at Perpetual Kid.

Sink or swim.

BRIEFING| A blueprint for the future of journalism and other media matters

Good afternoon!

• Commissioned by Columbia Graduate School of Journalism Dean Nicholas Lemman, Leonard Downie, Jr., longtime executive editor of The Washington Post, and Columbia professor Michael Schudson, have delivered a report, “The Reconstruction of American Journalism.” In the 100-page missive, Downie and Schudson call for government subsidies for local news, something David Carr, for one, worries about in today’s Times. Other recommendations include pressuring the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to focus more of its energies on local news, jiggering the tax code to make non-profit news organizations more feasible and encouraging universities and other funding sources to fund news gathering. But the basic premise, the authors write is:

The challenge is to turn the current moment of transformation into a
reconstruction of American journalism, enabling independent reporting to emerge
enlivened and enlarged from the decline of long-dominant news media. It may not
be essential to save or promote any particular news medium, including printed
newspapers. What is paramount is preserving independent, original, credible
reporting, whether or not it is popular or profitable, and regardless of the medium
in which it appears.

In other words, it’s not newspapers, stupid. It’s newsrooms that need to be preserved. Howard Kurtz, writing today in The Washington Post, agrees with Downie and Schudson that new online start-ups should be focused upon.

• Gannett’s advertising sales continue to plummet, down 28 percent from a year ago, the Associated Press reports.

• In this week’s New York, Jeff VanDam explores how reporting on recent headlines — among them the leaked McChrystal Report, the murder at Yale and the sleeper Qaeda cell in Queens — evolves and what kinds of resources are required to deliver them.

• Elsewhere in New York, there’s a good piece on Mayor Bloomberg’s ascendancy as the one-man establishment of New York; a recap of last night’s dark “Mad Men” episode, and a preview of “New York: Line by Line, from Broadway to the Battery,” an anthology of illustrations from German artist Robinson.

BRIEFING| Balloon Boy, January and a hopeful tale for newspapers

DPToday’s Denver Post.

Good afternoon! It’s been a busy week at the paper and I’ve been doing some reporting and research for an upcoming freelance piece. Apologies to our readers, especially the growing number of new readers, for the long lapse.

Let’s get to it.

• Everyone now knows that The New York Times Co. has elected not to sell The Boston Globe. Janet Robinson, the company’s chief executive, visited Boston yesterday and credited the paper’s staff for keeping the paper afloat, the Globe reports. It had been predicted to lose $85 million in 2009, but massive wage and benefit cuts, an increase in the rack-sale price and the shuttering of a press reduced the deficit.

• Balloon Boy, a.k.a. Falcon Heene, who gave bored newspaper people all across the land something to speculate about yesterday afternoon, barfed during an appearance on “Today” this morning. His huckster father carried right along. New York magazine comments. Here’s the video:

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

• Earlier this week, several of you sent me the hopeful tale of M. E. Sprengelmeyer, a former Washington correspondent for the folded Rocky Mountain News of Denver. Mr. Sprengelmeyer has purchased a community paper and is having a ball. The Times reports.

“Mad Men”
Several notes related to “Mad Men” today.

• First, everyone’s in a dither about whether or not GQ doctored January Jones’ cleavage for its November cover. The photo eds at the lad mag claim Ms. Jones’ chest is portrayed accurately. Not everyone can be sure.

• The Journal News map that details the show’s references to Westchester County continues to be updated. Be sure to check it out.

• Writing in the November issue of The Atlantic, that magazine’s national editor, Benjamin Schwarz offers up a glowing review of our favorite television show in the shell of a review for “Kings of Madison Avenue,” a companion volume written by Jesse McLean that was published last month. Schwarz equates series like “Mad Men”, “The Sopranos,” “The Wire,” et al. to megamovies and decides that with the exception of Jones, the show is a masterpiece.

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