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Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2008

Astoria Times

Oliver Bon Dinant: Old−time French charm

We remember a time when intimate, classic French restaurants were commonplace around New York City, especially in the theater district, but in many other neighborhoods as well. Back in the days when Thai cuisine was unknown to anyone except Thais, Italian meant spaghetti and meatballs, and Chinese was proffered in long lean establishments with booths and menus urging choices from columns A & B, French food was regarded, and rightly so, as a cut above. Who could have predicted that someday every neighborhood would have its own Thai eatery, but that French restaurants would become an endangered species? Comment
Astoria Times

Ozone Park actor plays undead patriarch in ‘Twilight’

Ozone−Park−born thespian Peter Facinelli will be seen on screens across the country later this month in one of the fall’s most anticipated films. The actor said the role of Dr. Carlisle Cullen, in director Catherine Hardwicke’s “Twilight,” was one into which he could really sink his teeth. Comment
Astoria Times

Travel Agents

Until recently, I was a travel editor at a major guidebook publisher. The job required heavy text-editing, and contrary to what the title suggests, no travel. What made the job unbearable was that it took something I loved — travel — and made me hate it. I’d edit hundreds of pages of the same boilerplate prose: a well-appointed hotel room here, a vibrant market there, with “jaw-dropping” and “mind-blowing” profundities all over the place. Only the locales would change. Comment
Astoria Times

The art of the energy audit

The P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center in Long Island City received an early Christmas present this year. Comment
Astoria Times

Queens Shakespeare stages delightful ‘Twelfth Night’

“Twelfth Night” is based on what may be the dumbest premise in all Shakespeare. We’re supposed to believe that male and female twins, who we must assume have achieved puberty, are indistinguishable from each other when the girl dresses up like a boy. Certainly, no one in this wacky play, delightfully put on by Queens Shakespeare Inc., can tell them apart. What, has Sebastian not experienced a growth spurt? Has his voice not changed? Does he not have to shave once in a while? Of course it’s all beside the point — this is Shakespeare and even his silliness is magnificent. And let’s not forget the poetry and sparkling, unmatchable wit: check out this exchange between Feste, Olivia’s clown, and Malvolio, her steward. Comment
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