Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Riviera Bar Goes Old-School on Figueroa Street


That marvelous sailfish on the wall at the new Riviera Bar certainly looks familiar, but it’s not as familiar as you think. Sure, it came from the old Paradise Café, as is the case for many of the people behind this cozy establishment on West Figueroa that opened July 29. But it’s not the fish you stared at over your margarita above the bar — it’s one from an office. 

 “Paradise was more a general attitude toward customers and building a community,” explains the new bar’s owner, Kevin Boss. “This is Riviera, a new thing.”

Care to read the rest then do so at the Independent's site.

Monday, October 25, 2021

A Review of "The Baseball 100" by Joe Posnanski


It took Joe Posnanski three attempts to accomplish the feat that is The Baseball 100. When he finally pulled off the basis of what became this book, publishing it serially on The Athletic website from December 2019 to April 2020, the intro for each entry included boilerplate that offered, “In all, this project will contain roughly as many words as Moby Dick.” For the record, the Avid Reader Press hard cover Baseball 100—869 pages, the Penguin paperback edition Moby Dick—a measly 687 pages. Suck it, Melville. 

I must admit, that’s my tone and not at all the way the very level-headed Joe Pos would put things. As for calling him Joe Pos, that’s how he’s known to those who have been reading his award-winning journalism for years, from local sports columnist duty in Augusta, Ga., Cincinnati, and Kansas City, to time at Sports Illustrated when that meant something. He has also authored six books, including one on his hero Buck O’Neil and one about how Houdini became not just a magician, but the Kleenex of magic.

Care to read the rest then do so at the California Review of Books.

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

A Review of "The History of Bones" by John Lurie


John Lurie, musician, artist, reluctant actor, avatar of 1980s downtown New York City cool, makes this pronouncement fifty pages in to his fascinating memoir The History of Bones, “Also, people always talk about talent. But really, of this I am quite certain. There is no such thing as talent, there is only cleaning the mirror.” 

 How better to clean one’s mirror than to pen a revealing memoir? You don’t have to read deep in the book to decide Lurie is an uncompromising artist more than willing to be an asshole, but by the end he seems more sinned upon than sinning. 

 Want to read the rest then do so at the California Review of Books.