News

Nablus turns to Good Samaritans

Concord Monitor Living - Sat, 07/21/2012 - 00:00
West Bank West Bank town populated by Biblical nice guys

In Nablus, being a Good Samaritan is something locals take literally. That's because some are.

I'm on Mount Gerizim, meeting Samaritan Museum Director Husney Kahen. He's wearing a long traditional robe and rounded hat, his gray eyes shimmering.

"People don't believe that Samaritans exist, that it is a story in the Bible," he says. "People are surprised to find that there are actually such people."

Until visiting the West Bank city of Nablus, once a center of violence during the second intifada, the Palestinian uprising against Israel that broke out in December 2000, I also thought Samaritans were a fable.

Their religion mirrors Judaism, though Samaritans believe Mount Gerizim, rather than Jerusalem, was where the Temple Mount existed and Abraham was to sacrifice Isaac.

Categories: Concord News

'Swimming in art'

Concord Monitor Living - Thu, 07/19/2012 - 00:00
Concord More that 15 creators featured in new exhibit

Looking for a different sort of refreshment on a hot summer day? Pop into McGowan Fine Art and check out all the vibrant new work on display.

"We've been joking about it and calling it 'swimming in art' because we've gotten so much artwork in recently," said Sarah Chaffee, gallery director. "We don't normally do a show this time of year but we got in so much artwork, I just thought we really should do a little something to highlight it."

"Summer Selections: New Art in the Gallery," which will run from Tuesday through Aug. 31, features new work by more than 15 artists, several of whom are newcomers to McGowan Fine Art. Chaffee, who is always on the lookout for new artists to represent, said she is thrilled with some of her new finds, including a series of paintings by Craig Stockwell that have been creating a buzz in the art community.

Categories: Concord News

Martin having time of his life

Concord Monitor Living - Thu, 07/19/2012 - 00:00
Singer basks in Broadway role

Ricky Martin says Broadway is a monster that requires discipline, concentration and dedication, but Evita's "Che" is feeling so happy and so at home that he can't imagine moving for a while.

"I would love to do Broadway the rest of my life!" Martin told the Associated Press on Tuesday, breaking a months-long silence he subjected himself to in order to preserve his voice.

In an interview at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in Times Square, which houses the musical based on the life of Argentina's first lady Eva Peron, Martin said he's never been challenged as much as in the Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber spectacle.

Martin has already decided to stay in the Big Apple at least for a while, calling it a "fascinating" and multicultural city for his soon-to-be-4 twins, Matteo and Valentino.

AP: You were born for the stage and certainly for one on Broadway. Any immediate plans to work on other musicals or plays after Evita?

Categories: Concord News

Better-for-you PB&J

Concord Monitor Living - Wed, 07/18/2012 - 00:00

Most kids love peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Problem is, this lunchtime staple is high in fat and sugar. So it's time for a remake.

The first step is multigrain or whole wheat bread (make sure the ingredients list includes 100 percent whole wheat flour) instead of white bread. And since even the healthiest of jams and jellies are loaded with sugar, a mixture of all-fruit spread and fresh berries makes a good substitute. Natural, unsweetened peanut butter is the best option, but even that is high in fat. To cut back, bulk the peanut butter up with instant oatmeal to make it stretch further.

PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY SANDWICH MAKEOVER

1 tablespoon instant oatmeal

3 tablespoons nonfat milk

pinch salt

1 tablespoon natural, unsalted peanut butter

¼ cup chopped fresh berries

2 teaspoons all-fruit spread

2 slices multigrain or whole-wheat bread

Categories: Concord News

LCD Soundsystem's last waltz

Concord Monitor Living - Wed, 07/18/2012 - 00:00
Band's film playing for only one night

Asked to characterize Shut Up and Play the Hits, a concert film that documents LCD Soundsystem's final, oft-mythologized show at Madison Square Garden, James Murphy deadpans a television promo.

"Middle-age guy stops band. Pictures at 11."

The film, which plays in theaters for only one night tonight, is a kind of "The Last Waltz" for a new generation: an adored band going out with a self-induced, possibly premature bang. But it's also, as the filmmakers Dylan Southern and Will Lovelace say, "a character study" of Murphy, whose decision to end LCD Soundsystem is as curious to the man who made it as it is to anybody.

Categories: Concord News

'Ice Age' has hot weekend

Concord Monitor Living - Mon, 07/16/2012 - 00:00
New Batman film on tap next week

With Batman lurking, the prehistoric critters of Ice Age: Continental Drift ran off with the box office, earning $46 million in their opening weekend, according to studio estimates yesterday.

The animated film from 20th Century Fox is the fourth in the Ice Age series and the first in 3-D. The North America performance of Continental Drift was on par with previous Ice Age movies but well below the opening weekend of the second installment, The Meltdown, which opened with $68 million in 2006.

There has now been a decade of Ice Age films, allowing the characters voiced by Ray Romano, Queen Latifah and John Leguizamo to become increasingly familiar to audiences, particularly international ones. The film had already done robust overseas business ahead of opening in the U.S. This weekend it earned $95 million internationally, bringing its overseas total to $339 million.

Categories: Concord News

Selling a dream

Concord Monitor Living - Sun, 07/15/2012 - 00:00
Couple plans to move from home they built together in 18th-century barn

John Lenaerts has never been afraid of change. At just 17 years old he left his home in England for a better life in America. After a stint in Korea courtesy of the U.S. Air Force, he moved to Greenwich Village for two years to experience all the city had to offer. And upon retirement, he and his wife left the life they'd known for decades and followed their dreams to the quiet countryside of New Hampshire.

But even if he's ready for life's next big transition, it won't be easy for Lenaerts to part with the one-of-a-kind home he built here from a late 1700s-era barn. Hugging the southern slope of a sunny meadow at the edge of Pittsfield, the home is handcrafted from top to bottom and filled with unique features.

"I'm not a planner. I just sort of made it up as I went," said Lenaerts, who plans to move with his wife, Marion, to Havenwood Heritage Heights when the home sells. "People would ask about my drawings and I'd say, 'I don't have any.' "

Categories: Concord News

It's cool to keep an eye out for animals

Concord Monitor Living - Sun, 07/15/2012 - 00:00
More eyes focused on pets left in cars

Good Samaritans, temperature guns and tougher laws are the newest tools in the campaign to keep animals out of hot cars, where just minutes can mean death.

More calls are coming in about overheated dogs - and officials say that's a good thing, because more people are aware of the problem and calling before it's too late.

Still, despite annual warnings, pets continue to die or suffer serious injury in hot cars. Before summer was even two days old this year, the Associated Press reported the deaths of five dogs in hot cars in Oregon, Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

No one keeps tabs on annual deaths or injuries because so many different agencies handle calls. But agencies say calls have increased to 911, police departments, fire departments, animal control officers, shelters or veterinarians.

Categories: Concord News

Japanese iris look like butterflies caught mid-flight

Concord Monitor Living - Sun, 07/15/2012 - 00:00

One thing I enjoy most about summer is visiting other gardens. Local garden tours are the best; they give you the opportunity to see what's going on in your neighbor's backyard. It is amazing just how much effort people put in to their gardens and the lengths to which some people will go to make their landscaping usable, productive and eye-pleasing. Digging ponds, creating waterfalls, clearing views, building stone walls, terracing hillsides, and paving walkways and patios - I admire their energy and vision.

There is also lots of creative garden art. I'll never throw away another worn out tool until I see if it can be incorporated into some kind of funky sculpture.

Categories: Concord News

The girls of summer

Concord Monitor Living - Sun, 07/15/2012 - 00:00
Women have been at center of entertainment conversation

At the box office, the summer of 2012 may be about breaking records with movies about boys and their toys ("Hulk smash," indeed). But culturally, the season's been all about the girls. Beginning with Snow White and the Huntsman, continuing through Brave and with a dash of talk-worthy premium cable thrown in, girls seem to have taken over screens both large and small, their inner struggles magnified into mythic battles, their most mundane problems examined with probing, disarmingly frank intimacy.

Categories: Concord News

To market, to market

Concord Monitor Living - Sun, 07/15/2012 - 00:00

I was at the Concord Farmers Market a couple of weeks ago, and I was asked this question: "Should dogs be allowed to come to the market?" It was a discussion going on between a vendor and a customer. Apparently what prompted the question was a small convention of dogs that had blocked the way through the narrow market street. Dogs were checking each other out, people were talking and showing off their dogs - all this to the dismay of people trying to do business at the market.

Categories: Concord News

How a court case changed hip-hop

Concord Monitor Living - Thu, 07/12/2012 - 00:00
Sampling was once the wild frontier

In May, Washington go-go band Trouble Funk took rap pioneers the Beastie Boys to court and didn't even know it.

Trouble Funk's publishing company, Tuff City, claimed that the group's tunes were illegally sampled on the first two Beastie Boys albums, License to Ill and Paul's Boutique. Trouble Funk's signature anthem, "Drop the Bomb," starts with two tumbling drum fills. The Beasties had cut them out and transplanted them into their songs. Now it was time to pay up.

But Trouble Funk leader "Big Tony" Fisher had no idea that this meant going after the Beastie Boys. He told me that he didn't even know the Beasties had sampled his music. The two groups had toured together in the 1980s. He liked them. On top of that, Tuff City's timing was nightmarishly bad. Founding Beastie Boys

member Adam "MCA" Yauch died of cancer the day after the lawsuit was filed in White Plains, N.Y.

Categories: Concord News

Psychic thriller 'Lights' splutters

Concord Monitor Living - Thu, 07/12/2012 - 00:00
Film Review Surprise ending simply falls flat

Red Lights culminates with a twist ending that doesn't just change everything that came previously, it actually negates the entirety of the film. Rather than leaving you in an awestruck state of "A-ha!" it's more likely to make you wonder in annoyance, "Really?"

There are actually two big character revelations, one of which isn't terribly hard to guess much earlier; the other, however, just rips gaping holes in the narrative. The story was pretty flimsy anyway, and never nearly as serious or important as writer-director Rodrigo Cortes seems to take it.

Categories: Concord News

Make it work

Concord Monitor Living - Wed, 07/11/2012 - 00:00
Just because a vegetable has grown past its prime doesn't mean it's for the birds Embed multimedia (photos, galleries, audio, map):  Pea Falafel Tired pea and bolting lettuce soup

One problem with having a garden is that every summer without fail you will be vacationing far from home when something really wonderful, something you have carefully nurtured from a seedling, protected from bugs and birds and deer, something you have been hoarding recipes for since last December, gets ripe. You will arrive home, rush into the garden looking to see if your treasure is at last ready, only to find it was, in fact, ready three days ago. And though it is not rotten or completely inedible, your treasure is well past its prime, a bit shriveled, bitter, tough - over-ripe. You'll treat the erstwhile treasure like trash, and throw it onto the compost heap, or feed it to the chickens, vowing never to go on vacation during garden season again.

Categories: Concord News

Salmon with zing

Concord Monitor Living - Wed, 07/11/2012 - 00:00
Easy horseradish aioli adds big flavor to pan-cooked fish

If you can break up the timing/prep of this recipe, make the aioli in advance so it's nice and chilled by the time the fish is done.

Fresh horseradish is worth having on hand, so don't be worried if you have to buy a larger piece than is called for here. It brings a bright intensity to the aioli. (The flavor will mellow after a day or two.) Grate it fresh as you need it to make your own cocktail sauce, a dip with sour cream or creme fraiche (for fish, chicken or prime rib); add it to a slaw or mashed potatoes. It lasts in the refrigerator in a food-safe plastic storage bag for weeks; wrap the cut side with a damp paper towel.

You'll have leftover aioli, which can be refrigerated for up to three days.

Crispy Salmon With Horseradish Aioli

1-inch-wide piece fresh horseradish

About 6 leaves flat-leaf parsley

2 large egg yolks

¼ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed

1 tablespoon water

Categories: Concord News

An easy, portable summer-themed treat

Concord Monitor Living - Wed, 07/11/2012 - 00:00

Here's a quick summer-themed treat that, come school time, makes a great after-school snack.

This little treat offers the flavor of s'mores with the texture, ease and portability of puffed rice treats.

PEANUT BUTTER S'MORES BARS

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

10-ounce package marshmallows

¼ cup smooth natural peanut butter

3 cups graham cereal, lightly crushed

1 sleeve graham crackers (9 sheets), lightly crushed

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate bits

½ cup lightly salted peanuts

Coat a 9-by-9-inch baking pan with cooking spray.

In a large saucepan over medium-low, heat the butter, marshmallows and peanut butter. Stir until completely melted and smooth.

Remove the pan from the heat and add the graham cereal and graham crackers. Stir to coat.

Using buttered fingers, press the mixture into the prepared pan. Set aside.

Categories: Concord News

Second city always No. 1

Concord Monitor Living - Wed, 07/11/2012 - 00:00
Chicago Legendary improv club still hilarious

A samurai fighter inched toward me, his sword poised for a gutting or a swift beheading. As quick as a falcon, I swerved and plunged my weapon into his side. He crumbled to the floor, his face scrunched in agony. Yet before I could savor my victory, I was felled by a surprise attack from behind. I hit the ground clutching my wound, my fingers twitching with the last flickers of life.

No one survived that gruesome battle. Contorted bodies littered the floor. A thick stillness coated the air. It was hilarious.

Live from Chicago, it's drop-in improv at Second City.

Categories: Concord News

Make some room for herb plants

Concord Monitor Living - Sun, 07/08/2012 - 00:00

Whenever I go somewhere new I am drawn first to the gardens to see the amazing feats of labor and sigh over plants well grown. But it is the herb beds that always seem to impress me the most. I love visiting a restaurant or inn that displays culinary herbs along its entryway so that visitors can experience their fragrance when walking past.

There is something about an herb garden that stirs our connection with the plant world - a connection that lies deep within us. Of all the plants in a garden, it is the herbs that awaken the relationship mankind has had with plants since the beginning of time. Somehow, this sense is most sharp when there is a scent of chamomile or lavender - a faint longing of the heart arises, perhaps we are pining for a time when we were more involved in the mysteries and magic of the plant kingdom, or maybe the smell merely reminds us of our grandmothers.

Categories: Concord News

You're never too old to learn

Concord Monitor Living - Sun, 07/08/2012 - 00:00

Joan Davis is the new chairperson of the Curriculum Committee for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute chapter in Concord. There are 12 volunteers on her committee whose job it is to recruit volunteer presenters for the OLLI program.

OLLI is a nationwide continuing education program for seniors founded by Bernard Osher, who made his fortunes in California. Osher believes that one is never too old to learn, and that learning should be fun. To these ends he gives start-up money ($100,000) to colleges to establish continuing education programs. After five years, if a program is successful, it's chapter becomes eligible to apply for a $1,000,000 grant to help keep the program going. The money is used to support a facility, staff and office expenses. Osher's goal is to see OLLI in all 50 states.

Categories: Concord News

Being Woody

Concord Monitor Living - Sun, 07/08/2012 - 00:00
New York On 'To Rome With Love,' playing himself, Oscars

It's a torrid summer day in New York, but the lobby of a well-appointed Park Avenue building has an immediate cooling effect, its well-appointed marble corridors keeping the heat at bay.

Down a side hall, a sign on a nondescript door reads "Manhattan Film Center" and behind that door lies a room crowded with FedEx boxes, bursting file cabinets and the detritus of creativity's business end. The only clues pointing to the identity of the occupant are a Mighty Aphrodite poster, a book about Fellini and a khaki bucket hat that sits poised on a bookshelf, waiting to be joined with a pair of equally iconic black eyeglasses.

Categories: Concord News
 
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