Friday, May 13, 2016


Here in Lawrenceville, the school district has just informed parents that Donald Trump's May 19 appearance at the National Guard Armory on Eggerts Crossing Road will bring increased activity and traffic at around the same time as many children are leaving Lawrence Intermediate School across the street. 

This fundraiser for Trump's chubby Sancho Panza, Chris Christie, and the NJ Republican party, will bring countless TV trucks, TV and radio reporters and gawkers from all over the state and will  bring "congestion in the area" says the school district's gently worded announcement. 

That's an understatement.  Eggert's Crossing Road is a very busy two lane road. Traffic to the Armory will be thick for a couple of hours before the anticipated start of the Trump "rally". 

On top of that, Trump's arrival will strangle activity travel to and from  the seven baseball, softball and soccer fields at Central Park, also across from the Armory, as kids, parents and coaches all attempt to get to games and practices scheduled for that day.It's the height of Little League baseball season here in Lawrenceville. Thank God my son doesn't have anything scheduled there tthat day.

In case people need reminding, Trump and Christie are showing the electorate just how insensitive, self absorbed and tone deaf they really are when it comes to the average American, and especially children, whose lives they will be disrupting on Thursday. All this rudeness is taking place to help PAY OFF CHRISTIE'S CAMPAIGN DEBTS and raise money for the NJ Republican party. As with most Republicans, this is all about them and not about us. 

And if you ever wanted a preview of things to come in a Trump presidency, Thursday will be it---Trump's first financial bailout of one of his friends. 

Friday, April 1, 2016


I’ve put a great deal of thought into this. I have scoured my brain through every scenario. I have explored the depths of my soul. I have wrestled with my conscience and played the devil’s advocate and almost every introspective cliché I could find. But, in the end, at the very end of the day, only one conclusion was left to me.

I’m endorsing Donald Trump.

I should have known the inevitability of this decision. The facts are overwhelming. The momentum is unstoppable. And the nation is definitely rallying around The Donald, and now so will I.  I love rallies. The louder the better.

There’s something about the way he shoots from the hip verbally that appeals to the PR person in me. And his endless memory for impressive fact from economics to foreign relations to construction and downright deal-making grabs the intellectual in me. What a command of damning facts this man can recall in an instant!

And he and I share the same alma mater, Penn. Yes, he was Wharton School and I was Classical Studies, but you never forget your alma mater. I wonder if he knows Latin like I do. I bet he does.

But perhaps the most impressive thing he’s done to far is to align himself with NJ Governor Chris Christie, a real Jersey guy like me, a real tough Jersey guy, and a real big Jersey guy. Like me.

Well THIS Jersey guy is going to stand behind Donald Trump, starting today. Believe me, this is just the beginning. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2016


The anticipation is almost too much to handle for those of us who go crazy for the NCAA Mens Basketball Championship, known everywhere but Mars as "March Madness". Yes, I'm one of those guys that gets totally caught up in every one of the 36 games that lead up and through the three weeks of thrilling college basketball. And I play as many bracket contests as I can find. I don't (and won't) bore anyone about my research and hours of analysis of all of the matchups, annd my strategy for winning every year, but suffice to say, I love this time of year.

I don't think it's a coincidence that baseball's Spring Training season and March Madness and Little league baseball all start at around the same time. Despite any unusual temperature fluctuations outdoors,this is the Season Of Eternal Optimism, Fresh Starts and Anyone Can Win It All.

Buds are on the trees, green is poking up from the earth, and it's time to win something.

Bring it on.

Saturday, December 19, 2015


I know a couple of people who will will be missing a loved one this Christmas. My thoughts go out to them. I have lost a few friends this year, too, and it colors the season a little differently this time around.

Some thoughts as we enter the holiday season:
It's important to remember that not everyone is surrounded by large wonderful families. Some of us have problems during the holidays and are overcome with great sadness when we remember loved ones who are not with us. And many people have no one to spend these times with, and are besieged by loneliness. We all need caring, loving thoughts right now. I ask my friends, wherever you might be, to give a moment of support to all those who have family problems, health struggles, job issues, worries of any kind and just need to know that someone cares. 

Do it for all of us, for nobody is immune. 

Be grateful! Merry Christmas!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

The Day IS Here: Beaujolais Nouveau Est Arrive'!!

I love this day. But after several years of my hyperbole on the matter, you should know what I'm excited about. And from everything I've been reading so far, this year's edition of Nouveau should be epic.

The folks at Sherry-Lehmann, NYC's preeminent purveyor of the Georges Debeouf version of Nouveau have posted this review from Debeouf himself:

“The 2015 vintage is going to be one of the all-time greats. The colour is a beautiful red with tones of purple and deep garnet. As for the nose, it offers a magnificent array of forest fruits: blackcurrant, blackberry and blueberry. On the palate, these are round, savoury, rich, full-bodied, unctuous and silky wines. Even better, they offer a truly exceptional persistence in the mouth. What a wealth of delightful flavours! The quality of this vintage is unprecedented. We are exploring heights which we’ve never seen before. You know that every vintage has its own history, and we know that 2015 will be breath-taking. What pleasure awaits the drinker!” -Georges Duboeuf"

So, as you might expect, I am very excited to try some. I will report back as soon as I do.  I'd also be interested in hearing YOUR take on the wine this year, and how many different bottlers you've been able to find.

A votre sante'!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015


Coupla  weeks back I was privaleged to be a guest on the international radio phenomenon, "Time Out With Phillip Silverstone" which airs around the world on TuneIn radio. I've known Phillip for almost 30 years now, and our paths have crossed so many times at food and wine and other social events we've both lost track.

His online bio goes  a little like this: 

In the latter part of the 1990's Phillip realized many of his lifelong ambitions, reached circuitously through the world of wine and food. He became a syndicated TV and radio wine commentator, author and columnist, writing and hosting his award winning daily radio features "Wining About The Good Life" and his twice Emmy nominated PBS TV vignettes "One On Wine with Phillip Silverstone".

Phillip's column "Wining About The Good Life" is published in weekly newspaper syndication and in magazines, and his book "Cheers! The World of a Wine-osaur" is still available on Amazon. He hosts his very popular “Wine-tertainment” parties for groups of 12-300 in the US and the UK and Phillip organizes wine and food events for the hospitality industry.

Phillip produces and hosts “Time Out With Phillip Silverstone” a weekly two-hour entertainment and lifestyle podcast heard exclusively on TuneIn radio anytime and anywhere worldwide either on the free TuneIn app for all smart phones and tablets (Search: Phillip Silverstone) or online on Tunein at:

So we had some recorded fun, Phillip, wine archaeologist/aficionado Jill Weber and me, and now you can hear about the beers we tasted and the stories we told, on the latest edition of "Time Out With Phillip Silverstone".  Let me know what you think!

Thursday, June 4, 2015


Yesterday was a sad day for Philadelphia journalism, for its Jewish community and for me. 

The nearly 130-year old Jewish Exponent, the second oldest newspaper of its kind in the country, decided to turn its editorial and production operations over  to Baltimore-based Mid-Atlantic Media, resulting in the layoff of 15 editorial and reporting staff at the paper and its companion magazine, INSIDE.

In an official statement on the Jewish Exponent's website, officials from the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia,who published the Exponent and all of its companion publications, wrote:

We are proud to announce a new affiliation with Mid-Atlantic Media, a growing media company centered in the Baltimore-Washington, D.C., corridor with which we have contracted for the Jewish Exponent’s editorial and production operations. Readers of Jewish newspapers in three large regional Jewish communities already benefit from the expertise of Mid-Atlantic Media, which today publishes the Baltimore Jewish Times, Washington Jewish Week and Pittsburgh’s Jewish Chronicle.
What can we in Philadelphia expect from Mid-Atlantic Media?
  • A commitment to more local content, with less reliance on wire services
  • A thriving, vibrant online presence that augments our print edition
  • A website optimized for viewing on smartphones and other mobile devices
  • A greater commitment to social media content by our journalists
  • A newspaper that remains for many years the voice of Philadelphia’s Jewish community

I wrote for INSIDE magazine and a couple of those companion publications  for the past 4 years, and I enjoyed every minute of those 4 years. The magazine was offically discontinued yesterday in the transition over to Mid-Atlantic, and I will dearly miss working with its terrific editor, Greg Salisbury. 

4 years ago this month, Greg asked me to fill in for one of his columnists, our mutual friend, Katie Loeb, at her suggestion, and write an article about beer. He had been the recipient of more than a handful  of press releases from me over the years, and knew I could write, and he knew of my beer pedigree from my years of running the Golden Age of Beer in Philadelphia Tours. But in truth I had never written an article on beer before.  Greg had the story angle ready for me: asking various restaurateurs and tavern owners where they would go to have a beer and who some of their favorite bartenders were. It was the easiest article I've ever written.

Two months later, he asked me to pen another article. "Explore the idea of Jews and baseball,"  he wrote.  At first, I was confused; I had been a food writer and editor in all of my journalistic pusuits, going back to high school. And, well, I thought, I'm not Jewish.

"You're a good writer, though," he said. "You'll figure it out."

He then directed me to request a copy of a relatively new video entitled "Jews and Baseball" from its Canadian producer, and to use the video as a springboard for the article, adding the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY and the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia as places I should contact. That was the kind of editor Greg was. Intensely creative, strategic and supportive.  I dove into the material and wrote a respectable piece for INSIDE. He was effusive in his praise of the piece, maybe a little too effusive, but he knew that I had been in unchartered territory. That's the kind of editor he was.

Months before I worked for INSIDE  I had written Greg about a friend of mine who had become something of an adventurer, mountain climber and  ice wall climber, who recently made the ascent of Mt. Kilimanjaro.  Greg suggested that I tackle that story myself for the magazine. "You already know most of the story anyway," he told me, and he gave me the name of another person, a local female tennis instructor, who had also recently made the climb. "Give me two articles, side  by side, about 1,000 words each," he instructed. "You can do that." 

And for the next three years, Greg gave me assignments that had barely anything to do with food or any subject with which I was familiar, a risky gambit for  any editor, but Greg plied me with confidence in my abilities as he plied me with unfamiliar subject matter to write about. I wrote about medical weight loss, superstitions (for which I was nominated for a journalism award), unusual wedding venues, Hurricane Sandy's aftermath at the Jersey shore, charitable giving, hard cider, re-purposed industrial buildings, beer cocktails, a Three Stooges museum (!), Kosher Spanish wines,  local craft distillers, eau de vies, a drink advice column, and lastly, for the magazine pictured above, the final issue of INSIDE, artisan coffee roasters in the Philadelphia suburbs.

Every article for INSIDE was an adventure, and every one of them, except for the coffee piece, was a Greg Salisbury idea. And for that I am very grateful. Greg expanded my journalistic bandwidth, helped me polish my writing style and gave me confidence to write outside of my foodie comfort zone, which helped me in a big way to tackle the articles I have written for The Trentonian.

This blog post sounds like an appreciation of Greg Salisbury, something you write after he passes or retires, but I am sure he is quite alive and no where near retirement (he's more than a bit younger than me actually). Greg WAS the magazine, and this  screed started out as an obituary for it, but this is what I should have been writing about all along.  He would probably have suggested that I not write about him at all.  But I chose this story all by myself.