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Archive for March, 2010

*Recent ruminations from LUPEC Boston, in case you missed ‘em in The Weekly Dig.

by Pinky Gonzales

Competent males have coached females throughout history in figure skating, ballet, softball, gymnastics and other sports often stereotyped as “ladies’ domain”, with scant resistance. Women coaches of “macho” sports have been virtually nonexistent, and last year among the 15,675 U.S. high school football coaches, not one had a set of ovaries. Enter three competent women who have broken the gridiron glass ceiling.

Randolph using brute force

29 year old science teacher, former track star, and IWFL wide receiver Natalie Randolph was just named the country’s first head varsity football coach, at Coolidge High in Washington, D.C.  This means she could not only explain how Belichik ran a slant against man-under coverage while the free safety was cheating, but could also divulge the molecular structure of your Coors-soaked Doritos. Awesome.

A mention of Randolph, however, is incomplete without that of Jennifer Oliveri and Wanda Oates.  In 1985, Oates was named head FB coach at Ballou High in D.C., only to be ousted the same dad-gum week by opposing coaches who didn’t want to compete with a woman. Then there’s our own hometown hero, Hull’s Pop Warner football coach Jennifer Oliveri. She was appointed last year to skipper the boys’ team and seems to love guiding her 7 to 10 year olds just as much as playing. As a kid she played on all-male teams, and like Randolph, Oliveri went on to play pro, for the Boston Militia (see them here on June 5th face Randolph’s old team the D.C. Divas!)

In their compelling 2007 book, Playing With the Boys: Why Separate is Not Equal in Sports, local scholars Eileen McDonagh and Laura Pappano convincingly argue that athletics are the last real frontier of gender inequality in America. Sports, especially pro, help define what we mean by “success.” Politics and higher education throughout history had once been boys-only (and whites-only, for that matter) clubs too, but when you see how that’s changing and how inspirational it can be for generations of young people, you can visualize how positive a thing a black female coach on a football field can be.

Here’s a toast to these courageous broads, with a simple libation that packs a punch.

Cheers!

LAST FRONTIER

2 1/2 oz Junipero gin

1/2 oz green Chartreuse

Lemon peel

Fill a shaker with ice and stir liquids for 20 sec. Twist and rub the oils of a lemon peel around the rim of a chilled cocktail glass, then strain in drink. Discard peel.

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*Recent ruminations from LUPEC Boston, as previously published in The Weekly Dig.

We’re thrilled to celebrate history-making forebroads in honor of Women’s History Month this March. What could be better than raising a glass (or three) to a woman who made history this month?

On March 7th, Kathryn Bigelow became the first female director to win two of the most coveted Oscars the academy has to offer, “best director” and “best film,” for her low-budget, low-grossing, critically acclaimed drama, The Hurt Locker. (It also managed to beat out a little ditty directed by her ex-husband that cost over 15 times as much to make and grossed almost 100 times as much at the box office.) Bigelow is the first woman to take home the best director title in the ceremony’s 82-year existence.

LUPEC Boston was shocked to learn how sorely underrepresented women are among Hollywood’s power elite. Dr. Martha Lauzen of San Diego State explains the phenomenon in her regularly published “Celluloid Ceiling” survey: Of the top 250 grossing movies this year, just 16 percent of directors, executive producers, producers, writers, cinematographers and editors were women. Female directors represented 7 percent (the same percentage they held back in 1987, when hair bands and acid-wash jeans seemed like a good idea), and women writers make up only 8 percent.

Nevertheless, 2009 was heralded as “The Year of the Woman” in Hollywood, in part because two of the year’s top-grossing films (New Moon and The Proposal) had female leads, and also because some high-profile female directors had new releases, including Nora Ephron, Jane Campion and Lone Scherfig (whose An Education was also a best picture nominee). But Bigelow was the fourth woman to even be nominated for best director since the advent of the academy.

Manohla Dargis points out in a recent New York Times story that the win is more than a milestone; it’s “also helped dismantle stereotypes about what types of films women can and should direct.” Bigelow generally makes “kinetic and thrilling movies about men and codes of masculinity set in worlds of violence.”

This season, Bigelow’s gripping Hurt Locker swept the awards circuit, racking up trophies from the Directors Guild of America for “outstanding direction,” a nomination for a Golden Globe, a “best direction” award from BAFTA, nine Oscar nominations and six Oscar victories.

Today we raise a glass to Kathryn Bigelow, who is accused of making movies “like a man” nearly as often as we are accused of drinking like one.

HOLLYWOOD COCKTAIL

1 1/2 oz light rum

1/2 egg white

1/2 oz grenadine

1/2 oz grapefruit juice

Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker and dry shake to emulsify. Add ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a chilled vintage cocktail glass. Garnish with fresh-grated nutmeg.

CIN-CIN!

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*Recent ruminations from LUPEC Boston, as previously published in The Weekly Dig.

by Pink Lady

You’ve probably seen those “We Can Do It!” posters often associated with Rosie the Riveter. That bicep-flexing, bandana-wearing dame was a real woman … named Geraldine Doyle. Artist J. Howard Miller modeled his famous poster on a wire service photograph of Doyle snapped while she worked as a temporary metal presser in a defense factory in Inkster, Mich. The poster, originally drafted to discourage absenteeism and strikes at the Westinghouse Electric Company, was displayed there privately for just two weeks … until the image was re-popularized by American feminists in the ’80s.

Doyle was neither a riveter nor was she named “Rosie”—the real “Rosie the Riveter” was a cultural icon repping the 6 million women who joined the workforce during World War II. Rosalind Walter, who riveted F4U marine gull-winged fighter airplanes, was the inspiration for the song “Rosie the Riveter,” the first known cultural reference to this iconic figure.

The tune was a smash hit when actor Walter Pidgeon stumbled upon another Rosie. While shooting a promotional film about war bonds at the Willow Run Aircraft Factory in Ypsilanti, Mich., Pidgeon met Rose Will Monroe and a real-life Rosie the Riveter was too perfect to pass up. Monroe soon became integral to a federal marketing campaign, appearing in films and posters that encouraged women to work in support of the war effort.

Most Rosies returned to the domestic sphere when the boys came home. Not Monroe. She became a seamstress, a beauty shop owner, taxi driver, school bus driver and a realtor, eventually founding her own construction company, Rose Builders. Monroe had started at the Willow Run Factory hoping to be selected for their pilot training program, which taught women to fly armaments around the country. She was denied the job because she was a single mother, but at age 50, she fulfilled her lifelong dream of learning to fly. ‘”She was a member of the local aeronautics club,” her daughter, Vicki Jarvis, told the New York Times for her mother’s obit in 1997, “the only female member, of course.”

Monroe would’ve celebrated her 90th birthday on March 12th. For Women’s History Month, we recommend raising a Rosé the Riveter—created by barstar LeNell Smothers—in her honor, and for all the Rosies who kept industry churning during World War II.

Rosé the Riveter
1.5 oz Hendrick’s gin
5 ounce PAMA
25 ounce honey syrup*
3 ounces dry rosé
lime wheel for garnish

Shake with ice and strain into tall glass filled with cracked ice. Garnish with lime wheel and straw.
*Mix equal parts honey and water for this simple syrup. Do not heat up. Let dissolve naturally.

CIN-CIN!

READ MORE ABOUT ROSIE, SMOTHERS AND GREAT COCKTAILS TO RAISE IN THEIR HONOR AT LUPECBOSTON.COM.

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*The latest ruminations from LUPEC Boston, which appear, greatly abbreviated, in this week’s issue of The Dig.

By PINK LADY, PINK GIN, PINKY GONZALES, BARBARA WEST AND BOURBON BELLE

Lucky you, staying at the Charles Hotel [One Bennett St., Harvard Sq., Cambridge. 617.864.1200. charleshotel.com]; there’s a great night of drinking ahead of you, and you don’t even need to leave the property. Start at Rialto [617.661.5050. rialto-restaurant.com] and treat yourself to some fried olives ($4) and a Laila made with brandy, rose cognac liqueur, a dash of bitters and fresh orange juice.

Want to hear some jazz without exiting the hotel? Head to Regattabar [617.661.5000. regattabarjazz.com], where world-class performers are regularly showcased. Order a Manhattan ($9).

Some Ken Oringer restaurants

Hankering for a hunk of steak? That won’t be a problem if you’re shacking up in the Nine Zero Hotel [90 Tremont St., Boston. 617.772.5800. ninezero.com], which houses Ken Oringer’s modern steakhouse, KO Prime [617.772.0202. koprimeboston.com]. We’ve never managed to dine here for less than $100/person, so unless you’re on an expense account (some companies still have those, right?), opt for cocktails and bar fare, a far more affordable option. The view of the historic Granary Burying Ground covered in a dreamy blanket of snow will cost you nothing and makes for a serene backdrop as you sip an Old Vermont ($10) made with Plymouth gin, angostura bitters, maple syrup, orange and lemon juice (also featured in our Little Black Book of Cocktails).

When looking for a well-made classic to whet the whistle, cocktail nerds often saunter a little further down Comm. Ave. to The Commonwealth Hotel‘s [500 Comm. Ave.,
Boston. 617.933.5000. hotelcommonwealth.com] bastion of tippling excellence, Eastern Standard [528 Comm. Ave., Boston. 617.532.9100. easternstandardboston.com], making Clio [370 Comm. Ave., Boston. 617.536.7200. cliorestaurant.com] something of a hidden gem. Also owned by Oringer and situated in a boutique hotel (The Eliot [617.267.1607. eliothotel.com]) in a historic Boston neighborhood (the Back Bay), the bar at Clio is an elegant place to enjoy craft cocktails on a quieter, more intimate scale. Bartender Todd Maul has turned out a delightful list to complement Oringer’s exquisite gastronomic cuisine, and if he’s working, your drink should be a “bartender’s choice.” Prices are on par with those at KO Prime, making the Clio bar or Uni [370 Comm. Ave., Boston. 617.536.7200. cliorestaurant.com], the venue’s sushi bar, a great place to snack and sample.

After elegantly sipping at Clio, you can finish up your march down Commonwealth at Eastern Standard, and get elegantly wasted. Ask for LUPEC’s newest member, Nicole (drinking moniker TBD). The epic drink list could keep you busy from their breakfast opening hour (7am) till last call at 1:45am. Try the El Capitan ($10), our new favorite, or whatever Nicole suggests.

Historic Boston

The Oak Bar [138 Saint James Ave., Boston. 617.267.5300. theoakroom.com] is usually the first stop on our old-man pub crawl, and should be yours too, especially if you’re into historic buildings. It’s housed in the Fairmont Copley Plaza hotel [617.267.5300. fairmont.com], which was built in 1912 on the site of the former Museum of Fine Arts, and feels very Boston Brahmin. Their “martini list” is award winning, but as regular readers of this column know, there’s only one way to make a martini—with gin and vermouth. Order one in a 3-to-1 ratio, sink into a comfy armchair, and relax surrounded by dark wood and marble. Before you go, take note: Drinks aren’t cheap ($20!) and the website lists a dress code: “No Shorts, Hats, Cut-Out/Tank-Top T-Shirts, or Sport Sandals.” So, ditch the Cut-Out/Tank-Top T-Shirt for once, wouldja?

Ever slept, dined or imbibed in a jail? Umm … OK, maybe we shouldn’t have asked. You sure do shine up nice, though—why not treat yourself to drinks at The Liberty Hotel [215 Charles St., Boston. 617.224.4000. libertyhotel.com]? The venue housed some of Boston’s most notorious criminals before being shut down in 1991 and reopening as a hotel in 2007. There are five places to guzzle at The Liberty: Clink [617.224.4004 libertyhotel.com], where you actually dine in former jail cells; Alibi [857.241.1144. alibiboston.com], set in the old “drunk tank”; award-winning chef Lydia Shire’s Scampo [617.536.2100. scampoboston.com]; The Liberty Bar [617.224.4000. libertyhotel.com] in the lobby and its outdoor patio extension, The Yard. We suggest hitting them all in one night, then immortalizing it in your own 5- (or six-) drink minimum.

Bottoms up, readers. You’ve got some hotel bar drinking to do!

CIN-CIN!

FOR MORE RECOMMENDATIONS ABOUT WHERE TO DRINK, VISIT LUPECBOSTON.COM.

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*The latest ruminations from LUPEC Boston, which appear, greatly abbreviated, in this week’s issue of  The Dig.

Words by Pink Lady, with reporting by LUPEC Boston

LUPEC’s last installment of Dig-assigned debauchery ended with a 12-cocktail flight. Suffice to say, this is how we roll. We know a long night is in store so commence Operation Woodward early, precisely at 5:08 p.m. on Sunday.

Drink #0.5: The Aperitif

Head bartender “English Bill” Codman is reason enough to stop by The Woodward. He has been expecting us and greets Pinky Gonzales, Bourbon Belle, her “screwdriver” Bourbon Bob, who drove, and me with an aperitif of Woodward Ale. The beer is floral, herbaceous, and delicious. But it doesn’t really count as Drink #1, right?

Drink #1: Bartender’s Choice.

We tell Bill he’s in charge of Cocktail #2.

“Oh, really?” he says raising an eyebrow. His smirk says: It’s on. Bill cracks eggs over two glasses and muddles ginger in a third. A roar erupts from small crowd of hockey fans (including shrill females) at the other end of the bar. They’re watching the final game in the Olympics, U.S. versus Canada. It is not as interesting to us as the booze-filled glassed landing in front of us on the bar. Bill serves two Scollay Slings ($13/each), made with lemon, egg white, Earl Grey tea syrup, and Plymouth gin and a Boston Mule ($11) for resident vegan Bourbon Belle.

“Take a sip and guess what’s in it,” he says. We can’t. “Absolut Boston!” he laughs. We grimace; flavored vodka isn’t really “our thing”. Made with fresh muddled ginger, mint, and Fentimen’s ginger beer, this drink is actually a delight.

Drink #2: Bartender’s Surprise

Before #1 is finished Bill presents Drink #2. Apparently we’re going too slow. We’re breaking the 5-drink rules, but we can’t be stopped.

“Because I know how you hate tequila,” he says, he mixed us up The Scarlet Letter ($12), with fresh rosemary, muddled cranberry, Milagro silver tequila, and a splash of Del Maguey Chichicapa, and a Good Time Margarita ($12), with lime juice, agave nectar, Herradura tequila, and a Del Maguey Chichicapa float.

Drink #3: What drink epitomizes the attached hotel? If this place were a cocktail, which one would it be?

Bourbon Bob has slipped out and English Bill is done for the day, too. Before departing he suggests the Ames Addiction ($14), basically a dark rum Manhattan, as cocktail #3, partially for its name, and partially for some other well crafted, beautifully explained reason that I didn’t write down. Oops. Poor Bill’s brilliance, washed away with so much gin.

As Bill is walking out the door, Pink Gin walks in.

“Sorry I’m late! I was watching hockey!”

“Yes,” I say, “We tried to call your cell phone, then I remembered you don’t have one.”

We mock Pink Gin’s rustic lifestyle and greet our new bartender, Bethany as she mixes up round 3.


Drink #4: Neighboring Bar Guest’s Choice

It’s a quiet night at the Woodward, and the only other drinkers nearby are a cozied-up couple. As punishment for her tardiness, Pink Gin must intrude. They’re drinking clear beverages in martini glasses – dirty vodka martinis, perhaps? His has olives. It’s not looking good.

His date, Pauline, describes her drink as a “modified Vesper” with Bombay Sapphire, St-Germain, and lemon oil, a.k.a. not at all a Vesper. But we can’t complain.

Thankfully spared, we discuss interesting drink choices. “The singer from the Dresden Dolls comes into the Franklin all the time!” Bourbon Belle tells us as. “She drinks Espresso Martinis. Isn’t that weird?” For a sorority girl, no. For the queen of punk-burlesque, yes.

“I heard she’s engaged to Neil Gaiman,” Pink Gin tells us.

“Neil Diamond???” says Bourbon Belle. “No way!”

“No, Neil Gaiman, like Coraline,” Pink Gin explains.

“You mean Sweet Caroline?”

Oh brother.

Drink #4.5: The Experiment.

As our fake Vespers dwindle, Bethany asks for help on a developing recipe. Opinions? We’ve got those.

I suggest adding lemon juice. Bourbon Belle says it needs bitters. Pinky Gonzales doesn’t taste enough of rye. More Maraschino? Less rosewater?

Before we know it, the guinea pig drink is down the hatch. Poor Bethany is no closer to her final drink.

Drink #4.75: A drink to help us decide on Drink #5.

Our next beverage should be inspired by the music, which is “Burning Down the House.”

“How the hell are we going to interpret that?” asks Pinky Gonzales.

“80’s drink?” offers Bourbon Belle. “Fuzzy Navels?”

“Bartels & James?” says Pink Gin.

“Zima, anyone?” I say. “Or maybe we could just snort some cocaine?”

Bethany pours four shots of Fernet as we ponder.

Drink #5: A drink inspired by whatever music is playing.

Soon Talking Heads has passed, and The Beatles’ “Tax Man” comes on. Excellent! We’ll have an Income Tax Cocktail! We fiddle with our iPhones to find the exact recipe of the one that we had that we really liked that one time.

Bethany begins mixing to our specifications and we squabble drunkenly over ingredients: Bombay or Beefeater? Carpano or Martini & Rossi? Orange juice or just orange bitters & oil? She allows us to straw-taste the drink before straining it into coupes.

“Nope, nope, nope” we say, and send her back to the drawing board. When did we become such pushy customers?

The second incarnation of the Income Tax is infinitely more drinkable; if I’d written it down, I’d share it with you here.

As we raise a glass in honor of our patient bartender, the lovely Woodward, and our own 5-drink minimum success, Bourbon Belle sums up our night:

“Did you say 5-drink minimum, Dig? I thought you said 9-drink minimum. Who wants to go to Drink for one more?

Yes, please.


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*The latest ruminations from LUPEC Boston, in case you missed them in The Weekly Dig.

by Pink Lady

Women’s History Month is upon us! As much as the ladies of LUPEC love our cocktails, we also love our history. We spend a great deal of time on the finer points of cocktail history in this here column, and for the month of March, we’ll also be celebrating the great and often unsung forebroads who paved the way for us. We hope you’ll join us in raising a glass with a hearty “cin-cin!”

Monday, March 8th, is International Women’s Day, a holiday we first learned about from an ex-pat friend living in Italy. We don’t really celebrate it here in the US, but Women’s Day has been observed in countries around the globe for nearly a century. In Italy, men give women yellow mimosas (not bad, right?) and girlfriends gather for women-only dinners and parties (anyone who’s seen an episode of Sex and the City probably finds this commonplace, but in Italy, our friend reports, it’s kind of a big deal). In some countries, like Poland, Women’s Day is similar to America’s greeting card-infested Mother’s Day; in others, such as Pakistan, it’s a day to commemorate the struggle for women’s rights.

Women’s Day was created during the rapid industrialization of the early 20th century, which caused the rise of the labor movement. On March 8th, 1908, 15,000 women protested in New York, marching for voting rights, shorter hours and better pay. The Socialist Party of America declared February 28th the following year National Women’s Day.

In 1910, Women’s Day went global. The delegates to the second annual International Conference of Working Women in Copenhagen unanimously approved an International Women’s Day, an occasion to lobby worldwide for women’s rights. The following year, on March 19th, more than a million people attended rallies around the globe, campaigning for women’s rights to vote, work and hold public office. The holiday was moved back to March 8th two years later, in 1913, and has been celebrated then ever since.

International Women’s Day has been reinvented many times since its inception. On the eve of the Great War, it was a day for peace rallies. In the 1960s, second-wave feminists revived it. In 1975, the holiday received official sanction from the UN and has been an officially sponsored holiday ever since.

LUPEC suggests celebrating your favorite ladies this Monday with—what else?—a Ladies cocktail.

Ladies’ Cocktail
Adapted from The Savoy Cocktail Book by Harry Craddock

1.75 oz bourbon
0.25 oz anisette
0.5 oz pastis
2 dashes angostura bitters
1 pineapple spear

Stir in a mixing glass with ice; strain into a chilled cocktail shaker.

CIN-CIN!

FOR MORE GREAT COCKTAILS AND WOMEN’S HISTORY, VISIT LUPECBOSTON.COM.

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