Dining News

Everyone’s Windowsill Herb Garden Is Dying

Cherished friends,

Thank you for being here to honor the lives of those whose journeys meant so much to us all, and whose stories are, fondly and inevitably, coming to an end. I’m speaking of course of the herbs I planted on my windowsill at the beginning of the pandemic. What remarkable lives they have led. However, due to my negligence and realization that I’m just not that good at growing windowsill herbs and sort of did it just as a thing to do, the time has come to say goodbye.

We first took the herbs, Scallions and Sage and of course baby Celery, home from City Fresh grocery store in March. How fresh and green they all looked that first day, each filled with promise, despite my knowledge that I have managed to kill many an “indestructible” succulent. Still, I tended to these lives with care, watching roots spread in shot glasses full of water, and planting Sage in an old mug while dreaming of the brown butter sauces I’d spoon over future ravioli. My months inside would not end in depression and perhaps scurvy, I thought. Here, my saviors of novel frugality! Here, my hopes.

As the months went on, the garden thrived. Well, not Celery. While I planted her base in shallow water and she grew some leaves, all that really happened was she got a slimy bottom with not much growth. But Sage and Scallions seemed happy. I soon transported Scallions out of their shot glass full of water and into a coffee can full of soil, in hopes that they’d grow bigger and stronger than before. Sage sprouted new leaves from its mug. As go the plants, so goes the nation, I told myself. By the time Scallions grew tall and thick, I’d be congregating maskless with old friends in bars again, subjecting them to my unshielded Scallion breath.

But my garden faced struggle, such as when a bird absolutely plucked one of the Scallion siblings from its coffee can home after I moved it onto the balcony, or when I realized that it’s Summer and I don’t really put Sage in anything except around Thanksgiving. There was the great storm of early July, which nearly drowned Scallions. There were the droughts of mid-April, May, June, and July during which I was just sort of distracted and depressed and forgot to water everything, from which Sage has never quite recovered. And there was the mild panic of late July, in which I realized a recipe called for Scallions, and even though using them in recipes is precisely what I grew them for, I worried by picking one I’d be undoing months of work and somehow jinxing the entire country’s epidemiological progress.

Scallions only really yielded flavorless, hollow greens as I attempted to preserve the white roots, even though that’s the part I wanted, and Sage’s leaves were never big enough to impressively adorn any dish. And so, we bid them farewell. Perhaps on another plane they will find a new destiny. But we can all take heart in knowing they will be reunited with their siblings from around the world: Celery base, Sourdough Starter, and DIY Embroidery Kit. May your memories be a blessing.

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Celebrity Entertaiment

Mariah Carey ‘All I Want for Christmas’ Madison Square Garden Review

Mariah Carey Brings the North Pole to Madison Square Garden Christmas Show
Mariah Carey performs during her ‘All I Want for Christmas Is You’ concert. Gregory Pace/Shutterstock

Mariah Carey ended her sixth annual All I Want for Christmas tour with a bang at Madison Square Garden in New York City on Sunday, December 15.

The Queen of Christmas, 49, gave the Radio City Rockettes a run for their money with a show-stopping set featuring 11 holiday classics and four of her No. 1 singles. Plus, her longtime friend and “I’ll Be There” duet partner, Trey Lorenz, led a choir’s performance of “Jesus, Oh What a Wonderful Child,” and Carey’s 8-year-old twins, Moroccan and Monroe, sang a cute-as-can-be rendition of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”

Carey wowed the sold-out crowd with her pitch-perfect vocals, sounding better than she has in years. She rarely, if ever, hit a bum note throughout the 90-minute concert. Her awe-inspiring rendition of “Joy to the World,” in particular, proved to be a standout for the audience, which ranged from children to senior citizens. DJ Suss One, who opened the evening with a decades-spanning selection of crowd-pleasers, pointed out during his set that only Carey — and Christmas — could bring together all generations.

The five-time Grammy winner took the stage shortly before 9 p.m. and wasted no time highlighting her five-octave range. She started off slow, with “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” followed by “Charlie Brown Christmas,” a custom medley of the Peanuts favorites “Linus and Lucy” and “Christmas Time Is Here” that she made for her 2010 album, Merry Christmas II You. She then kicked things up a notch with “Oh! Santa” and the fan favorite “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home).”

Throughout the show, Carey was ever the hostess as she introduced each of her band members and backup dancers — including her charming and talented boyfriend, Bryan Tanaka — and bantered with the audience. At one point, she poked fun at her own diva-like tendencies, admitting to fans that she was worried her cup of tea on stage may not have been the perfect temperature. However, after taking a sip, she matter-of-factly stated, “The tea is absolutely wonderful, in case you were concerned.”

The concert hit a bit of a lull in the middle as the entertainer sang two of her lesser-known holiday songs, “When Christmas Comes” and “Christmas Time Is in the Air Again,” sandwiched between an R&B-influenced cover of “Here Comes Santa Claus.” She got her Lambily back on their feet, though, with a powerful and soulful rendition of “O Holy Night,” complete with a few of her iconic whistle notes.

Mariah Carey Brings the North Pole to Madison Square Garden Christmas Show
Mariah Carey performs during her ‘All I Want for Christmas Is You’ concert. Shutterstock

For the final act, Carey told fans that she originally sang only Christmas songs when her now-annual festivity launched in 2014 at NYC’s much-smaller Beacon Theatre, but her agent encouraged her to spice it up with a few greatest hits. After telling the story, she ran through “Emotions,” “Always Be My Baby,” “We Belong Together” and “Hero,” the latter of which saw the audience lighting up the Garden with their smartphones.

Carey ditched her sparkly red dresses and festive angel wings in lieu of a wooden soldier-like jumpsuit for the night’s inevitable encore: her holiday megahit, “All I Want for Christmas Is You.” Surrounded by a larger-than-life Christmas tree, bow-adorned gifts and dancers dressed in elf costumes, Carey commanded the stage during what turned into the sing-along of a lifetime. At the very end, she danced with her children and Santa Claus, proving to some 20,000-odd people that the season would not be complete without her.

3.5 stars (out of 4)

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Breaking New

Trump views mixed martial arts fight at New York’s Madison Square Garden

NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump presided over a bruising Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) showdown on Saturday in his first visit to New York City after declaring his exodus from the Big Apple and as an impeachment inquiry looms over his presidency.

U.S. President Donald Trump arrives to watch a mixed martial arts fight in Madison Square Garden in New York, New York, U.S., November 2, 2019. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Days after being booed at a World Series game in Washington, Trump’s arrival prompted a mix of cheers and boos from fans of the contact sport gathered to watch fighter Jorge Masvidal defeat Nate Diaz in an Ultimate Fighting Championship match at Madison Square Garden.

Flanked by key Republican lawmakers and his sons, Eric and Don Jr., Trump stood up and waved to the 20,000-strong crowd from his seat just feet from the octagon.

A chorus of boos echoed from the upper reaches of the arena, while mostly cheers and chants of “USA” came from the sections closest to the president and his entourage.

For Trump, the visit was a welcome break from a House of Representatives impeachment probe of allegations he withheld aid from Ukraine to pressure authorities there to investigate his political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden.

At a rally on Friday in Mississippi, Trump said an “angry majority” of voters would support him against impeachment, a day after the Democratic-controlled House voted formally to lay out the rules of the inquiry.   

Trump’s visit was his first to New York since announcing he was moving his permanent residence from Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue to his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo tweeted “good riddance” after Trump slammed local officials for treating him badly despite his paying what he said were “millions” in taxes there.

Several dozen demonstrators, including members of local anti-fascist groups, gathered outside the venue in Midtown Manhattan to protest Trump’s visit, some holding placards that read “Impeach Trump” and chanting “Out now!”

The life-long New Yorker also has a long relationship with MMA and UFC President Dana White. Trump hosted UFC events at his since-bankrupt Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City decades ago when the sport was spurned by most venues, White said in an interview last year with The Hill.

“I would never say anything negative about Donald Trump because he was there when other people weren’t,” said White, who spoke at the 2016 Republican National Convention in support of Trump’s candidacy.

Trump has a taste for martial arts. During a visit to Japan earlier this year, he spent what he said was an “incredible evening” watching sumo wrestling in Tokyo with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Trump’s mixed welcome at Madison Square Garden was still a good deal warmer than the icy reception he received at Game 5 of the Major League Baseball World Series between the Washington Nationals and Houston Astros last Sunday. Some attendees booed and chanted “Lock him up!” when Trump was shown on screen at the Washington Nationals Park stadium.

The Washington Post reported on Saturday that Nationals pitcher Sean Doolittle would skip the traditional visit to the White House to mark the team’s victory, saying he “just can’t” celebrate with Trump.

Doolittle, 33, was quoted as saying he would not go because his wife’s parents are lesbians and he has a disabled brother-in-law, and Trump has mocked both lesbians and the disabled.

Reporting by Alexandra Alper; Editing by Dan Grebler and Daniel Wallis

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