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December 2013


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Christmas issue Bill Bryson and Sir Richard Eyre interviewed... tickets to see the Cirque du Soleil’s Quidam PLUS: OUR EXCLUSIVE US/UK ORGANIZATIONS GUIDE




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Are you missing an old friend?

wish they were here? Funny how you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone. Here you are relocated in the jolly old UK and where’s your bike? Sitting under a tarp back home missing you. The Claridon Group of companies are respected throughout the world for their logistics services, military and civilian. Claridon’s personal travel service is just as renowned offering a true first class experience for the discerning businessman or biker. Whatever you need to ship to the UK, from just one suitcase to the whole contents of your home you can trust Claridon to deliver a five star service.



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The American ®

Issue 728 – December 2013 PUBLISHED BY SP MEDIA FOR

Blue Edge Publishing Ltd. Old Byre House, East Knoyle, Salisbury SP3 6AW, UK Tel: +44 (0)1747 830520

Departments: News, Article ideas, Press releases: Advertising & Promotions: Subscriptions: The team: Michael Burland, Content Director & Motors + Music Sabrina Sully, Content Director & Community Contact Daniel Byway, Content Executive Virginia E Schultz, Food & Drink (USA) Michael M Sandwick, Food & Drink (UK) Mary Bailey, Social Alison Holmes, Politics Jarlath O’Connell, Theater Richard L Gale, Sports

©2013 Blue Edge Publishing Ltd. Printed by Advent Colour Ltd., ISSN 2045-5968 Main Cover Image: Carol Singing courtesy Hampton Court Palace Circular Inset: Patrick McGuire photo Matt Beard Square Inset: Bill Bryson



hatever your faith or belief system, or even if you have none, this month is a special one. It is a time to enjoy presents and the company of friends, loved ones and friendly strangers. It’s a time to reflect on who we are and – especially for expats – what we are doing with our lives. Among the entertaining and informative articles this month we chat with Bill Bryson, Sir Richard Eyre and the Cirque du Soleil’s juggler–in–chief Patrick McGuire, there are competitions galore, and we have thought–provoking features from Transatlantic emigrés Carol Gould and Alan Miller. Ideal for an in–depth read in front of a log fire. To our friends, old and new, we wish Happy Holidays, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Malkh, Yule, Pancha Ganapati, Yalda, Dongzhi, Bodhi Day, Soyal, Mōdraniht, Saturnalia, Dies Natalis Solis Invicti and Winter Solstice (sorry if we missed any) to all of you from all of us. Enjoy your magazine,

Michael Burland, Content Director

Among this month’s contributors

Carol Gould is an American journalist, author, filmmaker, broadcaster and fighter of anti-Americanism who has lived in the UK for years.

Jarlath O’Connell The American’s theater reviewer’s pithy and witty reviews tell you what’s hot and, just as importantly, what’s not.

Alan Miller is Director of The NY Salon, co-founder of London’s Truman Brewery and The Vibe Bar, a member of the Arts Council and that rarity – an optimist.

Read The American online at The entire contents of The American and are protected by copyright and no part of it may be reproduced without written permission of the publishers. Whilst every effort is made to ensure that the information in The American is accurate, the editor and publishers cannot accept responsibility for any errors or omissions or any loss arising from reliance on it. The views and comments of contributors are not necessarily those of the publishers.

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The American • Issue 728• December 2013

In This Issue... Regulars 4 6 10 22 28 30 32 35 47 49 50 55 64 65

News Diary Dates Features Wining & Dining Coffee Break Music Arts Choice Theater Books Drive Time Sports American Organizations The A-List Tail End

36 Dame Edna Dame Edna Everage weaves her magic as she embarks on her UK Farewell Tour

7 COMPETITION WIN TICKETS to Cirque du Soleil’s Quidam 9 Peggy Lee Loves London

Toy poodle meets giant glass of Guinness!

COMPETITION  Win a signed copy of Peggy Lee’s book, a perfect stocking filler

10 Christmas Gift Ideas

Win a stunning pair of amber earrings, and a delicious Spicers’ festive hamper

12 Bill Bryson H e’s an American, but a British National Treasure and his latest book is about the summer that changed the States forever

16 My Jewish mother and her beautiful black blood

52 H  eisman Trophy Preview Can Jameis Winston become the second freshman to win it? Richard L Gale muses

H ow Carol Gould’s ‘fair, blue eyed mom’ being saved by an African-American transfusion fits into today’s politics

Alan Miller dissects Floating City, Sudhir Venkatesh’s new book about NYC’s underbelly

T he brilliant juggler is back with the Cirque du Soleil and bringing their classic show Quidam to the Royal Albert Hall

44 Richard Eyre

S tephen Ward is Lord Lloyd-Webber’s new musical about a 1960s political scandal it’s been brought to life by Sir Richard Eyre

47 Christmas Book Picks

We’ve found a great selection for you

50 Talent Over Experience?

NCAA Basketball Preview


S ee the London Lions, London’s only pro basketball team, with The American

54 Eagle Eyed

Should a major American golf tournament be held outside the USA?

18 A City Afloat

 ary Bailey discovers how to enjoy a nonM traditional Christmas in and around London

42 Patrick McGuire

S till looking for gifts for that special person? Here are some fabulous choices


22 A Capital Christmas - and Festive-Free Feasts

55 The Societies of St George

We profile these Transatlantic societies

The American

NEWS US Coach To Lead GB Women


iles Thompson is the new Head Coach of the Standard Life GB Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Team. Thompson was Defensive Coordinator of the USA Women’s Team that won gold at the 2010 World Championships and reached the semi-finals of the London 2012 Paralympic Games. In March he led the Alabama U. Men’s Team to victory in the National Intercollegiate Wheelchair Basketball Championships. Thompson joins at an exciting time for UK wheelchair basketball. The elite teams are preparing for the 2014 World Championships, the UK hosts the European Championships in 2015 and 2016 sees the next Paralympics. Mr Thompson said: “Within this outstanding programme, all the necessary pieces are in place that will allow the process to successfully unfold. I am excited to get to work. We will be a strong, fast and disciplined product, willing to take on all-comers.”

Remembrance Day, Brookwood American Cemetary, 2013

Veterans Day Memorials


merican military casualties from the two World Wars were remembered at ceremonies at Brookwood American Cemetery, Surrey, and Madingley American Cemetery near Cambridge, November 10. They complemented the many British Remembrance Day parades at the Cenotaph and across the nation. In a simple but moving ceremony at Brookwood, organized by the St James Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, wreaths were laid by representatives of American military organizations, civilian groups, the American Scouts and their British colleagues. Speeches were made by DAR Regent Nicole Escue and by US Navy Rear Admiral Robert J. Kamensky, NATO’s

Commander Submarines, who capped an inspirational talk by reading President Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address in full. Brookwood is an easy train ride or drive from anywhere in London and South East England. It contains the graves of 468 American military dead. The impeccably-kept regular rows of white marble headstones on beautifully-kept lawns lie beside a small chapel, which contains the names of a further 563 personnel, missing in action. The cemetery is open to the public daily from 9 to 5, except Christmas and New Years Days, and its Superintendent, Craig Rahanian, and his colleagues can answer questions and escort relatives to the graves and memorials.


4 December 2013


lso remembering military fallen on November 10 were thousands of motorcyclists. The UK’s ‘biggest ever poppy,’ arranged by the Royal British Legion, was created by the bikers who traveled around London’s orbital motorway, the M25, all wearing red Tee shirts over their biking gear to make a ring of red around the capital. You can donate to their fundraising appeal at www.

The American

US & EU Must ‘Double Down on Transatlantic Relationship’


New Embassy Ground Breaking


he US Embassy’s move south of the River Thames, after over two centuries around Grosvenor Square, has begun as Ambassador Matthew W. Barzun and other dignitaries broke ground on the new site in the Nine Elms neighborhood of Battersea in Wandsworth borough. During the brief ceremony, Ambassador Barzun (pictured, third from left) said, “Today is for celebrating a new facet of the special relationship. The US and the UK have long been partners in development across the globe. But today we celebrate a different kind of development -- the continued development and evolution of London itself. We are proud to be putting down roots in Nine Elms. And we’re proud to provide an anchor for more businesses and jobs, bringing thousands of new neighbors to fuel economic revitalization here.” Honored guests included former Ambassador Robert Tuttle (pictured, second from right) and Mrs Tuttle, who were instrumental in the early plans for the 4.9-acre site. Lydia Muniz, the State Department’s Director of the Bureau of the Overseas Buildings Office, added, “Our new building will be a model of energy conservation and will boast cutting edge features that meet both the US and UK standards of energy efficiency and the use of

alternative energy sources. This project is not just about the building. It is the people who work there - both British and American, those who visit it, and those who work in close proximity to it. Its design and location encourage walking, cycling, and the use of public transportation.” The building is expected to be completed in 2017. The main contractors are BL Harbert International of Birmingham, Alabama, with their British partners, Sir Robert McAlpine.

Churchill Pentagon-Bound


new sculpture of Sir Winston Churchill, Britain’s wartime hero, its Prime Minister and great friend of the United States (he was half American) will be formally unveiled this month in Whitehall. Arranged by Michael Harwood CBE, a former UK Defence Attaché in Washington, it will then make its way to the US where it will be placed on view in the Pentagon.

Michael Harwood with Sir Winston

t the Atlantic Council, Assistant Secretary of State for European & Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland said that the US and EU should ‘double down’ on the Transatlantic relationship. “America needs a strong Europe, and Europe needs a strong America. The greater the Transatlantic and global challenges, the more important it is that the United States and Europe address them together,” she said. She called on the USA and Europe to lead the charge for democracy around the world and added that the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which US and EU negotiators are working toward, and NATO will be cornerstones of a “Transatlantic renaissance.” Ms Nuland said that European allies troubled by recent NSA spying allegations should know that “the president is determined to get the balance right between our citizens’ security and their privacy... But make no mistake: the intelligence work we do - much of it jointly with Allies and partners - has foiled terrorist plots on both sides of the Atlantic and kept us all safer.”

Review of Foreign Earned Income Exclusion


t the request of Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, Chair of the Americans Abroad Caucus, the US Government Accountability Office has launched a study to establish the importance of the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion (FEIE) in mitigating the harmful double taxation on Americans working overseas. FEIE allows Americans working overseas to exclude the first $97,600 of their foreign earned income from US taxation.

December 2013 5

The American

Your Guide To The Month Ahead

See our full events listings online at List your event FREE in The American – email or call us on +44 (0)1747 830520 Collider at the Science Museum Science Museum, Exhibition Road, London SW7 2DD to May 6

American Museum in Britain Claverton Manor, Bath BA2 7BD Telephone: 01225 460503 To December 31 at remains the the only The Museum

Christmas museum outside Museum the US to American

showcase the nation’s decorative arts. There are permanent Claverton Manor, Bath exhibitions, craft workshops, Contact: 01225 460503 Quilting Bees every Tuesday, kids’ activities and special events. See website for details. Some festive season’s highlights: Dec 7 Adrian Legg, this world-class guitarist blends American music from country and bluegrass to Cajun, jazz and blues; Dec 13 to 15 Christmas Craft Fair, with beautiful items and handmade products, perfect for festive treats and gifts; Dec 22 Family Holiday Homecoming with Santa Claus, crafting paper decorations, carols and a seasonal atmosphere.

28 NoveMber – 22 DeCeMber 2013

6 December 2013

Step into one of the greatest objects of scientific experimentation as the Science Museum in London explores the Large Hadron Collider.

Christmas Markets in the UK Various, UK to January 5 Christmas markets are fun and a great way to get all your festive requirements as well as presents. Among the best in Britain are in Bath, Bournemouth, Canterbury, Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland in London, Leeds, Portsmouth and Waterperry in Oxfordshire. Check the website for dates and details.

Pop-Up Toy Shop Barbican Centre, Silk St, London EC2Y 8DS November 28 to December 22 Toys are synonymous with Christmas, and you can enjoy retro toys at a Pop Up shop at the Barbican in the run up to the festive day.

Christmas at Salisbury Cathedral Salisbury Cathedral, Salisbury SP1 2EJ November 28 to January 19 Some of the highlights of the Cathedral’s Christmas programme include; The Advent Procession, Nov 29 to Dec 1, which sees over 1300 candles lit throughout the Cathedral; Christmas Carol Service, Dec 21 to 22; Epiphany Procession, Jan 19, commemorating the journey of the Magi to worship the baby Jesus; and special Twilight Tours of the Cathedral Tower throughout December.

Kensington Dollshouse Festival Kensington Town Hall, Hornton Street, London WX 7NX November 30 A must for dolls house collectors and enthusiasts, the Kensington Dollshouse Festival offers items and models for purchase, workshops, children’s activities and talks from dollshouse experts.

Panto! Across the UK December 1 Pantomime is a British winter family tradition, a theatrical extravaganza based on fairy stories and folk tales. Larger ones often star TV celebrities and comedians. There are songs, slapstick, corny jokes and audience participation (‘It’s behind you...’ ‘Oh no it isn’t... Oh yes it is!’). The ‘principal boy’ is often played by a girl and the ‘dame’ is a man. Your local theater is bound to have a panto, and there are many amateur productions too, often better for smaller children.

The American

Christmas at St Paul’s Cathedral St. Paul’s Cathedral, London EC4M 8AD through December

their sight. Their annual Christmas Carol Concert supports the charity in the spectacular St Marylebone Parish Church.

At this special time of year, churches across the UK host ceremonies to commemorate Advent and Christmas. Each Christmas Eve, the spectacular St Paul’s Cathedral hosts a Midnight Eucharist, as well as services for carols and Advent throughout December.

Assassination Redux: The Assassination of JFK King’s College London December 5

Christmas Displays at RHS Various, UK December 1 to 31 RHS Gardens around the UK throw open their gates to the festive season. Christmas displays and Christmas trees are in abundance; with Christmas dinners, lunches, craft fairs and exhibitions celebrating this special time of year.

Seminar: ‘Between Cold War and Civil Rights: Popular American Historical Writing, 1947-1980’ UCL-Institute of the Americas, 51 Gordon Square, London, WC1H 0PN December 5 British Association of American Studies Fellow, Nick Witham, examines popular American history writings post World War Two.

Blind Veterans UK Christmas Carol Concert St Marylebone Parish Church, 17 Marylebone Rd, London NW1 5LT December 5 Blind Veterans UK is a charitable concern for Veterans who have lost



A film screening (The Eternal Frame, 1975) is accompanied by a panel discussion on the assassination of President Kennedy and its treatment by historians, journalists, novelists, conspiracy theorists, artists and filmmakers.

AWS Holiday Season Various December 6 to 10 Join the American Women of Surrey during the Holiday Season: Their St Ebbas Holiday Party on Wednesday, December 4; Holiday Luncheon, Friday, December 6, and a Holiday Homes Tour, Tuesday, December 10. Contact the AWS for more details.

Christmas Pudding Race 2013 Covent Garden, London WC2E December 7 The 33rd annual race, organised on behalf of Cancer Research UK, takes the tried and tested concept of the egg and spoon race and turns it into the fantastic Christmas Pudding race. Watch as runners, many in fancy dress, try to navigate the course whilst balancing a Christmas Pud on a flimsy plate! Races also take place in Brighton and Lyme Regis, see website for details.


For a chance of winning a pair of tickets, answer this question: Which Cirque du Soleil star is interviewed in this issue of The American? Email your answer and contact details by mid-day December 31 to: You must be 18 years old or over to enter this competition. Only one entry per person per draw. The editor’s decision is final. No cash alternative. Tickets are not transferable. You are responsible for any travel, accommodation or other expenses. Quidam will run from January 4 at the Royal Albert Hall for a limited engagement. Tickets are on sale at or by calling 0845 401 5045.

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The American

Courtyard Carol Singing at Hampton Court Palace Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, Surrey KT8 9AU WhatsOn/CourtyardCarolSinging2013 December 17, 18, 21, 22 and 23 Deck the Hall and Ding Dong Merrily around the courtyards of the royal Palace, accompanied by a Silver Band. 6pm and 8pm.

The British Military Tournament Earl’s Court, Warwick Rd, London SW5 9TA December 7 to 8 Celebrating British military history. This is the largest fundraising event in aid of the three charities of the British Armed Forces. Members of the Forces demonstrate their skills with displays including motorcycle displays and musical performances.

Santa Visits Washington Old Hall The Avenue, Washington Village, Washington, NE38 7LE washington-old-hall December 7 to 8 Santa visits Washington Old Hall, the former residence of George Washington’s ancestors. Crafts and face painting, films and the chance to meet Santa, 11am-4pm both days.

Christmas in New York in London’s West End Palace Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue, London W1D 5AY December 9 Christmas in New York returns to the West End for the first time in four years, with festive classics and carols.

8 December 2013

London Chocolate Festival Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, South Bank, London SE1 8XX December 13 to 15

Stonehenge Winter Solstice Stonehenge, nr Amesbury, Wilts. SP4 7DE December 21

This festive season, the annual London Chocolate Festival visits Southbank, to tempt your taste buds and offer a wide range of different chocolate treats.

The world heritage site Stonehenge marks the Winter Solstice.

Children’s Christmas Party at Benjamin Franklin House Benjamin Franklin House, 36 Craven Street, London WC2N 5NF December 14 Enjoy Christmas, 18th century style, with this special festive party for the children at Benjamin Franklin’s House.

Houses of Parliament Tours Houses of Parliament, Westminster, London SW1 0844 847 1672 December 21 to January 4 For the first time, tours of one of London’s most famous landmarks are available during selected days of the Christmas and New Year period, offering visitors the chance to walk through the Houses of Lords and the Commons, see the Queen’s Robing Room and the Royal Gallery, and visit the 900 year old Westminster Hall home to Parliament’s Christmas Tree.

Burning the Clocks Madeira Drive, Brighton, E Sussex BN2 1PS December 21 Residents make paper and willow lanterns to carry through the city, before burning them on Brighton Beach to celebrate the Solstice.

Wallace and Gromit’s Musical Marvels Barbican Centre, Silk St, London EC2Y 8DS December 22 to 23 The British animated classic comes to the stage as Wallace and Gromit oversee conductor Nicholas Collon and the Aurora Orchestra.

Stonehaven Fireballs Stonehaven, nr Aberdeen,, Scotland AB39 December 31 Dating back to the 8th century, Stonehaven welcomes the New Year with a spectacular show where participants parade the high street swinging fireballs around their heads.

New Year’s Eve / Hogmanay Across the UK December 31 New Year’s Eve is a massive celebration in Britain, with public and private parties everywhere, particularly in Scotland, where it is called Hogmanay. Listed as one of the ’Top 100 things to do before you die’, Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Street Party brings Princes Street and the Gardens alive with festivities, around 100,000 revellers gathering to bring in the New Year in style. One of the world’s biggest outdoor parties it includes candle-lit concerts, ceilidhs and rock bands. Failing that, any local pub will have a New Year’s Eve party!

The American

The American’s expatriate canine UK correspondent heads back to Soho

The Toucan

19 Carlisle Street, Soho, London W1D 3BY T 020 7437 4123 O Tottenham Court Road Buses: 10, 390, 7, 73 The Toucan is a much-loved Irish bar just off Soho Square, which serves oysters, Irish Tayto crisps and, more importantly, the best pint of Guinness in London. The upstairs bar used to be a Greek restaurant with a basement club called Knuckles, run by the ex-drummer of The Pretty Things. Jimi Hendrix played one of his earliest jams in London in 1966 when he sat in with Jim Capaldi and Dave Mason, who went on to form Traffic. Hendrix returned later with the Experience to use the basement club for his rehearsals. The downstairs bar is tiny but current owner Colin Taylor keeps up the musical tradition with occasional live music events showcasing new bands.

Levitating on a pint of Guinness PHOTO © KATRINA LESKANICH

PEGGY LEE BOOK COMPETITION: win this perfect Christmas Present! One of the authors had a hit in 1985 with the song ‘Walking on Sunshine’. Can you name the band?

The first four correct answers drawn on December 31 will win a copy of Peggy Lee Loves London, signed by the authors. TO ENTER: Email your answer to with the competition name in the subject line and your contact details (name, address and daytime phone number); or on a postcard to: The American, Old Byre House, Millbrook Lane, East Knoyle, Salisbury SP3 6AW, UK. One entry per person per draw. The editor’s decision is final. No cash alternative.

BUY THE BOOK: Extract from the book Peggy Lee Loves London by Katrine Leskanich and Sher Harper, available on Amazon. Signed copies can be ordered from Katrina’s website

December 2013 9

The American

Christ mas Gift Ideas We’ve rounded up some unusual and wonderful presents for others or for yourself! Garsington Opera at Wormsley

Wormsley Estate, Stokenchurch, Buckinghamshire 6 June – 13 July 2014

Each June and July Garsington Opera presents three productions of the highest professional quality in its award-winning Opera Pavilion on the spectacular Wormsley Estate, created by AngloAmerican Jean Paul Getty. During this five-week summer festival audiences can delight in the stunning landscape and quintessentially English setting, while enjoying performances from some of the world’s most talented performers. For 2014 the company presents one of the greatest operas in the repertoire - Beethoven’s Fidelio, the British premiere of Offenbach’s fleet-footed and funny Vert-Vert, and Janáček’s 20th century masterpiece The Cunning Little Vixen. Whether a seasoned opera lover or on your first visit, Garsington Opera promises an unforgettable evening of opera at its very finest. For information about gift memberships and securing tickets for 2014, visit or call 01865 361636.

A Pampering Treat

Looking for something special? How about a Spa Treatment in a Box from Italian inspired skincare brand VitaBella? This innovative, all natural face mask increases skin hydration by over 21% for skin that really looks like you have had a spa day! And it comes with 15ml of their hydrating face cream, perfect to keep your skin glowing this Christmas. It’s the perfect treat for you to look your best this festive season, or is a great gift to send back home! 20% off all orders, placed online at using discount code AMERICAN at the checkout.

A Great Pair of Gloves for active folk

MacWets gloves are thin enough for good grip, yet keep you warm and dry due to their Aquatec fabric which responds to both moisture and climate change. The breathable palm fabric quickly wicks away any moisture. Available in 14 different sizes and a variety of colours in either Micromesh for the warmer months or a cosy Climatec. Priced at an affordable £27.99 they boast an “all grip, no slip” technology perfect for shooting or for any type of outdoor environment. or call +44(0)845 6039075

10 December 2013

The American

A Time Capsule to wear plus a Reader Offer and a Competition to win!

Choose from necklaces, earrings, cuffs, pendants, bracelets and striking statement pieces for women; chic cuff links, tie clips and silver amber infused rings and bespoke commissions. Monartti are producers of fine Baltic Amber and Sterling Silver jewellery. Reflecting a single snapshot of millions of years, the amber stones are available in creamy butterscotches, deep cognacs and maroon infused cherry tones, set in sterling silver. We’ve arranged a special 10% reader offer when you shop at, just enter the code: Theamerican And for a chance to win a pair of Monartti Amber Earrings in either Deep Cherry Amber or Creamy Butterscotch (above), email your answer to this question to, with ‘Monartti’ in the subject line*: On the shores of which sea are the largest deposits of amber? a) The Black Sea b) The Baltic Sea c) The Caspian Sea

Give a Skill with an Online Course

Give them the gift of an online expert course in Photography or Gardening with these wonderful award-winning websites. There’s a large selection of general, specialist and pro courses, from travel, pets, or fine art landscape photography at and garden design, organic gardening, to vegetable growing, trees to beekeeping at

The online 4-week expert tuition courses are in a virtual classroom with lectures from experts, downloadable notes and weekly assignments critiqued by a personal expert tutor. Ask questions and chat with your tutor and fellow classmates, and make lifelong friends. Cost: £145 (approx $232) with completion certificate. Courses start the first Saturday of every month.

A Christmas Hamper of Distinction - Win a Hamper!

Spicers, Hampers of Distinction, are a 4th generation family business based in Kent. Established in 1926 as the local delicatessen store, today it’s one of the leading UK premium hamper suppliers. With over 85 years experience, they quite simply understand hampers inside out! Spicers are very proud of their products and service, many of their customers come back year after year giving positive feedback. We’ve arranged a 15% discount on orders before December 31 - use code S13WTA and call +44(0)1303 235625 or see For your chance to win a Spicers’ Festive Celebration Hamper, email your answer to this question by December 16 to with ‘Spicers’ in the subject line*. In what decade did Spicers’ Founder - Great Grandfather Percy - open his first store? a) 1910s b) 1920s c) 1930s *see page 9 for full competition entry details

The Festive Celebration hamper is sure to make a massive impact this Christmas, for friends, family, staff or clients. The large white wicker ottoman chest is filled with an extensive selection of sweet and savoury gourmet delights, from Walkers Mini Mincemeat Tarts to Whitakers Chocolate Coated Strawberry Creams and topped off with a selection of bottles including Jules Feraud Champagne and Dows Midnight Port.

December 2013 11

The American


With his trademark folksy charm hiding a razor sharp view of his subject, Bill Bryson has written a book that highlights the moment that the United States became a superpower. He tells The American about it, and his expatriate existence


s most readers will know, Bill Bryson spent his first 20 years in Des Moines, Iowa, but he is probably better known as the genial American expat whose wry observations of his adopted home are equally enjoyed by his compatriots old and new. As his middle name is McGuire, his mother’s maiden name, and she was of Irish descent, had he ever been tempted to live in Ireland rather than Britain? “No, but not because I have anything against Ireland! I have been several times and I like it very much but I don’t have a close relationship with it, and it wouldn’t have been convenient for the things I do. I married an English woman and my life, for work and marriage and parenthood reasons, is spent in Britain. Quite unexpectedly I met my wife nearly 40 years ago and got a bride and a new country, and I’m happy to say that I’m still with both. To me, it’s the most natural thing in the world to live here - I’ve been doing it for nearly two-thirds of my life. This is home. “I was on a ‘gap year’, but in the middle of college, and it was a lot easier to land a job in a foreign country like Britain. It’s a tragedy that it’s so difficult now. Young Britons and Americans ought to

12 December 2013

be able to enjoy some kind of free exchange of movement, as a young French person can here. If you’re from the First World and you’re well-educated and prosperous, you’re obviously not an economic immigrant. When I see how my life has been enriched by coming from America to Britain, it’s a shame how difficult it is for young people now. Not just Britain, they might like to go to Australia or Italy or France, but they’re forbidden, and treated like some kind of Romany or something. At least give them a couple of years to enjoy another culture when they’re young.” After returning to the States to finish university, which was particularly important to his mother who was from a blue collar family and had seen his two elder siblings drop out of college, Bryson moved back to Britain “semi-permanently” in 1977, with the odd break back in the States and other places. “It wasn’t a rejection of America,” he avers. “But I love the British countryside, I think London is the greatest city in the world, I like the sense of humor and the sense of history. I live in Norfolk now, and every morning I look out of my window and see a church tower that was built 900 years ago. You

don’t get a lot of that in Iowa! If you grow up without something and then it’s brought into your life, you often appreciate it more than if it’s something you’ve always had. That’s another good thing about immigration - anyone who is here as a voluntary immigrant is here because they like it, and they can see a lot of attractive things that the natives overlook.” I guessed British food in the ‘70s was not one of those attractions. “Well, like most people brought up in the ‘50s I was not a sophisticated eater in the first place,” he laughs, “so Britain and I discovered decent food together, which is probably the best way to do it! Because of our dominant culture it’s easy to grow up culturally impoverished. But it’s easier to be an American living abroad - all the best things that America produces will wind up wherever you are in the world: the best music, television programs, movies, and so on, so you don’t miss out. What you do miss out on if you live in America is all the other things - if I hadn’t moved here I would never have discovered the minutiae of British life: Morecambe and Wise, pork pies. My life has been doubled.” Bryson is eligible for dual British

and American nationality, but hasn’t done so yet. “It’s something I need to do, if only for the convenience. It would be nice to have the choice of immigration queue - sometimes the non-EU queue is much shorter.” Bill has achieved the unofficial but important status of National Treasure in the UK. How is he regarded back home? “I’m much lower profile in the States, but that’s not surprising, I’ve spent my life here. It’s also harder to get a profile in America, particularly as a writer of non-fiction. By and large non-fiction writers don’t impress themselves on people.” But Bryson certainly does. Among his honors he has been a Commissioner of English Heritage, an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society, an honorary OBE (Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire - which sounds a bit colonial!) and won literary awards and honorary doctorates. He is the Emeritus Chancellor of Durham University (“quite a rare thing, Chancellors normally die in office - they’re appointed for life, but not until they’re close to death!” he laughs). Durham has renamed its main library the Bill Bryson Library. Does he feel part of the establishment now? “It’s meant I have lunch


December 2013 13

The American

Rushmore – Gutzon Borglum in studio THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS

with the Archbishop of Canterbury and distinguished people like that. For a guy from Iowa, well, I’ve never got over that. But one thing is, I’m really, really cheap! I drive my kids crazy. I’m not miserly, but when I go out for a pint of beer and it costs £5, I’m scandalized. It’s important to be true to your upbringing. I’m a bit skeptical about honors. Essentially I’ve been honored for doing something I was going to do anyway, and been well compensated anyway.” Bryson engages with readers in a special way. He has also written books on (among other subjects) Africa, Australia, small town America, Shakespeare, science, and history and his latest, One Summer: America 1927, tackles a big subject the United States’ place in the world - by microscopically examining “a forgotten summer when America came of age, took center stage, and, in five eventful months, changed

14 December 2013

the world for ever.” The summer of 1927 saw the birth of talking pictures, the invention of television, the peak of Al Capone’s reign of terror, the return of Babe Ruth, and the bombing of a Michigan school. America had a booming stock market, a president who worked just four hours a day and slept much of the rest of the time, a crazed sculptor with a mad plan to carve four giant heads into an inaccessible mountain called Rushmore, a devastating flood of the Mississippi and a sensational murder trial. Most of all it had a youthful aviator named Charles Lindbergh who started the summer wholly unknown and finished it as the most famous man on earth after flying the Atlantic in The Spirit of St Louis. So famous was Lindbergh that Minnesota even considered renaming itself after him. Bryson looks at why these all happened at

the same time, and what effect it had on the American people. “The USA was already the most economically dominant nation in the world. It just didn’t realize it. It was more a question of awareness than any physical transformation,” he told me. “Lindbergh and his Transatlantic flight really woke America up. It’s hard to imagine now, but America wasn’t used to coming first at anything, particularly anything that involved technology. Lindbergh’s flight was a matter of huge pride to Americans, and it had a practical effect. Before Lindbergh everything to do with aviation was overwhelmingly European - the designers, the pilots, the manufacturers. Within five years nobody heard of those people any more, it was Boeing and Douglas, America took over in aviation and lots of other fields as well. It was a psychological turning point.” 



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My Jewish mother and her beautiful black blood by Carol Gould


ixty years ago late on a crisp autumn night my mother went into labor. Unluckily for her it was Erev Shabbat and Kol Nidre night, the holiest Jewish observance of the year. As virtually all of the obstetricians in Philadelphia were Jewish -- even the most secular would have been in synagogue -- a retiree was brought in to deliver me. The good doctor had been enjoying a quiet Friday night at home with drink after drink; it was said that the delivery room reeked of liquor from his breath. I was delivered with great difficulty as Mum was thirty-nine. Nine days later she suffered an horrific haemorrhage at home. By the time she arrived at Emergency she was, for all intents and purposes, clinically dead. Her blood pressure was nearing zero over zero. Nowadays one would imagine her organs, with my father’s consent, would have been removed for transplants. What had happened? Evidently the thoroughly inebriated retiree had forgotten to remove the placenta. An alert was put out on Philadelphia radio stations that a ‘young mother of a newborn’ needed rare ORH Negative blood transfusions or she would die, and would anyone with this blood type please report

16 December 2013

to the hospital without delay? Immediately a number of African Americans came to the hospital and their blood saved my mother’s life. Her recovery from the ordeal was long and arduous but I am forever grateful to those donors that I was able to know her; until the day she died in 1989 she referred to September 28th 1953 as her ‘second birthday.’ Although she was fair and blue eyed she had always had thick African hair and liked to point out that she now had ‘100% African American blood.’ In the 1930s my mother had been a tireless worker for the Department of Public Assistance in Philadelphia, toiling alongside the African American man she wanted to marry, Harry Jackson. They were case workers who visited families drowning in hideous poverty. She admonished the local butchers who sold the welfare recipients maggoty meat, who in turn told her ‘It don’t matter -- they won’t know the difference, they’re animals.’ She and Harry never married but she never forgot him. During World War II she served in the United States Women’s Army Corps at Camp Pickett, Virginia where thousands of black GIs and WACs were based in preparation for deployment to England before

D-Day. My mother, forever the civil rights activist, was horrified to hear the white soldiers referring to the black WACs as ‘waccoons’ and deplored the segregation of the troops. The scenario of Italian and German POWs having the run of the camp whilst blacks were confined to barracks infuriated Mum so she petitioned the Commanding Officer to do something about this shameful situation. Of course nothing was done and my mother predicted the riots and the ‘fire next time’ of James Baldwin’s narrative decades before Watts and Selma. After post-war demobilisation my mother worked for the United Service for New Americans placing Holocaust survivors in jobs. She also gave one day a week to USES, the United States Employment Service, where a handsome job-seeking Jewish civil engineer eventually became her husband; she used to tell us ‘I spotted this guy and knew he would be the father of my children.’ Dramatic but true. My father had marched on Harrisburg, Pennsylvania in the 1930s to protest the exclusion of a black man from a civil engineering organisation and throughout their lives my parents were passionate supporters of the rights of African Americans to ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.’

The American

Likewise the magnificent Margaret Melton and Josephine Rowe, my mother’s companions who had such a profound influence on my sister’s childhood and mine, were black women who helped shape our view of the world in our lifetime pursuit of ‘menschlichkeit’ - decency. It is embedded in my memory bank that Josephine, who had her own routine and would be infuriated if any of us interrupted her daily schedule, was upstairs when Dr Martin Luther King Jr delivered his ‘I Have a Dream’ speech. My mother, toiling over the ironing board in sweltering Philadelphia heat, begged her to come down and she did, the two of us sitting around the dining room table watching as my mother continued to iron and tears fell down our faces. Three months later we sat around that same table at that same black and white television set, crying once more as John-John Kennedy saluted his father. Ours was the antithesis of the loathsome white family in The Help. Jump forward to 2013: For the past five years or so I have been at the receiving end of hundreds of emails from many sources denigrating Barack Obama as a ‘Manchurian Candidate,’ a ‘Fifth Columnist’, a ‘Muslim!’ and a ‘Nazi who wishes to

destroy Israel.’ I like to tell these people that I first heard Obama speak in 2004 in my native Philadelphia and was moved to tears when he recounted the sight of a group of grey-haired white men giving out ‘Obama for Illinois Senate’ leaflets in Chicago. He told us that an aide whispered in his ear ‘Those guys were Klansmen once upon a time.’ When Obama was elected president in 2008 I was broadcasting live on Pan African television and when I emerged from the studio into the control room every work station was inhabited by a weeping young African. All I could think of was how thrilled my late parents would have been to witness a man of color being elected President of the United States. How my mother, who I like to think was one of the soldiers who influenced Harry Truman to desegregate the military, would have exploded with joy at the sight of the Obama family dancing the night away at the Inaugural Ball. I thought of Josephine, who used to talk about ‘a Negro who will one day be ‘The One’ but when the president-elect gave his acceptance speech my email correspondents were already saying the array of eagle-topped flags and Michelle’s black and red color scheme were indicative of a ‘Nuremberg’ rally.

Facing page: Carol’s mother This page, left: Martin Luther King Jr PHOTO DICK DEMARSICO, COURTESY LIBRARY OF CONGRESS, WORLD-TELEGRAM

right: Black WAC’s on parade, WWII

As the New Year arrives I beseech my Obama-hating emailers, some of whom are of my faith, to understand what it meant to me to be raised by principled liberals who wanted equality for all -- a central Jewish tenet -- and what it means to me to be a white citizen of a nation with a non-white head of state. May Barack Obama live out his term and may my parents, who imbued my sister and me with pride in our heritage and respect for that of all races, be inscribed in the Book of Life. And may the African American men and women who gave blood to save my mother’s life enjoy eternal grace.

Originally published in The Jewish Forward. Carol Gould has written for The Guardian, The Jewish Chronicle and The Daily Telegraph; she is the author of Spitfire Girls and Don’t Tread on Me - anti-Americanism Abroad and has appeared on BBC Any Questions? and many other UK broadcasts. December 2013 17

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A City Afloat In his new book, Floating City Sudhir Venkatesh aims to illuminate the city of New York by mixing with its drug dealers and prostitutes. Alan Miller examines whether he has succeeded. © SREEVISHNU BYRAKUR


am not entirely sure what kind of book Sudhir Venkatesh really wanted Floating City to be. In the opening chapter the author informs us that since his arrival in 1997 he has tried to understand New York City’s underground economy. We are introduced to ‘Shine,’ a crack dealer that has moved on to trying his hand at selling powdered cocaine downtown as well as hovering around art galleries. At the art show, we also meet ‘Analise’ (all of the names and dates have been changed), an Ivy Leaguer who turns to being a madam for high-priced young call girls. The irony, it seems, is that Venkatesh has actually introduced ‘Shine’ to ‘Analise’ (who he calls “America’s daughter”) and the dealer hits it off with the madam. We are then treated to the author’s “ethical concerns”, which amount to whether he has blown his cover with either of them, was he distorting reality, “Or was this the chance meeting the reality I should document?” How are we to respond? Perhaps with a ‘Wow. Ooh. That’s it. Bingo!’ Sadly, this type of pedestrian and banal language is consistent throughout the book.

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The author, who is a professor of Sociology at Columbia University continues to pepper and litter the book, which is subtitled “Hustlers, strivers, dealers, call girls and other lives in illicit New York” with some of the most self-obsessed reflections and superficial observations imaginable. More of that in a moment… With the goal of assessing “community” and “neighborhood” in the city, Venkatesh starts off with Hell’s Kitchen, setting the scene where Mayor Giuliani’s approach to ‘squeegee’ window cleaners and zero tolerance to policing the streets is transforming Times Square and the surrounding areas. We are introduced to ‘Angela’, an Asian prostitute who used an impromptu bed at the “Ninth Avenue Family Video” run by ‘Manjun,’ and how their activities and trajectory can provide some insight in to the relationship between the ‘black economy’ and the rest of society. This should of course be of interest to anyone who cares about society, and people. The debate about criminalization of prostitution and drugs however is never, at any juncture, taken up in any way, even as one of (his many rambling) reflections. Fair enough, one may say, as the objective sociologist it is not appropriate to

ask why these activities are illegal. It is simply sufficient to know that they are, and then proceed to show these individuals (his counter position to the “n” style studies that rely on volume of respondents to surveys in sociology) and the circumstances they find themselves in. We see ‘Angela’ try with her co-workers to make a Brooklyn based apartment work for sexual encounters and how dangerous some of the liaisons can be, with the excitable and young ‘Carla’ who gets drunk and high and decides to street walk to add some more income and is beaten…regularly. Ultimately the Brooklyn pad nets them collectively a paltry amount, and Venkatesh counterposes these experiences to those of the wealthier, whiter more upper class characters such as ‘Analise’ and ‘Margot’. But in all of his comparisons, his poking at the notion that one has to “float” as ‘Shine’ has so insightfully instructed him, we never seem to get past such observations as being wealthy provides one with more opportunities and being determined and positive can mean that new opportunities are available. More than the obviousness of these however, our author then goes on to present a post-modernist trick:

The American


“And if the upper-end madam and the ghetto thug were both improvising their supposedly fixed social roles, if their way of relating and even their styles were subject to such rapid revisions – as if they were merely a fiction agreed on between two people – then it was a short step to admitting that succeeding in a life of crime wasn’t so different from making art,” page 272. Venkatesh is clear earlier that he

‘who am I?’ is a fair and important question ..

wants to avoid at all times encouraging criminal activity, however then proceeds to suggest that everything is all interchangeable; well, a canvas of crime – a canvas of paint or sculpture; it is all about sculpturing differing versions of ‘me’ in the changing city. All flux, all change, all float – but what does that really mean about anything? In many ways, where we get the most prescient insights into meaning is in how the author has decided to approach the subject

matter and place himself, his narrative, his hopes and fears, at the heart of the story. One cannot, of course, escape from the fact that this is the writer who spent ten years in Chicago culminating in his previous book, Gang Leader For a Day. That received significant success and attention and its shadow may well eclipse this latest contribution. Venkatesh has worked with Steven Levitt of Freakonomics fame – however while some of his statistics are interesting (such as how much street drug dealers make, $3.50 an hour, or prostitutes can make, ranging from very little to hundreds of thousands of dollars) one is left with the nagging feeling that this does not do much beyond satisfy Venkatesh’s desire to see things up close and hope for it to illuminate some meaning on broader questions. Herein lies the rub– the crux of the matter. Throughout the snappy titled chapters (such as “Moving on Up”, “Adventures in Role Playing” and “Exit Strategies”) the author continually references some of the highly respected American sociologists, such as Herbert Gans, Robert Merton and C Wright Mills. But whereas Gans gave us insights into the urban landscape

and class as well as the media, Merton left us with “role models” and “self fulfilling prophecy” and Mills with the “power elite” and aspirations to encourage public and political engagement over simple observation. The reader is left wondering and somewhat bewildered as to what in fact Venkatesh is ultimately striving to do. As a study of a city, it is very weak and superficial. Nodding to areas randomly, the Lower East Side, Chelsea, Upper East Side and Harlem it never goes beyond the utterly impressionistic. There are moments of insight when touching on the new hipsters in Brooklyn among the working class areas, however the soap-opera style reflections of the main characters eclipse any more meaningful particles. Some tremendous work has been done in the recent years in chronicling changes in society, for instance Robert Putnam’s Bowling Alone, to aim to understand the crumbling social networks and atomized nature of contemporary life. Understanding New York’s zoned areas can provide much insight on the racial dimension of urban living in a city that has consistently seemed to manage color restrictions in entire areas – while

December October 2013 19

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Venkatesh talks of immigrants, class and race one is never particularly sure beyond the vague throwaway remarks what he makes, or perhaps we are to make of any of it. I am reminded of the sad loss of Marshall Berman, and how the brilliance of the writing, the references and the insights in his book, All that is solid melts in to air: the experience of modernity inspire and inform and transform one’s understanding. None of this does ‘Floating’ get close to. Which brings me back to the start. Why exactly has he written this book? He cites earlier public intellectuals and having impact beyond the academy. I am very much in favor of that attitude – as regular readers know I am a harsh critic of the myopic nature of higher education today, hence my involvement in The Academy, with the Institute of Ideas. However, Venkatesh provides very little that is truly insightful. His descriptions of people are often patronizing despite his attempts to avoid being so and his indulgent psychological ‘sharing’ of his own thoughts and fears and motivations represent the worst of the therapeutic cultural fashion of the moment. What he demonstrates is that he, along with much of the elite, seems to be lost at epistemological sea – in an existential crisis of “who am I?” Of course, ‘who am I?’ is a fair and important question – but not one to be resolved through the supposed

20 December 2013

study of a city and others by imposing all one’s fears on to the pages. Which is exactly why it may do quite well. Just like ‘Analise’ and ‘Shine’ – more so in fact, Sudhir Venkatesh has created a platform that mixes his own celebrity and the apparent allure of the underworld to try to garner further attention and some meaning for himself. One would almost be inclined to remind Mr Venkatesh of the words he uses on page 92 when describing ‘Mantosh’s’ view of ‘Manjun’ who believes the latter listened to “his demons” too much and engaged in bringing women from India to be prostitutes. “Eat from the hand of a demon and his hand becomes your hand,” Well, it sounds deep and mystical and pretty clever, but it does not answer why facilitating people to come and be sex workers is any worse, or better, than helping others with forged documents. Or providing a spot for paid sex is somehow OK, or not, and why dealing drugs is morally incorrect or simply illegal. It is not that he should try and solve these issues. However he never even asks the questions, instead charging ahead

Above: Times Square, New York © CARLOS BUSTAMANTE RESTREPO

Below: New York City Subway © DEREK KEY

with his diary of meetings with random characters and existential fears of not getting close enough to his own idea of what the city is. “I wanted the loners and the outcasts. I felt alone and different and sought out acceptance and wisdom from those who were equally stigmatized.” A teenage diary is not a bad analogy as it happens. Embroiled in the Oprah-style convention of wearing heart on sleeve, it comes across as phony and lacking. I do not feel that I know New York City any better from reading this. The real irony is that I believe there is a compelling study to be done on each of the groups that the author has identified and we should raise the tough and complex question of why various behaviors should or should not be illegal. For that we will need to exercise judgment through knowledge. That, Mr Venkatesh, is where meaning lies.

Floating City by Sudhir Venkatesh is published in the UK by Allen Lane in Hardcover, £20, ISBN 978-0241002759 Alan Miller is Director of The NY Salon and co-founder of London’s Old Truman Brewery and The Vibe Bar

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A Capital Christmas

Mary Bailey discovers that you can be active - and have great food - in London without PENGUIN PHOTO: PICASA being traditionally ‘Christmassy’


like Christmas, I always have. I like the bright lights, the getting together of family and friends and its message to many of hope and joy. But... Like any family we have had some hitches. There was the year when we had mistakenly adopted a feral cat. Devoted to the immediate family, he attacked my visiting mother who had to go to hospital. That was bad enough but did my clarion voiced six year old have to announce to a room of guests that he would prefer to keep the cat and have Grannie put down? There was the strange fact that my husband, a clever, highly qualified engineer seemed unable to fix Christmas lights without plunging the house into fused darkness, and then when we lived in the wilds of South America armed police arrived in the middle of lunch to arrest us all on some trifling offence. It took a lot of Champagne before we could release their forgiving Latin charm. There are things that annoy us all. Who wants to be told by some colorful pamphlet at the end of August that ‘the Christmas Spirit has arrived’? It hasn’t! It all goes on too long. The United States does it better with Thanksgiving just at the right time, postponing Christmas

22 December October 2013 2013

celebrations until a reasonable date. If you’d like some respite from all the holiday ‘fun’ here’s some alternative things to do to get away from the Yuletide shenanigans, and three eating places you can enjoy now or at any time. First, we’d recommend going to London Zoo ( or the London Wetland Centre ( london). The average giraffe or eagle and their colleagues do not celebrate Christmas or sing carols at you all the time and the places are a breath of fresh air. Voted the UK’s Favourite Nature Reserve, but located in Barnes, West London, and close to the heart of the capital, the latter is a haven for birds and all sorts of wildlife. Outdoor skating is a winter treat. A mere few years ago it was a rarity, but it can be found all over London now at museums, Royal palaces and even public spaces between the office blocks. Choose from the Natural History Museum, Somerset House, Broadgate, Canary Wharf, Eyeskate at the London Eye, The Bluebird in Chelsea, Hampton Court Palace, the Tower of London and the Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park which also features big top shows, a big wheel and a large Christmas

market. You can combine history with exercise. London’s Guided Walks are superb and there is tremendous choice of subject matter, from art and architecture to ghosts, easily findable with a web search. Finally, if you’re in the capital and would like to help people who are less fortunate than yourself, there are plenty of volunteering opportunities. One that has a special resonance - and is specially needed at this cold time of year - is Crisis at Christmas ( which helps homeless people and those living in hostel accommodation. The holidays can be a lonely and depressing time and Crisis runs ten centers across London between 23 and 30 December that offer companionship, hot meals, warmth, and a range of essential services. They need 8,000 or more volunteers to make it all happen, from those willing to ‘muck in’ and help out anywhere, from general volunteers to people with particular skills like dentists, hairdressers, lorry drivers and performers! Call them on 0300 636 1000 to see how you can help. If you’re not in London, a quick web search will soon find other worthwhile charities who do good at Christmas.

Festive-Free Feasts

Roman Bakeries

Our restaurants have nothing to do with Christmas at all, but are none the worse for that. Have you yet explored the Roman Bakeries? Stefano Nicolai, an Italian banker, worked for a time in London and became homesick for his Roman Spianata sandwich. Instead of just complaining he now owns and operates these Spianata bakeries. There are several around the City but the one we ate in was 3 Hay Hill, Mayfair, just off Berkeley Square Both I and my companion Margaret thought it superb. The decor is modern rural (if there is such a thing!), bright and fresh. The bread real Italian, flattish and over a meter long - is delivered fresh twice a day for breakfast and lunch sandwiches. There is no refrigeration which is marvellous, no biting into frozen tuna or too much mayonnaise. Sandwiches with this crisp healthy bread are made on the spot with enormous fillings and served in napkins, no plates. I chose artichoke hearts, Parmesan and rocket (£4.85), Margaret enjoyed ‘blue cheese’ with smoked mountain ham and pears (£4.85). Home made soup is also available, as are a choice of hot dishes and small fresh salads. There are also

soft drinks to choose from. I enjoyed blood orange while my friend stuck to sparkling water. We both had coffee, there is plenty of choice and they certainly do not economise on beans, veering towards the small and strong. Lovely. The place was crowded and a little noisy, the staff looked Italian and I noticed that there were no fat customers at all. That could of course have been the neighbourhood. I hope they do not change this place. Closing at 3pm, everything is eaten or given away after that. Freshness is the key word. Mr Nicolai has got it right.

Cochin Royale Restaurant

39 Queenstown Road Battersea SW8 3RE

Nine Elms is an area in South West London that is soon to become very well known to Americans. It’s already started thriving. The new United States Embassy is being built there (see News) and the Dutch are to have an Embassy there as well. Battersea Power Station, just down the road, is to be developed and along the river there are lovely new flats and apartments. New enterprises are popping up, including Cochin, a restaurant which, as I write, is just a week old. Americans over here know

Above: mouth-watering sandwiches at the Roman Bakeries, and one of the bakers curry is something the Brits have enjoyed since the days of the Indian Raj. But curry has to be very good. Cochin cook as from south west India, south of Goa and it has a style of its own called Kerala Cuisine, delicious with plenty of choice and well chosen, gentle spices. Kerala is a very fertile State of India, famous for coconuts and a variety of vegetables. This influences their natural way of cooking and perhaps their peaceful, happy nature, as the service was delightful. They have a very well respected chef and his wife is the manageress. Margaret, my friend with the wonderful taste buds, went for the king prawn curry with egg pilau rice. I had the poori masala and a lamb dansak. My colleague pronounced the meal one of the best curries she has enjoyed and will go again with her family and friends. I felt the same. One of the lovely things they do is a kind of fluffy thin pancake encasing all kinds of attractive things. Lentil flour is sometimes used for this which is a change. The average price for a main dish is around £7. Cochin provide take away and will deliver locally. High chairs stand at the ready! Parking nearby is not too bad and Cochin Royale is fully licensed.

December 2013 23

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inally back into central London. I always think of fish at Pescatori, but they are also offering an excellent Christmas menu, or Menu Natalizio as they refer to it, which is available in both their restaurants. You can view the menu on their website, and a Christmas meal is a very reasonable £35 each for a minimum of eight guests, which includes some unusual dishes alongside turkey - ideal for your work or family Christmas party if you don’t want the traditional choice. You can use their private dining rooms if you’d like to avoid the other festive diners, which are available throughout the year, and they can lay on a bespoke buffet or party menu if you prefer. I would go for the pan roasted goose breast, the sea bass or ravioli. There is a choice of six starters, surely enough to please everyone and, yes, there is Christmas pud and trifle. Pescatori is one of London’s older restaurants, established in 1957. We dined at the Pescatori in Fitzrovia,

24 December October 2013 2013

nestled on Charlotte Street, but another elegant option is their second restaurant on Dover Street in Mayfair. Pescatori is famous for its fish, with produce bought in from Billingsgate Market. A taste of Italy and the Mediterranean, their menu also boasts choices for those less enamored by seafood, with dishes such as supreme of chicken (£15.95) and 28 days aged Galloway rib eye steak (£19.75). On our visit Margaret and I stuck to fish. We began with a glass each of Prosecco (£7.50), really good and better than many cheaper Champagnes. I started with masses (almost too much) of dressed crab (insalata granchio, £11.50), Margaret with oysters, six fine de Claire oysters from south west France (£11.50) which she pronounced excellent. Pescatori’s fish is beautifully fresh, my crab had been flown up from Cornwall that morning I was told, and I readily believe it. Margaret was a little dismayed by the sight of her sea bass (from the

Left: Pescatori special shellfish platter Above right: private dining room Below right: restaurant interior

Day Boat selection), because it was huge and very black and although it was correct to serve it with everything attached, so to speak, an offer to fillet it for her after she had seen it would have been appreciated. The salad with it was not very interesting. I had lemon sole as my main and it was lovely. Waiters were happy to advise on wine and we enjoyed our coffee. Ice cream is always a good choice with Italians and here they do not fear the calories, making some of it with clotted cream. Gorgeous! (daily selection £6.50). You can tell why Pescatori has been serving London for over 50 years.

Pescatori Fitzrovia 57 Charlotte Street, London W1T 4PD 020 7580 3289 Pescatori Mayfair 11 Dover Street, London W1S 4LH 020 7493 2652

The American Little Red Riding Hood Champagne, Germany’s favorite, has been in production since 1896 PHOTO DENKHENK

New Year Traditions

By Virginia E. Schultz


n New Year’s day, my family always had sauerkraut and pork. I’m not certain if this was a German, Dutch or Pennsylvania Dutch custom or a family tradition. In many parts of the world food is eaten to bring good luck, wealth, long life and happiness and perhaps that was what that dinner signified. In Vietnam, the Vietnamese eat banh day (rice cakes) and banh chung (rice cakes stuffed with with bean paste and mince pork) which according to a legend brought happiness to a king. Soba noodles are the choice for long life in Japan, where they should be sucked up and eaten unbroken. In the southern part of the States, one has black eyed peas and/or collard greens. Black eye peas supposedly tell of increasing prosperity because they get larger as they are cooked and collard greens are the color of money. The Italians eat cotechino con lenticchie (pork sausage with lentils) which symbolizes abundance as the meat is rich in fat and lentils resemble coins. At midnight in Peru, people eat a grape for each twelve strokes of the clock. The grapes signify both past and present. In Greece, the Greeks bake a cake with a coin inside. The coin is to bring luck to the person who finds it. You could start your own food tradition. A good friend always

26 December 2013

makes pineapple upside down cake for New Year’s day and adds a fifty cent piece to the batter before she bakes it. Whoever finds the coin, must invite everyone around for drinks on twelfth night. Years ago when I was very young, my late husband and I would have an egg nog party during the Christmas holidays. But that rich egg nog which had lots of cream, eggs, vodka and brandy eventually became a drink of the past as everyone began worrying about calories. Nowadays, both the food I serve as well as the beverage is far simpler and far less work, if I’m being honest. Because I want to enjoy my guests, I buy a roast chicken at either the supermarket or a delicatessen which I then cut into small slices and place on rounds of buttered bread I made with a cookie cutter. Salmon is another good idea. I never add mayonnaise or any other toppings and instead put these into dishes so my guests can choose what they prefer. With this I offer a Chardonnay from Burgundy. Of course, I have cheese as well. A German Riesling is perfect with blue cheese and there is nothing more delightful on the palate than a Sauvignon Blanc served with goat cheese. My favorite, however, is Parmigiano Reggiano with Sherry.

For me, the nuttiness of the cheese is a perfect combination with this too often unappreciated caramelized flavored wine. I do have friends who serve lovely appetizers, but I find this too much work and little time to enjoy my guests. I always finish the evening with something sweet such as brownies or homemade peanut butter fudge. Brownies are easier to make but the peanut butter fudge is the sweet that is eaten down to the very last delicious crumb.

Spritz up your party Last year at a friend’s party I rediscovered the Spritz. His recipe was: 3 ounces of Riesling 1 ounce of club soda orange or lemon bitters a twist of lime ice Chill the wine well first, it won’t melt the ice cubes as quickly. Fill the glass with ice, pour over the wine, then the bitters and soda, and top off with the lime.

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The American


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October 2013 13

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‘Santa Claus in Camp’, on the cover of Harper’s Weekly, January 3, 1863 (150 years ago) - one of the earliest depictions of Santa Claus Background: Red Berries PHOTO FLEUR BS

Coffee Break CHRISTMAS QUIZ 1 By what name is poet George Gordon Noel better


2 The first singing radio commercial, which aired in the

US on Christmas Eve 1926, was for which brand? a) Coca Cola b) Macy’s c) Wheaties

3 Said to be Santa’s home, The North Pole is in which


4 In what country is Christmas known as Bada Din

(the big day)? a) Thailand b) China c) India

5 What is a more popular name for the patron saint of

banking, pawnbroking, pirating, butchery, sailing, thievery, orphans, royalty, and New York City?

6 What is Three King’s Day known as in the UK? 7 In which country does Santa have his own personal

postcode, H0H 0H0?

14 December 23: The Federal Reserve System was created

as the central banking system of the United States by signature of the Federal Reserve Act. Which President signed it?

Quiz answers and Sudoku solution on page 64.

8 Which American-born English poet, having first

names Thomas Stearns, wrote the poem The Cultivation Of Christmas Trees? nally titled A Visit from Saint Nicholas?


10 In the UK it is traditionally believed that eating

recognize Christmas as an official holiday? a) Oklahoma b) Tennessee c) Arkansas

12 Christmas Island, in the Indian Ocean, is a territory of

which country?

It happened 100 years ago... 13 December 7: businessman Aaron Montgomery Ward

died in Chicago. But what did he invent? a) Mail order b) Electric toothbrush c) Electric railway

28 December October 2013 2013

6 1 2



a ‘what’ each day of the twelve days of Christmas brings happiness the following year? a) Sausage b) Mince pie c) Chocolate

11 Which southern central US State was the last to

8 9


9 Which poem written by Clement Moore was origi-

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3 7



1 4 1 9

9 8

3 7 8

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ALBUMS THEOF MONTH The American has been good this year and Santa has visited early, with a sackful of great albums. Here’s our sum-up of some perfect stocking fillers.

CLASSICAL Handel & Haydn Society / The Sixteen Joy To The World: An American Christmas Haydn: Symphonies 6 & 82 Palestrina Vol. 4 JS Bach: Lutheran Masses CORO The Handel & Haydn Society is America’s oldest continuously performing arts organization, founded in Boston in 1815, which performs Baroque and Classical music. Formed in 1977, The Sixteen are a British-based choir specializing mainly in early music. Apart from the period music, what do they have in common? They are both run by Harry Christophers, extraordinarily gifted in terms both musical and physiological - imagine the tremendous physical and mental stamina required to continually hop across the Atlantic while keeping these two top notch ensembles at peak performance. And that’s just what you will find on these four CDs. Christophers keeps his voices and instruments perfectly in keeping with their historic material, while always fresh, as if just written. See The Sixteen this month on their Christmas tour.

30 December 2013

Los Lobos at the City Winery, New York City, prior to recording Disconnected...

COUNTRY Joe Ely Steve Earle Nitty Gritty Dirt Band Glen Campbell The Definitive Collection Humphead Humphead, Britain’s biggest country music label, features mega-artists like these, none of whom needs an introduction to The American’s readers. It’s run by people who care about country music and each of these double CD releases makes a good stab at their title. Although it’s impossible to truly cover artists like Glen Campbell or Steve Earle definitively in 40 or so tracks, they all include a wide breadth of songs. For example the Campbell album has ‘By The Time I Get To Phoenix’, ‘Gentle On My Mind’, ‘Oklahoma Sunday Morning’, ‘Galveston’, ‘Wichita Lineman’ and ‘Rhinstone Cowboy’ alongside more eclectic

choices, album tracks and interesting but lesser hits like the early ‘Kentucky Means Paradise’ and ‘I Knew Jesus (Before He Was A Star)’. The well chosen (non-chronological) track sequencing, quality reproduction and decent information booklet written by a respected British music journalist make these a good Christmas choice.

CHICANO / ROCK Los Lobos Disconnected in New York City Proper Records East L.A. legends Los Lobos, 40 years on. Whod’a thunk it. But original members David Hidalgo, Louie Perez, Cesar Rosas, Conrad Lozano, Steve Berlin, and Cougar Estrada have reconvened the scene, touring the States heavily through 2014 and releasing this celebratory live album recorded last December at the City Winery in NYC. The popular favorites are all here - ‘La Bamba’, of course, though relegtaed to an encore medley - but the live format allows the barrio boys to show their rootsier, tougher, more interesting side too.

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LIVE AND Sadie and the Hotheads KICKING Hippodrome Casino, Leicester Square, London. Reviewed by Jarlath O’Connell

TOURS WORTH BRAVING THE WINTER SNOWS FOR Haim Following the release of their acclaimed debut album, Days Are Gone, the sisters headline 13 Euro dates. The UKI dates are: December 4th Norwich, UEA; 5th Birmingham, Institute; 6th Leeds, Metropolitan University; 8th Manchester, The Ritz; 9th London, The Forum; 12th Glasgow, ABC; 13th Dublin, Academy.

Avenged Sevenfold

Also touring a new album, their sixth, Hail To The King, A7X are fresh from a US arena tour so expect fireworks. November 30th Manchester Arena; December 1st London, Wembley Arena; 3rd Dublin, Ireland, O2; 5th Birmingham, LG Arena.


Dolly’s ‘Blue Smoke World Tour’ travels across the pond in June and July for concerts in England, Ireland, Scotland, Denmark, Germany and Norway. “Every time I come to Europe I’m just as excited as I was my very first time, which was many, many years ago. I love that part of the world and I especially love the fans,” says Dolly. British and Irish dates run from June 8th to July 2nd. Go to for full details and tickets.


ock chick is a far cry from Cora, Countess of Grantham on Downton Abbey but that is the route taken by UK based American actress Elizabeth McGovern who has put a band together and realized the rock and roll dream of going on the road. It isn’t really rock at all, it’s actually more country but perhaps the C word (and I don’t mean Countess) doesn’t go down too well among the rock cognoscenti. She recently brought her excellent 5 piece band and female backing singer to the intimate Matcham Room, and while there was excellent musicianship on display it is perhaps too ritzy a setting for what should be in a small grungy rock venue. Most performers here, coming out of jazz/ cabaret background offer up a mix of their own material and those of others which prompted the thought that McGovern might benefit from such an approach, allowing us to experience more of her vocal and stylistic range. The 14 numbers performed here, all her own, are a quirkily upbeat mix

of country and folk influenced tunes boosted by some great arrangements. ‘All the time’, dedicated to her husband, TV director Simon Curtis, is an up tempo hymn to the joys of familiar domesticity. ‘Cow Song’ has a winsome, kooky charm, ‘My Debt Collector’ is about sweet-talking a Repo Man and ‘How Not to Lose Things’ has a great two-step country twang. ‘LA Days’ speaks of her roots and ‘Sing for Me’, with an Irish tin whistle accompaniment, would go down a bomb in Dublin (the tune is a trad Irish air). ‘Old Boyfriends’ is a tale of revenge and ‘So Shoot Me’ is a lazy honky-tonk blues number. McGovern has presence, personality and charm, she is after all an Oscar nominated actress, and while the songs are endearingly personal she lacks the vocal heft to deliver any real emotional punch with this material and too often slides into flat notes. The songs are too studied for rock, too flippant for folk, and too self-aware for country which leaves this as an interesting musical byway from a talented and endearing star.

The American

James Andrews, Jane Austen, watercolor over pencil, 1869

Jane Austen Portrait Auction December 10

This small image is famous and familiar, yet it has seldom been seen in public. Now it is for sale, directly from the Austen Family. James Andrews’ watercolor portrait of Jane Austen, perhaps the best-loved novelist in the English language, has been reproduced many times. An engraving of it will appear on the new Bank of England £10 note from 2017, the author’s bicentenary. The portrait was commissioned by Austen’s nephew, Rev. James Edward Austen-Leigh in 1869 to accompany his biography of his aunt and based

32 December 2013

on the only confirmed lifetime portrait of Jane Austen, by her sister Cassandra. It has remained in the Austen family since it was painted but will be auctioned by Sotheby’s London as the centerpiece of their English Literature & History Sale, with an estimate of £150,000200,000. Sotheby’s Dr Gabriel Heaton said: “Seeing the most famous image of Jane Austen, for the first time, in a domestic sitting room was an astonishing experience. This delicate watercolor is so much more than a piece of literary portraiture: it is part of our cultural history... This is the most important likeness of Jane Austen ever likely to appear on the open market.”

Kara Walker

Camden Arts Centre, Arkwright Road, London NW3 6DG to January 5 then The Metropolitan Arts Centre, Belfast, to January 23 to April 27 “We at Camden Arts Centre are Exceedingly Proud to present an Exhibition of Capable Artworks by the Notable Hand of the Celebrated American, Kara Elizabeth Walker, Negress,” says the deliberately oldschool, provocative publicity for this important show. Kara Walker, Still from: Fall From Grace, Miss Pipi’s Blue Tale, 2011, Video (color, audio), 17 minutes

The American

The African-American artist, born in Stockton, California, raised in Atlanta, Georgia, and now working in New York City, works mainly in a form that is at once historic and of the minute, room-size tableaux of black cut-paper silhouettes and shadow works which critically explore America’s underlying racial and gender tensions. Themes of power, repression, violence, history and sexuality are dealt with beautifully - the craft is admirable - yet disturbingly. This, her first major solo show in Britain, fills CAC’s galleries with her cut-outs, and also large scale drawings, video and cut paper pieces which she will produce on-site.

Llareggub: Peter Blake illustrates Dylan Thomas’ Under Milk Wood National Museum Cardiff, Cathays Park, Cardiff CF10 3NP to March16

Launching Dylan Thomas 100, a year-long festival marking the centenary of the birth of the Welsh poet, this show is of new works by the pop artist Sir Peter Blake inspired by Thomas’ Under Milk Wood. It features over 200 watercolors, mixed-media collages, photographs that Blake took himself in the 1970s, and pencildrawn portraits of the characters that inhabit Llareggub [read it backwards], the setting for the radio play which was first performed in 1953. Blake continues to work on illustrating every character, dream, scene and location. He has always been fascinated by Under Milk Wood and says: “I still love it and still play a recording of it at least twice a week. I get new things all the time, even now.” There is a special evening lecture on December 4.

Captain Cat – one of the characters from Dylan Thomas’ Under Milk Wood, collage on paper © COURTESY OF SIR PETER BLAKE

Starring Vivien Leigh...

National Portrait Gallery, St Martin’s Place, London WC2H 0HE to July 20 A previously unseen, newly acquired photograph of Vivien Leigh and her husband Laurence Olivier, taken at the height of their celebrity status, is the highlight

of this exhibition. Starring Vivien Leigh: A Centenary Celebration, celebrates the centenary of her birth and tells the story of the career of the actress, focusing on her Oscar-winning role in the 1939 epic movie Gone With the Wind. She was awarded a second Oscar for the 1951 film production of A Streetcar Named Desire in which she starred as Blanche DuBois opposite Marlon Brando. Over 50 portraits of Leigh by leading photographers such as Bassano, Cecil Beaton, Clarence Sinclair Bull, Howard Coster, Angus McBean, Norman Parkinson, Laszlo Willinger and Madame Yevonde sit alongside magazine covers, vintage film stills and press books. The photograph, taken on May 31, 1949 by photojournalist Larry Burrows, shows Leigh and Olivier at a charity theatrical garden party at Roehampton Club, London. Leigh is speaking through a megaphone to a delighted crowd whilst Olivier is waving four small balls above his head, presumably to be used at a coconut shy. It is one of Burrows’ earliest photographs, taken while he worked for Life magazine’s London bureau. He went on to take some of the most memorable photographs of the Vietnam war, and died when his helicopter was shot down over Laos in 1971.

Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize

National Portrait Gallery, St Martin’s Place, London WC2H 0HE to February 9

Vivien Leigh and Laurence Olivier by Larry Burrows, 1949 © LARRY BURROWS COLLECTION 2013

Also at the NPG is this annual exhibition of the shortlisted entries for a major international photography award. It is a leading showcase for new talent in portrait photogra-

December 2013 33

The American

phy from around the globe. Sixty portraits were selected from 5,410 submissions and the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2013 has been awarded to Spencer Murphy, 35, for a photograph of jockey Katie Walsh. Murphy receives a prize of £4,000 and the John Kobal New Work Award, a commission to photograph a personality with the UK film industry. Last year’s winner Matthew Niederhauser was commissioned to photograph actress Andrea Riseborough, chosen by the Gallery for her outstanding contribution to British cinema and the range and depth of her characterisations in Birdman, Silent Storm with Damian Lewis, and HBO’s Money. Niederhauser took a BA in East Asian languages and cultures at Columbia University, New York and an MFA in arts theory and practice at the School of Visual Arts, New York. He lives in Beijing and documents aspects of Chinese life. He won the John Kobal NetWork Award in 2012 for his portrait of artist Ai Weiwei. Katie Walsh by Spencer Murphy © SPENCER MURPHY

Viviane Sassen : In and Out of Fashion

Scottish National Portrait Gallery, 1 Queen St, Edinburgh EH2 1JD to February 2

Self-portrait by Sir Anthony Van Dyck, 1640-1 © PHILIP MOULD & CO

Save Van Dyck’s Final Selfie The National Portrait Gallery (them again!) and the Art Fund launched an appeal November 25 to raise £12.5 million and secure the last self-portrait of Sir Anthony Van Dyck. The painting has been in a private British collection for nearly 400 years but has been sold to a private collector who now wishes to take it abroad (they’re not saying where). This is the only chance a UK museum or a gallery has of acquiring the masterpiece. The government has imposed a temporary, three month export bar to prevent it from being taken overseas so Brit-bound art lovers can help save a genuine old master for the nation. The portrait is on show at the Gallery. Donate online at www., give £5 by texting VanDyck to 70800, or send a check payable to the National Portrait Gallery to Save Van Dyck, Development Department, National Portrait Gallery, St Martin’s Place, London, WC2H 0HE. In bloom, 2011, for Dazed & Confused, by Viviane Sassen

34 December 2013

Dutch photographer Viviane Sassen brings her first retrospective exhibition to Edinburgh, its only UK showing. Sassen’s distinctive work straddles the line between fine art and fashion, often obscuring the model’s face, depicting the body as a sculptural form. In 2007 she was awarded the Dutch equivalent of the Turner Prize, the Prix de Rome, for her colorful, dreamlike photographs of Africa (where she has worked regularly since 2002). Her campaigns for fashion houses Carven, Stella McCartney, Miu Miu and M Missoni, and editorial commissions for magazines such as i-D and Dazed & Confused have transformed fashion photography. This show includes the best of her work in fashion from 1995 to 2012, bringing together prints, vitrine displays, notes, plans and magazines. In a special installation, 200 images are projected onto a mirror in the center of the exhibition.

The American


Palace Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue, London W1D 8AY Reviewed by Tim Baros Book by Roddy Doyle


irst it was a book. Then it was a movie. Now The Commitments is a West End show. At the illustrious and very central Palace Theatre, (former home to Les Misérables and Priscilla Queen of the Desert), The Commitments’ story is similar to the movie, but of course is confined to the stage. It is a very basic story at that: one man attempts to form a band, several characters audition, members are selected, various shows are performed, controversy erupts in the group when one member leaves, they form back together, and give one rousing performance at the end of the show. And that is pretty much it. Working from a barely-there book by Roddy Doyle, whose name is above the title, Jimmy (Denis Grindel, making his West End debut) is the impressario who gets the idea to form an all Irish band in 1980’s Dublin, a band to primarily sing soul music. He is lucky to find Deco (Killian Donnelly, who is

an amazing singer), and then the rest of the members fall into place, including motorcycle-riding ladies man Joey (a very witty and perfectly cast Ben Fox). With great sets, including a two-story tenement house, good visuals (supermarket/launderette and Miami Vice Club signs, as well as the requisite strobe lighting effects), a young and energetic cast successfully sings soul music to the audience. Songs such as ‘Papa Was a Rolling Stone’, ‘Knock on Wood’, and ‘(I can’t get no) Satisfaction’ are brought back to life on stage. But it is when Donnelly opens up his mouth and sings, the audience sits up and takes notice - they are mesmerized. He has a voice so unique and soulful that even when he is eating chips whilst singing at the same time it still sounds incredible. When Donnelly sings ‘I’m a Midnight Mover’, you wish that the show was all about him and him alone. Donnelly, whose previous theater credits include Billy Elliot,

Phantom of the Opera, and playing Combeferre in the Les Mis film, is the true star of the show. While Grindel does a fine job in his debut, The Commitments belongs to Donnelly. While the back up trio of female singers are quite good and pretty and bubbly, no one else, including Donnelly, in the band of 10, do we really get to know. The cast is too big. And this is the problem with The Commitments - it has a weak storyline, some jokes that fall flat, and thinly drawn characters. And we have all seen it done before - the cast orders the audience to get on their feet at the end of the show for the last two numbers. A ploy for a sure thing standing ovation? Probably. It’s a gimmick that is all too common in the Jukebox style musicals now playing in the West End (The Bodyguard, Flashdance, even the dreadful Viva Forever!). Is The Commitments recommended? Yes, purely to enjoy the absolutely amazing, soulful voice of Killian Donnelly.

December 2013 35

The American

Dame Edna full of Eastern Promise (left) Cultural attaché Sir Les Patterson, master of cultural relations (below right) PHOTOS ©ALASTAIR MUIR

London Palladium, Argyll St, W1 to January 5 Reviewed by Jarlath O’Connell


t’s been 15 years since Dame Edna Everage last graced the West End stage but the mauve wig and harlequin diamante glasses are back for a farewell tour (do we believe it?). The Palladium is, of course, the high temple of variety and makes a perfect home for her, being both grand and lowbrow at the same time. We don’t get to see Edna until the second act as the first half is devoted to the scurrilous slob Sir Les Patterson, now a TV celebrity cook, and we’re introduced too to Les’s rather camp clergyman brother, Gerald, who sports a glitzy electronic tag on his ankle, which sets off an alarm whenever he gets too close to pretty boys. In a country beset by one scandal after another involving our late and unlamented stars of light entertainment, this is daring stuff, but it typifies Humphries’ particular brand of satirical bravado. Dame Edna has always been far more subversive than any fringe comedian precisely because she was on primetime, mainstream TV. Edna’s obsession with what Grayson Perry so aptly calls “the vanity of small differences” typifies that gnawing envy of the suburban housewife and a world where “you’re no better than you should be”. Like the best comics Hum-

36 December 2013

The American

EAT PRAY LAUGH! – Barry Humphries’ Farewell Tour

phries, now amazingly 78, realised that if you’re going to be serious you’d better be entertaining first. The gales of laughter filling the Palladium prove he’s not lost any of his magic touch. “Have your manners completely deserted you” Edna chides her audience, who are in bits chuckling at some slightly malign dig at her victim’s lifestyle, and this sums up the approach. Humphries relishes the opportunity in this show to send up the preening piousness of new age mumbo jumbo, which has addled so many celebrity brains. Edna describes her ashram experience as a “spiritual watershed” awakening her to the dangers of the cult of celebrity. As if. “I needed to learn to love me and I succeeded beyond my wildest dreams”, she cries. What makes this even funnier of course is how Edna never reconciles this pose with her disdain for the “Niagara of nonentities” up in the cheap seats, whom she vows to look up at, only in strict proportion to how much they paid for their seats. What keeps the show fresh every night is the audience participation as Edna works wonders with whatever is presented. On opening night a chirpy young man and a more mature lady, whom she decided were psychically linked,

were married in a cod Punjabi ceremony, after which she ‘phoned up the guy’s wife to tell her. None of this is new but you do marvel at Humphries’ genius in handling it. Only he would have the audacity too to invite people up on stage and leave them there, preparing a barbecue no less, while he pops off for a costume change. We also get a monologue from Sandy, the elderly care home resident, about his daughter’s death and the heartlessness of the ‘Senior Wellness Technicians’ who are meant to be looking after him. He floats off into ‘My Blue Heaven,’ providing a poignant and welcome

respite from the mayhem of act one. Four lively dancers, and even a gymnast, ably assist Humphries, and the costumes and sets could grace a panto stage, but they’re not why we’re there. Instead, it’s to marvel at the ability of one man to conjure up whole worlds and to string together comic gems using whatever is put in front of him. It’s a supreme art and Humphries is an exemplar. After the Palladium the show tours to Newcastle, Southampton, Norwich, Glasgow, Bristol, Leeds and Manchester. www.

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The American

Billy Stritch I’ve Got Your Number – The Jazz of Cy Coleman The Crazy Coqs, Brasserie Zedel, 20 Sherwood St, London W1F 7ED Reviewed by Jarlath O’Connell


highlight of the inaugural London Festival of Cabaret, which ran at a number of venues from October 13 to November 17, must be this rare visit by Billy Stritch, the stylish and talented star of the New York jazz and cabaret scene. No relation of Elaine, and perhaps most famous as the MD and accompanist to Liza Minnelli for some years now, Stritch gets the microphone to himself here and plays a mean jazz piano, while taking us on a tour of the less familiar byways of the work of the great Cy Coleman. Coleman is most famous as the composer of shows such as Sweet Charity, Barnum, and City of Angels, but here Stritch, for the most part, eschews the show tunes in favour of the jazz nu mbers which Coleman wrote for the popular music giants of the day and which demonstrated his consummate skill as a tunesmith. The much under rated Carolyn Leigh provided the lyrics to most of these songs. Tart, clever and urbane and with a delight for triple rhymes and clever wordplay, she was a New Yorker

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cartoon come to life. Stritch, now in his 50s, and no longer the eager young sidekick to divas like Minnelli, is the perfect exemplar of this music. He is a class act and his set, which includes such standards such as ‘Witchcraft’ and ‘When In Rome’, perfectly evokes that brandy ‘n cigarettes era of the late 50s-early 60s. This Mad Men world, of course, fits the Crazy Coqs like a glove. Like the best cabaret artists he’s an eager enthusiast for his material, especially the lesser known songs (‘It Amazes Me’ is his all time favorite). What sets him apart is his simplicity of approach, serving the song and not his ego and backing it up with a polished technique refined over the decades. His voice has great power and his diction would please his idol Bobby Short. Like Coleman he too was gainfully employed as a pianist from a young age and with his effortless playing (ably abetted by Dave Olney on bass) he makes songs like ‘I’m Gonna Laugh You Right Out of My Life’ or ‘Let Me Down Easy’

ache with a tender melancholy. By contrast, ‘Paris Is My Old Kentucky Home’, could be a Cole Porter list song and the lyrics for the languid ballad ‘I’m in Love Again’, could only have come from the pen of Miss Peggy Lee. Coleman’s Broadway career extended to the 90s and his unfairly neglected show The Life provided the great up-tempo number (for a hustler, no less), ‘Use What You Got’ which soars here thanks to Stritch’s virtuoso arrangement. It’s a carefully selected and compelling programme from someone at the top of his game. His ease, his craft, his way with an audience and his sheer good taste make this an object lesson in what good Cabaret should be about. Billy Stritch was at Crazy Coqs as part of the London Festival of Cabaret, They’re running the next Festival in May, so check for details nearer the time, but you can continue to enjoy a host of artists at Crazy Coqs. Check out

The American

Young Vic, The Cut, London SE1 8LZ to December 21 Box Office: 020 7922 2922 By John Kander & Fred Ebb Reviewed by Lucy Perceval


lever, challenging, and controversial, Kander & Ebb’s 12-time Tony-nominated The Scottsboro Boys employs and subverts minstrel style satire to dramatise the story of a notorious abuse of justice in Depression-era Alabama. By turns comic and tragic, the musical tells the tale of nine AfricanAmericans, aged 13 to 19, who were convicted and sentenced to death for a crime they didn’t commit. From deprived backgrounds and travelling in search of work, the youngsters who became known as The Scottsboro Boys hopped a Southern Railroad freight train and were arrested after a fight with a group of white youths. Following false accusations by two young white women on the train (also hoboing, and keen to avoid arrest), the nine were charged with rape. In a case sometimes referred to as ‘The Alabama Frame-up’, the youngsters were initially denied the right to counsel, judged by all– white juries and, despite the admission from one of the alleged victims that she had falsely testified and

the best efforts of a talented New York lawyer, the trials continued, the boys remained on death row, and opinion in the nation was divided. John Kander and Fred Ebb are famous for their musical treatments of complex historical subjects: a corrupt Prohibition-era criminal justice system in Chicago, and the rise of Nazism in Germany in Cabaret. This production is directed and choreographed by Susan Stroman (celebrated for her revival of The Producers). When it debuted on Broadway a controversy arose as some commentators misunderstood the use of, and upending of, the conventions of the notoriously racist minstrel shows. Early 20th century minstrel shows featured performers wearing blackface in comic skits, variety acts, dancing and music that lampooned blacks as dim-witted, buffoonish and perpetually smiling. In The Scottsboro Boys, black actors, some from the Broadway production, perform the roles of both the black and the white characters, all the while, through the harrowing events,


enjoined by a white emcee (Julian Glover), to “Keep smiling boys, keep smiling!”. Minstrelsy lost popularity as the civil rights movement gained momentum, and as the play draws to its conclusion the performers refuse to enact the slapstick, jiving “cake walk,” and finally, as the show ends, they all remove their blackface make-up. Colman Domingo and Forrest McClendon (above, l-r) excel, both of them playing multiple roles, alternately vicious and cartoonish (and both recently interviewed by The American). The accused Haywood Patterson is played impressively here by Kyle Scatliffe, Idriss Kargbo hits the right emotional pitch as the youngest accused (Eugene Williams), and Christian Dante White (Charles Weems) and James T Lane (Ozie Powell), are entertaining when they double up as the alleged victims Victoria Price and Ruby Bates. Unsettling viewing at times, there’s no denying that this is a brilliant conceit.

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The American

TWELVE ANGRY MEN Garrick Theatre, London W1 By Reginald Rose. Reviewed by Tim Baros.


doesn’t believe all of the testimony. Juror 3 (Jeff Fahey) believes all the testimony (which takes place before the play begins) and absolutely believes the young man is guilty. Both of them try to convince the other ten to take sides. Juror 9 (Robert Vaughn), the oldest of the group, is the most sensible. The Foreman (a very good Luke Shaw), attempts to maintain order despite the tempers of Jurors 8 and 3. One of the jurors wants a quick verdict as he has a baseball game to go to, while another (Edward Franklin) is young and impressionable, from a violent slum, and easily swayed. Originally produced as a play for television, the 1957 movie version of Twelve Angry Men starred Hollywood heavyweights Henry Fonda, Martin Balsam, Jack Klugman, and Jack Warden and garnered excellent reviews. Its first stage production was in London in 1964. It returned to the UK in 1997, at Bristol’s Old Vic Theatre, with Harold Pinter directing. Its Broadway debut was in 2004. This new production is riveting PHOTO ROBERT DAY

s he guilty or is he innocent? That is the question. Twelve jurors locked in a hot, musty room in a New York City courthouse in the summer of 1954 decide the fate of a 16-year old who allegedly murdered his father. The case for a guilty verdict appears crystal clear: the young man says he was at the movies at the time of his father’s killing but doesn’t remember the film or the actors, and no one at the cinema remembers seeing him that night. The elderly neighbor upstairs testifies that he heard someone say ‘I am going to kill you’ and immediately heard a body falling to the floor. The neighbor across the street testifies that she saw the young man through the window kill his father. At the same time, an elevated subway train was roaring through the neighborhood. The twelve men need to decide: innocent or guilty. The results of their first vote is 11 guilty, 1 innocent. Juror 8 (Martin Shaw), completely believes the young man is innocent, he just

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and dramatic, but also predictable and dated. Having watched it before, I knew how it was going to end. No matter how much time each juror is given to speak, what they say, and how they react, are unsurprising and we don’t get to know the characters as there are too many of them. For the most part the acting is very good. Shaw is excellent in his role as the conscientious voice, and Fahey is almost as good as his opponent. Martin Turner (Juror 11, a European watchmaker,) is also one of the standouts. However, Miles Richardson (Juror 10) has the most grating New York accent I have ever heard on stage. Paul Antony-Barber looked like he was struggling on the night I saw it, barely able to spit out his words. Vaughn had to be helped by the other actors with some of his lines. And Jason Riddington is underused as the guard. Some of the acting is forced, and throughout the show some of the actors have their backs to us, and a layout of the elderly neighbors upstairs flat could not be seen by half of the audience. Twelve Angry Men is too dated for today’s West End, and if I were on the jury, I would convict this play to life in prison, never to be seen again.

The American

FROM HERE TO ETERNITY Shaftesbury Theatre, London Reviewed by Jarlath O’Connell


n original musical hitting the West End cold is to be cheered in this age of lazy jukebox shows. But while every aspect of this production is top notch, one does come away asking - why this material? James Jones’ 800 page novel about life in a US Army Base in Hawaii in the run up to Pearl Harbor is much admired and in 1953, only two years after publication, it became a smash hit multi Oscar winning movie. Remember Deborah Kerr and Burt Lancaster rolling in that surf? A tale exploring the darker side of the US military and its institutional sadism is admittedly odd material for a musical. The novel’s resonance for a tired post-war generation no longer applies. Then, the piece provided an antidote to the romantic evocations of WWII, which predominated in popular culture. In turning it into a musical for now, Bill Oakes’ book can’t avoid drowning in exposition, although mercifully, it is not sung through, so we’re not in recitative torment. The story tells of the intertwined fortunes of three soldiers. Robert E Lee Prewitt (Robert Lonsdale) is a bugler who refuses to bugle and more importantly a boxer who refuses to box, having blinded



someone in a previous fight. For this he gets the “the treatment”, a sadistic daily hazing. He has an affair with Lorene (Siubhan Harrison) who, here, is clearly a sex worker. This is one example of how the book updates the racier elements (gay sex and STDs) which didn’t survive the censors in the early versions. Then there is Milt Warden (Darius Campbell) another outsider who begins an affair Karen (Rebecca Thornhill), who is locked in marital hell with the Captain. Warden refuses her entreaties to get a promotion and hot tail it out of there with her. Finally, there is the short and fiery American-Italian Angelo Maggio (Ryan Sampson), who suffers grisly punishments, mainly for being short and Italian. It all adds up to long tale of woe with few likable characters. Musically too many of the songs are “how I feel” numbers, which don’t advance the plot or the emotional line. Stuart Brayson’s music is very tuneful and he is well served by Tim Rice’s lyrics, but stylistically the score goes off in too many directions at once, from Hawaiian ukuleles, to military brass, to mouth organ blues and bizarrely to guitar driven folk-pop numbers which wouldn’t be out of place on


Based on the novel by James Jones Lyrics by Tim Rice, Music by Stuart Brayson Book by Bill Oakes X Factor. They all have musical heft in their own right but they don’t help this sprawling piece to cohere. There is a misfiring too in how the period dialogue is handled. What should be tart and dry, comes across, fatally, as insincere. Nobody has a darker, more treacly, baritone than Darius but he’s awkward here which is something, considering he is built like a Redwood with matinee idol looks. Thornhill too is wooden in a role where she has little to do but bemoan her fate. The women come out badly as the real focus is on the barracks and here what lifts it most is Javier de Frutos’ standout choreography, which turns military drilling into a sort of muscular visual poetry. Lonsdale and Sampson both give full-blooded performances and are one’s to watch out for. Soutra Gilmour’s designs are an object lesson in simplicity and ingenuity trumping grandeur and excess and Tamara Harvey is to be praised for the way she’s harnessed all the elements. In the end though they’re all rather let down by a project that has overshot its reach.

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The American

Patrick McGuire The Cirque du Soleil star is bringing the troupe’s classic show, Quidam, to the Royal Albert Hall (booking now, January 4 to February 16). The American catches up with him for a chat


uggler extraordinaire Patrick McGuire is heading to the UK in the New Year with the brilliant Cirque du Soleil. We talked to him on tour in Germany where, it transpires, he was born. “I was a military brat. My father was in the Army, on the GI Bill to get money to go to college, based near Kaiserslautern. When I was one, we went back to the States and I grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. We moved out west, then back to Philadelphia. After that I started performing professionally with the circus.” The classic escape fantasy is to run away with the circus. Patrick actually did it. He was an early starter, picking up his first juggling balls at age twelve and taking it seriously from fourteen after he went to a juggling festival in Baltimore, Maryland. After a week there he joined a juggling club at Carnegie Mellon U. near Pittsburgh and went twice a week for six hours. In between? Juggling! Preinternet, seeing more experienced jugglers at the club was Patrick’s main inspiration. Regional juggling festivals followed, showing what he’d learned, then he went to the International Jugglers Association Festival, which is held in a different North American city each year. After only two years of taking his hobby seriously he entered the Junior National Juggling Championships, and won. Ah, that word... for most people

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juggling would be a hobby. What made Patrick take it beyond that? “I’d taught myself from a book called Juggling For The Complete Klutz. I learned some tricks and thought I was pretty good, then I went to that first festival. It really floored me, what juggling could become. You can’t get good at it unless you put the hours in. Before that I was drumming in a band as well, but then juggling just grabbed me.” In 1993 Patrick was approached by Michael Moschen, who had been asked by Cirque du Soleil to create an original manipulation piece for their first theater show, Mystère, at the Treasure Island Hotel in Las Vegas. Moschen was looking for a young juggler who he could mold, but who could also help create the piece. They had to be at least 6 feet tall, and have experience balancing and rolling balls on their head. Patrick ticked all the boxes. He was still in senior year at high school when Moschen called. “It was pretty far out. Michael was an idol of mine, he’d just done a PBS special and won a MacArthur Foundation ‘Genius’ grant - they seek out creative people in different fields and give them money, $250,000 at the time. I sent him a video tape showing some of the techniques I’d learned, then he invited me to meet him in New York and check out the apparatus he was working on. My mother and I went,

we got along well, and he chose me. Two weeks after I graduated high school I was in Montreal working on the show. After six months rehearsal I performed in Mystère for two years in Las Vegas. Then we changed the show around and put our act into a new show, Quidam, which I toured for three years across North America, until the end of 1998.” It all sounds logical and natural, but ditching college and going off with the circus were big decisions for a young man - to say nothing of living in Las Vegas. Did he succumb to the temptations of that modern Babylon? “It was actually a tough period - I was 18, under age, living in Vegas. I didn’t have a car, just a bicycle. I was this skinny kid surrounded by ex-Olympic gymnasts. And juggling takes a lot of focus, and I was so very disciplined. It was a weird time for me. Leaving Las Vegas and going on the road was liberating. I bought a motorcycle [currently motorcycle-free, Patrick’s new passion is driving his Lotus sports car on track]. We went from city to city with the big top, staying around three months in each place. Arena tours, like now with Quidam, are different, we only have a week in each place but we do get two days off to see the sights. In North America you can be in ‘car country’, you’re in the middle of nowhere and the most exciting thing around might be a Walmart. It’s wonderful being here in Europe, with all the

The American

Patrick McGuire showing his dexterity (Costumes by Dominique Lemieux) PHOTO MATT BEARD

history, and the public transportation. And my girlfriend and I have Brompton folding bicycles and we get around. She’s in the show too, she performs an aerial hoop act.” That sounds like the perfect way to combine a personal life with the circus. Patrick’s American home is now in Portland, Oregon, but it’s rented out when he’s on tour - pretty much all the time. After performing in Quidam “about a thousand times” Patrick left Cirque du Soleil for eight years to get a different experience, in his own show and with other stage partners. Then he came back to the family, on a temporary basis at first to play the Papa character in Quidam, as well as his manipulation and juggling acts. Does Patrick enjoy performing in front of an audience more than practising alone? “They’re very different things,” he says. “When you’re on a stage, it’s a communication. You have to make the audience care about what you’re doing, not just be technically good. It’s a story.” Finally, what’s the best thing about being Patrick McGuire? “Ah ha! God, I don’t know... that’s a loaded question... I think I’m very fortunate being able to make a living in what I was so passionate about as a kid. Most people get roped into doing something they never dreamed of doing. But I’ve realized my dreams, and I’m still doing it.”

December 2013 43

The American

Sir Richard Eyre is directing the new Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, Stephen Ward. Based on a British political scandal of the Swinging Sixties, it still excites British and Americans alike. It was also the inspiration for Scandal, a feature film, and a new play, Keeler. He tells The American what makes Stephen Ward such a relevant story for today.



or someone so richly involved in the British and American theater, television and movie scene, there is surprisingly little acting background in Sir Richard Eyre’s family. His maternal grandmother was an actress until she married in her late twenties... and that’s it. Sir Richard’s parents had, he told me, “absolutely no interest in the theatre, or music, and we grew up miles from anywhere so I never went to the theatre as a child. I’d seen the Crazy Gang [a British comedy group of the 1930s, ‘40s and ‘50s] but the first play I saw was when I was over fifteen. It was at the Bristol Old Vic Hamlet, with Peter O’Toole.” What a show to have as your first theater-going experience! Most of The American‘s theatrical interviewees are, unsurprisingly, ‘Yanks’ coming over here to work in the West End. Richard is equally Transatlantic, but going the opposite direction. Next year he will spend at least three months in New York directing two productions at the Met - Massenet’s Werther which opens mid-February and The Marriage of Figaro in September - and

44 December 2013

reviving his own production of Bizet’s Carmen. He has been going to the States since the early 1970s, mostly in New York but he gets out of the metropolis too, having traveled through half the States. There cannot be anyone better qualified to talk about the differences between British and American actors and audiences. “I love working with American actors in New York,” he says, “because they have such an appetite for it. You could argue that British actors are spoilt, because it’s possible, if you live in London, to have a good career dividing yourself between good theatre and good TV drama. You don’t have to make the choice that you do in the States between East Coast and West Coast. That’s why the New York theatre community is very much a community. People who have common interests, and have made a common choice, which is to work in the theatre rather than in TV and movies.” Sir Richard has, of course, done all that and more. He was a director of the UK’s National Theatre,

whose current 50th anniversary celebrations he is heavily involved with. Does he still feel part of the ‘National family’? “Oh, very much so! In fact I have a production of a Pirandello play running there at the moment.” Musicals have featured too, both sides of the pond, including Guys and Dolls and Mary Poppins. And his next big project in London is Stephen Ward, the new Andrew Lloyd Webber musical. “I’ve known Andrew for a very long time and we’ve often discussed the possibility of working together. We’ve come very close to it, but for various reasons we haven’t. I really wanted to do this, and I’m very happy to say that Andrew wanted me to do it.” Other old friends of Richard’s are involved too: Christopher Hampton, who has written the book, Stephen Mear, who’s done the choreography, and a lot of the actors. Although he hasn’t worked with Don Black, the veteran lyricist, before. The subject, the Profumo affair of the 1960s, is at first sight a very British event. But the specific often

The American Right: July 30th,1963: Society osteopath and key figure in the Profumo affair, Dr Stephen Ward, “a scapegoat” on trial for living off immoral earnings. PHOTO AUBREY HART/EVENING STANDARD/GETTY IMAGES

Below right (from left): Charlotte Spencer as Christine Keeler, Alexander Hanson as Stephen Ward and Charlotte Blackledge as Mandy Rice Davies in the new musical PHOTO SIMON TURTLE

has more to say than the general. “It does,” he agrees, “but if you think, corruption in the politics, the press and the police, if that’s not topical, what is? And I would be surprised if it doesn’t have an international appeal. It’s virtue is that it’s not globalised, it’s about very specific incidents, and that’s what makes it very vivid.” Interestingly, the show does not focus on the politician at the center of the scandal, John Profumo, Conservative Minister for War, or the two ‘good time girls’ who featured in it, or the Russian military attaché/ spy with whom Profumo shared the attentions of Christine Keeler, one of the girls. Instead it is focused on Stephen Ward, a society osteopath, who seemed a peripheral figure. “He’s peripheral in a sense, except he was dragged to the epicenter. There’s absolutely no doubt that he was made the scapegoat. The politicians, police and press picked him to be that and his trial was a contrived and total miscarriage of justice.” It’s a serious subject. How have its creators made an entertainment from it? “The show is often simultaneously serious, sexy and funny. And very touching from time to time. I think by implication it says a lot about today’s political scene.

There are resonances with the press, the police and the politicians, and the way in which they get wrapped up together. We’re seeing the unwrapping of that in the phone hacking cases that have just come to trial. I was about twenty when the Profumo affair broke out. I have vivid memories of it, and they aren’t of shock and horror. I’d have to say my principal memories are of two very, very attractive young women, who were my age. Stephen Ward seemed to me a rather attractive figure who could have come out of Fellini’s La Dolce Vita, which I’d just seen. The politicians all seemed to me, to a man - and they were all men - to be absurd, bombastic and corrupt figures. And the lawyers were from another century altogether. That was a twenty year old’s view. It felt like we were looking through a thick pane of glass at a society we couldn’t connect with at all - the old world. Stephen Ward was on the cusp of the two worlds.”

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Christmas at the

American Museum 28 NoveMber – 22 DeCeMber 2013

A NOVEL ABOUT THE STUDY OF HISTORY CAN YOU REALLY REVISIT AND REWRITE THE PAST? Written by American expat Darren Kilfara available as a Paperback, Kindle or ePub book Claverton Manor, Bath Contact: 01225 460503

Free to Read in Print or On Screen Every issue of the magazine now available online... IN PRINT: Pick a copy up from (among other places):  The US Embassy in London and US Consulates  The United/Continental and Virgin clubhouses at Heathrow  Hotels around the UK  The American Museum in Britain (near Bath)  Automat American Brasserie, Dover Street, Mayfair, London  Sports Bar & Grill Marylebone and Victoria  All the organizations listed in back of the magazine, and USAFE bases  Get a copy delivered to your home or workplace, the only thing we’ll ask you to pay for is the post and packing – call us on +44 (0)1747 830520. ON SCREEN: Read The American on your mobile device or computer at – Click on the front cover image for the current issue, or on the MAGAZINE tab where you can read back issues too.

The inspirational story of the extraordinary women who risked their lives ferrying warplanes during WWII. Written by long-term American expat in Britain, broadcaster, columnist and writer Carol Gould. Published by Arrow Books Ltd Audiobook published by Isis Publishing

Chr i stm as pi cks

The American


Paris / London / Los Angeles / New York: Portrait of a City Various authors Taschen. Flexicover, 192 pages, £6.99 ISBN: 9783836532167 / 9783836545150 Not all Taschen art books are designed to challenge the stability of your coffee table. The latest make perfect stocking fillers for Christmas. A centimeter thick and less than seven inches tall, the Portrait Of A City ‘piccolo’ series are ideal for popping in a seasonal parcel to send back home, especially with London and Paris joining Los Angeles and New York in the range. In each case, these are cut-downs of the larger 500+ page hardcover versions (£44.99) previously published by Taschen, but manage to feel uncompromized, satisfying in the hand, still with great vintage photography, lyrical quotes, and captions in English, French and German. It’s uplifting to find books this good at this price. – Richard L Gale

The Mormons Edited by Roy A Prete Merrell Publishers hardback, 160 pages, £24.95 ISBN 978-1-8589-4620-7 The first thing I wondered when I saw this book was whether it would be a celebration or an exposé. Actually, it’s exactly what its subtitle claims it is: An Illustrated History of the Church of Jesus Christ of LatterDay Saints, with all the attractive architecture, locations and people

you’d expect. Chapters cover the Church’s additional scriptures, Joseph Smith, Salt Lake City, and explanations of the Mormon world mission, plus a pictorial who’s who of ‘Mormons Who Have Made a Difference’ including the Osmonds, footballer Steve Young, Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman (Jr and Sr), the Marriott hotel tycoons and others. The book seems a fine volume for the shelves of a high school library’s Religious Studies section, but it’s easy-going fare. Given its unofficial status (though clearly with the assistance of the Church), a myth-busting section on common controversies might have given it a little more bite. – Elena Erickson

Mapping the New World By Anne Armitage & Laura Beresford Scala Arts & Heritage Publishers softback, 128 pages, £19.95/$35.00 ISBN 978-1-85759-822-3 This gorgeous tome charts the changing shape of the Americas as Renaissance cartographers drew on Ancient and medieval sources and gradually learnt more about the New World. Dr Dallas Pratt, co-founder of the American Museum in Britain, gave the Museum his collection of over two hundred of the finest

Renaissance maps of the New World, and over fifty are examined in detail here, replete with fantastical sea monsters. They range from a C5th map depicting gravity and the orbits of the planets to the first printed map of a North American city, St Augustine, Florida, 1589. In this iPad age, I wanted to zoom into the detail of the maps, then remembered my magnifying glass! A fascinating coffee table book to dip into, and a perfect present, recommended. – Sabrina Sully

Discover New York by Helen Worden Facsimile edition by Old House Books paperback, 128 pages, $14.95/£10

ISBN 9781908402653

Just republished on its 70th anniversary, this authentic facsimile edition of 1943’s Discover New York is a fascinating guided tour of New York City in its Golden Age: glamorous, legendary nightclubs like The Stork Club and El Morocco to glitzy art deco penthouse apartments and shopping expeditions with shopping trolleys. Nostalgic advertisements bring each chapter alive with handsome artwork and lavish descriptions of the products (and prices!) of bygone days. A perfect stocking filler. – Michael Burland

December 2013 47

The American

Tuscany by Silver Spoon Kitchen Phaidon Press hardback, 272 pages, £24.95 ISBN 978-0-7148-6078-7

I’ve had this cookbook for a while, and thought it worth a recommendation. Beatifully produced, it not only brings back happy memories, but has some wonderful authentic recipes from Tuscany, from hearty soups, to slow cooked meat dishes. The Biscotti have become a family favorite, they’re so easy, but everything is clearly explained. With 150 photographs, it also provides an insight into traditional Tuscan ways of life, the development of the culinary traditions, and guides for where to find the very best authentic ingredients. Recommended. - Jeanne Oliver

Wild Tales Graham Nash Viking, 368 pages, £25 ISBN 978-0241003411 The N in CSN&Y has written a memoir, a straightforward tale of a rock and roll life. It’s an entertaining yarn, leading from schooldays harmonising with a pal to superstardom and an excessive life in the LA canyons, illustrated by Nash’s own photos. Best known for his work with Crosby, Stills and, occasionally, Young, many don’t know Nash was raised in Salford, a slum in the north of England. The family was poor, his clothes at

48 December 2013

best second hand, but music was his way out. Pop success came with a string of hits for his pop group, The Hollies. Yet after meeting Joni Mitchell, he threw it all away to try his luck in California. He fell in love with Joni, the West Coast life, drugs, and, after a magical first meeting, three-part harmonising with David Crosby and Stephen Stills. Nash gets a few moans off his chest (Neil Young’s self-centered-ness and NRA members...) but through it all, music is the thing. It’s his life, and it enabled a poor Northern boy - albeit one who could write sublime songs like ‘Teach Your Children’ and ‘Our House’ - to achieve the American dream. - Michael Burland

By U.S. Bonds Gary U.S. Bonds with Stephen Cooper Wheatley Press, Hardcover, 328 pages, £18.65, ISBN-13 978-0988706316

Soul singer Bonds describes his book, charmingly, as “a small story about rock ‘n’ roll.” It’s another account of how a poor boy (this time from Jacksonville, Florida) grew from singing for fun and a few pennies with his harmony group (in his case, The Turks) to stardom and legendary status. But Bonds’ journey has been a longer, harder, bumpier one than Nash’s. He meets the likes of Sam Cooke and B.B. King, who support the youngster and encourage him to overcome his never-ending challenges (the British Invasion of the 1960s torpedoing early success, rip-offs etc.) His current career high has been helped

by friend and former fan Steven Van Zandt and his boss, Bruce Springsteen. But as important as the stars are Big Mama and Little Mama, his wife and daughter. This book won’t change your life, but it’s an engaging read, written by a warm and engaging man. - Michael Burland

Hugh Hefner’s Playboy Taschen, Hardcover with 25 fold-outs, 6 volumes in box, 1910 pages, £99.99 (original limited edition £900) ISBN 978-3-8365-3087-3 Playboy is 60 years old, and must be the only ‘gentlemen’s magazine’ to celebrate a diamond anniversary. It has a right to. ‘Hef’ has overseen a simple illustrated autobiography with highlights from his creation’s first 25 years (1953 to 1979). It includes his own descriptions of his personal life from his cartoon-drawing childhood onward, including personal memorabilia, correspondence and behind-the-scenes photos, as well as his career. Playboy, of course, was always about more than nudes. It published some of the best contemporary writing, especially in its ‘60s to ‘70s heyday, by the likes of Gore Vidal, Norman Mailer, Ian Fleming and Ray Bradbury on all manner of topics. It had incisive, in-depth interviews, including two with Fidel Castro. It provided American (and other) men with a template of how a man should live... even if few actually did. Examples of all this can be found in this quality production. But don’t worry guys, the girls are here in force too. - Michael Burland

The American

Vintage Adventurers’ Epic Fail

DRIVE TIME Chevrolet Unveiled... in Switzerland



cean to Ocean Challenge America, Australian adventurers Rod Wade and Michael Flanders’ epic attempt to set a new record driving across the USA from ocean to ocean, has been foiled by equipment failure. They needed to complete the 2,947 mile drive in under 60 hours. Wade’s 1930 Ford Model A, known as the ‘Tudor Rose’, is a veteran of the Peking to Paris Rally. On Columbus Day, October 14, they set off from New York. They suffered overheating problems but made up time driving through the night and reached the Route 66

Parkway at first light. They passed Oklahoma City and drove on to Amarillo but the Ford’s crankshaft cracked and split putting an end to the challenge. The record attempt was over… or was it? They quoted Thomas Edison: “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” The venture aims to raise funds for the American Kidney Fund. Rod Wade’s wife and daughter are both affected by kidney disease.

Darkness On The Edge Of Town

Winter is upon us, so it’s time for some advice on driving in the dark on the motorway (or freeway). Here are some tips from road safety charity the IAM to make your drive as safe as possible: Keep your lights and windscreen (inside as well as the exterior) clean. Use main beam to maximise the distance which you can see ahead. Dip your lights to avoid dazzling the oncoming traffic. Turn off interior lights and dim the dashboard if possible. Increased stopping distances, especially if the roads are slippery. Caffeine alone is not a fix for tiredness. Open your window to let some cool fresh air. Take a break, maybe have a 20 minute nap in a safe location. Motorway driving can be monotonous, so share the driving if possible. Look at how the traffic in front behaves for clues to possible problems you can’t see yet, especially brake lights up ahead. If you break down, pull over on to the hard shoulder (the lane to the left of the main freeway) and stop as far to the left as you can, pointing your wheels in towards the kerb. Then leave your vehicle and stand behind a crash barrier if there is one. The IAM’s website,, features traffic updates, weather forecasts and tips on how to drive safely in winter.

sculpture honoring Louis Chevrolet has been unveiled in the automotive pioneer’s native city, La Chaux-de-Fonds, an important Swiss watchmaking center, a UNESCO world heritage site and the birthplace of architect and designer Le Corbusier. The sculpture’s exterior consists of 71 sheets of mirror-polished stainless steel, wrapped tightly around a framework of metal rods and beams. Created by Geneva-based artist Christian Gonzenbach, it is the largest of its kind in Switzerland, with a height of over 16 feet and a weight of 8 tons. Gonzenbach said: “I am thrilled to have had the opportunity to work on such a scale, and the pioneering spirit of Louis Chevrolet truly motivated me. Louis Chevrolet designed innovative cars and engines and won many races. Suddenly, the impossible seemed entirely possible.“

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The American

Gunnin’ for that number one spot! Natimi Black-Heaven takes a close look at the new college basketball season’s extraordinary talent


ow that the basketball universe has had a chance to check out the insanely talented class of this season’s college basketball freshman, it’s time to take a deeper look at the two guys that have had the most hype surrounding them coming into the season; Jabari Parker, 6’8 220lbs Forward of Duke and Andrew Wiggins 6’7 205lbs Forward of Kansas. If you’ve seen any of Wiggins’ high school career highlights, I’m sure you’ll agree that this guy is an athletic freak of nature. His dominant high school performances secured him the top spot on ESPN’s 2013 top 100 recruits. He has a complete package and all the tools necessary to be an elite athlete not only on the college scene, but on a professional level as well. He possesses high perimeter skills, including the ability shoot a three point shot, a dribble pull up game and the type of explosiveness that allows him to jump, hang, take contact, control his body and still dunk it right on the defender. Now who does that remind you of? LeBron? Well, maybe not now but a lot of folks around the world including some of the top NBA analysts are saying he just might be the next chosen one. Over in North Carolina awaits the other young man, Jabari Parker. Some even say that Jabari is the unsung number 1 college prospect. It was widely noted that going into

50 December 2013

Parker’s senior year in high school he was injured and out of shape, which is what allowed Wiggins to burst onto the scene and overtake Parker in the rankings. However, the game has now changed and this guy is just as good as Wiggins. He’s a scoring machine that hardly ever takes bad shots and currently leads Duke in scoring with over 20 points per game. Parker has the ability to tear apart defensive rotations from a long and mid-range standpoint and he can take any kind of player off the dribble, although he’s best utilised against bigger players. As well as his scoring and ball handling abilities, he can pass and rebound the ball; which makes him so versatile and a match up nightmare for any defender, big or small. It doesn’t matter who you are, when you’re up against Jabari Parker, you better be ready for a tough night. In the recent Champions Classic tip-off tournament on Tuesday November 12 both players got the chance to square off against each other on a national scale. The four team tournament opened with Kentucky vs Michigan St who came into the season ranked 1 and 2 respectively and also have their fair share of top 10 talent. However, the most anticipated match up of the night wasn’t even Duke vs Kansas, it was Jabari Parker vs Andrew Wiggins. On the night, Wiggins got the better of Parker as Kansas won the game 94-83 behind 22 points

and 8 rebounds for Wiggins. Not to be outshone, Parker poured in 27 points in the loss with an additional 9 rebounds. A reported 68 NBA scouts attended the event in Chicago. As there are 30 teams in the NBA, 68 NBA scouts accounts for more than 2 scouts per team. Christmas certainly came early for these guys but it’s not every day that you get to see 18 players out of ESPN’s top 100 freshman on show, under the same roof, displaying their talents to the world. Remember, the upcoming 2014 NBA Draft is believed to be the best since 2003, which included the likes of Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Carmelo Anthony and this other guy called LeBron James. In early November, an anonymous NBA general manager sat down with ESPN and openly admitted that his team would be ‘tanking’ - deliberately losing - during the season to try and get a top pick in the Draft. With at least five players heading into the 2014 NBA Draft including Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker that can be legit NBA superstars, it’s more than likely that many NBA teams are ‘tanking’ this season, or at least trying to. This upcoming NBA Draft provides a rare opportunity where you don’t need the number one pick to get a game changer; you just need to be in the top 5. Continue to be on the watch out for the developments of these players. March can’t come soon enough!

The American

Richard L Gale looks at locker room bullying, the last month of the Heisman chase, and an addiction to ‘football heaven’


ullies? In football? Say it ain’t so! The Miami Dolphins ‘bullying-inthe-trenches’ storyline came out of the blue for some people. Yet football – just as with any competition from contact sports to professional tennis to grandmaster chess – involves dominating and demoralizing the opponent, physically and mentally (well, perhaps chess is less about physical domination).

Jameis Winston is in position to be the second freshman to win the Heisman (see opposite page) PHOTO: LARRY NOVEY / FSU SPORTS INFORMATION


The conservative, ‘naturalselection’ point of view (there are conservatives who support natural selection? who knew?) is that the football field is a place where young men figure out how to stand up for themselves – or at least are forced to grow a thicker skin. “Life isn’t fair... get used to it” comes the apologist chant, while liberals wail that in a civilized society, we’re all meant to look after each other. Bullying, racism and even terrorism are not entirely unconnected, it may be argued. From the wedgies of yesteryear to modern Facebook assassinations, bullying is usually a crime perpetrated against the harmless by tomorrow’s nobodies. Certainly in fraternal settings where people have a duty to be supportive – same team, same school, same neighborhood – bullying is an especially detestible disloyalty. For most, bullying is a childhood

recollection. In grown up work places it isn’t tolerated. But are we really surprised to discover that it persists in the arrested development world of the football locker room?


Football has long been painted as a sanctuary for neanderthals, but while high school football may laud the leatherhead lunks, most pro players I’ve met are disarmingly eloquent and approachable, the linemen surprisingly docile. The same is true of Rugby Union players. It’s part of being a professional. And then there’s the Dolphins locker room, where guard Richie Incognito is alleged to have bullied fellow ’Phin Jonathan Martin, causing Martin to walk away midseason. What may have started with motivational ribbing escalated, so media outlets report, to threatening voice messages and use of a racial epithet. Add Incognito’s reported reputation as one of the league’s dirtiest players, and it all plays into the stereotype of football cultivating a special brand of a**hole. With Martin absent, Incognito now suspended, and both players lawyering up (Incognito says threatening messages went both ways), expect this story to run longer than a Dolphins handoff (not difficult). It’s hard to believe these guys play(ed) next to each other on an offensive line. Or, given Miami’s inability to protect the passer, maybe not. The modern NFL, already highly conscious of how concussions are causing moms to question whether football is the right sport for their kids, is unlikely to sweep this episode under the carpet. Expect a league-wide letter on the subject of hazings, at least, by the start of training camp.

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On to another football bad-boy trope now: the local football star who receives unjust leniency. Case in point: LSU’s Jeremy Hill, given probation after an incident with a 14 year old girl, later attacks a guy outside a bar, leading to... more probation. LSU coach Les Miles left it up to a team vote to decide if their star runner could return. And guess what? No problem. While Hill is gratifyingly far removed from Heisman talk, he is being spoken of as a first round draft prospect (though I’d advise teams to Google “Lawrence Phillips” first). So, when news stories erupt that Florida State’s star passer, and Heisman Trophy front-runner Jameis Winston is connected to a (different) recently reopened sexual assault investigation, it would be understandable if voters’ hands wavered before filling in the ballot - even if Winston is six inches taller than the description of the attacker and his connection to the case is far from clear. It’s a palpable distraction, one that, at press-time, Winston was doing an admirable job of ignoring, proving just how exceptional and focused a leader this freshman is. At least so far that’s the narrative. It can still get hijacked if the story twists and eyebrows are raised at a blue chip prospect not being questioned thoroughly. If that happens, the much criticized partying of Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel suddenly loses its tut-inducing potency. Last year’s first-ever freshman Heisman winner still has games against LSU and Missouri to come, giving him an opportunity to reel in Winston. It would be great not to be tainting a Heisman Trophy preview with off-field stuff, but the Heisman is, and always has been about the accompanying narrative, true or oth-

erwise. Remember, only a year ago, the runner up to Johnny Football was Manti Te’o, with the tragic tale of his ‘dead’ (or rather, phantom) girlfiend. So at a time when the sports talk shows are awash with discussion of the illegal or antisocial behavior of players, it’s impossible to talk about football in isolation. Hopefully, rumored exonerating statements can put the full focus back on the football. As things stand, ‘Famous Jameis’ and ‘Johnny Football’ are at the center of the conversation, though Baylor’s soaring Bryce Petty, Alabama’s super-calm AJ McCarron and Ohio State’s faultless Braxton Miller all boast unbeaten records (plus they’re real good), along with Oregon’s Marcus Mariota, and Northern Illinois’ Jordan Lynch in the role of outsider in the absence of any non-QB challenger. Looking purely at how much the players raise the level of their team, this should probably be Manziel v Lynch, with Winston and Petty contesting third, but Manziel’s downtime tour of social networking invited people to rally around someone else. That’s been Winston. It could yet be Petty. It remains to be seen whether Winston’s astonishingly mature college debut can remain uncompromised by the slow swirl of speculation. If so, Winston’s role in turning FSU into a national championship contender rather than an annual near-miss should be enough to make it two freshman winners in two years. It’s either that or Manziel – who started the season suspended for half a game and is widely expected to declare for the NFL draft after the season – becomes the first two-time Heisman winner since Archie Griffin.


The Heisman narrative

Welcome to football heaven You’ve seen the advert: the guy on the sofa, the look of elation, with doves and a choral accompaniment as he experiences RedZone (= ‘football heaven’) for the first time. The ad isn’t wide of the mark; RedZone is all our football Christmasses at once. But maybe we should be careful what we wish for. See, RedZone gives me all the action and none of the three-and-outs... and they’re part of football too (unless you’re a fantasy addict). That’s called defense. The small things – the stops, the drops, the five yard penalties – these are the details that explain enigmas such as the Cowboys’ and Jets’ seasons. The muddling Jets barely feature (yet win), while Cowboys games offer highlight plays (yet they lose)... and still both teams hover around .500. Watching RedZone is a little like when football first showed up in the UK as a one hour game-ofthe-week. You knew a drive was significant because the editors were showing it. RedZone’s much the same on a play-by-play basis. Brilliant though it is, is this football heaven or football limbo? I worry that many of us aren’t actually still watching end-to-end games except when we’re seeking out our own beloved teams. And no, I’m not sure watching all of the condensed games on NFL Game Plan counts!

December 2013 53

Eagle Eyed PG Australia? One of the great American tournaments should be held outside the US, and Australia would be the ideal place, says Darren Kilfara


en years ago this month, my wife and I spent three-and-a-half weeks in Australia. It was the rare holiday whose itinerary I would enthusiastically repeat without alteration: Sydney and the Blue Mountains; the Great Barrier Reef; Uluru and Alice Springs; Melbourne, the Mornington Peninsula and the Great Ocean Road. And of course Royal Melbourne, New South Wales, Kingston Heath, Commonwealth, Victoria, Portsea and the Moonah Course at The National, among others – all in pleasant heat, and most in bright sunshine. Fact: every serious golfer should visit Australia at least once in their life. The “sandbelt” south and east of Melbourne is home to the densest concentration of outstanding golf courses in the world – all featuring wonderfully rolling terrain and elegant, razor-sharp, gravitydefying bunker edges. New South Wales near Sydney may well be the most enjoyable seaside course I’ve ever played, which given the competition is truly saying something. To reduce wear patterns we were encouraged to pull our trolleys across the (very firm) greens and not around their fringes, the memory of which makes me think I must have early onset dementia. The greatest golfers in the world used to winter in Australia – look up

54 December 2013

any list of Australian Open winners and you’ll see what I mean. But Australia is no longer the marquee tournament destination it once was, and the PGA Tour’s decision to begin its new season in October instead of January means that a perfectly good November event like the Talisker Masters at Royal Melbourne (2012 champion: Adam Scott) now conflicts with the OHL Classic at Mayakoba, which awards much more money as well as FedEx Cup points, Ryder Cup points, an invitation to the Masters – the real one in Augusta – for the winner, and no jetlag in getting there. How can Australia compete with that? So when the PGA of America recently announced that it was thinking of hosting one or two of its precious major championships outside of the United States every decade, my heart began to flutter. Of course it’s a great idea to hold more majors outside of the US – golf is becoming increasingly globalized already, with the PGA Tour having visited Malaysia in October and the ‘European Tour’ now officially a misnomer (26 of the 47 events on its official 2013 calendar were held outside Europe). Three of the four tennis grand slams are hosted outside of the US, and frankly, the reversal of this ratio in golf should embarrass anyone own-

Royal Melbourne Golf Club, Australia

The American

ing a passport. What better place to start righting this wrong than the Melbourne sandbelt? Nineteen years ago this month, an Australian – Greg Norman – unveiled the idea of a World Golf Tour, which was to encompass eight lucrative events held around the world and televised in the US by Fox. Norman’s project failed to survive the PGA Tour’s legal challenges, but the modern game – global tours, World Golf Championship events, even Fox’s new US Open television contract – testifies to the prescience of his vision. All that remains is to take a tournament that really matters, not an easily ignored Presidents Cup or WGC event, and host it somewhere like Royal Melbourne. It may make the PGA less money in the short term, and it may make those of us not in Australasia bleary-eyed when watching it. But growing the game globally is good. Turnabout is fair play. And nobody watching televised golf from Australia who is thereafter compelled, like I was, to visit and play golf in Australia will regret it. Darren Kilfara formerly worked for Golf Digest magazine and is the author of A Golfer’s Education, a memoir of his junior year abroad as a student-golfer at the University of St. Andrews.

The American


St. George’s Society and The Royal Society of St. George St. George’s Society of New York In the US, St. George’s Society was founded by Englishmen living in NYC in 1770 to celebrate St. George’s Day and to assist fellow countrymen in need or distress, with a bag of coal, free ship passage back to England, a free hospital bed at St. Luke’s Hospital or help for British GI Brides. Membership is now open to people of all origins but usually with some affinity to Britain. Women were admitted in 1989. Today it assists disadvantaged people of British and Commonwealth heritage living in the area and provides a Beneficiary Program helping elderly and disabled people, and a Scholarship Program

at Lehman College (part of CUNY) supporting outstanding students. St. George’s acts as an influential network for expatriates and Anglophiles in New York and hosts a variety of social events throughout the year, including the English Ball, the British Societies’ Summer Garden Party and a traditional Christmas luncheon. In March 2011, it launched GEORGE, a co-brand for vibrant, dynamic professionals.

Royal Society of St. George

In the UK, the Royal Society (named for England’s patron saint) exists to promote the love of England, the

English way of life and ‘Englishness’. A non-political organisation, its Patron is HM The Queen and it was incorporated in England in 1894. The City of Westminster Branch is the most active of the many branches throughout the UK, holding approximately 40 events during the year including St. George’s Day and Trafalgar Day “Black Tie” Dinners and other informal events at prestigious venues like Mark Mason’s Hall in St. James’s, the Headquarters of The Rifles, The Army Museum next to The Royal Hospital, Chelsea, and the Livery Hall of The Armourers & Braziers.

Robert M Sewell, Chairman of the Royal Society of St. George, City of Westminster Branch, (right) with Queen Noor of Jordan

December 2013 55

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American Friends of Dulwich Picture Gallery Kathleen Bice, Development Officer, Members and Patrons 020 8299 8726 american_friends.aspx

An index of useful resources in the UK If your group or organization is fundraising, has upcoming events, or is running something you’d like more people to know about, get in touch with Sabrina at The American. If your entry needs amendments please let us know – we rely on you to keep us up to date! Telephone 01747 830520, Fax 01747 830691, We would be pleased to receive profiles, news or short articles about your organization for possible publication in The American.


999 or 112 (NOT 911)

001 100 155 153 151

MEDICAL ADVICE LINE NHS Direct delivers 24-hour telephone and e-health information services, direct to the public. 0845 4647 and being phased in for non-emergencies: 111


56 December 2013

American Friends of the Jewish Museum London Stephen Goldman Tel. 020 7284 7363

American Red Cross RAF Mildenhall Tel: 01638 542107, After Hours 07031 15 2334

American Friends of the Lyric Theatre Ireland Crannóg House, 44 Stranmillis Embankment, Belfast, BT9 5FL, Northern Ireland Angela McCloskey

American Friends of the Almeida Theatre, Inc. Kenneth David Burrows, 950 Third Avenue, 32nd Floor, New York, NY 10022, USA or Lizzie Stallybrass, Almeida Theatre, Almeida Street, London N1 1TA, UK american-friends

American Friends of the National Portrait Gallery Stacey Ogg and Charlotte Savery, Individual Giving Managers 020 7312 2444 php

American Friends of Chickenshed Theatre U.S. Office: c/o Chapel & York PMB293, 601 Penn Ave NW, Suite 900 S Bldg, Washington, DC 20004 UK Office: Chickenshed, Chase Side, Southgate, London N14 4PE 0208 351 6161 ext 240 american-friends.html

For more details go to and click on Life In The UK

American Church in London Senior Pastor: Rev. John D’Elia. Music Director: Anthony Baldwin. Sunday School 9.45am Sunday Worship 11am, child care provided. 79a Tottenham Court Road, London W1T 4TD (Goodge St. tube station) Tel: 020 7580 2791/07771 642875

American Friends of the Donmar Inc. Stephanie Dittmer, Deputy Director of Development 020 7845 5810

American Citizens Abroad (ACA) The Voice of Americans Overseas, 5 Rue Liotard, 1202 Geneva, Switzerland +41.22.340.02.33

TRANSPORTATION London Underground  020 7222 1234 National Rail Enquiries  08457 4849 50 National Bus Service  0990 808080 TELEPHONES Direct Dial Code, US & Canada  Operator Assistance, UK  Operator Assistance, Int.  International Directory Assistance  Telephone Repair 

American Friends of the British Museum Mollie Norwich. The British Museum, Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3DG. 020 7323 8590

American Institute of Architects Mailing address: 27 Old Gloucester Street, London WC1N 3AX Tel: 0203 318 5722

Here are some crucial telephone numbers to know while you are in the UK.

American Friends of ENO – English National Opera Denise Kaplan, American Friends Coordinator London Coliseum, St. Martin’s Lane, London WC2N 4ES 0207 845 9331 american-friends/american-friends.php

American Friends of Contemporary Dance & Sadler’s Wells U.S. Office: Celia Rodrigues, Chair 222 Park Avenue South, 10A, New York, NY 10003 +1.917.539.9021 UK Office: 020 7863 8134

American Friends of the Philharmonia Orchestra, Inc. Jennifer Davies, Development Director American Friends of the Royal Court Theatre U.S.: Laurie Beckelman, Beckelman and Capalino +1.212.616.5822 UK: Gaby Styles, Head of Development, Royal Court Theatre 020 7565 5060 or

American Friends of the Royal Institution of Great Britain U.S.: c/o Chapel & York Limited, PMB #293, South Building Washington, DC 20004

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UK: The Development Office, Royal Institution of Great Britain, 21 Albemarle Street, London W1S 4BS 020 7670 2991

American Friends of the Royal Society American Friends of St. Bartholomew the Great U.S.: John Eagleson 2925 Briarpark, Suite 600, Houston, TX 77042 UK: 20 7606 5171 American Friends of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust U.S.: John Chwat, President 625 Slaters Lane, Suite 103, Alexandria, VA 22314 +1. 703.684.7703 American Friends of the Victoria and Albert Museum, Inc. U.S.: Diana Seaton, Executive Director 61 Londonderry Drive, Greenwich, CT 06830 +1.203.536.4328 UK: 020 7942 2149 American Friends of Wigmore Hall U.S.: c/o Chapel and York, 1000 N West Street Suite 1200, Wilmington DE 19801 UK: 020 7258 8220 American Museum in Britain Director: Dr Richard Wendorf Claverton Manor, Bath BA2 7BD. 01225 460503. Fax 01225 469160 American Women Lawyers in London Anglo American Medical Society Hon. Sec.: Dr. Edward Henderson, The Mill House, Whatlington, E. Sussex, TN33 0ND. 01424 775130. Association for Rescue at Sea The UK’s Royal National Lifeboat Association does not have an American Branch but if you wish to make a tax-efficient gift to the RNLI, contact AFRAS. Secretary: Mrs. Anne C. Kifer P.O. Box 565 Fish Creek, WI 54212, U.S.A. 00-1-920-743-5434 fax 00-1-920-743-5434 email: Atlantic Council Director: Alan Lee Williams. 185 Tower Bridge Road, London SE1 2UF 0207 403 0640 or 0207 403 0740. Fax: 0207 403 0901

Bethesda Baptist Church Kensington Place, London W8. 020 7221 7039 Boy Scouts of America Mayflower District Field Executive: Wayne Wilcox 26 Shortlands Road, Kingston, Surrey KT2 6HD 020 8274 1429, 07788 702328 BritishAmerican Business Inc. 75 Brook Street, London, W1K 4AD. Tel. 020 7290 9888 British American-Canadian Associates Contact via The English Speaking Union –

Has your group done something you’re proud of? Tell us email

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 66-68 Exhibition Rd, South Kensington, London SW7 2PA 020 7584 7553 Church of St. John the Evangelist Vicar: Reverend Stephen Mason. Assistant Priest: Reverend Mark Pudge. Assistant Curate: Reverend Deiniol Heywood. Hyde Park Crescent, London W2 2QD Tel: 020 7262 1732 Circumcision Matters Problems arranging circumcision for your new-born boy? If so go to or call 020 7390 8433 Commonwealth Church Rev. Rod Anderson, PO Box 15027, London SE5 0YS Democrats Abroad (UK) Box 65, 22 Notting Hill Gate, London W11 3JE Regular updates on events, chapters throughout the UK (and specific email addresses), and DAUK newsletters: Register to vote and request an Absentee Ballot: Tel: 020 7724 9796 Farm Street Church 114 Mount Street, Mayfair, London W1K 3AH Tel: 020 7493 7811 Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) Department of Defense, 1155 Defense Pentagon, Washington DC 20301-1155. Director: Ms. Polli K. Brunelli UK Toll Free Tel: 0800 028 8056 US Toll Free Tel:1-800-438- VOTE (8683).

Friends of St Jude London Debbie Berger Tel. 07738 628126 Grampian Houston Association Secretary: Bill Neish 5 Cairncry Avenue, Aberdeen, AB16 5DS 01224-484720 International Community Church (Interdenominational) Our Vision: “Everyone Mature in Christ” (Col. 1:28) Pastor: Rev. Dr. Barry K. Gaeddert Worship on Sundays: 10.30 am at Chertsey Hall, Heriot Road, Chertsey, Surrey KT16 9DR Active Youth programme. Church Office: 1st floor, Devonshire House, 60 Station Road, Addlestone, Surrey KT15 2AF. 01932 830295. Junior League of London President: Jennifer Crowl 9 Fitzmaurice Place, London W1J 5JD. Tel: 020 7499 8159 Fax: 020 7629 1996 Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation 19 Angel Gate, City Road, London EC1V 2PT. Tel: 020 7713 2030 Fax: 020 7713 2031 Liberal Jewish Synagogue 28 St John’s Wood Road, London NW8 7HA Services 6.45pm Fridays and 11am on Saturdays except for first Friday each month when service is held at 7pm with a Chavurah Supper. Please bring non-meat food dish to share. 020 7286 5181 Lions Club International Lakenheath & District 105EA, 15 Highfields Drive, Lakenheath, Suffolk IP27 9EH. Tel 01842 860752 Lutheran Services, St Anne’s Rev. Timothy Dearhamer. Lutheran Church, Gresham St, London EC2. Sun 11am-7pm. Tel. 020 7606 4986 Fax. 020 7600 8984 Methodist Central Hall Westminster, London SW1H 9NH Services every Sunday at 11am and 6.30pm. Bible study groups & Monday guilds also held. Tel: 020 7222 8010 North American Friends of Chawton House Library U.S. Office: 824 Roosevelt Trail, #130, Windham, ME 04062 Tel:+1.207 892 4358

December 2013 57

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UK Office: Chawton House Library, Chawton, Alton, Hampshire GU34 1SJ Tel: 01420 541010

Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner 5th Floor, Counting House, 53 Tooley Street, London SE1 2QN 0207 211 1500 Republicans Abroad (UK) Chairman Dr. Thomas Grant Rotary Club of London 6 York Gate, London NW1 4QG. Tel. 020 7487 5429 Royal National Lifeboat Institution Head Office, West Quay Road, Poole BH15 1HZ 0845 045 6999 The Royal Oak Foundation Sean Sawyer, 35 West 35th Street #1200, New York NY 10001-2205, USA Tel 212- 480-2889 or (800) 913-6565 Fax (212)785-7234 St Andrew’s Lutheran Church Serving Americans since 1960. Whitby Road & Queens Walk, Ruislip, West London. (South Ruislip Tube Station). Services: 11 am 020 8845 4242 Other Lutheran Churches in the UK: T.R.A.C.E. P.W. (The ‘original’ Transatlantic Children’s’ Enterprise reuniting children with G.I. father’s and their families) Membership Secretary: Norma Jean Clarke-McCloud 29 Connaught Avenue, Enfield EN1 3BE

63-65 New Road, Welwyn, Herts AL6 0AL 01582 624823

American Expats of the Northwest of England The Ruskin Rooms, Drury Lane, Knutsford, Cheshire WA16 6HA. American Friends of English Heritage 1307 New Hampshire Avenue, N.W. Washington DC 20036. 202-452-0928. c/o English Heritage, Attn: Simon Bergin, Keysign House, 429 Oxford Street, London W1R 2HD. 020 7973 3423 American Professional Women in London Rebecca Lammers, Flat 9 Hanover Court, 5 Stean Street, London, E8 4ED 075 3393 5064 Twitter: @USAProWomenLDN American Society in London c/o The English Speaking Union 37 Charles Street, London W1J 5ED 020 7539 3400 American Stamp Club of Great Britain Chapter 67 of the American Philatelic Society. Hon. Publicity Secretary: Stephen T. Taylor 5 Glenbuck Road, Surbiton, Surrey KT6 6BS. 020 8390 9357 American Womens Association of Bristol American Women of Berkshire & Surrey P. O. Box 10, Virginia Water, Surrey GU25 4YP.

United Nations Association, Westminster branch Chairman: David Wardrop 61 Sedlescombe Road, London SW6 1RE 0207 385 6738

American Women of Surrey PO Box 185, Cobham, Surrey KT11 3YJ.

USA Girl Scouts Overseas – North Atlantic Stem Kaserne Bldg 1002, Postfach 610212 D-68232, Mannheim, Germany. +49 621 487 7025.

The American Women’s Club of Dublin P.O. Box 2545, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4 IRELAND

SOCIAL American Club of Hertfordshire President: Lauryn Awbrey

58 December 2013

American Women’s Association of Yorkshire The Chalet, Scarcroft Grange, Wetherby Road, Scarcroft, Leeds LS14 3HJ. 01224 744 224 Contact: Carol Di Peri

American Women’s Club of London 68 Old Brompton Road, London SW7 3LQ. 020 7589 8292 American Women’s Club of Central Scotland P.O. Box 231, 44-46 Morningside Road,

Edinburgh, EH10 4BF

American Women of South Wales 07866 190838 The Anglo-American Charity Limited Jeffrey Hedges, Director. 07968 513 631 Association of American Women in Ireland Association of American Women of Aberdeen PO Box 11952, Westhill, Aberdeen, AB13 0BW email via website British Association of American Square Dance Clubs Patricia Connett-Woodcock 87 Brabazon Road, Heston, Middlesex TW5 9LL 020 8897 0723 Canadians & Americans in Southern England 023 9241 3881 Canadian Womens Club 1 Grosvenor Square, London W1K 4AB Tues – Thurs 10.30-3.30 0207 258 6344 Chilterns American Women’s Club PO Box 445, Gerrards Cross, Bucks, SL9 8YU Colonial Dames of America Chapter XI London. President Anne K Brewster: Daughters of the American Revolution – St James’s Chapter Mrs Natalie Ward, 01379 871422 or Daughters of the American Revolution – Walter Hines Page Chapter Diana Frances Diggines, Regent Daughters of the American Revolution – Washington Old Hall Chapter, North Yorkshire Mrs. Gloria Hassall, 01845 523-830 Delta Kappa Gamma Society International Great Britain President: Mrs. Sheila Roberts, Morvan House, Shoreham Lane, St. Michaels, Tenterden, Kent TN30 6EG email:

The American

Delta Zeta International Sorority Alumna Club Mrs Sunny Eades, The Old Hall, Mavesyn Ridware, Nr. Rugeley, Staffordshire, WSI5 3QE. 01543 490 312 The East Anglia American Club 49 Horsham Close, Haverhill, Suffolk CB9 7HN Tel: 01440 766 967 Email: English-Speaking Union Director-General Peter Kyle Dartmouth House, 37 Charles Street, London W1J 5ED. Tel: 020 7529 1550 Fax: 0207 495 6108 Friends of Benjamin Franklin House Director: Dr. Márcia Balisciano Benjamin Franklin House, 36 Craven St, London WC2N 5NF 0207 839 2006 Hampstead Women’s Club President - Betsy Lynch. Tel: 020 7435 2226 email High Twelve International, Inc. Local Club Contact – Arnold Page High Twelve Club 298 Secretary, Darrell C. Russell, 1 Wellington Close, West Row, Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk, IP28 8PJ Tel. 01638 715764 email: International American Duplicate Bridge Club Contact: Mary Marshall, 18 Palace Gardens Terrace, London W8 4RP. 020 7221 3708


Lakenheath High School. Tel: 01638 525603

Air Force Sergeants Association European Division Timothy W. Litherland CMSgt, USAF (ret). Chapters at RAFs Alconbury, Croughton, Lakenheath, Menwith Hill and Mildenhall.

Petroleum Women’s Club Contact: Nancy Ayres. Tel: 01923 711720 Petroleum Women’s Club of Scotland

American Legion London Post 1 Adjutant: Jim Pickett PO Box 5017, BATH, BA1 OPP Tel: 01225-426245

Pilgrims of Great Britain Allington Castle, Maidstone, Kent M16 0NB. Tel. 01622 606404 Fax. 01622 606402

Bentwaters/Woodbridge Retirees’ Association President: Wylie Moore. 2 Coldfair Close, Knodishall, Saxmundham, Suffolk, IP17 1UN. 01728 830281

Propeller Club of the United States – London, England Royal Society of St George Enterprise House, 10 Church Hill, Loughton, Essex IG10 1LA. Tel.+44 (0) 20 3225 5011

British Patton Historical Society Kenn Oultram 01606 891303 Brookwood American Cemetery (WW1) Brookwood, Woking, Surrey GU24 0BL 01483 473237

Stars of Great Britain Chapter #45 Washington Jurisdiction. Lakenheath, England

Cambridge American Cemetery (WWII Cemetary) Superintendent: Mr. Bobby Bell. Asst. Superintendent: Mr. Tony Barclay. Coton, Cambridge CB23 7PH. 01954 210350

St John’s Wood Women’s Club Box 185, 176 Finchley Road, London NW3 6BT Thames Valley American Women’s Club Membership: Marie Krag PO Box 1687, Maidenhead, Berks SL6 8XT. 01628 632683

Commander in Chief, US Naval Forces Europe US Naval Forces Europe-Africa - US Sixth Fleet

UK Panhellenic Association Contact Susan Woolf, 10 Coniston Court, High St. Harrow on the Hill, Middlesex HA1 3LP. 020 8864 0294

Eighth Air Force Historical Society Gordon Richards/Michelle Strefford UK Office, The Croft, 26 Chapelwent Road, Haverhill, Suffolk CB9 9SD 01440 704014

Kensington & Chelsea Women’s Club President: Susan Lenora. Tel. 0207 581 8261 Membership: 0207 863 7562 (ans service).

UK Anglian Shrine Club (Master Masons) Secretary: David A. Mostyn Long Furlong House, Holt, Norfolk NR25 7DD 01263 740223

Friends of the Eighth Newsletter (FOTE News) Chairman: Mr. Ron Mackay. 39b Thorley Hill, Bishops Stortford, Herts CM23 3NE. 01279 658619.

New Neighbors Diana Parker, Rosemary Cottage, Rookshill, Rickmansworth, Herts WD3 4HZ. 01923 772185

W.E.B. DuBois Consistory #116 Northern Jurisdiction Valley of London, England, Orient of Europe Cell: 0776-873-8030

North American Connection (West Midlands) PO Box 10543, Knowle, Solihull, West Midlands. B93 8ZY T: 0870 720 0663

Women’s Writers Network Cathy Smith, 23 Prospect Rd, London, NW2 2JU. 020 7794 5861

Kensington & Chelsea Men’s Club Contact: John Rickus 70 Flood Street, Chelsea, London SW3 5TE. (home): 020 7349 0680 (office): 020 7753 2253

Northwood Area Women’s Club c/o St John’s UR Church, Hallowell Road, Northwood, Middlesex HA6 1DN


Joint RAF Mildenhall/Lakenheath Retiree Affairs Office Director: Col. John J. Valentine, USAF (Ret) Unit 8965, Box 30 RAF Mildenhall, Bury St. Edmonds, Suffolk, IP28 8NF Tel. (01638) 542039 Marine Corps League Detachment 1088, London, England Commandant Mike Allen Creek Cottage, 2 Pednormead End, Old Chesham, Buckinghamshire HP5 2JS

December 2013 59

The American

Military Officers’ Association of America

Navy League of the United States, United Kingdom Council Council President: Steven G. Franck Non-Commissioned Officers’ Association (NCOA) – The Heart of England Chapter Chairman: Ronald D.Welper. Pine Farm, Sharpe’s Corner, Lakenheath, Brandon, Suffolk 1P27 9LB. Thetford 861643. The Chapter Address: 513 MSSQ/SS, RAF Mildenhall, Suffolk. Society of American Military Engineers (UK) UK address: Box 763, USAFE Construction Directorate. 86 Blenheim Crescent, West Ruislip, Middlesex HA4 7HL Reserve Officers Association London Col. B.V. Balch, USAR, 72 Westmoreland Road, Barnes, London SW13 9RY Society of American Military Engineers (UK) UK address: Box 763, USAFE Construction Directorate. 86 Blenheim Crescent, West Ruislip, Middlesex HA4 7HL London Post. President: W. Allan Clarke. Secretary: Capt. Gary Chesley. Membership Chairman, Mr. Jim Bizier. US Army Reserve 2nd Hospital Center 7 Lynton Close, Ely, Cambs, CB6 1DJ. Tel: 01353 2168 Commander: Major Glenda Day. US Air Force Recruiting Office Bldg 239 Room 139 RAF Mildenhall, Suffolk IP28 8NF +44-1638-54-4942/1566

Retired Affairs Office, RAF Alconbury Serving Central England POC: Rex Keegan Alt. POC: Mike Depasquale UK Postal Address: 423 SVS/RAO, Unit 5585, Box 100, RAF Alconbury, Huntingdon, Cambs PE28 4DA Office Hours: Tuesday and Friday, 10:30am–2:30pm 01480 84 3364/3557 Emergency Contact: 07986 887 905 2nd Air Division Memorial Library The Forum, Norwich, Norfolk, NR2 1AW 01603 774747 USAF Retiree Activities Office Director: Paul G Gumbert, CMSgt (USAF), Ret 422 ABG/CVR

60 December 2013

Unit 5855, PSC 50, Box 3 RAF Croughton, Northants NN13 5XP Phone: 01280 708182 e-mail:

US Merchant Marine Academy (Kings Point) UK Chapter President: Allison Bennett Facebook: Kings Point Alumni - London/United Kingdom USNA Alumni Association UK Chapter Pres: LCDR Tim Fox ’97, Vice Pres: Miguel Sierra ’90, Treas/Membership Coord: Bart O’Brien ’98, Secretary: Matt Horan ’87, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States Commander: Ernest Paolucci 24, rue Gerbert, 75015 Paris, France 00 33 (0) Western UK Retiree Association President: R. Jim Barber, MSgt (USAF), Ret Phone: 01280 708182

EDUCATIONAL ACS International Schools ACS Cobham International School, Heywood, Alconbury Middle/High School RAF Alconbury, Huntingdon, Cambs, PE17 1PJ, UK. American Institute for Foreign Study 37 Queensgate, London SW7 5HR 020 7581 7300 American School in London 1 Waverley Place, London NW8 0NP Tel: 020 7449 1200 Fax: 020 7449 1350 American School of Aberdeen Craigton Road, Cults, Aberdeen. 01224 861068 / 868927. Benjamin Franklin House 36 Craven Street, London WC2N 5NF. Tel 020 7839 2006 Fax 020 7930 9124 Boston University – London Graduate Programs Office 43 Harrington Gardens, London SW7 4JU. 020 7244 6255 British American Educational Foundation Mrs. Carlton Colcord, 1 More’s Garden,

90 Cheyne Walk, London SW3. 020 7352 8288

BUNAC Student Exchange Employment Program Director: Callum Kennedy, 16 Bowling Green Lane, London EC1R 0QH. 020 7251 3472 Butler University, Institute for Study Abroad 21 Pembridge Gardens, London W2 4EB 020 7792 8751 Centre Academy London 92 St John’s Hill, Battersea, London SW11 1SH Tel: 02077382344 Fax: 02077389862 Centre Academy East Anglia Church Rd, Brettenham, Ipswich, Suffolk IP7 7QR Tel: 01449736404 Fax: 01449737881 Central Bureau for Educational Visits The British Council Director: Peter Upton 10 Spring Gardens, London SW1A 2BN 020 7389 4004 Wales 029 2039 7346, Scotland 0131 447 8024 Council on International Educational Exchange Dr. Michael Woolf, 52 Portland Street, London WIV 1JQ Tel 020 7478 2000 Fax 020 7734 7322 Ditchley Foundation Ditchley Park, Enstone, Chipping Norton, Oxon OX7 4ER Tel 01608 677346 Fax 1608 677399 European Council of International Schools Executive Director: Jean K Vahey Fourth Floor, 146 Buckingham Palace Road, London SW1W 9TR Tel 020 7824 7040 European-Atlantic Group PO Box 37431, London N3 2XP 020 8632 9253 Florida State University London Study Centre Administrative Director: Kathleen Paul 99 Great Russell Street, London, WC1B 3LH. Tel 020 7813 3233 Fax 020 7813 3270 Fordham University London Centre

The American

Regent’s University London Inner Circle, Regent’s Park, London NW1 4NS. 020 7486 9605.

Academic Coordinator: Sabina Antal 23 Kensington Square, London W8 5HQ 020 7937 5023

Fulbright Commission (US-UK Educational Commission) Dir. of Advisory Service: Lauren Welch Battersea Power Station, 188 Kirtling Street, London SW8 5BN 020 7498 4010 Harlaxton College UK Campus, University of Evansville Harlaxton Manor, Grantham, Lincolnshire NG32 1AG. Grantham 4541 4761. Tel 01476 403000 Fax 01476 403030 Huron University USA in London 46-47 Russell Square, Bloomsbury, London WC1B 4JP Tel +44 (0) 20 7636 5667 Fax+44 (0) 20 7299 3297 Institute for the Study of the Americas Director: Professor James Dunkerley. Tel 020 7862 8879 Fax 020 7862 8886 International School of Aberdeen 296 North Deeside Rd, Milltimber, Aberdeen, AB13 0AB 01224 732267 International School of London 139 Gunnersbury Avenue, London W3 8LG. 020 8992 5823. International School of London in Surrey Old Woking Road, Woking GU22 8HY Tel +44 (0)1483 750409 Fax +44 (0)1483 730962 Ithaca College London Centre 35 Harrington Gardens, London SW7. Tel. 020 7370 1166 Marymount International School, London Headmistress: Ms Sarah Gallagher George Road, Kingston upon Thames, KT2 7PE Tel: 020 8949 0571 Missouri London Study Abroad Program 32 Harrington Gardens, London SW7 4JU. 020 7373 7953. molondon.html

Richmond, The American International University in London Richmond Hill Campus,Queen’s Road Richmond-upon Thames TW10 6JP Tel: +44 20 8332 9000 Fax: +44 20 8332 1596 Schiller International University Royal Waterloo House, 51-55 Waterloo Road, London SE1 8TX. Tel. 020 7928 1372 Schiller International, Wickham Court School Layhams Road, West Wickham, Kent BR4 9HW. Tel 0208 777 2942 Fax 0208 777 4276 Sotheby’s Institute of Art Postgraduate Art studies, plus day /evening courses 30 Bedford Square, London WC1B 3EE Tel: 0207 462 3232 Southbank International Schools Kensington and Hampstead campuses for 3-11 year olds; Westminster campuses for 11-18 year olds. Director of Admissions: MargaretAnne Khoury Tel: 020 7243 3803 Fax: 020 7727 3290 Syracuse University London Program Faraday House, 48-51 Old Gloucester Street, London WC1N 3AE TASIS England, American School Coldharbour Lane, Thorpe, Nr. Egham, Surrey TW20 8TE. Tel: 01932 565252 Fax: 01932 564644 UKCISA - Council for International Education 9-17 St. Albans Place, London N1 0NX 020 7354 5210 University of Notre Dame London Program 1 Suffolk Street, London SW1Y 4HG 020 7484 7811 introduction.htm Warnborough University International Office, Friars House, London SE1 8HB. Tel 020 7922 1200 Fax: 020 7922 1201

Webster Graduate Studies Center Regent’s College, Regent’s Park, Inner Circle, London NW1 4NS, UK. Tel: 020 7487 7505 Fax: 020 7487 7425 Wroxton College Fairleigh Dickinson Univ.,Wroxton, Nr. Banbury, Oxfordshire OX15 6PX. Tel. 01295 730551

ALUMNI ASSOCIATIONS Alliant International University (formerly United States International University) England Chapter Alumni Association Chapter President: Eric CK Chan c/o Regents College London, Inner Circle, Regents Park, London, UK University: Amherst College Bob Reichert Andover/Abbot Association of London Jeffrey Hedges ‘71, President 07968 513 631 Association of MBAs Leo Stemp, Events Administrator Tel 020 7837 3375 (ext. 223) Fax 020-7278-3634 Babson College Frank de Jongh Swemer, Correspondence W 020 7932 7514 Barnard College Club Hiromi Stone, President. Tel. 0207 935 3981 Berkeley Club of London Geoff Kertesz Email: Facebook: groups/223876564344656/ Linkedin: Boston College Alumni Club UK Craig Zematis, President +44 7717 878968 chapters/home.jsp?chapter=41&org=BTN Boston University Alumni Association of the UK Will Straughn, Snr International Development Officer, University Development and Alumni Relations,

December 2013 61

The American

43 Harrington Gardens, Kensington, London SW7 4JU 020 7244 2908 020 7373 7411

Brandeis Alumni Club of Great Britain Joan Bovarnick, President Brown University Club of the United Kingdom President: Tugba Erem. Vice President: Caroline Cook Secretary: Pinar Emirda. Treasurer: Mikus Kins Events: Ramya Moothathu. Communication: Patrick Attie. Alumni Club & Liaison: Vanessa Van Hoof Former President: Ed Giberti Brown Club UK, Box 57100, London, EC1P 1RB Bryn Mawr Club President: Lady Quinton. c/o Wendy Tiffin, 52 Lansdowne Gardens, London SW8 2EF Wendy Tiffin, Secretary/Treasurer Claremont Colleges Alumni in London Hadley Beeman Colgate Club of London Stephen W Solomon ‘76, President 0207 349 0738 Columbia Business School Alumni Club of London 6 Petersham Mews, London SW7 5NR Columbia University Club of London Stephen Jansen, President Cornell Club of London Natalie Teich, President Dartmouth College Club of London Sanjay Gupta, Officer Andrew Rotenberg, Officer sanjay.gupta.96@

Duke University Club of England Ms Robin Buck Tim Warmath Kate Bennett Emory University Alumni Chapter of the UK Matthew Williams, Chapter Leader 079 8451 4119 chapters/international.html Georgetown Alumni Club Alexa Fernandez, President Gettysburg College Britt-Karin Oliver Harvard Business School Club of London Harvard Club of Great Britain Brandon Bradkin, President

Details changed? Let us know email Indiana University Alumni club of England Anastasia Tonello, President 020 7253 4855 KKG London Alumnae Association LMU Alumni Club London (Loyola Marymount University) Kent Jancarik 07795 358 681 Marymount University Alumni UK Chapter President: Mrs Suzanne Tapley, 35 Park Mansions, Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7QT. Tel 020 7581 3742 MIT Club of Great Britain Yiting Shen, Flat 8a, 36 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6PB Tel: 0789 179 3823

Delta Kappa Gamma Society International For information about the Society in Great Britain go to our website There are links to all the USA and other international members’ sites.

Mount Holyoke Club of Britain Rachel L. Elwes, President Karen K. Bullivant Vice-President

Delta Sigma Pi Business Fraternity London Alumni Chapter. Ashok Arora, P O Box 1110, London W3 7ZB. Tel: 020 8423 8231

Notre Dame Club of London Hannah Gornik, Secretary:

62 December 2013

NYU Alumni Club in London

Jodi Ekelchik, President

NYU STERN UK Alumni Club Matthieu Gervis, President Ohio University UK & Ireland Frank Madden, 1 Riverway, Barry Avenue, Windsor, Berks. SL4 5JA. Tel 01753 855 360 Fax 01753 868 855 Penn Alumni Club of the UK David Lapter Tel. 07957 146 470 Penn State Alumni Association Penn State Alumni Association Ron Nowicki - 0207 226 7681 Princeton Association (UK) Carol Rahn, President Jon Reades, Young Alumni Rice Alumni of London Kathy Wang Tel. 07912 560 177 Skidmore College Alumni Club, London Peggy Holden Briggs ‘84, co-ordinator 07817 203611 Smith College Club of London Kathleen Merrill, President Stanford Business School Alumni Association (UK Chapter) Robby Arnold, President Lesley Anne Hunt, Events Syracuse University Alumni UK Faraday House, 48-51 Old Gloucester Street, London WC1N 3AE Texas Tech Alumni Association – London Chapter David Mirmelli, Ferhat Guven, Bobby Brents Texas Exes UK (UKTE) President: Carra Kane 7 Edith Road, Wimbledon, London SW19 8TW 0778 660 7534

The American

Texas A&M Club London Ashley Lilly, Co-President Devin Howard, Co-President The John Adams Society Contact: Muddassar Ahmed c/o Unitas Communications, Palmerston House, 80-86 Old Street, London EC1V 9AZ 0203 308 2358 Tufts - London Tufts Alliance Vikki Garth UK Dawgs of the University of Georgia Rangana Abdulla UConn Alumni Association R UMass Alumni Club UK Julie Encarnacao, President (0)20 7007 3869 University of California Matthew Daines (Program Director) 17 Bedford Square, London WC1B 3JA 020 7079 0567 University of Chicago UK Alumni Association President c/o Alumni Affairs and Development – Europe University of Chicago Booth School of Business Woolgate Exchange, 25 Basinghall Street, London EC2V 5HA Tel +44(0)20 7070 2245 Fax +44(0)20 7070 2250 University of Illinois Alumni Club of the UK Amy Barklam, President 07796 193 466 University of North Carolina Alumni Club Brad Matthews, Club Leader 2 The Orchards, Hill View Road, Woking GU22 7LS University of Michigan Alumni Association Regional Contact: Jessica Cobb, BA ’97 +44 (0) 788-784-0941 University of Rochester/Simon School UK Alumni Association Ms. Julie Bonne, Co-President 0118-956-5052 University of Southern California, Alumni Club of London Jennifer Ladwig, President Chuck Cramer, Treasurer

University of Virginia Alumni Club of London Kirsten Jellard, 020 7368 8473

US Merchant Marine Academy (Kings Point) UK Chapter President: Allison Bennett Facebook: Kings Point Alumni - London/United Kingdom USNA Alumni Association, UK Chapter President: LCDR Greta Densham ‘00 ( Vice President/Treasurer: Tim Fox ‘97 (timfox97@ Secretary: Mike Smith ‘84 ( Facebook Group - USNA Alumni Association, UK Chapter Vassar College Club Sara Hebblethwaite, President 18 Redgrave Road, London, SW15 1PX +44 020 8788 6910 Warnborough Worldwide Alumni Association c/o International Office, Friars House, London SE1 8HB Tel. 020 7922 1200 Fax. 020 7922 1201 Wellesley College Club Farida El-Gammal ‘98, President wellesley_uk_club Wharton Business School Club of the UK Yoav Kurtzbard, President Claire Watkins, Administrator 020-7447-8800 Williams Club of Great Britain Ethan Kline: Yale Club of London Joe Vittoria, President Scott Fletcher, Events Nick Baskey, Secretary Zeta Tau Alpha Alumnae Kristin Morgan. Tel: 07812 580949

CIVIL WAR SOCIETIES American Civil War Round Table (UK) Sandra Bishop, 5 Southdale, Chigwell, Essex IG7 5NN Southern Skirmish Association (SoSkan) Membership Secretary, Bob Isaac, 3 Hilliards Road, Uxbridge, Middlesex, UB8 3TA

ARTS American Actors UK Administrator: Kelly Harris, 07873 371 891

SPORTS Eagles Golf Society Sharon Croley c/o Eventful Services, 49 Hastings Road, Croydon, Surrey CRO 6PH English Lacrosse PO Box 116, Manchester M11 0AX 0843 658 5006 British Baseball Federation/ BaseballSoftballUK 5th Floor, Ariel House, 74a Charlotte Street, London W1T 4QJ. 020 7453 7055 British Morgan Horse Society 01942 886141 Ice Hockey UK 19 Heather Avenue, Rise Park, Romford RM1 4SL Tel. 07917 194 264 Fax. 01708 725241 Infinity Elite Cheerleading (founded by C.A.C) Mondays 4.30-8.30 – Maiden Lane Comm. Centre, 156 St. Paul’s Crescent, London NW1 9XZ. Tumble: Thursdays 6-8 – Paget Centre,18-28 Randells Rd, Islington, London N1 0DH. Tel. 077 9132 0115 Herts Baseball Club Adult & Little League Baseball LondonSports Instruction & competitive play in baseball, basketball and soccer, boys/girls aged 4-15, newcomers or experienced players. Sports in a safe, fun environment. We welcome children of all nationalities. London Warriors American Football Club Contact: Kevin LoPrimo Mildenhall EELS Swim Team International and local competitions for ages 6-19. Contact Coach Robin

We rely on you to keep us informed. Every effort is made to ensure that these listings are correct but if your entry requires amendments please tell us. Send profiles, news or articles about your organization for possible publication in The American. email, tel +44(0)1747 830520, fax +44(0)1747 830691

December 2013 63

The American

Suppliers of quality products and services hand-picked for you To find out whether you’re eligible to advertise your products and services here, and for rates, call Sabrina Sully on +44 (0)1747 830520. You’ll reach Americans living in and visiting the UK as well as Britons who like American culture and products.

ACCOUNTANCY & TAX BDO LLP The UK member firm of the world’s fifth largest accountancy organisation. 55 Baker Street, London W1U 7EU 020 7486 5888 Jaffe & Co., incorp. American Tax International Comprehensive tax preparation and compliance service for US expatriates in the UK and Europe. America House, 54 Hendon Lane, London N3 1TT 020 8346 5237 Tax & Accounting Hub Professional service at affordable prices. Fixed fee U.S. Expatriate tax preparation service in London. Federal/ State, Foreign bank account/IRS audits response +44 (0)20 3286 6445. M: +44 (0)79 1439 3183 152 Burford Wharf, 3 Cam Road, London, E15 2SS Hayden T Joseph CPA, PA Honest fixed fee tax compliance for individuals and small businesses. US Expat Returns from £200. UK Tel:+447554905143 US Tel:+3056515580

ANTIQUES & COLLECTABLES Stephen T Taylor Your American stamp dealer in Britain since 1995. 5 Glenbuck Road, Surbiton, Surrey KT6 6BS 020 8390 9357

64 December 2013



Florida State University in UK Over 50 years of experience in international education. 99 Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3LA 020 7813 3223

Alison Driving School A well established, well known International Driving Instructor covering the area south and west of London, ideal for new drivers and for Americans who want to drive in the UK. 01784 456 037, cell 07956 220389


COUNSELLING AND PSYCHOTHERAPY Transitions Therapy Psychotherapy & Counselling for Expatriate Individuals, Couples, Families & Adolescents in the West End. London, England, United Kingdom 07557 261432 in the UK or 0044 7557 261432 from another country. Skype sessions available around the world.

Rolando Luci Luxury lighting, including American brands, some unique to the UK. 01778 218121

LEGAL Setfords Solicitors Family lawyers and mediators with particular experience in expatriate cases. 01483 408780

Coffee Break Answers


















































































1. Lord Byron; 2. b) Wheaties; 3. Arctic Ocean; 4. India; 5. Santa Claus, or St. Nikolas of Myra (also known as Nikolaos the Wonderworker, Bishop Saint Nicholas of Smyrna, and Nikolaos of Bari), who lived during the fourth century; 6. Twelfth Night; 7. Canada; 8. T S Eliot;w 9. The Night Before Christmas; 10. b) Mince pie; 11. a) Oklahoma (1907); 12. Australia; 13. a) Mail order (1872) with 163 products listed, because he felt the folk in the rural midwest were being overcharged by the local stores. It became fondly known as ‘The Wish Book’, and was copied by Richard W Sears in 1896; 14. Woodrow Wilson.

The American

Tail End Paw Talk or My Life as a Dog in America


Taittinger the Westie puppy, our new US canine correspondent, finds that chewing things over is not always the best policy angry and stuck me into a cage for over an hour. Fortunately, Platinum came and after I gave her my poor little me look and blinked my big brown eyes she took me out of the cage and then fed me a dog biscuit. I don’t particularly like dog biscuits but I decided from the way She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed-Usually gazed down at me I’d better not push my luck too far. Platinum likes to take me for walks which is lots of fun. One of my favorite dogs is a boxer who doesn’t mind me jumping all over him. Unfortunately, we encountered the poodle who didn’t appreciate my attempt to play with him and bit me on the nose. Actually, I blame myself as The Calico Cat had warned me against him. Poodles, I was told, are exceptionally smart dogs but don’t like their hair messed. Fortunately, Platinum rescued me in time and then felt so bad for me she took me home


eing six months old this will be my first Christmas. Of course, I’ve been told all about it by the twins Nip and Tuck and it does sound like fun. There is nothing I like better than chewing up things and if I can manage to get downstairs before She-Who-Must-BeObeyed-Usually wakens I’ll have a great time. Before I left the Gap where I was born, my father took me, my brothers and sisters aside and told us the most important thing to learn when we arrive at our new home was how to handle the master or mistress. Frankly, She-Who-Must-Be-ObeyedUsually has proved to be somewhat of a problem and I think it would be easier if I were her first dog. Today for example I chewed her new black shoes and just because the heel was half bitten off she became

and gave me the last of the roast beef which she had been saving to give David, her husband, for lunch. I don’t think he was very happy about that. Went to a dog and bone Christmas party at a pet store today, It was fun until they brought out party hats which they wanted us to wear and She-Who-Must-BeObeyed-Usually became annoyed when I chewed it all up. I mean if you had seen how ridiculous those dogs looked in hats how could she blame me? I bet Nip and Tuck would have understood. And speaking of Nip and Tuck, She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed-Usually and I are flying to New York to spend Christmas with them. I don’t understand what this flying bit means and it has me rather worried. Does it mean I have to put on wings or what? I’m going to have to talk to The Calico Cat and maybe he can explain.

December 2013 65

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The American Issue 728 December 2013  

The American has been published for Americans in Britain - and Brits who like American culture and lifestyle - since 1976.

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