Saturday night. Nathaniel Drew. Portugal.

Saturday night. Lockdown. Curfew. Pouring rain earlier. Quiet and fresh now as the clock ticks past 11 pm. From Istanbul my friend is sending me videos and photos on an hourly basis.

Nathaniel Drew. An earnest young man whose videos I watch occasionally. Not quite sure what his shtick is. In search of mental clarity, he writes on his website. Good luck with that.

He went to Portugal a week before I did last summer. I spent eleven perfect days in Porto towards the end of August 2020. I can’t wait to go back. (For newcomers to my blog, click on PORTUGAL up top for a travelogue.)

Here’s Nathaniel’s view in a video entitled “The Most Underrated Country I’ve Ever Been To” –

(280) The Most Underrated Country I’ve Ever Been To – YouTube

the heinous video that went viral

The video of the man kicking and stomping on the 65 year old woman on a New York City sidewalk is horrendous on many levels:

  1. no one came forward to help;
  2. why was the aggressor, a convicted criminal, walking freely in the streets? He murdered his mother back in 2002;
  3. the inaction of the three men in the lobby – big beefy men – who just stood there watching the attack occur right before their eyes before one of them closed the door.

In France there’s a law called – Non-assistance à personne en danger (non-assistance to a person in danger) – Article 223-6 of the French Penal Code and punishable to 5 years in prison and a 75,000 euro fine.

Which raises the question: does a person have a moral duty to rescue another person in danger? To witness this appalling assault … what does this say about us? Sometimes I feel ashamed to be part of the human race.

This attack could happen anywhere in the world, not just in NYC. In any case, the video went viral and it’s deeply disturbing.

(272) Man suspected of attacking Asian-American woman in New York arrested and charged with hate crime – YouTube

Etienne Daho

Probably one of the only male French singers that I really like, Daho is admired for his creative ingenuity, his dance moves and his velvet voice. In one word: suave. Born on January 14, 1956 in Oran, French Algeria, the French pop prince is also a songwriter and record producer. He lives in London.

“You have to mix things together, like in a cocktail shaker – not just music but films, books, paintings, pictures,” he says. “That’s how you build your world, you see something and you know that if you delve into it you’re going to learn something about yourself.”

Let’s go back to 1991. Here, we see Daho in New York City. Checker cabs. Times Square and the underground club scene. His big-shouldered jacket.

(262) Etienne Daho – Des attractions désastre (Clip officiel) – YouTube

a glorious 4-day Easter weekend

You wouldn’t believe the weather here.

What’s more, I have a 4-day weekend staring me in the face, Good Friday and Easter Monday included. As I sit here in total relaxation mode waiting for my sweet potato (yam?) to cook in the oven (what’s the difference between the two?), I’ve cracked open a bottle of St. Nicolas de Bourgueil, slightly chilled, from the Loire Valley, my favorite wine region of France. Tomorrow I’m going to walk to my favorite park, the Parc Monceau. Haven’t been there for ages.

France is in lockdown again. President Macron came on the 8 pm television news last night to tell us that all schools will close, travel further than 10 kilometers from our homes is forbidden, only food-grocery stores are open and working from home (télétravail) is highly encouraged. I’m still going to the office, but today I was all alone in my open space (I liked it).

Ten days ago an office colleague tested Covid positive. Two days earlier we had all been in a staff meeting in a small conference room for an hour and a half (all of us masked.) So everyone got tested and, thank goodness, we were all negative.

Here’s what I’m making for my dinner tonight before I return to the ARTE documentary film I started watching last night on the life and career of Rita Hayworth. ARTE is a Franco-German cultural TV channel, also viewed on the internet for those who don’t have a television:

Nigel Slater’s recipe for baked sweet potatoes with red pepper sauce | Food | The Guardian