That would-be grave robber from Philly is at it again, trying to get his cheese-steak-y paws on Edgar Allan Poe.
Edward Pettit, a freelance writer and Poe buff, argued in Philadelphia's City Paper last year that Poe's body should be dug up in Baltimore and reinterred in Philadelphia. He claimed Poe wrote his best stuff in the City of Brotherly Love and so deserved to spend eternity there.
Pettit will make a case for that macabre fate this morning, at the international mystery convention in Baltimore. Pettit will be part of a panel discussion on Poe at 8:30 a.m. at the Sheraton Baltimore City Center Hotel.
Give him props, at least, for having the nerve to come to town, and for having the wisdom to come armed.
"I'm bringing my shovel," he says.
At least it's a good year for wine
In the course of writing about Pazo's new, no-visible-undies dress code recently, I came across restaurateur Tony Foreman's blog. "Recent tasting notes." A list of "must-visit" restaurants in Italy. ("The Panna Cotta may change your life," he writes of the dessert served at La Cantinetta in Barolo.) Tips for pairing wines with asparagus, artichokes and other strong-tasting vegetables that turn reds "into V8." That sort of thing.
And then, a surprise topic: presidential politics.
Under the heading "political juice," the self-described wine dork offers his "metaphorical wine representations" - all reds - for the candidates and running mates.
"2005 Numanthia. Thick - almost syrupy, heady, spicy with rich smooth tannins. ... This robust wine shows potential for age but there have only been a few vintages produced and it is difficult to say if it will become more complex or if it will become charmless, hollow and monolithic as the years pass and the bloom comes off the young fruit.
"1974 Burgess Vintage Selection [Cabernet]. This wine has always shown body and power. Time has taken some of the attack from its substantial tannins, but they are still noticeable and fine (but not very fine). ... Even at this age it has years to go to resolve its structure.
"Etude Pinot Noir - any year just about. Very consistent and reliable. Tony Soter always makes this wine for consumers, not for serious wine folk. Cherry and cola notes lace this medium weight punchy/fruity pinot.
"[A]n early 90's Zinfandel from Ravenswood (at about age 5) 1992 Belloni vineyard. Robust and full of vigor, unrefined and exciting. ... Very expressive while not highly complex. Has the fruit and structure to age - not produced from a grape that often shows greater complexity as time passes."
Foreman doesn't post the wine-to-candidate links on the blog, but he confirmed:
The syrupy young wine with both potential and question marks is Barack Obama. The aged but not-yet-over-the-hill Cab is John McCain. The punchy, Joe Sixpack Pinot Noir is Joe Biden. The exciting Zin with vigor but little complexity is Sarah Palin.
The wine analogies were meant to be nonpartisan. Foreman, one of Baltimore's leading wine gurus, will gladly tell you what to drink. He won't tell you how to vote. But he will say the 2008 candidates make for good drinking. George W. Bush, John Kerry and Al Gore, not so much.
"In a year when you have these more extreme types, it's much easier," he said. "It would have been a dull, dull tasting in 2000 and 2004, let me tell you."
They're discriminating - in music, at least
Mixing politics and wine, no problem. But politics and music? Problem.
At least for An die Musik LIVE!, the Mount Vernon classical and jazz venue that hosts a fundraiser for Obama tomorrow.
Hundreds of e-mails poured in after the event was announced last week, and not from people seeking reservations. Many were upset that politics had crept into the cozy North Charles Street concert space.
An die Musik owner Henry Wong issued a second e-mail, explaining that the venue was "impartial" and that he'd only agreed to let a group of pro-Obama musicians use the space as a favor.
"[W]e are happy to make our concert hall available for anyone who wishes to organize a classical or jazz fundraising concert for Senator McCain," he wrote.
So far, no takers on that offer. But Wong told me he's open to Ralph Nader events, too - so long as the program is classical or jazz. The venue is nonpartisan only when it comes to politics.