Some tastes are acquired, but sometimes we fall in love immediately. Such was the case for me with the writing of Geoff Dyer, the music of Elvis Costello, the plays and movies of David Mamet, the musicals of Stephen Sondheim, the cooking of Tom Colicchio -- to name just a few that spring to mind. Once the die was cast, I would follow these artists wherever they chose to go, whether Dyer wrote about D.H. Lawrence, jazz, or yoga; whether Costello performed with the Attractions or the Brodsky Quartet; whether Mamet covered gangster con men, Secret Service con men, or Hollywood con men. And in the dicey and expensive realm of keeping up with culture, my affinity for these artists cuts the odds: Buying a ticket (in the form of a book or a meal) to their world is almost a sure thing. I don't have to wait for the paperback or the DVD; investing whatever it costs translates to pure pleasure, and then some. I can feel my world expanding as I get a... More >>>