Drink of the Week: The Red Line

The Red Line.No need to go into details about the geekiness that brought me there, but this last Easter Sunday found this very secular Jew in downtown L.A. Not wanting to waste an opportunity to hit one of the countless outstanding bars in my town’s ever-cooler civic seat, but also being only too aware that it was a pretty major holiday, it appeared that my best bet for a DTLA libation was the relatively new E.R.B., aka Everson Royce Bar, a recent outgrowth of Pasadena’s noted Everson Royce wine and spirits emporium.

And that’s how I encountered today’s drink, the creation of the ERB bartender who calls himself Jonathan B. Jonathan had come up with the drink the night or two before, and he suggested it when I told him I was up for just about anything good. It’s a rich, strong concoction that I pronounced nifty on the spot.

Since there’s already a drink on the ERB menu called the Gold Line, referring to the commuter train that can take you from Pasadena to the downtown L.A. arts district, I suggested naming this drink after the slightly further afield Red Line, which would soon take me back to my North Hollywood home via nearby-enough-for-a-cheap-Uber ride Union Station. Yes, L.A. is finally starting to have decent public transit, just like we already have more than our fair share of good bars.

The Red Line

1 1/2 ounces rye whiskey
1/2 ounce Cynar
1/2 ounce Lillet Blanc
2 dashes Angostura bitters
2 dashes Peychaud’s or Scrappy’s Orleans bitters
1 orange twist (desirable garnish)

Shake or stir the contents in a cocktail shaker or mixing glass and strain into a cocktail glass. Add the orange twist, and toast our nation’s great cities and the creative bartenders who inhabit them.

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Movie Review: “Everybody Wants Some!!”

Starring
Blake Jenner, Glen Powell, J. Quinton Johnson, Temple Baker, Zoey Deutch, Wyatt Russell, Austin Amelio, Tyler Hoechlin, Ryan Guzman
Director
Richard Linklater

Nobody makes “slice of life” movies quite like Richard Linklater. From his directorial debut “Slacker,” to the 1993 cult classic “Dazed and Confused,” to the Oscar-nominated “Boyhood,” Linklater thrives at creating films that you experience rather than simply watch. His latest movie, “Everybody Wants Some!!,” has been proclaimed as a spiritual sequel to both “Dazed and Confused” and “Boyhood,” and although its connection to the latter is tenuous at best (based solely on the idea that the new film picks up where the other story left off), “Everybody Wants Some!!” shares more in common with the former. In addition to having a similar vibe, Linklater’s coming-of-age companion piece explores many of the same themes and is once again fueled by an awesome soundtrack.

While “Dazed and Confused” followed the adventures of various social cliques on the last day of school in 1976, “Everybody Wants Some!!” focuses exclusively on a rowdy college baseball team in southern Texas. Due to student overcrowding, the university has provided the team with a pair of houses off-campus for the players to live in without any adult supervision. That freedom comes with a couple conditions – namely, no alcohol inside the house or female guests upstairs – but it doesn’t stop the self-entitled group of athletes from breaking those rules immediately and often over the course of one party-filled weekend in the summer of 1980 before classes are scheduled to begin. That’s pretty much the full extent of the story, as the guys amble around town trying to pick up women while passing the time with beer, competitions, more beer, stupid pranks, still more beer and even a little baseball.

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Movie Review: “The Jungle Book”

Starring
Neel Sethi, Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba, Lupita Nyong’o, Scarlett Johansson, Christopher Walken
Director
Jon Favreau

There was much ado when Disney announced that they were going to make live-action versions of some of their most beloved animated films, but so far, the results are far better than what the naysayers were predicting. “Cinderella” was a lovely, if safe, first step, and while “The Jungle Book” doesn’t quite hit the same highs that “Cinderella” does, it’s packed with thrills, and it has the courage to go about the material in its own way. It should be noted, though, that this ‘own way’ may scare the hell out of young children.

Mowgli (Neel Sethi) is a “man-cub” that was found abandoned in an Indian jungle by the panther Bagheera (voiced by Ben Kingsley). Bagheera asks the wolf pack, who recently had pups, if they will take care of him, and they gladly oblige. Shere Khan (Idris Elba), a man-eating tiger, takes issue with the animals protecting Mowgli, threateningly suggesting that more than just Mowgli may die if they continue to do so. Mowgli doesn’t want harm to come to anyone in his pack, so he agrees to leave. Bagheera walks him to the nearest man village, but Shere Khan interferes, and the two are separated. Mowgli is nearly done in by Kaa the python (Scarlett Johansson), but is saved by a sloth bear named Baloo (Bill Murray). Baloo appreciates Mowgli’s ability to make “machines,” but Shere Khan will not stop until he’s had his man-cub meal. Further complicating matters, Mowgli has attracted the attention of King Louie (Christopher Walken), a giant orangutan who wants Mowgli to teach him how to make fire.

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Six Things You Can Do Online When You’re Bored

woman napping at work

When you are bored with nothing to do, the internet is usually the go-to place for entertainment. If you’re coming up short of things to do, you can always rely on the good old web to provide you with a gazillion ways to pass the time. So if you’re staring at the wall wondering what you can do to speed up the next couple of hours or so, we’ve got some of the best boredom-busters on the internet lined up.

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5 Great Gadgets for the World Traveler

Apple Watch

Are you a frequent traveler? Do you sometimes feel like you spend more time in airports than in your own home? When traveling across the globe, or even across the country, comprises so much of your life, it’s imperative that you use technology to provide the comforts of home while on the road. Lots of tech toys can increase your productivity while reducing your boredom while traveling. Here are the five best gadgets for the world traveler.

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