B A R R Y L A N D .



hedonist's delight.








the woods, the beach, the court, the fire.
powerful words from a modern master of the sunday sermon

sex and suits.
anne hollander talks about why the man's suit has lasted 200 years

emails from GOD.
some correctives to righteous fwds

you've heard it talked about, but what is it, and what do we do with it?

anna k.
a few luminous passages that show you why it's a certified Great Book

the sceptered isle.
diaries from my adventure in sunny england

a dense meal from the English language's father superior


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Most Saturday nights these days I play, either by myself or with string bassist Greg Norris, at a hip downtown joint on the riverwalk called Dolores Del Rio. The other day, it being the usual packed crowd, they set up an extra chair for a gal all by herself — she fed me that evening with good, appreciative listening. She even knew the titles and composers of some of the out-of-the-way stuff I pulled out. Turns out she's "Llena LaTripa," a writer for the San Antonio Current, a weekly entertainment magazine.


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FEBRUARY 3-9, 2000.

 G ood sense told me to stay home this cool evening — to relax, and curl up beneath warm blankets with the cat and a good novel, and wait for sleep to claim me. But something told me this was no night to just read about pleasures. It was a night to brave the chilly air in search of good food, great music, and a good time.

Donning leather boots and jacket, I decided to take a stroll along the River Walk. As I wandered beside the river's murky, romantic waters, the faint tinkling of a jazz piano called from up ahead. Cole Porter? No, it was too erratic. Monk, maybe? My feet and ears led me to Dolores Del Rio. Just the name of the 1930s Mexican screen diva was enough to pique my interest.

A narrow, stone staircase led me up from the River Walk to a true hedonist's paradise. The place, though small and intimate, was packed with feasting diners, all basking in the soft candlelight emanating from each table. Dolores would impress me several times this night. But one of the highlights was the welcoming eagerness with which I was received. Despite the place's space limitations, the hostess and a waiter assembled a table for one, complete with my own flickering candle and endless supply of complimentary burgundy.

"You'll have the best seat in the house," the hostess promised as she led me to my table, directly beside the master of Dolores' cool jazz sounds — Barry Brake the piano man.

Throughout the evening, Barry would captivate us all with jazzy renditions of classics such as Miles Davis' "So What" and the sorrowful "What's New." A talented, young belly dancer, whose sashaying hips and exotic dance held everyone's gaze for over a half-hour, also provided wonderful entertainment that evening.

Dolores Del Rio offered pleasures for all five senses that night. Note to self: Must come back, soon.