Showing posts from November, 2022

Funny, surprising, disturbing

I don't think I will ever again be able to listen to a wine description without laughing out loud. (Honestly, this was already a tough thing for me.) The Menu deliciously mocks pretentious cuisine, faddish "deconstructed" edibles and food journalism, while drawing a horror story out of kitchen enslavement to critics (and to much of the rest of restaurant-going society). I left the theater smiling, thinking and craving a double-cheeseburger.

Find me on Mastodon

Leaving the Twits behind. If you'd like to follow me on social media, give Mastodon a try.

'Murdertown,' 'Bombtown,' 'Crimetown USA'

Through decades, Youngstown, Ohio, endured painful nicknames like those, due to the rackets, violence and corruption of organized crime in the region. In its November 2022 issue - just released yesterday - Informer addresses the history of organized crime in the Mahoning/Shenango valleys of northeastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania. Articles on the subject range from the earliest "Mafia" reports of the 1890s through the apparent dissolution of the Mob more than a century later. I spent much of the past two years coordinating "The Mob in Youngstown" issue. I had the pleasure of working on this massive project with extremely knowledgeable organized crime historians James Barber, Justin Cascio, Margaret Janco, Thom L. Jones, Michael A. Tona and Edmond Valin. There were some special challenges. The Youngstown-area underworld was unusually complex, as four Mafia organizations - those from Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Detroit and Buffalo - a non-Mafia Calabrian criminal soc