Naked brunch.

In Detroit, the business known simply as the Schvitz has rather a scandalous reputation, not because of its daytime life as a traditional (built c. 1930) Russian baths for the old men who still believe in that sort of thing, but for its weekend incarnation as a swingers’ club. Google a little and you’ll find multiple stories about it, but John Carlisle’s piece from 2009 is comprehensive, covering both sides of the place, which in shorthand is basically a bit of old Detroit that hasn’t yet been corrupted by new Detroit. (Although it’s surely coming. I hear schvitzing is popular among the paleo crowd.)

It’s a men’s club in its day job and a swinger’s club on the weekends, and as I have neither a penis nor the inclination to have public sex with strangers, I figured I’d never see the inside of the place. Until I recently learned that a woman I know on a sort of tertiary basis — she used to own a restaurant I enjoyed — was hosting a public, women-only brunch there, on the first Sunday of every month. Bring a dish to share, a bottle if you like, plus $25, and you too can sit on the same steam-room benches the Purple Gang once occupied. Of course I went.

I tried to get some friends to go, but one was busy and the other said she was too hungover.

“Are you kidding me?” I replied. “That’s what schvitzing was INVENTED for.” The Russians spend half their time swilling vodka, and the other half moaning and sweating it out in steam rooms. But it was a barfy kind of hangover, so she got a pass. I ended up making vague plans to touch base with a woman I met three days ago. Nothing like being naked in a steam room to get acquainted with a new friend.

I packed a bag with a robe, towel and my shower stuff from my swimming bag, and considered whether to bring a bathing suit. Finally decided nope. Saunas and steam were meant to be experienced in one’s birthday suit, and I am too old to be shy about my body. I bought a cold bottle of champagne and got on the freeway.

Maybe 30 women were already there when I arrived, and maybe 30 more came after, making for a nice take for the Schvitz on what would be a dead day. Everybody was already in a robe, pouring mimosas and gabbing around the food. I dropped off my contribution (the rest of the pumpkin muffins I made for breakfast), put the wine on the bar table and got undressed. The thought of filling up on eggs before a steam sounded nauseating, so I popped the cork and poured a glass of bubbly, then headed downstairs in my robe.

What a place. The word “dank” applies, but then you realize dank is sort of the point. The Schvitz dates from an era when daily bathing wasn’t a custom, and communal bathing was an important part of social life. No one was worried about waffle-knit spa robes or essential oils; the idea was to open the pores with steam, close them with a plunge into the cold pool, repeat as needed. It’s dimly lit, probably as clean as a place 85 years old can be, and it gets the damn job done.

I never did make it all the way into the cold pool, just a little splashing. The water was 54 degrees. Maybe next time.

The old Russian guys who run the place have seen every incarnation of the human form that it’s possible to see (especially on swingers’ night), but still, when the steam-room door opened and one walked through to the laundry room, eyes averted, the conversation stopped briefly. Even the women in bikinis seemed a bit taken aback, but it’s hard to imagine a less sexy place than this; I honestly don’t see how the swingers manage, but maybe the atmosphere is part of the taboo.

This happened a couple of times — the walkthrough, always with eyes turned to the wall without the benches. I relaxed into the heat even more, until I realized two glasses of champagne were going directly to my head

I went upstairs and found a crock pot with Italian wedding soup in it. I had a bowl, had a muffin and two big glasses of water, then headed back down to the steam. By now, almost every bench was full, maybe 40 women in there, almost all at least topless, a fair number nude, yakking up a storm, everybody having a great time. The door opened, and the Russian guy came in again. This time he saw the hostess on the bench and walked right over to ask her something, then turned away to throw some cold water on the stones for more steam. There was some squealing, and he threw in another bucket before turning to ask if that was enough. One guy, 80 tits, everybody pouring sweat, cheering for steam.

I’ve felt less safe in doctors offices. What a great way spend an afternoon. As I left, I told the other Russian guy, Dosvidanya. Most people think it simply means “goodbye,” but it literally translates to “until we meet again.” We will. This is going on my calendar for the rest of the year.

Now it’s Sunday afternoon and I have to Truth-Squad the Democratic debate tonight. This means I’m missing my Sunday-night cable shows, but that’s why God sent us streaming. And since I no longer have cable, that means I have to find it online, and that, too, is why God sent us streaming.

So, mellow as I am post-steam, I have little to add in the way of bloggage. Or maybe not; let’s see what I can scrounge up…

This is a few days old, and serves as an answer to last weekend’s “Trump is all Obama’s fault,” which went around for a couple of days, but ran out of air fast, mainly because it was preposterous. I’m always tickled by Matt Taibbi’s turns of phrase:

(Karl) Rove correctly guessed that a generation of watching TV and Hollywood movies left huge blocs of Americans convinced that people who read books, looked at paintings and cared about spelling were either serial killers or scheming to steal bearer bonds from the Nakatomi building. (Even knowing what a bearer bond is was villainous).

Gotta love a good reference to the Nakatomi building.

Nancy Reagan is dead. I wasn’t a fan, but not a hater, either. Like many people I once found irritating, she grew on me after she left the spotlight. I’d look at her in her later years and think, frail. She was a truly birdlike woman, so thin she looked like she’d blow away in a stiff breeze. Ah, well — we’re all going to the same place, so let’s let her mourners mourn.

Finally, a companion headline to the one I posted Friday. I just love it:


Have a great week, all.

Posted at 12:10 am in Current events, Detroit life |

58 responses to “Naked brunch.”

  1. Brandon said on March 7, 2016 at 4:25 am

    “[W]e’re all going to the same place.”

    We all depart from the same point but end up at different destinations.

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  2. ROGirl said on March 7, 2016 at 6:00 am

    My father used to go to the Schvitz one night a week with his 3 brothers, back when it was just a place for Jewish men to drink, eat and steam (and get away from their wives). He enjoyed Crown Royal, creamed herring and big steaks. Sometimes he took my brother, I will ask him what it was like.

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  3. alex said on March 7, 2016 at 7:05 am

    I didn’t know until seeing this morning’s headlines that Bernie opposed the auto bailout, which is one more reason I cannot take him too seriously. Though I like his crusty contrarianism, he’s really not much different than the teabaggers at the opposite end of the political spectrum in his ideological rigidity and habit of making the perfect the enemy of the good.

    As regards Nancy Reagan, I didn’t even realize she was still around until Brian mentioned her the other day. In tribute, I offer up one of the few things I ever read in the New Republic that made howl with laughter and continues to make me giddy whenever I recall it. From 1991:

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  4. alex said on March 7, 2016 at 7:07 am

    I guess that link doesn’t give you the whole thing without a subscription, but you get the idea…

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  5. Alan Stamm said on March 7, 2016 at 7:41 am

    Your headline companions can be a set of triplets with this sibling:

    “How Donald Trump’s Penis Is Helping His Quest for the White House”

    That was in The Telegraph (U.K.) last Friday. Yes, more confirmation for Brits that their former colony is bonkers.

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  6. beb said on March 7, 2016 at 7:57 am

    I was appalled by the “BREAKING NEWS” and instant hagiography of Nancy Reagan. She wasn’t Ronnie, she wasn’t a politician. She hadn’t been in the White House in 28 years. She was as much a nobody as I am. Yet she was consuming the news cycle. I am so done with Nancy.

    If knowing what bearer bonds are makes you villainous, what does knowing what the Nakatomi Building make you… a super-villain? (ps – I refuse to Google “Nakatomi.”)

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  7. basset said on March 7, 2016 at 8:13 am

    I did. Another movie reference.

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  8. Julie Robinson said on March 7, 2016 at 8:20 am

    The schvitzing experience sounds fascinating, except for the actual schvitzing part. I used to swim with friends who wanted to sauna afterwards and found it miserable. I just don’t like getting overheated. Our Cali niece has a hot yoga studio, and it strikes me as cray cray.

    beb, Nancy watched over every detail of Ronnie’s life–remember when the astrologer from Hollywood was timing announcements and decisions so the moon would be in the right house? Mommy, as he called her, was definitely the power behind the throne.

    Speaking of spooky predictions, Brian, what’s your next one?

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  9. Joe K said on March 7, 2016 at 8:52 am

    actually writing this whilst I sit in the sauna at the YMCA. I try to get here 3 times a week. Haven’t had a cold or the flu since I have become a sauna person.
    Would love to have one at home.
    Pilot Joe

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  10. brian stouder said on March 7, 2016 at 9:18 am

    Julie – our 11 year old gave me one of those ‘day by day’ desk calendars, where you rip off the little page each day and see a ‘this day in history’ thing…. and Friday March 4 noted Ronnie & Nancy’s 1952 wedding anniversary – which inspired that thought.

    Aside from that, let me just say that Nancy’s post today was exceedingly pleasant, if not almost schvitz-inducing!

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  11. Deborah said on March 7, 2016 at 9:36 am

    I love saunas. We go to a couple of places in NM that have them. One of the places is Ojo Caliente a natural mineral pool place If you ever visit northern NM go there. You can get a day pass for about $18 per person. There are various pools, some very hot, some less so. They have a steam room and a dry sauna too. When we started going about 30 years ago it was basically a run down hippy place, it’s been fixed up a lot since then. You can’t be nude there except for in the private pools, which cost $80 for an hour soak. The other place is in Santa Fe, called Ten Thousand Waves, it’s a Japanese bath house. One of the big pools there is clothing optional. I’ve never been to that pool but most people who do say all the wrong people are nude. This spa is expensive but a couple of Little Bird’s friends work there so we often get discounts or freebies.

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  12. Charlotte said on March 7, 2016 at 9:54 am

    LIke Julie @8 I overheat easily, but I have to say, the Hammam at the Grand Mosque in Paris is totally worth a visit. Ladies days are Tuesdays/Thursdays I believe? Same kind of vibe — both fabulous and utilitarian. As you go further back into the rooms, it gets hotter and hotter, and the outermost room has benches covered with those plasticky mats like gyms have. Women in all states of undress. There’s a lady who will scrub you all over with a strong loofa, and then a tray with mint tea at the end. It’s lovely. If I lived where there were such things, I’d go more often.

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  13. Deborah said on March 7, 2016 at 11:18 am

    The second phase of our building project in Abiquiu will be a bathhouse, which will consist of a bathroom, dressing room and sauna. This may never happen since it has taken 16 years to get to phase one. We started designing the bathhouse just in the last couple of months. We have located the site and already the design has changed at least a dozen times. This is what my husband loves to do, noodle around forever, doing hundreds maybe thousands of drawings. We think our sauna will have a wood burning stove. The building project I worked on in upstate NY a couple of years ago has a wood burning stove made specially by a guy in Ithica, NY, who does that for a living. The stove has a basket on top for the rocks that you pour ladles full of water on to make the steam. I found out they have to be igneous rocks or they will explode when they get hot. I learned lots while working on that project.

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  14. St Bitch said on March 7, 2016 at 11:19 am

    Granted, I’m still drowsy, but:

    “Ah, well — we’re all going to the same place…”

    followed closely by

    “A National Descent into Trump’s Pants”

    …has rudely awakened me into that fetid place where the sun can never shine

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  15. Heather said on March 7, 2016 at 12:01 pm

    There is a Korean bathhouse just down the street from me. I’ve only been there once though. My neighborhood is pretty diverse and it was a real mix of ethnicities in there–Latino, Asian, Eastern European. They used to have a good sushi place next door that you could order in from.

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  16. Catherine said on March 7, 2016 at 12:21 pm

    The LA version doesn’t require water:

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  17. MichaelG said on March 7, 2016 at 12:52 pm

    Lord, they’re just having a Nancy Reagan orgy on TV and radio. I’m talking to you, NPR. Nobody’s mentioned the astrologist though.

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  18. Deborah said on March 7, 2016 at 12:59 pm

    Ewwww, thinking about a Nancy Reagan orgy and what’s in Trump’s pants makes me queasy.

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  19. ROGirl said on March 7, 2016 at 1:05 pm

    I suppose they can still say “so life-like” about her.

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  20. jcburns said on March 7, 2016 at 1:38 pm

    Joe, what writing device do you use in the sauna? (Serious question!)

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  21. David C. said on March 7, 2016 at 1:54 pm

    It seems like the paper would be a bigger problem than the writing device. At least after someone throws water on the rocks.

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  22. Scout said on March 7, 2016 at 1:59 pm

    Deborah referred to Ojo Caliente near Santa Fe and I second that emotion. We went twice when we were visiting SF two summers ago. (We also got to meet the lovely Deborah and Little Bird – another highlight!)

    I recently experienced my first sweat lodge and it was very interesting. It’s amazing what you can endure in the right mindset.

    I am surprised at how much press Nancy Reagan is getting. She’s been out of the public eye for quite a while now. Like our Nancy, I’m not a fan, not a hater. Her astrologer was one of the things I actually liked about her.


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  23. Sue said on March 7, 2016 at 2:02 pm

    The whole ‘great love story’ narrative of Ronald and Nancy Reagan really gets on my nerves. I think she probably did love her husband in her own fashion, but we’re talking about a woman tough enough and smart enough to best both her husband’s friends and enemies, over his long political career, but who also expected everyone to fall for ‘the gaze’. Please. The love of her life, in what I keep hearing is a love story for the ages, was a man who was once described as someone who, if you asked him the time, would proceed to tell you how to make a watch. And, if I know men of his generation, he thought everyone was listening in rapt fascination.
    Nancy Reagan did what women of her generation, and thousands of generations before her, did: married a guy who wasn’t as smart as she was, and played the part of adoring subordinate wife very well, all the while ‘managing’ him behind the scenes.
    By that definition many of my female relatives one generation up were involved in great love stories.

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  24. Ann said on March 7, 2016 at 2:07 pm

    That John Carlisle piece is lovely. Was the parrot still in residence when you visited?

    You can get wonderful Michigan-made wood burning sauna stoves. Nippa, made in Beulah. They used to be made in Bruce (not Bruce’s) Crossing, in the middle of nowhere even by UP standards, and that’s where we bought ours, circa 1974. It stayed with the old camp (no plumbing) when we sold it. At the new place we had a hot tub but when the bottom fell out of that (literally) last summer we said to hell with it. Now we warm up before bed with our heated mattress pad. Such are the compromises of age.

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  25. Charlotte said on March 7, 2016 at 2:22 pm

    I hated Nancy Reagan — in large part because she was what my mother wanted to be, and wanted me to be. Skinny, with that ridiculous adoring gaze, trailing in some man’s wake while secretly managing him. Ugh. My grandmother knew her some — NR was 10 years younger but Dr. Davis was the family doctor (even though he was a neurosurgeon?). He was apparently quite a mean man, and while he did adopt Nancy, it was clear to everyone in the know that he’d wanted her out and wed and off his payroll asap. I’ve never understood Reagan worship — he was clearly dumb as a box of rocks, and she was conniving, and they both stood by and watched thousands and thousands of gay men die of AIDs.

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  26. Dexter said on March 7, 2016 at 2:51 pm

    I guess it’s just a testament to my gross and awful person, but when I saw or heard old Nancy Reagan I kept recalling a hilarious story, author Kitty Kelly, about her long off-and-on affair with Frankie Blue Eyes. An even more-tawdry story I read somewhere by an author I have long-forgotten detailed how old Nancy was tantalized by Frank’s giant member and couldn’t get enough of it. Not in “the old days”…in the White House days. Stuff like that sticks in peoples’ minds…did for me anyway. Nah, I never cared for that bitch at all. “Just Say No.” Right… And right-on, beb…I understand your viewpoint totally.

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  27. Joe K said on March 7, 2016 at 3:32 pm

    Droid Turbo, works well until you get the screen wet,
    Usually have a towel with me to keep it dry, heat doesn’t seem to bother it.
    Pilot Joe

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  28. Bitter Scribe said on March 7, 2016 at 4:05 pm

    Charlotte @25: When my mother was a college kid, she worked in a university laboratory partially managed by Loyal Davis, and she said he was a card-carrying bastard and a bigot who got her favorite doctor fired for no other reason than that the man was black.

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  29. Brandon said on March 7, 2016 at 4:23 pm

    Like many people I once found irritating, she grew on me after she left the spotlight.

    So if Mitch Albom retires…?

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  30. David C. said on March 7, 2016 at 5:31 pm

    It was sunny and 63° here so I decided to play hooky this afternoon. We took a walk on the trail along Lake Butte des Morts and saw two pair of bald eagles and two juveniles. Have you ever seen eagles doing what’s called cartwheeling? They fly toward each other and and grab talons and whirl around each other. One pair was doing that today. It’s the first time I saw it live and it’s way better in person than in a nature documentary. Nice thing about living surrounded by water is all the wildlife.

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  31. LAMary said on March 7, 2016 at 5:45 pm

    The LA local news showed the little church where Nancy and Ronnie were married, chose for it’s privacy. That’s because Nancy was pregnant. Nothing wrong with that, really unless you spend the rest of your life pretending to be a saint married to another saint.

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  32. Deborah said on March 7, 2016 at 5:55 pm

    David C, I would love to observe the cartwheeling for real, not on a video. I’d heard of it but have never seen it.

    Regarding Nancy Reagan, wasn’t she pregnant by Ronnie while he was still married to Jane Wyman?

    Also, back to Ojo Caliente: they had a treatment there where first you soaked for an hour in a hot, hot tub, then you came out to a room full of tables, they first wrapped you in a cotton flannel blanket. Once you were prone on one of the tables on your back, they wrapped you in a thick felt blanket, like an inch thick. Then they covered your eyes and you sweat and sweat for about a half hour. When they unwrapped you, you felt like a cooked noodle. It was heavenly. I don’t know if they still do that, if they don’t, they should.

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  33. adrianne said on March 7, 2016 at 6:04 pm

    Breaking…breaking…this just in: Jury awards Erin Andrews $55 million for her ordeal.

    Here’s what’s on Law360 website (we restrict access, so no link):

    BREAKING: Erin Andrews Awarded $55M By Nashville Jury In Peephole Suit
    By Cara Salvatore

    Law360, New York (March 7, 2016, 5:34 PM ET) — A Nashville jury awarded sportscaster Erin Andrews $55 million on Monday after a two-week trial against the hotel where a stalker was able to reserve a room next to Andrews’ and secretly film a video that was later released on the Internet.

    The jury found operator Windsor Capital 49 percent at fault and stalker Michael David Barrett 51 percent at fault. It found that Windsor was the agent of owner West End Hotel Partners.

    At the close of the two-week trial Friday, sportscaster Erin Andrews’ lawyers stood in front of a jury and beseeched them to hold a Nashville hotel accountable for an alleged chain of privacy glitches by which a stalker hunted her down and took secret footage later viewed by millions on the Internet.

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  34. Deborah said on March 7, 2016 at 6:14 pm

    Good for her. Not as much as she originally asked for but no small change either.

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  35. basset said on March 7, 2016 at 6:25 pm

    Schvitz looks interesting, hope they have heavily guarded parking though.

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  36. Jolene said on March 7, 2016 at 7:22 pm

    Regarding Nancy Reagan, wasn’t she pregnant by Ronnie while he was still married to Jane Wyman?

    No, the Reagan v. Wyman divorce was final in 1949. Reagan began dating Nancy in 1951, and they were married in 1952.

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  37. Deborah said on March 7, 2016 at 7:39 pm

    Jolene, thanks for clearing that up, again you can’t always believe what you find on the Internet.

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  38. Julie Robinson said on March 7, 2016 at 7:46 pm

    Joe, my locker room has signs that say no phones allowed. Doesn’t yours? It’s especially relevant today in light of the Erin Andrews award. Of course, it’ll be appealed, and the perpetrator won’t be able to pay his portion, but still, I’m very glad.

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  39. Joe K said on March 7, 2016 at 8:16 pm

    Currently their are no signs banning phones, I guess it’s never been a problem, usually I’m the only one using the sauna, but I can see where that might be something to be aware of. Besides the health benefits, friendships are formed in a sauna, guess you don’t have anything to hide so to speak, a guy Dexter worked with at Dana Auburn is a frequent user, John was wounded in Vietnam and uses the sauna daily, says it relieves his pain.
    Pilot Joe

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  40. Mark P said on March 7, 2016 at 11:46 pm

    I don’t understand why anyone ever thought Nancy Reagan was so great, although I know of some otherwise reasonably intelligent people who did. And I certainly don’t understand why the Republicans worship Ronald. After all, he’s the one who showed the terrorists that if you hurt Americans, they will run away. He was also despicable. The attack on the Marine barracks in Lebanon that killed nearly 300 Americans was tied directly to Iran. The Reagan administration later sold arms to Iran. So, Ronnie — what a hero!

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  41. alex said on March 7, 2016 at 11:55 pm

    Julie, back in the ’90s in Chicago I worked for a fartsy publication that had been approached by a guy who had made a pinhole camera out of a shampoo bottle and wanted to sell surreptitious pictures that he had captured in health clubs, not just unsuspecting naked people but flagrant locker-room canoodlers and all kinds of other bizarreness. They were distorted like a funhouse mirror and could fairly have been called high art, but there was too much potential for legal trouble to consider publishing.

    $55 million’s a good haul. It will probably be appealed and reduced to much less media fanfare than it’s getting now.

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  42. David C. said on March 8, 2016 at 6:02 am

    Think Mitch Albom will tell Erin Andrews to give the money to chairty?

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  43. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 8, 2016 at 7:40 am

    Hey, Michigan — from my distinguished forbearer James A. Garfield*:

    I would rather be beaten in Right than succeed in wrong.

    I am trying to do two things — dare to be a radical and not to be a fool, which if I may judge by the exhibitions around me is a matter of no small difficulty.

    I would rather be defeated than make capital out of my religion.

    This public life is a weary, wearing one, that leaves one but little time for that quiet reflection which is so necessary to keep up a growth and vigor of Christian character. But I hope I have lost none of my desire to be a true man, and keep ever before me the character of the great Nazarene.

    It is not right or manly to lie, even about Satan.

    The principles of ethics have not changed by the passage of years.

    Not a man of iron, but a live oak.

    Ideas outlive men.

    Victory is worth nothing except for the fruits that are under it, in it, and above it.

    There can be no permanent disenfranchised peasantry in the United States.

    Perhaps it is true that the demagogue will succeed when honorable statesmanship will fail. If so, public life is the hollowest of shams.

    *Only ordained minister ever elected President of the United States, and in my own denomination no less, so call me a big fan!

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  44. basset said on March 8, 2016 at 8:44 am

    And a fiddler too, apocryphally credited with composing the old-time standard “Blackberry Blossom.”

    Meanwhile… who can recommend a good Italian restaurant in St. Louis, ideally not too far from the city center?

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  45. Connie said on March 8, 2016 at 8:46 am

    So in Michigan it is primary day and in my neighborhood all we have to vote for is presidential candidates. A very small ballot. Unless you live in the district’s previously repped by Courser and Gamrat, where new state reps will be elected. Some areas will have local ballot issues.

    I will have a local ballot issue in the AUgust primary, a renewal of the tax millage that provides 70% of my library’s revenue. Glad it is not on the November ballot where it would be the last thing on what is expected to be a three page ballot. First the primary, then the eight state ballot issues, then local ballot questions at the end.

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  46. basset said on March 8, 2016 at 10:34 am

    And another change of topic, back to our usual:

    sorry about the long link, I’m on my phone.

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  47. Deborah said on March 8, 2016 at 11:54 am

    Basset, there are many Italian restaurants and markets in the hill area of St. Louis. It’s not too far from the city center. Right downtown there was a place called Tony’s, if it’s still there, it was pricey though. In the Central West End there is my favorite St. Louis restaurant called Bar Italia, it’s owned by Ethiopian brothers (Ethiopia was a colony of Italy at one time). I love the food there and they have a great outdoor area. There are probably lots more that will come to my mind.

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  48. Deborah said on March 8, 2016 at 12:03 pm

    Basset, I googled it and Tony’s is still there. In the same downtown building as Tony’s is another place that was owned by the same guy, called Anthony’s Bar. It’s also a restaurant, not as pricey as Tony’s. I can’t believe I forgot to mention it before, it’s where my husband and I had our first date. We worked in a building a couple of blocks over and went to Anthony’s for martinis after work one evening.

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  49. basset said on March 8, 2016 at 12:33 pm

    Saw the Hill area online, a lot of choices and this really helps narrow them down. Not sure where we’re staying yet or even when we’re going – we try to take a long weekend once in awhile and go somewhere within an easy drive, STL is less than five hours from Nashville.

    St. Louis food experience so far for me was my first soft pretzel at Busch Stadium when I was maybe ten – our entire Little League, all four teams, used to load up on a couple of school buses at the end of the season and head down Highway 50 from Indiana to a Cards game, at the time I thought pretzels were small and crunchy.

    Cards were playing the Giants, Willie Mays was still with them then but past his peak and when he dropped a fly ball the crowd around us got on him pretty hard. I remember thinking “that’s Willie Mays, you can’t talk to him like that!”

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  50. Brandon said on March 8, 2016 at 1:24 pm

    @Deborah, #47:

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  51. brian stouder said on March 8, 2016 at 3:30 pm

    Basset – amen!!

    You remind me of a slightly sideways corollary, when I first saw the F1 boys in real-life, at Indy years ago.

    My son and I were sitting up high at the south end of the track (F1 Turn 12-13), and marveling as Michael Schumacher raced past.

    A guy near us took note, and began (good naturedly) trash-talking ol’ Schuey. At one point, he said Schuey would have made a good guard at a German death camp…at which point I countered that, at worst, he’d have flown a fighter plane…

    at which point he countered with “yeah – and he’d have strafed civilian refugees!”….at which point I laughed and we let the back-and-forth subside!

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  52. Dexter said on March 8, 2016 at 3:49 pm

    No comparisons make sense when it comes to jury awards to victims. Don’t even mean to suggest that at all. Erin Andrews has been a victim these past eight years, and she finally was able to take her case to court and jury. My flippant post yesterday on Facebook was misleading to my Facebook friends and I got feedback in shitstorm form.
    The headline used for breaking news read $55 mil…read down one line and we were lead to believe Marriott Hotels were going to pay 49%…and I assumed that was a sure-pay award, and of course I was dead-wrong. Marriott’s attorneys could drag this out absolutely interminably in appellate courts Speculation seems to lead us (be careful, self!) Marriott will soon present Andrews and attorneys with a non-disclosed amount with that all-important sure-pay rider and signed documents from Erin Andrews stating she accepts this amount and drops all actions in criminal as well as civil courts forevermore. The Daily News says the $55 mil award from the jury makes a mockery of pain and suffering, and this means only when compared with what Freddie Grey’s and others’ families got back financially in settlements. .That is what I meant yesterday in my post, nothing more. So…if you have one minute, skim the short story from NY Daily News.

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  53. Sherri said on March 8, 2016 at 3:55 pm

    I think this Jon Chait article gets to the heart of the Republican establishment unhappiness with Trump. It’s not so much that he says out loud the things that they’ve tried to keep at dog-whistle levels, it’s that he’s flipped the priority order:

    The Republican Party has, for decades, been organized around a stable hierarchy of priorities, the highest of which is to reduce taxes for the wealthiest Americans, i.e., “job creators,” and loosen regulation of business. As long as their party is anchored by its economic consensus, conservatives tolerate wide disagreement on social issues. Some Republicans want to expand the party’s coalition by taking more liberal stances on issues like gay marriage, immigration, and racism in the criminal-justice system. Other Republicans still rail against gays and immigrants. Representative Steve Scalise, the House majority whip, has ties to the white-supremacist movement and once described himself as “David Duke without the baggage.” Nothing Trump has said about immigrants, the Ku Klux Klan, or anything else violates the GOP’s baseline standards. The problem is that he implicitly proposes to invert the party’s hierarchy, prioritizing its right-wing social resentments while tolerating ambiguity on economics. And his popularity suggests that maybe average Republicans aren’t maniacally obsessed with shrinking government after all.

    There’s some more good stuff in there, about conservative intellectuals and their delusions about the conservative movement’s bigotry (hey, Buckley broke with some anti-Semites to form the modern conservative movement, so he couldn’t be a bigot!).

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  54. Suzanne said on March 8, 2016 at 5:26 pm

    Very enlightening, Sherri.
    Here another interesting take, which is making somewhat the same point in that the elites just really don’t get what they’ve spawned.

    “But there is another way to interpret the Trump phenomenon. A map of his support may coordinate with racist Google searches, but it coordinates even better with deindustrialization and despair, with the zones of economic misery that 30 years of Washington’s free-market consensus have brought the rest of America.”

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  55. Sherri said on March 8, 2016 at 5:37 pm

    As I’ve said here before, I don’t watch debates. But I have seen pictures from the debates, and I often have a visceral negative reaction towards Sanders when I seen pictures of Sanders and Clinton from the debates. This is why:

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  56. Julie Robinson said on March 8, 2016 at 7:14 pm

    Locally, the party of family values has some trouble with its newest Council member:—threatened-officer-s-job-11921407. Three months in office, three police encounters. And he’s good buddies with Bob Girl Scout Morris.

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  57. Deborah said on March 8, 2016 at 7:17 pm

    Bingo Sherri, the interrupting thing is so true. If you ever watch Hardball with Chris Matthews, that guy interrupts like crazy and it’s always the women guests who stop and let him do it while the men guests keep right on talking until they can’t anymore. My husband always accuses me of interrupting him, while he is the worlds worst interrupter. He also lectures as part of his profession so he really knows how to go on and on.

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  58. Suzanne said on March 8, 2016 at 7:50 pm

    I saw that article about that councilman this evening, too, Julie. This is what voting straight ticket gets you, I guess. Bob Morris. Ugh.

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