Hong Kong: A Snake and a Moment

Lan Kwai Fong neighborhood of Hong Kong

The sold-out crowd, part of the grand finale of the 43rd Hong Kong Cultural Festival, clapped impatiently as they awaited our grand entrance. Just before going on stage, she leans over to me, and whispers, “Do you ever have to remind yourself that this is your job?” I think China (Forbes) was having a “moment,” one of those gaps in time I often have when I’m on tour with Pink Martini, an intense combination of gratitude and disbelief that envelopes me like a warm blanket.  A rare three-month hiatus from performing will do that to even the hardest of hearts, apparently. Continue reading

Restaurant Review: W36, in Amsterdam

It's all about lighting, folks
It’s all about lighting, folks. At W36, they got it right.

When I’m on tour, I almost always seek out food and drink specialties of the region, leaning on locals for advice.  My Dutch friend Annemieke poured cold water on my wishes in Amsterdam when she said in her cute little Dutch accent, “Most of our specialties you don’t want to eat in a restaurant…they’re things you only want my mother to cook for you: mashed potatoes, roasted meats, foods to warm you up.” Since the invitation to Mum’s house never came, I did a little research online, and found a gem of a restaurant that opened just last week. Continue reading