The World Cup has been amazing already -- Van Persie's header, Costa Rica's upset, Drogba's impact (more on that later), Switzerland's stunner.
It has also been an occasion for great social events -- as I keep calling the World Cup in the USA: at the very least, a quadrennial party.
Local legend Ron Swoboda came back to town for some events with the Mets, and happened into a private birthday celebration for Carmela Lamorgese, one of the three DeBenedettis sisters who run Mama's in Corona, not far from the Mets' ballpark.
Italy's first-round matches always induce considerable ansia and this one was no different. The match was scoreless for 35 minutes, but then Marie DeBenedettis, who also cooked much of the meal, decided to use a house special of lowering the lights in the back room to change the flow of the match. Zip. Italy scored, and went on to a 2-1 victory.
Mama's is not doing public viewing of the World Cup, but the meal we enjoyed can be replicated, Tuesday-Saturday. Ron lives in New Orleans now -- and was impressed with the cucina at Mama's.
The World Cup and my new book got me invited onto Steve Kornacki's Sunday show on MSNBC, along with Bruce Murray, in the studio, and Brianna Scurry, from elsewhere -- two World Cup veterans. .
The highlight for my wife Marianne was to meet Kornacki's father and sister, and her weekend hero in person.
Isn't soccer wonderful?
"The day after my 80th birthday, which overflowed with good wishes, surprises and Covid-safe celebrations, I awoke feeling fulfilled and thinking that whatever happens going forward, I’m OK with it. My life has been rewarding, my bucket list is empty, my family is thriving, and if everything ends tomorrow, so be it.
"Not that I expect to do anything to hasten my demise. I will continue to exercise regularly, eat healthfully and strive to minimize stress. But I’m also now taking stock of the many common hallmarks of aging and deciding what I need to reconsider."
--Jane E. Brody, my pal in the NYT newsroom, oh, a few years back, in the Personal Health column, Sept. 13, 2021.
"People have said to me, ‘You’re fully vaccinated. Why are you being so careful?’” said Dr. Robert M. Wachter, professor and chair of the department of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. “I’m still in the camp of I don’t want to get Covid. I don’t want to get a breakthrough infection.”
---Tara Parker-Pope, The New York Times, Aug. 16, 2021.