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Items 1-25 · Items 26-50 · Items 51-75 · Items 76-100 · Items 101-125 · Items 126-150 ·
Items 151-175 · Items 176- 200 · Items 200-225 · Items 226-250 · Items 251-275 ·
Items 276-300 · Current Items · Index

50.  Best Real Y2K Warning
We spend our computer lives worrying about privacy, viruses, and horrible, horrible programs from Microsoft.  But these are not the real problems.  The question is how that keyboard and screen and poorly constructed content is changing our lives in ways we can never picture.  Stephen L. Talbott in the newsletter NetFuture looks at how our lives change in a digital world.  He knows whereof he speaks--with roots in programming and technical writing.  See http://www.oreilly.com/~stevet/netfuture.  With a URL like that, he is proving that technology can ruin our lives.  See, "Editor Explores Unintended, and Negative, Side of Technology," The New York Times, November 25, 1999. p. D7, by Lisa Guernsey.   Talbott reminds me of the vivid discussion of microwaves several years ago: data out of the Soviet Union showed us that the real threat from microwaves was the insidious long-term health problem from unnoticed frequencies, not the short-term obvious emissions from leaking microwave ovens.  Talbott does his letter in longhand, but only publishes on the internet.

49.  Best Corporate Bankruptcy Data Online
BankruptcyData.com is trusted, detailed source on corporate bankruptcies that's now up and running online.  When the credit bubble bursts, several companies will also go pop.  So this online update is just in time.  See http://www.bankruptcydata.com.

48. Best 99 Christmas Card From a Business
Jerry Herring of Houston (http://www.herringdesign.com) always has the best promotions of just about anybody, mainly because he doesn't promote much--just tales about the stuff of life.  In this Christmas card--"Just Ask Santa"--we hear how his friend Dennis Bengtson sweated through his days as Santa Claus, sweetened by the wiles of the urchins who came before him.

47.  Best Way to Buy Smoked Salmon
From the salmon lady, Etta MacKay. See http://www.salmonlady.com   or salmonlady@aol.com.  Her website could teach Amazon.com and everyone else how to do e-commerce with elegance.  She gets it all from her hometown of Tobermory on the Isle of Mull, including one varietal that's cured with single malt whiskey.  Take a tour of her site, replete with photographs from the land of the Scots which will make you pine for golf, fishing, single malt, salmon, and other pleasures.

46.  Best Fat Cat's Diet
I first began to take note of Dr. Atkins three years ago when a company founder came to a meeting without his pudginess.   He'd tried everything to lose weight without success.  Atkins does work for these type A, overweight, no exercise, workaholic, travelling mini-magnates.  I've seen it time and time again.  Read it all in the following books:

Basically, it's lots of meat and fat plus no carbohydrates with some vitamins thrown in to compensate for the un-balanced diet.  We're not reommending the diet; in fact, we lose weight the old-fashioned way: we burn it.  But Dr. Atkins does work for the hyper.   

 45.  Best Little-Known Michelin 3-Star Restaurant in France:
Lameloise (Burgundy, France).  Perhaps the least well-known of the Michelin three-star restaurants in France, Lacques Lemeloise and family continue to turn out superlative meals in this understated small-town locale a few minutes from the grand cru vineyards of Burgundy.  Small, seating perhaps 50, they create superb dishes with classic and modern ingredients.  Boneless squab covered in a blanket of minced black truffles and a game-bird reduction sauce, or milk-fed lamb rack grilled over rosemary with gentle mustard seed sauce on a bed of wilted pea greens.  Stay over in the pretty inn, best rooms being #10 and #11. (Contributed by Howard Gross, President & COO of IT Network, Inc.)

44.  Best Foie Gras in France
L'Auberge de L'Ill (Alsace, France).  Another great on top of its game.   Perhaps the best foie gras in the world, in the gorgeous region that created it.   Chevreuil (dwarf venison) in wine reduction with chanterelles, St. Pierre (John Dory fish) in a fumet reduction with minced spring peas and the like, plus a dazzling wine list, generally at prices 20-35% less than Parisian counterparts, and without the attitude.  Repair to adjacent 10-room Hotel des Berges to complete a truly wonderful experience. (contributed by Howard Gross, President & COO of IT Network, Inc.)

43.  Best Sushi Anywhere
Tojo's.  This somewhat less-known gem has the most creative sushi I've found anywhere, including more than 20 trips to Japan.  Seemingly off-beat combinations never fail to mesh wonderful, disparate flavors, textures and temperatures; i. e. an inside-out make containing warm tempura'd shrimp and asparagus paired with chilled fresh mango and avocado.  Nothing but local, immaculately fresh seafood and produce, ranging from Vancouver Island awabi to woodsy Matsutake mushrooms.  Never order, just sit at the sushi bar and say, "Tojo-san, feed me!"  No wonder he garnered top rating for any type of restaurant in the Zagat guide for Vancouver.  Not inexpensive, but worth every penny (and much less painful when converted to 1/3 stronger U. S. dollars). (contributed by Howard Gross, President & COO of IT Network, Inc.)

42.   Best Holiday Turkey Recipe - The endless quest for the perfect holiday turkey. 

41.  Best Meal in Paris at 123 Meters - Haute cuisine at the Eiffel Tower.

40.  Best French Knives (Low End)
The Opinel is the classic French working man's pocket knife.  Its medium-weight carbon steel blace folds into a well-designed wood handle that fits right into your hand.  This sturdy knife has a hundred uses, from gutting a trout to removing the toughest tamper-resistant packaging.  One global banker we know won't leave home without it.  Available at any marchand de tabac for about 60 francs (about $10) and worth every centime.

39.  Best French Knives (High End)
The elegant, perfectly balanced knives made since 1829 in the town of Laguiole in the Auvergne region of France.  Originally a herdsman's knife, Laguiole's super-sleek design was inspired by the Spanish "navaja" and the "capuchadou," a dagger of the Aubrac peasants.  Today, the Laguiole knife has all but become a cult object.  The beauty is in the details: forged, hand-polished steel blades, gleaming brass bolsters, handles of horn or precious woods.  A handsome Napoleonic bee (or is it a fly?) adorns the engraved spine of each implement.  But the genius in the heft and feel.  A Laguiole knife sits easily in the hand, its weight calibrated to make any task--from peeling a peach to slicing a chateaubriand--a pleasure.  Pocket knives start at $60, half a dozen table knives with olivewood handles are $600.  Consider them a future heirloom.  Boutique Laguiole, 1 Place Saint-Opportune, 75001 Paris.   Tel: 01.4028.09.42.

38.  Best Spin-Off of a Famous Brasserie
Since 1864, toute le monde has flocked to Bofinger to dine on Alsatian choucroute and sip wines from the Cotes-du-Rhone.  But the famed brasserie is looking un peu triste and then there's the question of attitude . . . .  Fortunately, one can now glide across the street to Le Petit Bofinger, a small, elegant spin-off with a splendidly updated menu.  Ravioles de pignons de pin, jus au cepes were tiny, exquisitely light raviolis stuffed with pine nuts and parmesan, in an earthy sauce of cepes with chives and slivers of oven-roasted tomato.   Equally appealing was the salade d'artichauts et haricot verts a l'huile de noix, strewn with walnuts, served over baby lettuces, in a perfect sherry vinaigrette.  Conveniently located near the Opera and a few blocks from Zuber, so you can regroup after spending your child's tuition money on wallpaper.  Let Petit Bofinger, 6 Rue de la Bastille, 75004, Paris.  Tel: 01.42.72.05.23.

37.  Best French Wallpaper
In 1804 an Alsatian named Jean Zuber founded a wallpaper manufacturing firm in Mulhouse, France.  Specializing in exotic, vividly colored landscapes such as "Views of Brazil" and "El Dorado," Zuber was one of a handful of firms that catered to the upwardly mobile bourgeoisie's desire to display its newly minted wealth on the walls of its homes.  Today, Zuber alone survives, still block-printing magnificent scenic wallpaper, panel by expensive panel.  "Hindustan" has enough palaces, palms, and howdah-topped elephants to satisfy the most incurably romantic colonialist.  We were drawn to "Le Port de Boston," a panoramic 1843 vista of the harbor, with tall ships, rollicking seafarers and noble Indians encamped on the shore. A visit to the showroom near the Bastille is a fine way to pass a rainy Paris afternoon.  Zuber, 5 Boulevard des Filles du Calvaire, Paris  75003.

36.  Best Tour of Paris by Water
Like enormous floating bridges, the bateaux mouches, with their crowds and their blaring loudspeakers, have long been a fixture of the Seine.  A far gentler way to see Paris from the water can be had by taking the Batobus.  These smallish, white, enclosed tour boats depart every 25 minutes from Notre Dame, making stops at the Hotel-de-Ville, St-Germain-des-Pres, the Louvre and the Musee d'Orsay before ending up in the Eiffel Tower.  With ticket in hand, one can disembark, for example, to see the Gauguins at the Musee d'Orsay, or to have a cooling lemon sorbet at the base of the Eiffel Tower, before continuing on.  No guides or running commentary; just incredible views of the banks of the Seine and its many spectacular bridges.  Batobus.  Tel: 01.44.11.33.99.

35.   Best Ice Cream and Sorbet in Paris
On a sweltering July afternoon, a yellow Citroen screeches to a halt on the peaceful Ile St. Louis.  A family of five tumbles out and joins a long line of languid Parisians and sweaty tourists wilting in the summer heat.  The lure?   Berthillon, from whose takeaway windows issue the most exquisite ice creams and sorbets in Paris.  It is virtually impossible to get really good coffee ice cream in America, but at Berthillon, the glace au cafe is deep, dark, and rich, unmistakably redolent of the pure bean.  In season, do not miss the fresh exotic fruit sorbets: mango, cassis, kumquat, raspberry, and, best of all, fraises de bois (wild strawberries), well worth the 4-franc surcharge.  Berthillon closes for the August vacances and and again at Christmas, but addicts can purchase it from several other venues on the Ile.  Berthillon. 31 Rue St. Lous-en-L'Ile.  Tel: 01.43.54.31.61.

34.  Best Economic Forecaster
Gail Fosler, The Conference Board's all-star economist, currently thinks Europe will be in the ascendancy in 2000, with the U. S. growth rate dropping from 3.9% to 3.7%. But the world will rise from 2.7% to 3.5%.  In The Wall Street Journal's semiannual survey of economists, Fosler came in first. As chief economist at The Conference Board, she directs the construction of so many domestic and international indexes that she has unique insight into how the economic world turns.  See WSJ, July 2, 1999, "Fosler, Avoiding the Crowd, is No. 1 Forecaster."

-new- Update: 1-10-99 - Once again, Gail Fossler tops The Wall Street Journal economic forecasters survey.  See The Wall Street Journal, January 3, 2000, p. A2.  Apparently, her calls on our GDP and the strength of the yen put her ahead of the pack.  Watch out for the 2nd quarter of 2000 where she predicts a dip that matters.  To read more, click here.   See also her outlook books:

North American Outlook 1999-2000, Conference Board, 1998.
North American Outlook 1998-1999, Conference Board, 1999.

33.   A Catalog of Bests
America's most renowned merchant--Stanley Marcus--no longer directs the famous Nieman-Marcus catalog.  So now he's jointly authored a book on all the little things and little inventions that got America to the millennium.  See Robert B. Wilson and Stanley Marcus, American Greats, Public Affairs, 1999.

32.  Just in From France: Best Traditional Brasserie Lunch
So many things at the Brasserie Balzer seem not to have changed in decades: the vinyl banquettes, the mirrors, the dark wood paneling, even the neighborhood patrons, some of whom appear to date from the days when Jean Paul Sartre and Camus were habitues. (One would never know that Balzar's recent purchase by Group Flo caused an uproar.)   The waiters in long white aprons are efficient and gracious, serving simple, robust fare with a flourish: poulet fermier, half a flavorful free-range hen with crisp-roasted skin, a heaping plateful of tender haricot verts with hollandaise, a rich tarte tatin with darkly caramelized apples and a dollop creme fraiche. A good choice for lunch if you are visiting the Pantheon or the Sorbonne.  Brasserie Balzar, 49 Rue des Ecoles, 75005 Paris.  Tel: 01.43.54.13.67.

31.   Best Masterpiece-Viewing Experience in Paris
You've seen tacky reproductions in a thousand catalogues.  Now see the real thing--in near-solitary splendor.  Climb the stairs to the top floor rotunda of the Musee National du Moyen Age and you will come upon the dreamlike Lady and the Unicorn tapestries.  The spareness of the chamber and low, almost ethereal lighting are the perfect counterpoint to the exquisitely intricate stitchery of this allegorical paean to the five senses.  Benches invite extended contemplation of these richly symbolic tapestries which are said to have been woven as a wedding gift in the 15th century.   But you might be the only viewer.

The museum, which is housed in the Hotel de Cluny in the heart of the Latin Quarter, seems to be on most visitors' B-lists.  What a pity (or a blessing) as the handsome 14th-century mansion offers a fascinating glimpse of France's medieval past.  A manageable 30-minute stroll takes in stunning Merovingian jewelry encrusted with cabochon gems, and lovely stained glass windows from St. Chapelle.  Outside, on the Rue Sommerard, one can find Gallo-Roman baths dating from the 1st century AD.  Musee National de Moyen Age, 6, place Paul-Painleve, 75005 Paris.  Tel: 01.53.73.78.00.

30.  Best French Photo Albums and Journals
Some of us have a passion for blank books.  In their empty pages we've sketched future gardens, recorded passages from a favorite novel, pasted snapshots of our daughter dancing along the Seine, saved beautiful wine labels . . . even worked out details of a marketing plan.  Papier Plus, in Paris's newly chic Marais district, has elegant cloth-bound blank books in vivid hues of poppy red, sycamore green, and duck-egg blue.  The smallest could be held in the palm of the hand; the largest would look well on a coffee table.  A gift of three differently sized books, with a collection of colored pencils or a fine pen, might tempt even the least creative among us to put dreams to paper.  Papier Plus, 9 Rue Du Pont Louis Philippe, Paris 75004, France.  Tel: 33(0)1.42.77.70.49.

29.  Best Introduction to the World of Websites
You may want to get hard copies of Philip Greenspun's books, or you may just want to work your way through his website at Greenspun.com.  One book is Philip and Alex's Guide to Web Publishing.  Greenspun is a rebel with a brain, providing endless insights about the rights and wrongs of websites, and particularly why so many are wrong.
See http://www.greenspun.com.

28.  Best Red in France
I've tasted a few, but I think that Chateau Margaux, even with its ups and downs, runs away with the medal.  About 30 years ago, a distant French uncle who was a Bordeaux wine merchant took me out there, and we tried a bit from the barrels.  Later I went to wine country in California: I could have saved myself several stops.

27.  Best Barbecue in Dallas
It's not as easy as you think.  All the well known places and all the chains are quite greasy.  The one that's great is Sammy's at 2126 Leonard Street, Tel: 214-880-9064, in the shadow of the Federal Reserve and the Crescent Hotel.  Otherwise, you have to drive about 30 miles north of Dallas.

26.  Best Outplacement for Senior Executives
Ed Hodges, after retiring from Union Carbide, started his true career.  That is, he has helped old soldiers--senior executives of America's leading companies--work out their next life.  A most gentlemanly fellow, Ed delivers the message with ultimate grace.  His business is called Incrementum, at 999 Summer Street , Suite 200, Stanford, CT  06905.  Tel: 203-324-3655.

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