March 15, 2011

Mary Ann in Autumn - The "Real" San Francisco Treat

Armistead Maupin’s latest “Mary Ann in Autumn” does not disappoint.  If anything, it re-kindled fond memories of the Tales of the City TV series.  I was addicted to the series featuring Laura Linney as Mary Ann and Olympia Dukakis as the matriarch Mrs. Madrigal.   I didn’t have a VCR back then so I had to rush home and watch it as per PBS’s schedule.  Every episode was gripping and missing one meant missing a big part of the plot. This book brought all those feelings back and I couldn’t stop reading once I got started.   If you aren’t familiar with the series, I recommend that you read/watch the preceding Tales of the City segments before reading this instalment.  There’s pure joy in getting re-acquainted with Mary Ann and her entourage.  Maupin brilliantly ages them and one can relate to the consequences that time entails on the mind and body.  The friendships remain strong and the political fight is still present.  This is contemporary, entertaining fiction at its best.
Overall Rating (*****)

March 09, 2011

A Sad Time for Toronto Heritage Lovers

It was with deep sadness that I learned that Paul Oberman died on Monday in a tragic airplane crash in Maine. A year ago I had the pleasure of meeting him at Woodcliffe’s company headquarters. I was struck by his warmth, curiosity and sense of style.  After my presentation he gave me the greatest compliment an IT consultant could receive; “Your presentation was clear and interesting. It was about IT but even I understood it!”  He then gave me a gift; an iPod shuffle! I will treasure it always. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and staff.