My Favorite Things!

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens,
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens;
Brown paper packages tied up with strings,
These are a few of my favorite things!

Sometimes when I have trouble falling asleep, I’ll lie in bed and make lists. Lists of anything. My “Top 10 Favorite Movies”… “Top 10 Favorite Italian Restaurants”… “Top 10 Favorite Office Supply Retailers”… “Top 10 Favorite Belgians”… anything. As I’ve been having a lot of trouble falling asleep lately, I’ve found that I’m doing this often. But rather than just letting them slip away into the mists of dreamland, I decided to put them together on a web page. As best as I can, I’ve tried remembering the lists and copying them down as soon as I get up. After awhile, the lists started to become an interesting read… sort of like those emails you get from friends where you’re supposed to fill in crap like this and forward it on to other people. I never forward those things, but as a sort of act of contrition for that, I present you with a “small” list of some of my favorite things! There’s also some of my “least favorite things” and some other funny stuff mixed in there. Lastly, please note that anything in a list is listed in order of preference, unless otherwise noted.


Top 5 Favorite Cities:

  1. London
  2. New York
  3. Chicago
  4. Atlanta
  5. Sydney

Top 5 Places I Want To Go For The First Time:

  1. India
  2. Prague, Czech Republic
  3. San Francisco, California
  4. New Zealand
  5. Ireland

Top 5 Places I’ve Already Been But Want To Go Back To:

  1. London
  2. Munich
  3. Havana
  4. Australia
  5. Las Vegas

Asshole of the World: Gainesville, Florida

Favorite Hotel: Cairns Colonial Club Resort, Cairns, Australia (It’s not the fanciest hotel I’ve ever stayed in, but definitely one of the prettiest, most charming and most unique. Also has a GREAT staff!)

Favorite Drive: State Road 20 from Charlottesville, Virginia to Orange, Virginia

Favorite Zoo: Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, Brisbane, Australia

Favorite Art Museums:

  1. Alte Pinakothek, Munich
  2. Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago
  3. National Gallery, Washington DC
  4. Terra Museum, Chicago

Favorite History Museums:

  1. The British Museum, London
  2. National Museum of American History, Washington DC
  3. Victoria and Albert, London
  4. National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, UK
  5. Museum of Costume, Bath, UK – (believe it or not, it’s incredibly interesting!)


Favorite Pizza: Geno’s East, Chicago

Favorite Lemonade: La Bombonera, San Juan, Puerto Rico

Favorite Fried Chicken: Price’s Chicken Coop, Charlotte, North Carolina

Favorite Barbeque: Walter’s Barbeque, Athens, GA. (Yes, I only went to this place initially because of the R.E.M. song. But I was hooked as soon as I had some of Walter’s delicious pulled-pork barbeque. And when you ordered it with the “hot” flavor sauce, Walter would ask if you were sure… because Walter’s “hot” sauce was damn hot. I respect the hell out of a man that can make my brow sweat on the first bite! Plus, the Brunswick Stew was probably the best I’ve ever had. Ever. As far as favorite barbeque joints that are still open, I have a HUGE soft spot in my heart for Old Hickory House in Dunwoody, Georgia. It’s not as good as it was when my parents used to take me there as a kid, but the meat’s still awesome!)

Favorite Beans: The County Line BBQ, San Antonio, Texas

Favorite Sandwich: Muffulettas from Central Grocery, New Orleans, Louisiana

Favorite Hot Wings: “Chernobyl Wings” from Taco Mac, Atlanta, GA (Virginia Highlands location only – the other Taco Macs don’t make them correctly!)

Favorite Italian Sausage: Some dive bar on Upper E. Illinois Avenue (near Michigan Avenue) in Chicago. If anyone can help me out with this identifying this place, please email me.

Favorite Fast Food Burger: Fatburger

Favorite “Sit Down” Burger: The Wentworth Hotel, Sydney, Australia (yes, Australia)

Favorite Iced Tea: Jackson’s Cafeteria, Gastonia, North Carolina

Favorite Hot Tea: Twinings Prince of Wales Tea

Favorite Candy Bar: Cadbury Crunchie

Favorite Candy Store: Savannah Candy Kitchen, Savannah, Georgia

Single Best Food Company In California: See’s Candies, South San Francisco, California

All-time Favorite Dessert: Apple Crumble, The Stockpot, London

Favorite Indian Restaurant: (tie) The Grand Indian and Chowki, both in London. It was hard to pick between these two, so I didn’t. The Grand Indian is more “authentic” and “gourmet” while Chowki is more “modern” and “daring”. The Grand Indian is slightly stuffy and the kind of place you’d take your parents to, while Chowki has lots of glass and chrome and would be where you meet your friends for dinner.

Favorite Vietnamese Restaurant: Bien Thuy, Atlanta, Georgia

Favorite Thai Restaurant: Satay House, Alpharetta, Georgia

Favorite Chinese Restaurant: New China, Belmont, North Carolina

Favorite German Restaurant: Old Heidelberg Restaurant, Helen, Georgia

Favorite Peruvian Restaurant: Costa Verde, Norcross, Georgia

Favorite Mexican Restaurant: Jalisco Mexican Restaurant, Atlanta, GA

Favorite Cuban Restaurant: Coco Loco, Atlanta, GA

Favorite French Restaurant: South of France, Atlanta, GA

Favorite “Red Sauce” Restaurant: Provino’s, Atlanta, GA (several locations) Of course, I’ve eaten Italian in New York. And I will concede that Italian food is far better up in Yankeeland than anywhere in the South. Unfortunately, I can’t recall by name any Italian place I’ve been to up north, nor do I recall one Italian place in particular where the food was wonderful. So I’ll stick with something I know, until the next time I can get to NYC.

Favorite Tapas Bar: Eclipse di Luna, Atlanta, GA

Favorite Seafood Restaurant: Red Lion Pub, Alice Town, Bimini, Bahamas

Favorite Restaurant No One’s Ever Heard Of: Fiorella’s Cafe, New Orleans, Louisiana

Favorite Cheap Eats (current): Star Kebab House, Earl’s Court, London

Favorite Cheap Eats (historical): Moto’s Cafe, Decatur, Georgia

All-Time Favorite Cheese: Butterkäse, Germany

All-Time Favorite Veined Cheese: Stilton, UK

Favorite Fruit: Granny Smith Apples

Favorite Condiment: Coleman’s Mustard, UK

Favorite Things To Add To a Peanut Butter Sandwich:

  1. “Milky Way” spread
  2. Chocolate Frosting
  3. Nutella Spread
  4. Grape Jelly
  5. Bananas


Favorite Bar (current): Jeff’s Bucket Shop, Charlotte, NC
Favorite Bar (historical): Churchill Arms, Atlanta, GA This place might actually still be open for all I know but the ambiance is gone. It was originally owned by an older English couple and catered to an older crowd. On Friday nights the wife would come in and play old English songs like “It’s A Long Way to Tipperary” on the ancient piano, which was situated underneath a portrait of the Queen. There was always plenty of room to spread around, and it was nice to sit on the comfy sofa next to the fireplace with a nice ale and cigar on a cold night. Alas, the older couple retired and gave it to their son, who knocked down the walls to an abandoned store next door and filled it with jukeboxes and pool tables. The last time I was there it was overrun with the frat house crowd.

Honorable Mention: The County Cork Pub, Atlanta, GA

Favorite Club (current): none

Favorite Club (historical): Boys and Girls, Atlanta, GA – Hehehehehe… Yes, I know I’ve just put a “teen club” as my all-time favorite club. I could have been pretentious and put “Club Rio” or something, but I chose not to. See, the thing with Boys and Girls was that it wasn’t so much a “teen club” as it was an “18 and over club that rarely – if ever – checks IDs”. And those were good times – the pre-college days, where I was able to easily get whatever alcohol I wanted yet had no care in the world other than meeting cool people. And the crowd I ran with were the elite of the club – never charged a cover, yet never enthusiastic enough to look like we were trying to endorse the place. Ahhhh… good times!

Top 5 Favorite Beers (If I Just Got Paid):

  1. Bass Ale, UK
  2. Augustinerbrau Light, Germany
  3. Samuel Smith’s India Ale, UK
  4. Guinness, Ireland
  5. Bishop’s Finger, UK

Top 5 Favorite Beers (If I Really Can’t Afford It):

  1. Pabst Blue Ribbon, USA
  2. Tecate, Mexico
  3. Corona, Mexico
  4. Ballantine Ale, USA
  5. Schlitz, USA

Favorite Wine: Carlo Rossi Chianti

Favorite Liquor: Three Olives Vodka


Favorite Car of All-Time: 1956 Mercedes Benz 300SL

Favorite Modern Car: BMW Z1 (only 8000 were made)

Best Airline I’ve Actually Flown: Qantas

Least Favorite Airlines:

  1. US Airways
  2. Delta
  3. Continental

Favorite Airplane: SR-71 Blackbird

Favorite Airport: Greenville-Spartanburg Airport – (Not only do the flights leave on time, you can walk from the economy parking lot to your gate in under 11 minutes – including the security check!)

Least Favorite Airports:

  1. O’Hare, Chicago
  2. Dulles, Washington
  3. Liberty International, Newark
  4. Luis Munoz Marin International Airport, San Juan, Puerto Rico
  5. Miami International, Miami

Suicide or Amtrak? Suicide


Favorite Department Stores:

  1. Marks & Spencer, UK
  2. Neiman Marcus, Atlanta, GA
  3. Nordstrom, USA

Favorite Clothing Stores:

  1. H&M
  2. Old Navy
  3. Eddie Bauer
  4. Karmaloop

Favorite Record Stores:

  1. Criminal Records, Atlanta, GA
  2. Wax and Facts, Atlanta, GA
  3. Wuxtry Records, Athens, GA
  4. Eat More Records, Atlanta, GA
  5. Tower Records, Atlanta, GA (RIP)


Favorite Current TV Show: Big Love

Favorite Duke: Daisy (Catherine Bach)

Favorite Angel: Kelly (Jaclyn Smith)

Favorite A-Teamer: Face (Dirk Benedict)

Favorite Young One: Mike (Christopher Ryan)

Favorite TV Show That No One But Me Remembers: Dave Allen At Large

Favorite Kid’s Show Host: Captain Kangaroo

Movie Character I Most Identify With: Peter Gibbons (Office Space)

Favorite James Bonds:

  1. Sean Connery
  2. Pierce Brosnan
  3. Timothy Dalton
  4. Roger Moore
  5. George Lazenby
  6. Daniel Craig

Celebrity You’d Like To Be Trapped On a Deserted Island With: Madonna, duh!

Celebrity That’s not Madonna You’d Like To Be Trapped On a Deserted Island With: John Malkovich – he seems well-read, intelligent and not your typical Hollywood knee-jerk liberal type. If presented with a petition to ban dihydrogen monoxide, he’d probably look it up in a dictionary, find out that it’s water and then refuse to sign… unlike, say, Ted Danson.

You Want To Be Trapped On a Deserted Island With A Dude? OK, if that’s your angle, then I’ll pick Laetitia Casta.

Celebrities That Inexplicably Turn Me On:

  1. Nina Hossain (newsreader, ITV News, UK)
  2. Kate Winslet (Man, that woman makes my blood BOIL!)
  3. Vicki Lewis (Beth from Newsradio)
  4. Emily Mortimer (the hitman from Formula 51)
  5. Maura Tierney (I guess I have a thing for Newsradio babes)

Celebrities I’d LOVE To Sucker-Punch:

  1. Adam Sandler
  2. Dana Carvey
  3. Barbara Streisand
  4. Ryan Seacrest
  5. Gwyneth Paltrow (just for laughs)

Favorite Concerts:

  1. Madonna, “Drowned World Tour”, 2001 (Philips Arena, Atlanta, GA)
  2. Bryan Ferry, “Mamouna Tour”, 1994 (Buckhead Roxy, Atlanta, GA)
  3. Pylon, “Reunion Concert”, 1988 (Center Stage Theatre, Atlanta, GA)
  4. Madonna, “The Re-Invention Tour”, 2004 (Philips Arena, Atlanta, GA)
  5. Dramarama, “Wonderama Tour”, 1990 (The Cotton Club, Atlanta, GA)
  6. Duran Duran, “Seven and the Ragged Tiger Tour”, 1984 (The Omni, Atlanta, GA)
  7. Gipsy Kings, 1996 (Chastain Park, Atlanta, GA)
  8. Prince, “Musicology Tour”, 2004 (Colonial Center, Columbia, SC)
  9. Cocteau Twins, “Heaven or Las Vegas Tour”, 1990 (Center Stage Theatre, Atlanta, GA)
  10. The Police, “Synchronicity Tour”, 1983 (The Omni, Atlanta, GA)

Favorite Classical Composers:

  1. Beethoven
  2. Frédéric Chopin
  3. J.S. Bach
  4. Luigi Boccherini
  5. Gustav Mahler

Favorite Latino Performer: Tito Puente

Favorite Jazz Performer: John Coltrane

Favorite Book (light reading): Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson

Favorite Book (serious reading): The Rise and Fall of the British Empire by Lawrence James

Book I Loved As A Teen But Think Is Crap Now: On the Road by Jack Kerouac

Book I’m Most Proud Of For Sticking With It And Reading The Whole Thing: Summa Theologica by St. Thomas Aquinas

Favorite Author: Giles Milton

Favorite Magazine: The Economist

Favorite Newspapers:

  1. New York Post, USA
  2. The Sun, UK
  3. The Daily Mail, UK
  4. The Washington Times, USA
  5. The Wall Street Journal, USA

Miscellaneous Stuff

Favorite Founding Father: Alexander Hamilton

Favorite British Statesman: (tie) William Churchill and William Pitt the Elder

Favorite U.S. Military Leader: Nathan Bedford Forrest

Favorite Saint: (tie) Thomas Aquinas and Brigid of Kildare

Favorite Class Taken in College: (tie) “Liberal Arts Math” and “World War II”

Muhammad Ali or Anti-Lock Brakes: Muhammad Ali

Johnny Mathis or Diet Pepsi: Diet Pepsi

And last (but certainly not least)… my Top 10 Favorite Belgians:

  1. Pieter Brueghel the Elder, painter
  2. Andreas Vesalius, author of first textbook on human anatomy
  3. Baldwin I of Jerusalem, Crusader
  4. Jean Baptiste “Django” Reinhardt, best damn guitar player that ever lived
  5. Godfrey of Bouillon, Crusader
  6. Noel Godin, the guy that “pied’ Bill Gates back in 1998
  7. Anton van Dyck, painter
  8. Hieronymus Bosch, painter
  9. Louis Zimmer, clockmaker
  10. Jean-Claude Van Damme, meathead

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