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Entertainment Reviews and Commentary from Karen Salkin

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I recently returned from a few weeks in New York, which sounds glamorous, but trust me, NY in the summer just isn’t that much fun. (Actually, many activities are, but it’s way too hot for me.) Up until a few years ago, I spent all of my modern summers in Aspen, which my mother and I sorely miss. Of course, the dining scene was one of the highlights for me, as it is everywhere I travel.

I just found a wonderful way to keep up with that activity. Reginald Barbour, one of my favorite chefs, not only in Aspen, but anywhere, just wrote a book entitled “Colorado’s Forks In The Road.” As soon as I got it in my hot little hands, I could taste his Southwest Chicken Soup!


Being that Reggie and I share a life-long fascination with food and restaurants, I think that this is the type of book that I’d be happy to write, if I ever got the time. It’s about hidden, remote, and hard-to-find establishments, which would make a trip to Colorado so much more enjoyable for foodies, rather than eating in the pedestrian places that are on the public’s radar.

I just hope that Mary, his upbeat, sunny wife got to accompany him on this delicious tour of the state because it seems that he had the most fun in the world, while doing serious research for the readers’ benefit.

To show you just how unique these eateries are, there’s only one Aspen restaurant included in the book, Poppies Bistro Cafe. It’s the very first restaurant that I noticed on my inaugural visit to Colorado, and I always hoped that someone would invite me there. (I was always with my family, and it didn’t look like a family restaurant, so I knew I would have to go with a guy.)

Well, years passed, and still no males offered me dinner at Poppies, which could have been because they all knew that I had a boyfriend back home, but since it wasn’t any more expensive than the places they WERE choosing, I couldn’t figure it out. Finally, about four years ago, a man whom I had thought of as lovely, older, and married took me there, and I thought, “How nice of him!”

That is, until he chased me around his hot tub later that night! ( I subsequently found out that his wife had left him, and for exactly this type of behavior.) Reading “Colorado’s Forks In The Road” now, I see that Poppies is considered the most romantic restaurant in Aspen! My hot tubbing friend must have thought he was softening me up for the kill!

If this book had only been around then, I might have been fore-warned and saved myself the embarrassment of the whole town assuming something had gone on with us, just by knowing in which place we had dined that night! And you guys thought Beverly Hills was gossipy!

Back to the book. Reggie also includes each area’s activities and information, and tips on how to get to each restaurant, all of which will help with your trip planning. (I guess it’s not all about food to some people. Strange.)

The stunning color photographs make the read that much more special. And also make me want to leave for Colorado as soon as I recover from my latest East Coast excursion.


I’m fortunate enough to be invited to more events and happenings than I can ever even attend in one lifetime. Therefore, I very rarely have time for anything that is suggested to me in the media.

But something caught my attention in several women’s magazines this summer. It was a free skin cancer screening, sponsored by Olay, and done by many dermatologists throughout the country.

I have my own doctor here in Century City, and he’s great, and I trust him. But he’s a man. For real screenings, you need to be either naked or in underwear, and I can never bring myself to do that with a male doctor, especially one as handsome as Richard Salit.

So, I called all the female doctors who were listed as participating in the Los Angeles area. I’m sad to report that each office I contacted was nastier than the one before. I knew I’d be in NYC before the promotion ended, so I called almost all of the females listed there, as well, with the same result. Olay needs to look into that.

I was just about ready to give up when something inside me said to try just one more. It was the office of Jordana Gilman on the upper east side, so I was expecting total snobbiness there. What I got was a breath of fresh air.

For starters, Jane, the girl who answered the phone, couldn’t have been nicer or made me feel more welcome. She gave me an appointment with no problem and even pointed out that I was smart to get in on the promo in the last few days.

I felt grown-up and classy going to the office in such a nice area, and it was pretty, comfortable, and clean, something I can’t really say about most NY doctors’ offices that I’ve been in. And the bathroom had a generous supply of good-brand skin care products.

Dr. Jordana Gilman was darling, patient, and had some of the most gorgeous skin I’ve ever seen, which is a bonus if you’re going to tell others how to care for theirs. And she was devoid of the plastic surgery that I’ve seen on too many females in her position.

Best of all, when she found one suspicious mark, she didn’t try to bully me into having her remove it, (and therefore make money from my complimentary visit), but suggested that I show it to my own doctor when I returned to L.A. and have him remove it! I was shocked! She didn’t try to sell me products from her own line, but if they would give me her flawless complexion, I should try them anyway.

And when I said I wanted to take my paper gown with me because it matches my eyes and would be a good drape for my next headshot shoot, she just chuckled and insisted on giving me a new one, instead of telling me I’m nuts and moving on about her day.

I, of course, always hope for good health on the road, but I’m glad to know that there’s such a caring doctor available on my many visits to NY throughout the year.

Dr. Jordana Gilman 111 E. 71st Street NYC 212-772-1717


Photo by Anna Kader.

And lastly, no matter how miserable the heat of NY’s summer makes me, (and I was there for the August tornado in Brooklyn! Don’t ask), I’m always thrilled to visit Coney Island. This being the supposed last summer of Astroland, the world famous amusement park, my friends, Jeff and Anna, and I headed over for the Friday night fireworks, which were the most spectacular that I’ve ever seen.

We weren’t brave enough for the Cyclone that night, (well, actually, I think Jeff was), but we did go for a whirl on the Wonder Wheel. It was unbelievably fun. And, shockingly, I think it was the first time in my life that I rode what is the centerpiece of the park!

Just three nights later, I went to an event that I couldn’t believe was happening so close to my childhood home--a circus! Right there in Coney Island, across the side street from Nathan’s! The only one who was fun enough to go with me was my friend, Ethan, the manger of the delicious and healthful Manhattan eatery, Zest.

The Cole Bros. Circus is just one ring, but it’s under a big top, and had elephants, trapeze artists, acrobats, and a woman shot from a cannon. What more could I ask for? Right there in Coney Island! I’m still amazed.

I pray that the story of the razing of the place I love so much is just a false alarm, but if it’s true, at least I know I squeezed every last drop out of it. That’s all one can hope for.

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  A poodle act! Clarence, the singing dog, would have loved this one!
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