Because life is too short to be mugged by reality, here is a random collection of my favorite, not-quite-favorite, and potentially favorite diversions. In fives, of course, and in no particular order.

Museums I Want To Visit Again… And Over And Over Again

  1. Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, Springfield
  2. Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam
  3. FC Barcelona Museum, Barcelona
  4. Noguchi Museum, New York City
  5. Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C.

Museums I Hope To Attend Someday

  1. Barack Obama Presidential Library, Chicago
  2. The Museum of Bad Art, Brookline and Smoerville
  3. The National Constitution Center, Philadelphia
  4. Sulabh International Museum of Toilets, Delhi
  5. Leonardo da Vinci Museum, Florence

Artwork That Splash Orange Juice Into My Eyes

  1. Liberty Leading the People, Eugène Delacroix
  2. Deluge, Anne-Louis Girodet de Roussy-Trioson
  3. Sunflowers, Vincent Van Gogh
  4. Riding with Death, Jean-Michel Basquiat
  5. Tank Man, Jeff Widener

Places In The World Not Named Santa Fe, NM

  1. Barcelona
  2. Merida, Mexico
  3. Gili Air, Indonesia
  4. Paris
  5. New York City

Because You Shouldn’t Trust Anyone Who Doesn’t Drink Espresso

  1. Another Clandestino, Holbox
  2. Iconik Roasters, Santa Fe
  3. Black Velvet Espresso Bar, Mammoth Lakes
  4. Love Coffee, Lund
  5. Gravel & Grind, Frederick

Because You Shouldn’t Trust Anyone Who Doesn’t Drink Nitro Cold Brew

  1. Good Seed Coffee Boutique, Solvang
  2. Zeke’s Coffee, Washington, D.C.
  3. Slake, Lyon
  4. Backyard Beans Coffee Company, Landsale
  5. Alchmeist Coffee, Washington, D.C.

Beloved Point Guards Of My Lifetime

  1. Avery Johnson
  2. Immanuel Quickley
  3. Frank Ntilikina
  4. Jason Williams
  5. Steve Nash

Basketball Coaches Rumored To Walk On Water

  1. Brad Stevens
  2. Quinn Snyder
  3. Red Holzman
  4. Jim Boeheim
  5. Pat Riley

Dream Presidential Team for a Pick-Up Game at the Field House  

  1. Point Guard: James Madison at a diminutive 5’4, which helps us understand why he thought that powerful men should not be trusted.
  2. Shooting Guard: Jimmy Carter at a scrappy 5’9. As my college basketball coach liked to say, if you want to be good, you have to be a little [pea]nutty.
  3. Small Forward: Barack Obama at a lanky 6’3. According to reports, if he went right once in a while, he would be a better player and president.
  4. Power Forward: Lyndon Baines Johnson at a bruising 6’3. When reporters questioned him about why we were in Vietnam, LBJ lost his patience. He unzipped his fly, whipped out his presidential member, and yelled, “This is why!” This is a classic power forward. Tough, aggressive, ballsy.
  5. Center: Abraham Lincoln at an honest 6’4 with a non-stop motor, running North-South.

Restaurants I Will Give Up A Year Of Life For

  1. Cal Pep, Barcelona
  2. Daniel and Denise, Lyon
  3. Apoala, Merida
  4. Siesta, Malmo
  5. Little Bear, Atlanta

Desserts I Will Give Up A Year Of Life For

  1. Barbuzzo’s Salted Caramel Budino, Philadelphia
  2. Milk Bar’s Cereal Milk, Washington, D.C.
  3. Fabrica dos Pastesis’s Pastel de Nata, Evora
  4. Rapanui’s Glaciar de Coco, Buenos Aires
  5. Cal Pep’s Crema Catalana, Barcelona

Fast Casual Restaurants I Will Give Up A Year Of Life For

  1. Brassica, Columbus
  2. MizLala, Hollywood
  3. MAX Burgers, Malmo
  4. Ekiben, Baltimore
  5. Bumble Bee’s, Santa Fe

Middle Eastern Restaurants I Will Give Up A Year Of Life For

  1. Safta, Denver
  2. Maydan, Washington, D.C.
  3. Jasmine, Urbana
  4. Goldie, Philadelphia
  5. Jerusalem Chicken, Los Angeles

Carnivore Restaurants I Will Give Up A Year Of Life For

  1. Sucre Burger, Reims
  2. JewBoy Burgers, Austin
  3. White Rabbit, Frederick
  4. La Carniceria, Buenos Aires
  5. Cane, Washington, D.C.

Bagel Places I Will Give Up A Year Of Life For

  1. Big L’s Bagels, Winchester
  2. Korshak Bagels, Philadelphia
  3. Enrico’s Bakery, Hartsdale
  4. Call Your Mother, Washington, D.C.
  5. Bullfrog Bagels, Washington, D.C.

Creperies, Bakeries, and Pattiseries I Will Give Up A Year Of Life For

  1. Breizh Cafe, Paris
  2. Bakehouse, Frederick
  3. Fournil de la Roquette, Arles
  4. Olsen’s Danish Village Bakery, Solvang
  5. Demasie, Barcelona

Brunch Restaurants I Will Give Up A Year Of Life For

  1. Milktooth, Indianapolis
  2. Rustic Roots, Burlington
  3. Biscuit Head, Asheville
  4. Unconventional Diner, Washington, D.C.
  5. Dolina Bakery & Cafe, Santa Fe

Indian Restaurants I Will Give Up A Year Of Life For

  1. Chai Pani, Asheville
  2. Chennai Hoppers, Gaithersburg
  3. Rasika, Washington, D.C.
  4. Tayyabs, London
  5. Paper Dosa, Santa Fe

Asian Restaurants I Will Give Up A Year Of Life For

  1. Thai X-ing, Washington, D.C.
  2. Mr Bao, London
  3. Ekiben, Baltimore
  4. Yu/Mi Sushi, Beverly Hills
  5. Kenaki Sushi Counter, Gaithersburg

Pizzerias I Will Give Up A Year Of Life For

  1. Tony’s Pizza Napoletana, San Francisco
  2. Bettina, Santa Barbara
  3. All-Purpose, Washington, D.C.
  4. Barbuzzo’s, Philadelphia
  5. Via 313 Pizza, Austin

Mexican Restaurants I Will Give Up A Year Of Life For

  1. Tres Colores, Santa Fe
  2. Papas & Beer, Hendersonville
  3. Cafe Pasqual’s, Santa Fe
  4. Salsa & Beer, North Hollywood
  5. El Abajeno, Culver City

Mexican Restaurants in Mexico I Will Give Up A Year Of Life For

  1. El Fogon, Playa del Carmen
  2. Apoala, Merida
  3. La Cochi Pibil, Playa del Carmen
  4. TacoQueto, Holbox
  5. Axiote, Playa del Carmen

(New) American Restaurants I Will Give Up A Year Of Life For

  1. Preserve, Annapolis
  2. The Red Fox Inn & Tavern, Middleburg
  3. Gryphon, Savannah
  4. Thacher & Rye, Frederick
  5. Phoenicia Diner, Phoenicia

Pasta Places I Will Give Up A Year Of Life For

  1. Dio Mio, Denver
  2. The Red Hen, Washington, DC
  3. Via Vai, Queens
  4. Masseria, Washington, DC
  5. TBD

Dishes That Add A Year Of Life

  1. Unconventional Diner’s Middle Eastern Salad, Washington, DC
  2. Farmbird’s Spicy Roasted Fresno Tofu Over Cauliflower and Supergreens, Washington, DC
  3. Vinaigrette’s The Beet Goes On Salad, Santa Fe
  4. ThaiMeric’s Papaya Salad, Frederick
  5. Sweet Tomatoes’s Salad Buffet, Fremont

Dishes That Take A Year Off My Life

  1. Market Cross Pub & Brewery’s Pulled Pork Mac ‘N’ Cheese, Carlisle
  2. The Pantry’s Green and Red Chile Breakfast Burrito, Santa Fe
  3. Cabo Bob’s Brisket Burrito, Austin
  4. Obed & Isaac’s Horseshoe, Springfield
  5. Anything at Gourdough’s, Austin

Bookshops I Want To Live In For A Week

  1. Chamblin’s Uptown, Jacksonville
  2. The Strand, New York City
  3. Collected Works, Santa Fe
  4. WonderBooks, Frederick
  5. Malaprop’s, Asheville

Most Beautiful Teams Of My Lifetime

  1. The 1998 Yankees
  2. The 1998-99 Knicks
  3. The 1999 U.S. Women’s National Team
  4. The 2000-01 Kings
  5. The 2005-06 Suns

Most Beautiful Systems Of My Lifetime

  1. The Syracuse 2-3 zone
  2. The checks and balances and separation of powers of the U.S. Constitution
  3. The Gregg Popovich motion
  4. Liberal democracies of the world
  5. The queen’s pawn opening

 Books About U.S. Presidents

  1. Washington, Ron Chernow
  2. The Audacity of Hoop, Alexander Wolff
  3. The River of Doubt, Candice Millard
  4. American Lion, Jon Meachem
  5. Team of Rivals, Doris Kearns Goodwin

Memoirs That Read Like Novels

  1. The Speechwriter, Barton Swaim
  2. If This is a Man, Primo Levi
  3. My Losing Season, Pat Conroy
  4. Educated, Tara Westover
  5. Born a Crime, Trevor Noah

Books That Opened My Eyes And Mind

  1. Philosophy and Social Hope, Richard Rorty
  2. The Human Condition, Hannah Arendt
  3. The Fire Next Time, James Baldwin
  4. Man’s Search for Meaning, Viktor Frankl
  5. The Righteous Mind, Jonathan Haidt

T.V. Shows That Made Me Forget I Was Watching a Show

  1. Breaking Bad
  2. The Wire
  3. This Close
  4. The Affair
  5. Ted Lasso

Movies That Made Me Forget I Was Watching A Movie

  1. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
  2. Life is Beautiful
  3. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
  4. The Great Debaters
  5. 12 Angry Men

Novels That Should Be Required Reading

  1. I am Charlotte Simmons, Tom Wolfe
  2. Matterhorn, Karl Marlantes
  3. Slaughterhouse-Five, Kurt Vonnegut
  4. The Corrections, Jonathan Franzen
  5. The Chocolate War, Robert Cormier

Documentaries That Should Be Required Viewing

  1. The Alpinist, 2020
  2. Time: The Kalief Browder Story, 2017
  3. Man on Wire, 2008
  4. Grizzly Man, 2005
  5. Hoop Dreams, 1994

Poetry That Speak To Me

  1. Lincoln Monument: Washington, Langston Hughes
  2. The Vacation, Wendell Berry
  3. This is Just to Say, William Williams
  4. The Tobacconist, Fernando Pessoa
  5. The Wind has Died, Charles Simic

Web-Sites I Check 5x a Day, To The Dismay Of My Wife And Kids

  1. Chess.com
  2. Currentaffairs.org
  3. TheDispatch.com
  4. TheAthletic.com
  5. TheRinger.com