Things You Will Love: April 2017
--Posman Books: This little nook is nestled in the corner edges of Chelsea Market and it is worth seeking out. The Penguin Classics table alone has me dreaming still.
--Buvette: Wine, cheese, French cuisine in a tiny boutique West Village hide-out. You will never know you aren't on the outskirts of Paris.
--Book Book: Another West Village favorite, this hole-in-the-wall shop has great bargain books that change every time I am there. Support local AND snag a deal.
--Casellula: This Hell's Kitchen wine bar has some of the most expert bartenders in terms of wine selection and cheese pairings. You'll leave feeling sophisticated and wholly satisfied.
--Bolivian Llama Party: According to Time Out New York, this Bolivian restaurant in the Turnstyle mall at 59th Street is the only one of its kind in this big city of ours. Their salteñas (both pork and the chicken) are actually to DIE for.
--Big Little Lies: The hype is so real.
--Chef's Table (Season One, Episodes 1-2): Paired with my foray into food writing, I've been watching more food related television, and was struck by how creativity and emotion flow through these chefs to create dishes that fuel and enlighten our palates.
--Better Living Through Criticism by A.O. Scott: Scott's dense, academic exploration of criticism's relationship to art, and the way we think about art, is a challenging, enlightening stuff...which he would probably say is mediocre criticism. It's also newly released in paperback!
--The Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie: Conspiracies, old-timey Euro-adventures, love, twists, and all with a dollop of fun...one of Christie's earliest books is also one of her most exhilarating. Read it for free on Kindle!
KATIE COURIC: Ina Garten: At Home with the Barefoot Contessa - Katie Couric's new podcast goes home with Ina Garten and evolves into a conversation about politics, feminism, dinner parties, and food.
FIGHTING IN THE WAR ROOM: 163 – Is Netflix Burying Movies by Not Releasing Them in Theaters? - Part of the ongoing discussion of what to do about indie movies in the Netflix age. Things get a little heated, but they don't call it fighting in the war room for nothing.
LONGFORM: Brian Reed - I really loved the emotional honesty of this interview with the host of S-TOWN, the podcast sensation sweeping the nation.
POD SAVE AMERICA: "The odorless gas of misogyny" - Things get real as the boys discuss the divides in the Democratic party and where to go from here.
--King Kong (1933, d. Merion C. Cooper & Ernest B. Schoedsack): It is truly remarkable the vitality of this film, which lives in fame but I had never seen until now. The special effects still have heft, and the whole production is astonishing, considering this film was made in the early thirties.
--Before Sunset (2004, d. Richard Linklater): The second of the Before trilogy is available to watch on Amazon Prime (!) and is just as wistful and charming, with much more bite, than the superb first installment. The Criterion Collection edition of the trilogy is an essential item for each and every artist.
--A Quiet Passion (2016, d. Terence Davies): Now in theaters, Davies' exquisite Emily Dickinson drama is just as good as Cynthia Nixon's enthralling central performance. I shooketh in my seat, as I melted away.
--"The Cure" by Lady Gaga: May we all be fixed with love, or the most iconic song Gaga has released in years.
--The Killers: Revisiting their debut album Hot Fuss has reminded me how much I fucking love this album, and every song on it.
--Julie & Julia Motion Picture Soundtrack: Desplat. Background bliss.
--A Doll's House, Part Two: Sam Gold's production of what happened after Nora performed the door slam heard 'round the world invigorated me into a closer understanding of how we relate to past works through modern lenses, and also why Laurie Metcalf is one of the defining actresses of her generation. A must-see.
--The Little Foxes: Daniel Sullivan's gorgeously wrought production is a chance to see top-rate actors perform a top-rate (and timely) classic American play. See it once for Cynthia Nixon, and see it again for Laura Linney's accent.
--Nicole Kidman's 73 Questions for Vogue is the only video you will ever need to see for the rest of your life.
--On my Julie & Julia rabbit hole (see below), I found this lovely TimesTalk with Nora Ephron, Meryl Streep, and Stanley Tucci. Worth the watch.
--This bit, one of my favorites from 30 Rock, is sure to put a smile on your face.
--My book club read Nora Ephron's Heartburn this month (her only novel). As a die-hard Ephron fan, I was delighted to find some new articles on her that I absolutely adored including Ariel Levy's gorgeous profile on her for the New Yorker, Frank Bruni for the New York Times on Nora's undying love of food, and Ms. Ephron herself on What to Expect When You're Expecting Dinner (New York Times).
--In my Ephron deep dive, the month of April turned into a traipse through the history behind the film Julie & Julia. I watched many interviews with the creators of the film, listened to the soundtrack incessantly, and even picked up My Life in France on Independent Bookstore Day from my beloved Book Culture. Here is a Jennie Yabroff's great defense of the the "Julie" in the title, and Amanda Hesser's write-up in the New York Times of how it all began for Ms. Powell.
--Sam Gold will go down as a titan of the American theater. He somehow convinced producers that Broadway didn't have to be the underworld for commercial schlock and celebrity vanity projects, but could be a home for challenging, experimental theatre. God bless him. (Sasha Weiss, The New York Times).
--The state of independent film seemed to be on the minds of a lot of writers: reflections on the changing distribution's effect on the process of getting movies made and how they might be buried in the chaos of Netflix. (Sean Fennessey for The Ringer/David Ehrlich for Indiewire)
--Chris Jones' loving obituary for a stalwart of the Chicago theatre scene, former Steppenwolf Artistic Director Martha Lavey. (Chicago Tribune)
--Reading The Handmaid's Tale to prepare for the upcoming television series brought me to the work of Margaret Atwood and this great profile on why she is the Prophet of Dystopia. (Rebecca Mead, The New Yorker)
--Raw, Naked Rancor: On Feud, Big Little Lies, and the Complicit Audience (Matt Brennan, Paste)
--A Eulogy for Crayola’s Dandelion. (Hallie Bateman, The New York Times)
--Do Millennial Men Want Stay-at-Home Wives? (Stephanie Coontz, NYT)
--I've been diving into a TON of food writing, most of it excellent. I really liked this piece about the impact of hippies on the culture of groceries and food. (Christine Muhlke, NYT)
--Big Little Lies has brought back a renewed sense of life for most of us, none more so, perhaps, than Nicole Kidman, who proves time and time again that she is a Full-Fledged Bad Ass. (Anne Thompson, Indiewire)