Friday, April 22, 2011

So sentimental

Words cannot express how much I adore Phoenix. They remind me of such wonderful occasions in my life, of summer, of romance, of accomplishment, of staying up all night. I have had an over ten-year love affair with this band, and when I see a video such as this I just think about how unbearably special a moment like this is for these onlookers.

Lately I have been thinking a great deal about the special, in particular about certain individuals or points in time that cannot be explained or repeated. My head spins at the thought of what forces in the universe align to create such captivating personalities and experiences. While on one level it may be disheartening to think that despite your ambition and your drive, you probably will not be special, in that Beatles-Nelson Mandela-J.D. Salinger kind of way. But on another level, it is incredibly comforting to know that you shouldn't be expected to, that it is almost better to just be a witness to the extraordinary.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Worth Waiting For

There has been much buzz about Gabrielle Hamilton's culinary memoir, Blood, Bones, and Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef (2011), and today I finally got my grubby hands on a copy. I have only read the first few sentences and it is already pulling me out of my current fiction doldrums. After listening to an interview with Hamilton on an earlier episode of The Splendid Table, I was certain this book would not disappoint. Hamilton, owner of the acclaimed New York restaurant, Prune, is dry and honest, and through her even tone and a charming smattering of curses, her respect and love for her profession is evident. She cooks in a manner that is intensely personal, and I would expect no less from this memoir. Hamilton is a refreshing personality amongst "celebrity" chefs, and I cannot wait to read her journey from rural Pennsylvania to France, from Greece to New York, and from the brink of devastation back to the kitchen.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


"There were days, rainy gray days, when the streets of Brooklyn were worthy of a photograph, every window the lens of a Leica, the view grainy and immobile." (1)

It would be impossible, I suspect, to read Just Kids and not fall in love, even just a little bit, with Patti Smith. Although the book is a heartbreaking memoir and tribute to Robert Mapplethorpe, a love story, a tale of poverty and of New York in the 1960s and 70s, it is the remarkable author around which the whole story pivots: her curiosities, the development of her tastes, her life in art. And although she pays homage to Mr. Mapplethorpe, it is Patti's story that keeps shining through on these pages and, much like her music, haunts you long after reading.

1. Smith, Patti. Just Kids. 60.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Let's Get Lost

Went to Lynn Canyon today and got seriously lost. And survived a freak hailstorm. And saw a woodpecker and some mushrooms:

The arduous journey ended with pavlova and tea and and a warm bath. All in all, not a bad Saturday afternoon.

And here's a little Saturday evening music from the incomparable Mr. Chesney "Chet" Baker Jr.: