Monday Memos // 89

Listening:

"Down in the Willow Garden" by The Everly Brothers.

"New Orleans Instrumental No. 1" by R.E.M.

"Charcoal Baby" by Blood Orange.

Reading:

Books I want to read:

No One Tells You This by Glynnis MacNicol. "a fearless reckoning with modern womanhood and an exhilarating adventure that will resonate with anyone determined to live by their own rules."

Fresh Complaint by Jeffrey Eugenides. "Narratively compelling, beautifully written, and packed with a density of ideas despite their fluid grace, these stories chart the development and maturation of a major American writer."

The Incendiaries by R. O. Kwon. "a fractured love story that explores what can befall those who lose what they love most."

image from an illustrated book review by Kristen Radtke (via  nylon )

image from an illustrated book review by Kristen Radtke (via nylon)

Craving:

Hanging in Maryland, which thus far means feasting on Joe Squared pizza and trying a newer spot in DC: A Rake's Progress. The latter is set in The Line hotel, which is beautiful itself — a cobbling together of restaurants, a radio station, and hotel housed inside a 110-year old massive-columned church. 

We had fresh Chesapeake oysters and salty, buttered bread. My mom and I shared a crab cake with shaved cucumber, red onion, tomato and smoked onion tartar; an heirloom tomato tart with puff pastry, vinaigrette and various basils; plus a farro salad with summer squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, nectarines and yogurt dressing.

We also had an incredible fudge brownie sundae: spelt brownie, mint chip ice cream, tiny homemade Oreos, whipped cream and hot fudge. A winner!

Pre- and post-saucing. 

Wearing:

Since I haven't been wearing anything particularly outlandish (denim, black, black, black), here are some beautiful images of things I love and would wear. 

Leandra Medine shoes (leandra medine via vogue)

Leandra Medine shoes (leandra medine via vogue)

Mara Hoffman delights.

Watching:

Last Friday I watched The End of the Tour on the bus ride to MD. It was slow but great, sad but soothing. Maybe one day I'll read Infinite Jest

Today I read that True Detective season 3 is back in January. Fingers crossed it's like the first season and renews our love of the show. 

I haven't been going to the movies or falling deep into shows much recently, so enthusiasm is currently in the ebb phase. 

Treasuring:

Giddiness and excitement: I experienced a few days last week where I couldn't contain my wild smiles. I took a ferry ride from the beach to the city — through the sunset hours. I was handed an It's-It out of the blue. I met a stranger in such a spectacular way. I shared stories with lots of details. I daydreamed on car rides. I'm letting the waves of emotions wash over me and I'm constantly pumped for the future and the now. 

Hello It's-It, my old friend / I've come to talk with you again

Hello It's-It, my old friend / I've come to talk with you again

Monday Memos // 81

Listening:

"Blue Castaway" by The Shelltones. 

This song makes me feel like I'm in the scene of a movie, and/or makes me want to make a movie. More than 50 years later it holds up. I'm on a melancholy tiki party kind of music kick.

"Enchantment" by The Melody Mates. See above.

"You're So Vain" by Carly Simon. 

I was at the gym — the Planet Fitness in Harlem is a world of sights and surprises — and this older man on the elliptical next to me was belting out all the songs he was listening to. I heard this line "I'll bet you think this song is about you" and whether or not it really was Carly Simon, it's been stuck in my head ever since. A few days later even, an older woman was busking in the subway with it.

Reading:

I woke up at 6 a.m. on Wednesday because my body was excited for this series of stories to be released on Bon Appétit: America's Favorite Neighborhood Restaurants. 

I first learned about it in February, and was instantly ready to participate and ready to read about all these special places around the country. I wrote draft after draft of my own love story to one of my favorite places on the planet. It was revised and tucked away, then revised again and ready in waiting. And here it is: The Weird, Wonderful Restaurant Where I Always Wanted to Work.

Being lumped among this description makes me feel like my dreams are coming true: We asked 80 of the most interesting people we know—chefs, novelists, activists, comedians, NBA players, and more—to let us in on their most-trusted haunts, from a Tibetan dumpling stand in a grocery store in Columbus to a landlocked fish market in Tulsa. These are the spots we return to again and again, the places that make no claim to be the “newest” or the “trendiest,” and that’s precisely why we love them.

I recommend reading them all. I'm slowly and lovingly making my way through these gems. 

Craving:

Delicious moments experienced in the last week:

- a feast at Lolo's Seafood Shack, which is described as Caribbean Street Eats alongside Classic New England favorites. We had conch fritters, jerk chicken, sweet plantains, crab cakes, and more. 

- Levain cookies for breakfast. A wedge of a chocolate chip walnut and double chocolate chip to start the day is an excellent way to live. 

- A lunch provided by Fuku — a "casual chicken concept by Momofuku." It's hard to pass up free spicy chicken sandwiches with habanero mayo, slaw, and pickles. 

- homemade cherry cobbler. It was sitting just feet from my desk and made by a coworker with strong opinions about the definition of a cobbler. 

- a friend reunion dinner at Jajaja, a "contemporary Mexican spot with a colorful, all-vegan menu." This was incredibly good. Plus, they had plantain chips that were exactly like home! I ate things like crushed Mayan pumpkin seed dip, turmeric queso fundito, mezcal mushroom tacos... and we got free churros with coconut dulce de leche because our wait was so long.

Jajaja was a fun spot: images above via Gothamist and Guest of a Guest.

Wearing:

On Wednesday, because I was so pumped for the day, I wore my gold star corduroy jumpsuit. On Friday, I wandered around a sunny Soho with sparkly red socks and unfashionable sandals. On Saturday, I parted my hair differently (it felt like a whole new head of hair) and wore a very comfortable terrycloth dress (it was like a cozy towel).

I'm having a red, striped moment. (items via & Other Stories)

Watching:

I'm almost done with Killing Eve and loving it. My favorite show right now is I'm Dying Up Here (waiting each week for a new episode is one of those rare acts of media patience.) I saw Ocean's 8 and couldn't wait for it to be over so I could go home and be in bed. I saw the trailer for Bad Times at the El Royale and I am very intrigued. — Seven strangers, each with a secret to bury, meet at Lake Tahoe's El Royale, a rundown hotel with a dark past. Over the course of one fateful night, everyone will have a last shot at redemption - before everything goes to hell.

Also, these Bon App videos "Pastry Chef Attempts To Make _______" are so good. The latest, an attempt at making Skittles, watch it.

Treasuring:

Visitors: I got to show off my workspace to visiting old and new friends. We toured various floors of the World Trade Center. I felt so official when the security desk called me about my guests in the lobby. I outfitted my office into a cozy guest room and finally got to host some family. I loved wandering around the city with my sister-in-law, pointing out landmarks, eating great food, and enjoying the peaceful living room together. It's nice to mix familiarity with the newness of my experience here. 

Last week, I pulled this animal spirit for the week ahead. On Saturday, at Bon Appétit's  Healthyish Homecoming  festival, a speaker said, "Don't be a chick, you're an eagle." At the risk of sounding cheesy, I really do feel like I'm soaring. 

Last week, I pulled this animal spirit for the week ahead. On Saturday, at Bon Appétit's Healthyish Homecoming festival, a speaker said, "Don't be a chick, you're an eagle." At the risk of sounding cheesy, I really do feel like I'm soaring. 

Monday Memos // 65

Listening:

"All My Loving" by The Beatles.

"Ubik" by Reptaliens. 

Reading:

The Mugs That Our Favorite Ceramicists Can't Live Without - I love these kind of "favorite things" pieces. The artwork is so great too. "One recent study found that one in six people have an emotional attachment to one particular mug. A third would be “angry” or “totally devastated” if their favorite one broke. So it’s totally normal to grow attached to a certain mug; it’s always there for you, unless someone else is using it. (Don’t do that.)"

What's your favorite mug? (illustrations by Maria Sainte via bonappetit)

What's your favorite mug? (illustrations by Maria Sainte via bonappetit)

Doing the Right Thing for the Wrong Reason

(images by Miss Lasko-Gross via thenewyorker)

(images by Miss Lasko-Gross via thenewyorker)

I’ll Need Your Café’s Wi-Fi Password Because I’m Working on My Novel Today - "Would you like to take a photograph of me and hang it up, so you can one day tell your patrons that a famous author sat here for twelve hours using your Wi-Fi and only purchased a single coffee? What size for the coffee? The smallest you have, please."

Craving:

A moment of wanting a big bowl of something delicious nearby brought me to the fast-casual restaurant Cava. I can always go for Mediterranean food. The sauces and pita and toppings were all so good I went back a few days later.

I'll be back. (image via zagat)

I'll be back. (image via zagat)

I finally tried a cookie from Ovenly. As their website says, "we adventurously explore culinary traditions with an unexpected twist, thoughtfully melding sweet and savory with a touch of spice." Even though I just had a simple salted chocolate chip cookie ("secretly vegan"), it was so wonderful. I'm still dying to try their Brooklyn blackout cake. 

One of everything please. (image via ovenly by winona barton-ballentine)

One of everything please. (image via ovenly by winona barton-ballentine)

Wearing:

Unintentionally, my entire wardrobe was black, grey, and blue this week. I suppose my red knit hat adds a dose of color, but I could stand to brighten things up. Most likely I'll throw in some sparkles and bright plaids. It's so cold, burrowing in black just feels right. 

Colorful inspiration. Top image: Marni Spring 2018 Ready-to-Wear fashion show on Vogue Runway. Middle image: Lupita Nyong’o photographed by Erik Madigan Heck for "The Guardian." Bottom image: Gorman clothing.

Watching:

Turns out they're making a Big Lebowski spin-off based on John Turturro's character, Jesus Quintana. I'm weary but intrigued; also, the Coen brothers aren't involved. "Strangely, this film is apparently a remake of the 1974 French film "Les Valseuses." This new version, which also stars Bobby Cannavale, Audrey Tautou, and Susan Sarandon," is titled "Going Places."

So deep in my Australian tv romance I can hardly watch anything else. I did manage some hotel viewing sessions of "Jeopardy" and "Seinfeld" as palate cleansers. 

(image via slashfilm.com)

(image via slashfilm.com)

Treasuring:

Revival. Some synonyms include: improvement, recovery, rallying, picking up, amelioration, turn for the better, upturn, upswing, resurgence... I'm feeling my happiness returning. I'm remembering what it feels like to be excited about the entire day (for several days in a row). I'm so busy and fulfilled I'm doing more than crossword puzzles and wandering around the mall. A few nights ago I turned out the light, going to sleep with tears of contentment streaking my face and a smile in my heart. The kitten on the poster was right: hang in there

🖐🏻Must love cats. (drawing by  Nadine Redlich )

🖐🏻Must love cats. (drawing by Nadine Redlich)

Monday Memos // 64

Listening:

"Goodbye Bread" by Ty Segall.

"My Shadow" by Jay Reatard.

"What I Thought of You" by Holly Throsby.

This progression of songs doesn't make any sense / absolutely makes sense. 

Reading:

Want to read: "Her Body and Other Parties: Stories" by Carmen Maria Machado. Earthy and otherworldly, antic and sexy, queer and caustic, comic and deadly serious, "Her Body and Other Parties" swings from horrific violence to the most exquisite sentiment. In their explosive originality, these stories enlarge the possibilities of contemporary fiction.

Still enjoying: I'm slowly making my way through "Theft By Finding," the latest Sedaris book. His life is crazy and bleak and hilarious. I bet he never would've thought as a nearly homeless construction worker artist he'd be a millionaire one day.

(image via npr)

(image via npr)

Craving:

Gigantic oranges. Hawaiian pizza. Pesto. "Everything But The Bagel Sesame Seasoning." More chocolate.

Wearing:

Easy wear: jeans, tee, sweatshirt, wool socks, puffy jacket, black boots.

Watching:

Binge: I can't stop watching "Offspring." It is an Australian television comedy-drama centered on "30-something obstetrician Nina Proudman and her family and friends, as they navigate the chaos of modern life." It reminds me a 'Scrubs.'" I laugh, I cry, I zen out in Aussie oblivion.

Adore: "High Maintenance" is back—season 2. The first episode blew me away and the last scene made my eyes well up. I could rewatch it more than once. I'm glad I have to wait each week for a new episode, it's a nice something to look forward to.

Treasuring:

Walking. Thank you legs for bringing me all around town. Thanks for all the wandering around lakes, through crusty snow piles, up and down long hallways. I'm about to do a bunch of good city walking; even if I start crying in the middle of the sidewalk or if I feel overwhelming joy in all the sights and sounds, I'm looking forward to all the walking. 

Nancy and all her boots.

Nancy and all her boots.