Stuff You Should #7

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SOME STUFF YOU SHOULD
KNOW ABOUT ME

I don't think it's melodramatic to say that everything - politics, entertainment, the weather - has been mind-numbingly awful lately. I was wondering this morning what the last Good Thing to happen was, and the best I could come up with was the eclipse. Remember the eclipse? I admit that for me the lead-up to it was mostly background noise, but then on the day, a coworker set up a lil observation area with a viewfinder box and special glasses and a - colander? For some reason? And I took the glasses and stared STRAIGHT UP AT IT. I stared straight at the eclipse!! Just a lil human peering up from the 14th floor of a building in midtown Manhattan at two celestial bodies meandering across the sky. It was a good distraction, albeit a momentary one. Anyway if you're seeking more momentary distractions, scroll on.

Girls of summer (in front of the AC unit, duh).

Girls of summer (in front of the AC unit, duh).


SOME STUFF YOU SHOULD
READ ONLINE

The Secret Life of the City Banana - Anne Correal charts the colorful course of bananas from tree to NYC fruit stand, the history of that journey, and the Pixar-esque cast of characters who handle them along the way.
     
The Problem With Writing About Florida - Kristen Arnett wrote this visceral, evocative essay on her home state - a worthwhile read in these hurricane days. "This has always been a place that scares people. I like that about Florida. It means I can act any way I want and know I’ll always be welcome."

I Spent A Long Weekend Playing "Survivor" In The Backwoods of MaineMy friend Alex doesn't like bugs, sweating, or going hungry, so when he told me he was gonna compete in a four-day fan version of Survivor in the woods of Maine, I laughed out loud in his face. I should've known the only thing that'll stop a determined Survivor devotee is getting voted out.

How Fake News Turned a Small Town Upside Down - Caitlin Dickerson describes the ways in which racist paranoia and religious hysteria across social media exaggerated a local crime until it was elevated into a national alt-right rally. Try not to feel some kinda existential dread while reading this, I dare u

The Week My Husband Left And My House Was Burgled I Secured A Grant To Begin The Project That Became BRCA1 - A rollercoaster ride of a story that's so good, even its too-long title doesn't give the best parts away. 


"Silenced Voices of Everyday Sheroes" by Samanta Tello. Burnt wood, gold/silver foil, stains and oil on wood panel. 36x36", 2016.

"Silenced Voices of Everyday Sheroes" by Samanta Tello. Burnt wood, gold/silver foil, stains and oil on wood panel. 36x36", 2016.


It’s hard not to feel a little bad for Bieber, for losing his monkey to Germany. I tell him I wouldn’t expect a teenager to be totally up-to-date on the ins and outs of German wildlife-transport policy. A shadow passes over his face.

“Honestly, everyone told me not to bring the monkey. Everybody.”

He says this with such gravity that I burst out laughing. Bieber does not.

“Everyone told me not to bring the monkey. I was like, ‘It’s gonna be fine, guys!’ It was”—he shuts his eyes—“the farthest thing from fine.”
— I still think about this passage from a 2016 GQ profile of Justin Bieber like once every three days

SOME STUFF YOU SHOULD
WATCH/STREAM

My Brother, My Brother and Me (Season 1) - Three affable brothers from Huntington, West Virginia managed to turn their silly, disarmingly sweet advice podcast into a six-episode TV series without losing an iota of charm. If you like your comedy PURE and GOOD and a lil WEIRD, pleeeease watch this. I will not rest until everyone I know sees the episode about teens and slang!!! Streaming on VRV now.

Born Sexy Yesterday - Pop Culture Detective dissects the pervasive and perverse trope of sexually mature female characters written to be "profoundly naive" but "unimaginably wise."

The Confession Tapes (Season 1) - What's that? It's been too long since you got riled up about miscarriages of justice? Boy, have I got the docuseries for you! This one is about coerced confessions and it's well produced and infuriating. Streaming on Netflix now.


idk just some city colors I liked

idk just some city colors I liked

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This is 100% true.

This is 100% true.


SOME STUFF YOU SHOULD
LISTEN TO

The Official Project Runway Recap Podcast - Me and Danielle are BACK our our delightful bullshit with our weekly recaps of everyone's favorite* reality competition show. (*After Drag Race and Great British Bake Off, obvs.)

Dirty JohnThis six-part true-crime story of a terrifying con man and his hold on a wealthy California family is available to read, but I highly recommend the podcast version, which benefits from writer Christopher Goffard's narration - he's got this slightly detached, bemused-sounding tone that gives the whole thing a spine-tingly feeling. (Goffard also wrote Framed, which I recommended back in October.)

Hadestown (2010 concept album and 2017 original cast recording) - Every autumn I revisit singer-songwriter Anais Mitchell's 2010 concept album retelling of the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. There's something in its layers of folky influence and gravelly guest vocals that puts me in the mood for chilly air and crunchy leaves. Last year the album was finally mounted as a proper stage production at New York Theatre Workshop, so this month I've been vibing with the newly-released cast recording. It's def more musical theater-y, but not in a way that'd be prohibitive, I think, for people who don't dig musicals. Either way: there are two versions of these wonderfully moody tunes for you to enjoy, and they're both streaming on Spotify now.


There was an episode, one of my favorite moments in STAR TREK, when Captain Kirk looks over the cosmos and says, “Somewhere out there someone is saying the three most beautiful words in any language.” Of course your heart sinks and you think it’s going to be “I love you” or whatever. He says, “Please help me.” What a philosophically fantastic idea, that vulnerability and need is a beautiful thing.
— Hugh Laurie

 

Forecast for fall:

Trying to read more books. Trying to eat less ice cream. Maybe autumn weather will finally come to NYC???? WHO CAN SAY

Until next time,

xo Laura

Scene from a Saturday night bachelorette excursion in the Lower East Side

Scene from a Saturday night bachelorette excursion in the Lower East Side