Thanks to my parents, we stayed in a great little flat on Soho Square — that adorable cottage we’re posing in front of greeted us when we looked out the window every morning. We did just enough touristy things to say we did and spent many happy hours just walking around, taking it all in.
But most importantly, we ate well…
a fresh, fish-focused dinner at Rasa, which features the cuisine of Kerala (the seaside region of southern India where we’ll all be visiting in March, after M.’s 40th birthday extravaganza in Bangalore!)…
Thanksgiving supper at Oscar’s private club, The George (as you do)…
all the grouse, ox liver, marrow, hare, and sprats (sprats!) we could eat at Fergus Henderson’s legendary-for-a-reason St. John (plus lemon sorbet and vodka shots for dessert ‘cause yolo)…
really-effing good tapas at Barrafina and Donostia (with M.’s really effing awesome cousin Tulsi, who blogs!)…
…and lots of stinky English cheese and tasty meat pies at home.
And we drank well, too (duh)…
sister-time Jensen Gin martinis at Claridge’s gorgeous Art Deco bar (word to your mother, M. imports the gin to the states)…
totally modern, totally thrilling cocktails at 69 Colbrooke Row (I asked M., “If we go to one cocktail bar in London which should it be?” This was his answer, and as usual, he was right)…
and three (four, five?) too many mezcals at La Bodega Negra, super-hoppin underground bar (hint: that’s not a sex shop)….
And then of course M.’s wardrobe got a refresh at Oscar’s store, which I have been dying to visit for years, and it didn’t disappoint. I mean, Vivienne Westwood is next door. So chic. So cool.
Nope. This Is Fashion is a not-very-inside-joke made popular by the darkest lamb of tumblr, Ms. R. N. S. She began using it to comment on the absurdities, mechanics, injustices, and dirty truths of the fashion industry. The question mark was really for her, and was meant as, looks like we have another case but also, look at this man working outside the system. Is This Fashion? Or is this fashion? Etc.
Calm down, anons. When have I EVER seemed like the kind of person who would make fun of a homeless person, especially one with impeccable fucking taste?
I mentioned this a time or two but I am OBSESSED with the process that people go through when naming their babies. I love it. So, obviously, lists like this are interesting to me. (Not usually totally surprising, however.)
Tell me about the names you choose for your children, please. (Human or fur babies.)
I like naming cats after places. See: Wilkes from Wilkes-Barre and a kitty named Elsie after Elsie Street in San Francisco’s Bernal Heights.
I always wanted two dogs named Pozzo and Lucky (from Waiting for Godot, ‘cause I’m insufferable like that). Pozzo would be big, dumb, and sweet; Lucky would be small and bossy. But then we heard about a rescue pup named Zoe and though we spitballed other names, it just seemed to fit (however … AND PROMISE ME THIS STAYS BETWEEN US … she was actually named after Zooey Deschanel! of all the people! of all the stars i care not one whit about! her sister was Emily!! oh, it’s embarrassing).
I was really hooked on Gemma for a girl’s name — it’s my great-grandma’s name — but I dunno. Feel like it might be getting too popular.
Our current thinking for a girl and boy is … oh, can’t tell you! All I can say is neither is on this list. (Though in fairness, neither is Gemma.)
I said more or less all of that to Gena, who’s been doing a semester in London, and she said “Yes! Totally! … But then I went to Lisbon and it was the complete opposite. Every woman was so beautiful that I just didn’t even bother.”
After a moment’s thought she added, “It was sort of nice really. You know — not trying.”
…which I love because it says SO MUCH about the long strange trip that is the life of the female human.
(And how modest she is. I KNOW that girl can compete.)
“All stories are about wolves. All worth repeating, that is. Anything else is sentimental drivel…. Think about it. There’s escaping from the wolves, fighting the wolves, capturing the wolves, taming the wolves. Being thrown to the wolves, or throwing others to the wolves so the wolves will eat them instead of you. Running with the wolf pack. Turning into a wolf. Best of all, turning into the head wolf. No other decent stories exist.”—Margaret Atwood, The Blind Assassin (via jaimelannister, nonnonmodernist)
When Eric and I got married, it changed everything. We had been living together for three blissful years in our one-bedroom ninth-floor walk-up. Everything we needed we got from Target or as hand-me-downs from friends, and we were happy eating cereal for dinner. Then he finally put a ring on it! Our wedding was magical. After dancing the night away in the banquet space behind Villa Maria’s, I turned to him and said, “The only thing that could make this day more perfect is things.” Now that we’re married, I literally can’t imagine a day when I don’t touch silver.
I didn’t believe in it until it happened to me, but there’s just this mystical transformation when you “get hitched.” The second I was somebody’s wife, living a high-quality lifestyle just became really important to me, like when I got engaged and getting thin became really important to me. Every single day I think about using all the professional-level cooking equipment I made you buy me. Our kitchen would not be complete without the $379.95 Le Creuset French Oven in Flame that Eric’s mom gave us (what up mother-in-law!), and the $500 KitchenAid Mixer in Raspberry from Eric’s stepmom (what up stepmother-in-law!) is such a great accent piece on our counter.
If we had to pick just one blog to read from now until the end of time, we’d choose Nora Sherman’s Thought for Food in a heartbeat. She posts crazy-charming stuff about food and drink and pop culture and design and, well, EVERYTHING. Which makes sense considering that, by day, she’s the communications director atCUNY Building Performance Lab (which is all about sustainable real estate), and after hours, she and her BF have a cocktail consultancy Evoe. Basically, she knows a lot about a lot—and shares some of that here! —monica derevjanik
Q: Do you have one recipe you always use to impress a group of people coming over? A: Oh, yeah. There are a couple of recipes I just think are failsafe. One of them I based off of Jamie Oliver’s pasta puttanesca, which is full of tomatoes and olives and is deliciously briny. And I used to always make that for guys I was dating. I actually made it for a guy who was kind of a melodramatic person, and afterwards, he wrote me this email that said something like, “…and I remember when you made me the pasta puttanesca. I was already filing it away for the next girl I would date.” It cracked me up, but I was like, “Yeah, it’s a really impressive pasta!” I also make a really good chocolate mousse cake.
Q: Is there one cocktail ingredient that you’re totally in love with? A: Everybody should have maraschino—not like a maraschino cherry, but the liquor. And Luxardo is the brand that you want.
Q: Ok, officially salivating. Let’s switch gears: Which Of a Kind pieces do you own? A: I have so many! I wear Unearthen’s Furies ring with the Herkimer diamond every day. I visited my cousin, who told me that this kind of stone is supposed to be very powerful. I then realized that the night that I got it, I wore it to an incredible Bob Dylan concert. So I like to think that Bob Dylan infused my ring with power. The great thing about Of a Kind is that my boyfriend knows that I love it. So whenever he’s in the doghouse, he can just get me one of the editions.
Q: What blogs are at the top of your list? A: I love Food52 for their friendly approach to food. I have a huge girl crush on the site’s founder Amanda Hesser ever since reading Cooking for Mr. Latte. Tom and Lorenzo always make me laugh—I read every word they write. My fellow TumblrEmphasis Added has got this blogging thing down pat, and she’s an inspiration in so many ways—and I adore A Cup of Jo for much the same reason. Frites and Fries has such a unique approach to food blogging, as does the impossibly beautiful Manger. And, finally, Smitten Kitchen will never let you down.
Q: The last thing that made you cry? A: Hmm. That Google commercial with the daughter and the dad? Oh, man, it gets me every time. My birth-mom died when I was very young, and though I’ve had a wonderful adopted mom for more than 20 years, I can still relate to that feeling.
Q: What was your favorite holiday present when you were a kid? A: Probably my first Capsela set that I got from my dad when I was about eight. He has a philosophy of raising smart and powerful girls. When anyone said that my sister or I was adorable or beautiful, he’d immediately say “and smart and powerful, too” to remind us that we were so much more than our looks. Of course, I immediately used it to build an electric car for my Barbie. But, hey, I built it.
Q: If you suddenly got the next week off, where would you go on vacation? A: My big fantasy is an eating trip through Mexico. From high-wire modernist cuisine to some of the world’s best street food, Mexico is where it’s at right this minute, and I need to experience it for myself.
This is what so many people don’t understand (I didn’t ‘til M. explained it to me!).
Healthcare.gov is easily one of the biggest things anyone has ever tried to build on the internet.
And I hate that Fox and Friends and yes, even people like Jon Stewart and NPR, are equating its troubles with the success or failure of “Obamacare.”
It’s one piece of it. A piece that will get ironed out. It’s a fucking website. (We’ve all been there, amiright tumblr?)
And if we are going to blame Obama for something (and we should!) let’s blame him for what I consider the biggest mistake of his presidency, by a mile: not insisting on single-payer. (Uh, not even proposing it!)
…aka assuming the GOP had any interest whatsoever in “debate,” “compromise,” etc.
…aka not taking advantage of the goddamn mandate he was given.
…aka living in a little bit of a fantasy world.
He ended up negotiating with himself before he even left the gate, and that was a massive error.
The GOP are nihilists, never forget it.
But the problems with the website? Not even a historical footnote.