Weekend Shut-In Worksheet: Read Primates Of Park Avenue, Listen To Florence + The Machine & Make Vietnamese Iced Coffee
While it probably makes more sense to download books to my iPad, I like to support local bookstores and I’m a sucker for actual physical copies of books, many of which grab my eye with their covers and titles. I spotted Single, Carefree, Mellow, by Katherine Heiny on a shelf, and its title and cover painting of a swimsuited woman with her head underwater made me immediately add it to my MUST BUY pile. Oh weird, a book about ME. Well, not really, but it is a book of short stories about various single women “grappling with unwelcome houseguests, disastrous birthday parties, needy but loyal friends, and all manner of love, secrets, and betrayal,” so it might as well be.
The Frisky finally got a copy of Primates of Park Avenue by Wednesday Martin, the much ballyhooed socio-anthropological memoir about uber wealthy Upper East Side stay-at-home wives and mothers, and I snatched it away from Megan in a rare moment of exerting my authority. I just love reading about the rich, ridiculous and depraved! Martin, a social researcher with a PhD, positions herself as an outsider researching her new environment after she, her husband and their two sons move to the UES’s best public school district — but she very quickly succumbs to pressure and “goes native” in order to fit in. Alternating between first person memoir and anthropological field notes, the book offers a close look at a “narrow sliver of motherhood” operating in the most elite neighborhood in already competitive and image-obsessed New York City, breaking down their hierarchies, social behaviors, and exercises in dominance and submission. If you’ve ever wondered why in the hell someone would spend five figures a year to send their three-year-old to an elite preschool, read this book.
I love Amy Schumer, I’ve never actually seen a full episode of her show — I know — so I’ve made it my mission to binge as many episodes of “Inside Amy Schumer” as possible today. Generally speaking, though, I love and relate to Amy’s self-deprecating, razor-sharp wit, and appreciate how she eviscerates many of the things women do to ourselves and each other on behalf of the patriarchy, but without losing her compassionate understanding of why.
I’m not on to rewatch movies, but there are a small handful I will always watch if I stumble on them while channel surfing. You’ve probably already seen “Hitch,” starring Will Smith, Eva Mendes and the guy from “Paul Blart: Mall Cop,” which is a hilarious delight and someday I will write a long thinkpiece about why. But the will-always-watch film I actually wanted to recommend today is the perhaps lesser known ’90s indie film, “Stealing Beauty,” directed by famed Italian director Bernardo Bertolucci. I have been OBSESSED with this movie, Liv Tyler in this movie, this movie’s incredible Tuscan setting, this movie’s fucking flawless soundtrack, this movie’s stellar supporting cast (young Rachel Weisz! Jeremy Irons!), this movie’s romanticism and sex appeal, and pretty much every damn scene in this movie, but especially the one where Liv Tyler’s character Lucy is screaming along to Hole’s “Rock Star,” since I first saw it, oh, 20 years ago. Watch it. It’s the besssssssst.
Dare I say it, but the new record from Florence + the Machine, How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful, is maybe their best ever. More intensely intimate than their previous record, Ceremonials, this third album is heartbreakingly raw and confessional, though it still features plenty of those bombastically baroque moments that allow Florence Welch’s voice to soar. Check out one of my favorite tracks, “What Kind Of Man,” below.
Last year, I came thisclose to moving back to California, specifically Los Angeles, and while I changed my mind and moved to Brooklyn instead, I maintain that there are a handful of things that Southern California has over NYC, beyond just the obvious (i.e. better weather and Mexican food): 1) the abundance of peonies available at Trader Joe’s during peony season; 2) basically legal weed; and 3) the availability of Vietnamese iced coffee on most coffee shop menus. The latter is damn near impossible to find anywhere in NYC besides Vietnamese restaurants, which are usually not open yet on summer mornings when I am REALLY, REALLY CRAVING espresso or dark roast coffee poured over ice and sweetened with spoonfuls of condensed milk. So now I make them at home. Here is a recipe to try out yourself.
Every single tweet from @sosadtoday so perfectly captures my deepest, darkest, most self-absorbed and pitying thoughts that I was forced to put a cap on how many I was allowed to retweet every day, so as to not look pathetic. Now I fave them all and read the So Sad Today column at VICE instead. Follow! Read! Sigh!
i didn’t want things to end ugly, i wanted them to end with you being obsessed with me
— so sad today (@sosadtoday) June 4, 2015