Sunday, June 27, 2010


It's hot, I'm crabby and sick of soccer. Unzipped, a film chronicling the creation of Isaac Mizrahi's 1994 collection is just what the doctor ordered. I'm transported by the backstage footage of my favorite model of all time, Linda Evangelista, being a sassy pants beeotch, and Naomi Campbell in all her feline ferocity, Carla Bruni (!) and Cindy Crawford, that goddess.

How did I miss this jackpot movie when it first came out? Oh right, I was 11.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Jezebel of Jazz

The other night I caught the end of a documentary called " Anita O'Day- The Life of a Jazz Singer," and was intrigued by the gritty story of this incredibly underrated singer. The next day I ran over the Library for the Performing Arts and picked up High Times, Hard Times, O'day's biography.

Damn, this lady lived a hard life. Unstable family, money troubles, rape, abusive relationships, prison, alcoholism and a 15 year long addiction to heroin didn't stop her from touring and recording with some of the most popular big bands and innovative trios of her time and developing her singular vocal style. Her biography is written in "hip" jazz prose (hep and cat, etc) and is unflinchingly honest. Billie Holiday ignored her, Benny Goodman was threatened by her, Frank Sinatra applauded her and Charlie Parker admired her.

Addicts are unreliable narrators, but in this case, I didn't really care about which anecdotes were true and which were exaggerated or fabricated. I am in awe of Anita O'Day's life and will appreciate her music all the more knowing the blood, sweat and tears shed to refine her craft.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs

I just finished Chuck Klosterman's Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs and man, did it tick me off. The author reminded me of a certain type of dude: know-it-all, horn rimmed glasses wearing, 30ish, sarcastic, obscure-band loving, elitist a-hole. The kind of guy I would inevitably pick up in a gross dive bar in Allston, MA 5 years ago who would dazzle my young naive self with his faux philosophical view of life and vast knowledge of the contents of the bar's jukebox. Ew!

Thankfully, my taste in men has evolved. I am no longer interested in smug smartie pants men and I find their limited and dismissive points of view extremely irritating.  Thus, Klosterman's collection of essays examining pop culture left me with a bad taste in my mouth.

Granted, some of his anecdotes seemed dated as they dealt with "Gen-X" type content (the social ramifications of The Real World, the political value of the Dixie Chicks), but moreover, his assertions came off as sexist, racist  and obnoxious. I can't wait to rip into him at our monthly book club session next week.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


I promise this blog isn't turning into "I <3 violin music 4 eva" dot com, but I really love this song, Spiegel im Spiegel (Mirror in the Mirror) by Estonian composor Arvo Part. Part pioneered this stlye of composition, called "Tintinnabular," which is apparently inspired by chant. Great word!

Monday, May 3, 2010

The Lark Ascending

I heard Ralph Vaughn William's The Lark Ascending this morning while I was drinking my coffee. It was so gorgeous that I had to look it up and listen to a couple of other versions, including Janine Jansen's (above). The story of the music is pretty funny, too. Apparently the composer was watching military ships cross the English Channel while composing the first drafts of the music during the beginning of WWI.  A young kid saw him and thought he was a spy writing secret code. He called the cops and Williams was arrested! Oops.

Sunday, May 2, 2010


Nope, not that Gaga.

Aaron played with FM Blanket this weekend at The Gaga Arts Festival in Garnerville, NY. The venue was a super cool converted textile mill that is now home to artists studios. After the boys' set, we browsed through the open air galleries, ate Jamaican food and hung out at the Creekside Sculpture Garden.  Not a bad way to spend a gorgeous Saturday afternoon!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sita Sings the Blues

Saturday Night Live was a snoozefest last night, so while surfing for other options,
I came across
Sita Sings the Blues on Thirteen.

The film is a retelling of a Hindu folk tale by an artist mourning her failed marriage.

It was adorable and touching, not to mention a nice surprise on an otherwise boring Saturday night.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Forbidden Love

Now that I've read Alice I Have Been, by Melanie Benjamin, I will never be able to hear Lewis Carroll's Alice stories without remembering the scandal and heartbreak surrounding the book's muse.

In this fictionalized biography, Benjamin examines the life of Alice Liddell, a vivacious little girl being suffocated by the constraints of Victorian notions of girls and girlhood. From an affluent academic family, Alice escapes through innocent outings with a much older eccentric professor (a character based on Lewis Carroll). When their odd and sometimes cringe-inducing relationship is misinterpreted by meddling interlopers, poor little Alice is marred for life. The implications of her victimization are far reaching, costing her true love and happiness.

Poor Alice, another exploited muse.

This is what you're like

I'm not sure why I was so emo when we went to see Sarah Kirkland Snider's Penelope at The Bell House.

It could have been my over worked/over tired state of mind, or Kirkland Snider's evocative compositions (performed by members of Signal), or the image of a pregnant Shara Worden singing lyrics about a long lost husband returning from war, half the man he used to be.

Whatever it was, it moved me. I was a teary mess! Check the tunes out for yourself when New Amsterdam releases them on an album next fall.

image via

Friday, March 19, 2010

Off with her head!

Despite the lackluster reviews, I went to see Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland in IMAX 3D and totally dug it. The actress who played Alice is enchanting and I loved her costumes. I also loved the Red & White Queens' outlandish make-up.

I could have done with out the Mad Hatter's silly jig and the Jabberwocky and Bandersnatch scared the crap out of me, but overall, I recommend checking the movie out in theaters, preferably in 3D!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


I went to opening night of Keigwin + Company's run at The Joyce Theater last night and was completely BLOWN AWAY by the last work in the program, Runaway. I had seen video footage of the piece before, but nothing compared to experiencing it live. Check out an excerpt below:

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


Heading to The Sunshine State for a long weekend where I will:
a) eat good food
b) drink beer that is not Tecate
c) buy a cute retro bathing suit (see above)
d) lay in the sun on the beach

I'm pretty excited. Pray for warm weather!

Monday, March 1, 2010

If you never do anything, you never become anyone

Jen L. and I took advantage of our 1/2 snow day to go and see An Education. It's the story of Jenny, a bright young thing who is hungry for experiences beyond her sheltered life as a cello playing school girl pushed toward Oxford by her domineering parents. She is dazzled by David, an older man of questionable repute who woos her with a whirlwind of cigarettes and champagne. When he inevitably breaks her heart, it almost seems worth it for all the fun she (and we) have had with him.

I loved the clothing, cast and soundtrack and am now on the hunt for a copy of Lynn Barber's memoir, from which the film is adapted.

My favorite part was when the world weary and kinda trampy Helen gives Jenny a makeover for her first romantic weekend getaway:

images via

Artisan Ice Cream

The yellow Van Leeuwen ice cream trucks tweet their locations, but now they have a home base on Manhattan Ave in Greenpoint. We stopped by their grand opening Saturday and I enjoyed some tasty Earl Grey ice cream and a delicious latte with a sweet little heart swirled into it. I'm looking forward to hot summer nights when we can stroll through McCarren park after dinner to get a scoop from these super nice peeps.

I spotted the hunky underground lobster pound dude while we were there, but was too shy to say hi. Next time!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Why do you want to dance?

My girlfriend Jen H. and I went to the Film Forum last night to see The Red Shoes, a ballet film from 1948 that tells the story of Vicky Page, an unbelievably gorgeous ballerina who rises to fame under a brutal but queeny ballet director named Boris Lermontov. Her first starring role is in a new ballet based on the Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale about death inducing maniacal red slippers, The Red Shoes, with music composed by an idealist young composer named Julian. The ballet is a story within a story, and the choreography and set design of the ballet production within the film is breathtaking, especially with the recent technicolor restoration.

When the company travels to Monte Carlo to prepare for their new season, Vicky and Julian inevitably fall in love, with the help of carriage rides along the Mediterranean and stolen chats on moonlit verandas. Lermontov sees their relationship as a threat to the company's stability and success. He fires Julian, who promptly leaves the company. Vicky follows, the couple weds, and Julian begins work on his first opera.

Domestic bliss doesn't last long however, and Vicky is drawn back to dance and Lermontov. She agrees to reprise her role in The Red Shoes in its Monaco premiere, coincidentally on opening night of Julian's opera. Julian surprises everyone by showing up at the theater to take Vicky home with him, and there is a dramatic showdown in her dressing room moments before the show's curtain. Lermontov convinces her to forsake her love and devote the rest of her life to dance, starting with the night's performance. Julian leaves for the train station, heartbroken.

Instead of taking the stage, Vicky is so overwrought that she throws herself off the theater's balcony onto some train tracks. In her last dying breaths, she begs Julian to cut the cursed red toe shoes off her, but the show must go on and the company performs The Red Shoes without her as a tribute. SWOON!

I loved the movie SO MUCH and felt like an 6 year old sitting wide eyed in the theater. The costumes, the dancing, the overacted theatrics, its a masterpiece.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


I know I should be complaining about the weather like everyone else, but I really don't mind all this snow. Bring it on, especially if I can dress in looks from Rag & Bone Winter 2010 collection.

image via Shiny Squirrel

Friday, January 29, 2010

You are my best friend; You are my only friend.

The JCC of Manhattan screened Mary & Max as part of opening night of the 2nd Annual Reelabilities, a film festival "dedicated to promoting awareness and appreciation of the lives, stories and artistic expressions of people with different disabilities."

The claymated film chronicles the unlikely friendship between Mary Daisy Dinkle, a lonely eight year old girl living in Australia, and Max Horowitz, an obese, middle-aged New Yorker living with Asperger's. Their twenty year correspondence begins when Mary randomly selects Max as her "pen-friend" from a NYC phonebook. The solace and counsel the duo provide for each other over the years is very touching, but the project avoids being overly precious through dark humor and unflinching honesty.

This film reportedly opened Sundance this year to critical acclaim and is based on a true story. Go and see it if you have the chance.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Millennials Changing America

I chatted with my old friend Alex Steed recently regarding a project of his entitled "Millennials State of the Union," which gauges our generation's enthusiasm level for Obama's first year in office. If you can look past my crazy poofy hair and imperfect audio syncing, check out our conversation here.

Clinton in 2012!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


Anna Quindlen is one of my favorite writers for her sharp witted pieces in Newsweek and her classic op-eds in the NY Times. I finally read one of her works of fiction, Rise and Shine, and LOVED it. No wonder the lady has a Pulitzer!

The book is the story of a Katie Couric/Diane Sawyer type woman, her social worker sister and the complex relationship they navigate, compounded by scandal and tragedy. Add this to your library queue ASAP.


This is my favorite holiday card that I received this year from a work contact. So cool, right?