This year has been a doozy. Let’s forget the obvious for a minute and focus on staying sane and happy amidst and regardless of it all while still fighting the evils at hand. I’ve been reading a lot of books this year, for research, inspiration and just plain old joy. Memoirs and biographies, short stories and essays, while I work on new projects and my own book of essays and stories about the years spent coming and going, restlessly running and staying. Everything from Jill Soloway to Mary McCarthy, Joan Didion, Kathy Acker, Meghan Daum, Germaine Greer, Joan Juliet Buck, Ariel Levy, Katie Roiphe, and this weekend, Claire Dederer‘s Love And Trouble, which is a perfect reflection of 40-something melancholy as we come full circle to who we were, are and still becoming. Now looking forward to Chris Kraus’ new biography, After Kathy Acker, which comes out August 18th. In that same pool is a great list of stuff to watch online and even occasionally in theaters. Casual on Hulu, Younger on TV Land, another brilliant season of Love and Orange is The New Black and Masters of None on Netflix; the best addition to ‘television’ this year, I Love Dick on Amazon and Big Little Lies and Insecure on HBO. Basically, if you want to hide from the world and order Seamless for the next month, you will not be bored. Oh! And FX’s Better Things season one is finally available on HULU! Atlanta will hopefully soon follow.
A few of my new (and old) favorite places to eat and drink when you DO decide to leave the house: Manuala in LA, where Texas via NYC transplant Chef Wes has concocted a spicy comforting menu of Southern food with a modern twist (make sure to order the pimento cheese, the burrata and the pancakes, not necessarily in that order) and wash it down with a Nightshade cocktail. In NYC, a hidden gem, Piccola Strada on East 4th street (and I shudder as I write this, because this place is SMALL, the food is fantastic and I never want to have to wait for a table) where you can BYOB/wine, which immediately gives you more money to spend on the amazing homemade pastas and stuffed eggplant dishes they serve. Definitely go see Gillian Robespierre’s new film Landline (the same director who did the brilliant film Obvious Child with Jenny Slate, who also stars in this funny film), Atomic Blond for a hot ass kicking from Charlize Theron and a soundtrack that will light your nostalgic heart on fire (Til Tuesday, Peter Schiling, New Order, Depeche Mode) and The Big Sick, a funny, smart, poignant comedy that is a MUST SEE. One of the year’s best films, A Ghost Story, is also one of my favorite films EVER. I won’t ruin it’s magic by saying too much but if you’re curious, the trailer is below. Happy escaping!