Eye of the Hurricane Listen to Yourself Churn

This week's theme is America. I heard REM in spin class- "It's the End of
the World" accompanied my sprint this am. Yes REM is a great American
college band from the funky little town of Athens, GA and legitimized
alternative music for the masses. But this particular song brought me back
to my youth when me and my two best friends used to hang out and play that
song over and over again until we memorized all the words. We were obsessed
with knowing every word and loved to sing it to each other and dance around.

When you are in high school, you often FEEL like the world is ending in
terms of your general angst- but not sure any of us REALLY felt that way or
understood what that meant- we simply enjoyed the lyrics and the catchy tune
and related to Stipe and his cool awkwardness. But listening to that song
this morning as I sweated away last night's orecchiette, I had a whole
different experience. I still remembered all the words but this time they
had a bit of a different meaning, and I must say, I didn't feel fine. I try
to stay upbeat on this blog but I'm super bummed right now. I don't know who
to blame about this mess in the gulf and I no longer know who to be angry
at. Nobody knows what to do, people are losing their livelihoods, and our
entire ecosystem is under attack. We are in the midst of hurricane season
and I for one am super freaked about the possibilities- and I just heard
this AM that there is a slick 7 miles off of Pensacola.

It does feel like the world is ending right now or at least severely pissed
with us (sinkholes, volcanoes, earthquakes)- so this song had new meaning
for me. I was wondering if anyone else in the class was thinking the same.
Again, I don't mean to bum everyone out, but I simply can't understand how
nobody can figure this thing out. I feel the way I did after 9/11, when I
couldn't stop watching CNN, clicking on it all day, and now that I have a
commute in the morning I am glued to NPR. It's a pretty scary time in this
country and I want to feel hopeful again, and if the world is really ending,
I wish I felt fine as they say in the song. Here's the video for that
classic- I'm trying to summon some faith but it's tough right now. Sorry to
be such a buzz kill but this shit has me down this Thursday in the MIA.
Check out the video anyway, it's pretty dope.

Allman Joy

Happiest of hump days to you. In terms of American rock, you just gotta love
the crap out of some Allman Brothers. And good old American Southern rock in
general. Look how awesome they were- raggedy, beer drinking, shit kicking
and all out rocking. In truth, I think America contributed more vastly in
terms of soul and funk and R&B than rock, but listen to "Sweet Melissa"
while drinking an ice cold beer of your choosing- it will break your heart
in all of its syrupy Southern beauty, and then switch it up to some
"Statesboro Blues" and get your groove right. They were super funky and make
me want to shoot pool and drink a bourbon and ginger. Git some.

And that's what's up this deep fried and rockin' Wednesday in the MIA. Have
a lovely day and pop in some Allman Brothers, and maybe some Skynyrd too. XO

Easy Ridin' on a Tuesday

It's a dark and stormy post long weekend Tuesday in Miami and the rain
hitting my roof did not want me to sleep, so thought I'd post and start the
day. I was thinking about doing another week of posts based around a theme,
and this week I'm going to do some of my favorite American things, in honor
of Memorial Day and the beginning of summer. I went up to Delray this
weekend where you can stay at this amazing old hotel called the Colony,
which feels much like stepping back in time. They have a free swim and beach
club, with cabanas painted bright colors and endless Arnold Palmers. Delray
is a cool little town that reminds me so much of little beach towns I fell
in love with as a young girl- complete with a blues bar right on Atlantic
Avenue with some dudes jamming out to the Allman Brothers, Stevie Ray, etc.
If you go, check out Kilwin's candy shop and def do the lobster roll at
Linda Bean's. It doesn't suck.

Anyway, was so sad to hear about Dennis Hopper this weekend. Dennis was
truly an American treasure- an icon of American counterculture and era when
the youth of this country put up their middle finger to the establishment
and did their own damn thing. I can't think of a movie that embodies this FU
attitude more adroitly, than "Easy Rider", the 1969 film starring young
Dennis alongside Peter Fonda and Jack Nicholson. Fonda and Hopper pay drug
smugglers who take to the road- you can imagine the madcap hijinx that
ensue. I remember watching this movie during my own discontented youth and
really digging it- you could really feel something happening in that movie
that was a pivotal turning point in culture- the sort of underbelly of the
whole hippie thing with a real slant on patriotism (Vietnam) but also a new
style of filmmaking that changed the game. You may watch it now and find it
cliched, (we have all heard 'Born to be Wild' on every classic rock station
from here to eternity) but when this film was made there was simply nothing
like it, and that's why I love it. And to watch Dennis and Peter Fonda light
up the screen is priceless, as well as Nicholson in his prime.

I absolutely love the scene when they make it to New Orleans and march through the Mardi Gras parade in all their freaky finest. Its one of the best road films of all time, and represents a moment in American culture when freedom was being redefined in the form of a bike called called Captain America. 

If you haven't seen it, check it out. And RIP Dennis. You were a true
counterculture badass, as well as a gifted actor and fantastic photographer.
I will miss you. And that's what's up this trippy Tuesday in the MIA (And
yes they smoked real weed in the movie. That's a a fact). XO

Seaside Nostalgia

Hiya. As a hardcore Northeasterner, I get very excited about holidays like
Memorial Day. Admittedly in Miami it's not that big of a deal- we don't
exactly look forward to summer here- it's sticky and gross and buggy as
could be (the biting kind). Not to mention the impending threat of named
storms. We tend to get more hyped up in the winter time- that's when the
magic happens and every day is lovely.

In spite of all that, I can still look back fondly on summer vacations with
the family to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. My mom and dad were not huge fans of
the Jersey Shore, and my dad discovered Rehoboth on a business trip and
within weeks we were on our way to starting a family tradition of summer fun
there. I continued to go with friends in high school and then in college and
beyond.

Rehoboth is a cool, cool little beach town- its a mix of families yet also
has a huge gay population- thus the great shopping and amazing food. (And
everyone gets along, which is even cooler). Its definitely old timey- it
boasts a great boardwalk, an amusement park where you can play skee ball
(one of my favorite games of all time) and visit a Haunted Mansion, and most
importantly Rehoboth has Thrasher's, the best fries in the land. Just don't
ask for ketchup. You eat these chumpies with vinegar only. Don't get me
started on hard shell crabs- which are everywhere in Rehoboth as its a
stone's throw from Ocean City Maryland. There is a place called Eddie's in
Dewey Beach that is heaven on a picnic table- think newspaper, loads and
loads of hard shells sheathed in Old Bay, and there you have it.

You can ride bikes everywhere- there's a million spot for coffee and
breakfast as well as some fab restaurants and places to get old fashioned
fudge. It's got such a nice vibe- unpretentious and lovely and I do miss
those summers. I also happened to get engaged there- so it holds an even
bigger place in my heart. Funny I should recall Rehoboth now as Memorial Day
approaches, because that's the weekend it all went down (and I said YES). We
celebrated by dinner at the lovely La La Land and many beers at the Dogfish
Head Brewery, which is in town there. I remember Laika and the Cosmonauts
played a few sets that night- nothing like beer, beach, and some Finnish
surf punk rockabilly to accompany my impending nuptials. Amazingly fun,
while incredibly random. There are also some fun bars in Dewey Beach if you
want to go out- the Starboard used to have a fantastic DIY bloody mary bar
on the weekends for a little hair of the Dogfish...perfection.

I am sure you have all had memorable summer vacations with your family, and
some you may want to forget. But the charm of a beach town never ever goes
away- I adore everything about a beach vacation. Its a time to kick back,
ditch the makeup bag and flat iron, and throw on some flip flops and just
plain chill. I know I love my shoes and fancy things, but beneath it all I'm
a girl who likes the simple pleasures. Those are the things that bring me so
much joy- classic rock, skee ball, and a boardwalk- its simply in my DNA. If
you ever get a chance, check this place out. It's one of my fav spots and
think I need to revisit it soon. And that's what's up this beachy keen
Thursday in the MIA. XO

Without this, there is no summer to me.

I am of course talking about the Lobster Roll. Admittedly, Miami is not
exactly heaven sent for these amazing feats of sandwichery. Yes, you can get
one at Joe's Takeaway, but it's just not quite the same as the ones you get
along the Northeastern coastline in the summertime. Now I don't remember
these at all from growing up in Philly, so pretty sure this is a New York
and north of NY type of delicacy- obviously Maine has the cream of the crop.
And with Memorial Day fast approaching, all thoughts turn to summer, the
beach, and a relaxed ease that goes best with a beer and some old reggae.
And nothing goes better with all of the above than the lovely oh so lovely
lobster roll, another quintessential summer treat.

I remember a particularly joyous summer weekend afternoon in New York City-
that amazing feeling when the city is completely null and void of people,
and you pretty much have the place to yourself. Of course I love the
weekends at the beach, but there's something about summer weekends in the
city that are delicious. David and I spent the day hanging around our
neighborhood, which culminated in a late afternoon beer or three at one of
my favorite bars of old, The Ear Inn. You get a great view of the Hudson
from there and the sunset starts to creep in and lights up the whole west
side like the Olympic torch. It's quite special. After a few Stellas, we
decided to saunter over to the West Village to Mary's Fish Camp, light beer
buzz and giddy afternoon vibes in tow. There we had lobster rolls and all
was truly right in the world- was an amazing afternoon- so simple, yet so
SUMMERTIME. And that's why I love the lobster roll- not super complex, yet
it completely captures the goodness of summer in each bite. A dear friend of
mine posted something on Facebook yesterday about some sort of lobster roll
claw off in NYC in June. You can bet your sweet lobster roll that I would be
there if I still resided in the 212. Here is the link to that event- if you
are there, you should go to there.

http://tastingtable.com/lander/clawoff

Happy beginning of summer to you. Take a deep breath and enjoy it in all its
glory. And that's what's up this clawed Wednesday in the 305. XO

Gilt Guilt

Hiya peeps...a bit busy today so I'll be brief...

Does anybody else ever wonder how so many psychos get on Gilt or any of the
other shopping sites like RueLaLa and Haute Look so freaking fast? How can
they be so much more stealth than I? What do they do that I'm not doing?
It's becoming a blood sport to score the choice items on Gilt and sites like
it. Almost impossible to get the best stuff.

And then I wonder if everyone else has this weird "guilt" thing happen that
happens to me- well it's not guilt really, but a second guessing sort of
paranoia which occurs when you choose the items that are not already in some
frenzied shopper's cart. Why is it available? Why doesn't anyone want it? Is
it ugly? Do they know something I don't? Sigh.

And there must be a name created in our modern lexicon for placing items in
your cart even if you don't want them. Why do we do that? A friend of mine
told me she put no less than 5 Rebecca Minkoff bags in her cart the other
day, with no real intention of buying them. What can we call this brand of
stockpile fakery? Does it simply satisfy us to just get the items in our
cart without buying them? Hmm. Its sort of the equivalent of faking an
orgasm- shopping but not really shopping.

That's that, then. I shouldn't be on any of these sites, anyway. I hardly
have an empty closet. But who can resist a Helmut Lang sale, really? Even if
I put things in my cart and don't buy them. It's just what we do in 2010.
And that's what's up this unshoppy Tuesday in the MIA. XO

Happy Birthday Bobby D

Bobby D Bobby D how I love thee...

Yes, your voice is a bit of an acquired taste. But I love that in your songs
we can find the precursor to hip hop, punk, and fragments of malaise,
discontentment, and yearning peppered in like shrapnel.

I love your style- love that you and Edie once had a thing, and nobody wears
dark shades like you, my love. I turned 30 in San Francisco listening to
"Blood on the Tracks" on repeat and cried and laughed and felt a huge amount
of relief. Thanks for being the soundtrack to usher in a new era of my life.

I think "When I Paint my Masterpiece" might be one of my favs though. That
song is very special and love the journey it takes you on. And there are too
many other favs to name here. Happy happy birthday to you, Bob. With every
phrase and every moany lyric sung, you make me feel what you are layin'
down, and for this I am thankful to you. And I'll go one further and say you
are one of our greatest American poets, who paved the way for many more
brilliant lyricists and poets along the way. Much love to ya. And that's
what's up this Monday here on Desolation Row...XO

Here are the lyrics to "When I Paint My Masterpiece". Just love them and so
will you if you've got a traveler's soul like me:

When I Paint My Masterpiece

Oh, the streets of Rome are filled with rubble
Ancient footprints are everywhere
You can almost think that you¹re seein¹ double
On a cold, dark night on the Spanish Stairs
Got to hurry on back to my hotel room
Where I¹ve got me a date with Botticelli¹s niece
She promised that she¹d be right there with me
When I paint my masterpiece

Oh, the hours I¹ve spent inside the Coliseum
Dodging lions and wastin¹ time
Oh, those mighty kings of the jungle, I could hardly stand to see ¹em
Yes, it sure has been a long, hard climb
Train wheels runnin¹ through the back of my memory
When I ran on the hilltop following a pack of wild geese
Someday, everything is gonna be smooth like a rhapsody
When I paint my masterpiece

Sailin¹ round the world in a dirty gondola
Oh, to be back in the land of Coca-Cola!

I left Rome and landed in Brussels
On a plane ride so bumpy that I almost cried
Clergymen in uniform and young girls pullin¹ muscles
Everyone was there to greet me when I stepped inside
Newspapermen eating candy
Had to be held down by big police
Someday, everything is gonna be diff¹rent
When I paint my masterpiece

On Disposable Dressing

Ah, Friday. Namaste.

I've been wanting to post about the poster dress for ages now, but just saw
the pics of it floating around my desktop and thought it was prime time for
sharing. If you are like me, you have a short attention span for clothing
you own resulting in a sort of Fashion ADD. I buy things, get bored with
them, and want to move on. Sure there are those pieces that last forever,
but I just love the idea of a funky statement making dress worn once or
twice and poof- it's gone.

Enter the paper dress, a creation from the 1960s (when else?) that's a quick
remedy for wardrobe malaise. And after you're done wearing it, you can even
hang it on your wall. I want one. Heart is beating big for the graphic
prints- would be an awesome dress for Art Basel or some such big art event,
non? Also just love the crafty feel of this dress as well as the idea of
repurposing for home décor (very eco chic, right?). An awesome and fun
statement for sure. I can see one printed with a favorite Avedon fashion
snap or even a life sized photo of Keith Richards a la Exile. Or whatever
you want, really. Sky's the limit.

And that's what's up this disposable Friday in the MIA. Have a great and
inspired weekend, kitty cats. XO