News 03.02.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets


News 03.02.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
News 03.02.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
News 03.02.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

IN THE INTEREST of full disclosure, I should tell you that I got married in a grocery store. My local grocer, Potsothy “Pots” Sallapa, upon hearing of my engagement, insisted that we hold the wedding in his shop. My fiancée thought it sounded crazy at first—I remember her saying something about not wanting our photos to feature a stack of ­cereal boxes. But the store was a cozy place and near the apartment we shared at the time, and she agreed to at least give it a look with fresh eyes. As we toured the high-ceilinged, wood-beamed store, among Saturday-morning crowds stocking up on grapes and granola, I could see on her face that this wasn’t just a place people went to acquire toilet paper: it was a community hub. A few months later, we walked down the store’s central aisle and got married between the cash register, the root-vegetable table, a group of our friends and family, and a display of maple syrup.

Granted, this is the kind of experience that was available to us because we lived, back then, in a neighbourhood full of such places: Kensington Market, a part of Toronto that, in spite of gentrification’s constant momentum, exists ­today as a place where people can shop for food the same way they did 100 years ago. In the course of an ordinary week, I would pop into separate stores for my meat, fish, bread, cheese, dried goods, and vegetables. In every shop, I knew someone by name.

Read the rest of this article at: The Walrus

News 03.02.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

News 03.02.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

Few restaurants have enjoyed as much acclaim and influence, or been as widely caricatured, as the Copenhagen fine-dining institution Noma. In its 16 years of existence, it has been at the top of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list four times. There are three Noma books, two feature-length films and a Noma documentary series. There are Noma dissertations and dozens of “Nomaheads” – dedicated diners who follow the restaurant all over the world, from Yucatan to Tokyo to Sydney and back again. In the early 2010s, there were so many articles about hunting for wild produce with Noma’s charismatic head chef that one writer declared it “The Era of the ‘I Foraged With René Redzepi’ Piece”. There is even a 240-page travelogue, written by an Esquire editor who followed Redzepi across the world for four years.

But all the attention that has been lavished on Noma’s hyperlocal, micro-seasonal food – butterflies moulded from blackcurrant leather; 100-year-old mahogany clams served in their shell – has obscured the much more ambitious aims that the restaurant’s creators, alumni and allies have been trying to achieve. Noma as a traditional haute cuisine restaurant, with its elegant cookbooks and high-concept food, is being overtaken by a grander project. The people behind the restaurant are trying to expand New Nordic, a culinary movement they began in Scandinavia 15 years ago, to the rest of the globe. In doing so, they want to transform every link in the long chain of how food is produced and consumed, from the dirt up to your dinner table.

The New Nordic movement is bound by a set of 10 principles that stress sustainability, locality and respect for the natural world. Those ideals may sound familiar, but the scale of what its adherents are accomplishing makes New Nordic potentially far more transformative than any previous food movement. It is reaching beyond farms and fine-dining restaurants, and into halls of power, supermarket aisles, canteens and classrooms.

Pretty much anywhere in Denmark, you can walk into a supermarket and find ready meals – made with traceable organic produce by co-operative kitchens in Copenhagen – that bear the name of Claus Meyer, Noma’s co-founder. Meyer has also created a food training programme in Denmark’s prisons to reduce recidivism, and he is partnering with Ikea – which feeds 660 million people a year, making it one of the 10 largest food-service operations in the world – to “veganise” its menu.

Further afield, in Bolivia, Meyer has opened restaurants and cooking schools to revive the nation’s hospitality industry. In the US, Dan Giusti, a former head chef at Noma, now feeds more than 4,000 school children a day with nourishing meals, while in Albania, Fejsal Demiraj, one of Noma’s current sous chefs, runs a foundation that researches and catalogues the nation’s village recipes to give the country a documented culinary history for the first time.

Read the rest of this article at: The Guardian

Tuscany Tote in Midnight

Shop the Tuscany Tote in Midnight
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Once I turned 69, if anyone asked me my age — not that anyone ever did, but if I offered it up in conversation — I always said, “I’m almost 70.” I went straight from 68 to “almost 70,” as if 69 didn’t amount to anything other than the year before being a decade away from 80 (as I’ve since come to see it).

It was in this year of being “almost 70” that I emailed my ex-husband, Charles, and asked him if he could give me a ride to our younger daughter’s best friend’s wedding in Solvang, just north of Santa Barbara. He and I live in Los Angeles, and I didn’t want to drive to the wedding alone. It was maybe the first time in the 20 years since we broke up that I said out loud that I didn’t want to do something alone.

I have spent the last two decades not only being single but writing a couple of movies about divorced women my age — purposely defying the clichés that being older and single meant you were destined to be undesirable, lonely and isolated. I wrote about women in my films who blossomed post-divorce, much as I had done in some ways.

I was driven by a desire not to be put in a box by my age or divorce, and I wanted to project a positive spin for women like me. And in my movies, I wanted to try to be funny about it all. Why not laugh at some of what life throws at us?

Read the rest of this article at: The New York Times

News 03.02.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

News 03.02.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

Greta’s father, Svante, and I are what is known in Sweden as “cultural workers” – trained in opera, music and theatre with half a career of work in those fields behind us. When I was pregnant with Greta, and working in Germany, Svante was acting at three different theatres in Sweden simultaneously. I had several years of binding contracts ahead of me at various opera houses all over Europe. With 1,000km between us, we talked over the phone about how we could get our new reality to work.

“You’re one of the best in the world at what you do,” Svante said. “And as for me, I am more like a bass player in the Swedish theatre and can very easily be replaced. Not to mention you earn so damned much more than I do.” I protested a little half-heartedly but the choice was made.

A few weeks later we were at the premiere for Don Giovanni at the Staatsoper in Berlin and Svante explained his current professional status to Daniel Barenboim and Cecilia Bartoli.

“So now I’m a housewife.”

We carried on like that for 12 years. It was arduous but great fun. We spent two months in each city and then moved on. Berlin, Paris, Vienna, Amsterdam, Barcelona. Round and round. We spent the summers in Glyndebourne, Salzburg or Aix-en-Provence. As you do when you’re good at singing opera and other classical music. I rehearsed 20 to 30 hours a week and the rest of the time we spent together.

Beata was born three years after Greta and we bought a Volvo V70 so we’d have room for doll’s houses, teddy bears and tricycles. Those were fantastic years. Our life was marvellous.

One evening in the autumn of 2014, Svante and I sat slumped on our bathroom floor in Stockholm. It was late, the children were asleep. Everything was starting to fall apart around us. Greta was 11, had just started fifth grade, and was not doing well. She cried at night when she should be sleeping. She cried on her way to school. She cried in her classes and during her breaks, and the teachers called home almost every day. Svante had to run off and bring her home to Moses, our golden retriever. She sat with him for hours, petting him and stroking his fur. She was slowly disappearing into some kind of darkness and little by little, bit by bit, she seemed to stop functioning. She stopped playing the piano. She stopped laughing. She stopped talking. And she stopped eating.

We sat there on the hard mosaic floor, knowing exactly what we would do. We would change everything. We would find the way back to Greta, no matter the cost. The situation called for more than words and feelings. A closing of accounts. A clean break.

“How are you feeling?” Svante asked. “Do you want to keep going?”


“OK. Fuck this. No more,” he said. “We’ll cancel everything. Every last contract,” Svante went on. “Madrid, Zurich, Vienna, Brussels. Everything.”

One Saturday soon afterwards, we decide we’re going to bake buns, all four of us, the whole family, and we’re determined to make this work. It has to. If we can bake our buns as usual, in peace and quiet, Greta will be able to eat them as usual, and then everything will be resolved, fixed. It’s going to be easy as pie. Baking buns is after all our favourite activity. So we bake, dancing around in the kitchen so as to create the most positive, happiest bun-baking party in human history.

But once the buns are out of the oven the party stops in its tracks. Greta picks up a bun and sniffs it. She sits there holding it, tries to open her mouth, but… can’t. We see that this isn’t going to work.

Read the rest of this article at: The Guardian

News 03.02.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

There were nearly seventeen hundred murders in New York City in 1987. One of the first occurred about ten minutes after the ball dropped in Times Square, when a group of young people mugged a seventy-one-year-old French tourist named Jean Casse, on West Fifty-second Street, outside Ben Benson’s Steak House. One young man punched the victim, and one or more rifled through his pockets. Casse fell, hitting his head on the sidewalk. He died ten hours later, at a hospital.

The New York City Police Department quickly set up a hotline and announced that it “desperately” needed “witnesses of the incident to come forward.” Officers were instructed to ask anyone arrested for robbery if he had information about the murder. On the afternoon of January 2nd, the police caught four young people mugging a man on West Forty-seventh Street. The group included James Walker, a sixteen-year-old from Brooklyn. While in police custody, Walker told a detective that earlier that day he had run into an acquaintance named “Smokey,” who had said that he’d “caught a body” in Manhattan on New Year’s Eve.

Walker went on to identify Eric Smokes and David Warren, two best friends who lived in one of Brooklyn’s poorest neighborhoods, East New York. Smokes was nineteen, and Warren was sixteen. They’d each had a minor run-in with the law: Smokes had been arrested and fined for shoplifting, and Warren had been arrested for a mugging. (Warren’s case was later dismissed.)

On January 3rd, Smokes and Warren were questioned separately by detectives, and both said that they had gone to Times Square with friends on New Year’s Eve; a few hundred thousand people had packed the streets. Smokes and Warren had ended up on West Forty-eighth Street, outside the Latin Quarter, a night club popular with teen-agers. Warren recalled, “We didn’t have the funds for that, so we stood around for a little while” before heading south. Smokes said that, around West Thirty-eighth Street, he “saw some people fighting and saw some guy that got shot.” When the bullet hit, feathers flew out of the man’s jacket. Both Smokes and Warren said repeatedly that they had not gone north of Forty-eighth Street. According to the police report of Smokes’s interrogation, “Mr. Smokes states he did not see any old man get mugged.”

The police released Smokes and Warren, but arrested them five days later. Smokes watched from the back seat of a police cruiser as detectives brought his friend out of high school in handcuffs. “From the point that we got to his school, the reality of it really hit,” Smokes told me. “He looked at me as a big brother, and I looked at him as my little brother, and there was nothing I could do to help my little brother.” He added, “I couldn’t comfort him in no way except to say that we’re in this together.”

They were sent to Rikers Island, where they were placed in separate housing units. “They took me from high school to jail,” Warren told me. “It was like a dream that I just couldn’t wake up from.” Six months passed, and prosecutors offered Warren various plea deals: if he testified against Smokes, he would receive a very short prison sentence. Warren refused. He explained, “I’m not going to say he did something I know he didn’t do.”

That summer, Smokes and Warren were tried for murder in New York State Supreme Court, in Manhattan. Prosecutors accused Smokes of punching Jean Casse and Warren of trying to rob him. The prosecution’s star witness was James Walker, who had signed a coöperation agreement with the Manhattan D.A.’s office; prosecutors promised that if he testified “truthfully” they would not send him to prison for the January 2nd mugging. Walker testified that he had committed robberies with Smokes and Warren in the past, and repeated his claim that Smokes had told him that he had “caught a body.” Smokes and Warren insisted that these claims were untrue. But prosecutors also relied on four other young men, who claimed that they had seen Smokes and Warren at the crime scene. Smokes knew one of them, but the others, he said, were strangers.

Read the rest of this article at: The New Yorker

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