Food for Thought (…See What I Did There?)
“Unspeakable Appetites” (Lenny Letter)
In film, you’ll find a lot of female characters who are also cannibals. This short piece offers some thoughts on the matter.
“Revenge of the Lunch Lady” (Huffington Post)
In one of America’s most unhealthiest counties, Rhonda McCoy, a food-services director, revamps the oft-dreaded school lunch.
“There’s a Massive Restaurant Industry Bubble, And It’s About to Burst” (Thrillist)
Citing unreasonably high expectations from consumers, rising labor costs encroaching on already-thin profit margins, and pressures to compete with trendy fast-casual places, this harbinger of doom of an article predicts the death of the independently owned sit-down restaurant.
“Learning to Make Lasagna in Kyrgyzstan” (Bon Appetit)
A writer recounts how cooking became a form of self-care while serving in the Peace Corps.
“Alpha Gal” (Radiolab)
Amy Pearl learns that she might have an unusual food allergy. What’s a person to do when she discovers that eating meat might kill her?
Further listening: “May Contain Nuts, Pt. 1: Alpha Gal Returns” “(The Sporkful)
Everything I Want to Eat: Sqirl and the New California Cooking by Jessica Koslow
This is truly a coffee-table cookbook, full of beautiful and at times perplexingly styled photos, dazzlingly complicated recipes that veer into impracticality, and lots of vegetables. I may never cook anything in its pages, but I still want it on my bookshelf.
“Nobody Is Home” (Aeon)
Thanks to our modern times, home might not be where the heart is anymore.
“You Want to Marry My Husband” (New York Times)
Children’s author Amy Krouse Rosenthal, who was diagnosed with terminal ovarian cancer last fall, creates a dating profile for the husband that she’ll leave behind in this touching and heartbreaking Modern Love column.
“Losing Streak” (New Yorker)
Kathryn Schluz reflects on the experience of losing things, both trivial and profound. She writes, “We lose things because we are flawed; because we are human; because we have things to lose.”
Further reading: “One Art” by Elizabeth Bishop
“Together Alone: The Epidemic of Gay Loneliness” (The Huffington Post)
Despite seeing gay rights achieve huge gains, gay men still feel incredibly alone and alienated.
“‘I Feel Like a Fraud’: Confessions of a Broken-Down Domestic Violence Lawyer” (Vice Broadly)
A lawyer learns just how Kafkaesque the criminal justice system is when it comes to domestic abuse.
“‘They Are Slaughtering Us Like Animals’” (New York Times)
This photographic essay documents the horrific brutality of President Rodrigo Duterte’s violent anti-drug campaign in the Philippines. It is not for the faint of heart.
Further reading: “The Tough Guy” (New Yorker)
“Amok” (The Memory Palace)
What does a 19th century news report about zoo animal escape have to do with our present day? Spare five minutes and take a listen.
“MGM Stories, Part 12: Lana Turner” (You Must Remember This)
In this episode from the archive, Karina Longworth explors the rise of Hollywood’s “Sweater Girl.” There’s also a gripping account of her daughter’s murder trial. (Cheryl Crane was the talk of the town after she killed her mother’s boyfriend.)
“No Hollywood Ending for the Visual-Effects Industry” (Freakonomics)
Stephen Dubner takes a deep dive into Hollywood’s visual-effects industry to learn why America’s studios are going bankrupt.
Millennial‘s four-part series on Cuba
Megan Tan travels to Cuba to explore what it’s like coming-of-age in a country so different from ours.
“Adulthood Made Easy”
I bid adieu to a podcast that was always earnest, often reassuring, and occasionally aspirational. Each episode was full of sound advice and the comfort that comes from other people agreeing that being an adult can leave you scratching your head.
Television & Movies
Season 4, Rectify
I expected nothing less than a stellar final season of this beautiful, thoughtful show. In many ways, Rectify is the anti–crime procedural; whereas most crime shows treat viewers to fast-paced plot twists, splashy action scenes, and forensic science, Rectify is never really interested in who commits the rape and murder that upends the Holden family’s lives. Instead, it’s won my everlasting devotion because it takes its sweet old time (only a few months elapse over the course of the entire show) and feels introspective in a way that many other shows are not.
Looking for more hilarious shows about really annoying twenty-somethings that live in Brooklyn? Look no further! When Dory learns that a college acquaintance has gone missing, she enlists her ragtag group of friends and her boyfriend to crack the case.This show, which can be best described as a satire, is sharp and self-aware with plenty moments of humor and existential ennui.
Just go watch it. I promise it’s excellent.
The Sellout by Paul Beatty
Paul Beatty’s Man Booker prize is well-deserved for this absurdist tragi-comedy, in which the protagonist tries to reintroduce segregation to save his hometown in California. You’ll laugh out loud, feel deeply uncomfortable, and learn something about race in America.
- “My Father And I Both Chose HBCUs, But Not For The Same Reason” (BuzzFeed)
- “It’s a Problem That We’re Not Talking About Jimmy Kimmel’s Mahershala Ali Jokes” (Marie Claire)
- “Call and Response” (New Yorker)
- “Dear Economist, I Need a Date” (Planet Money)
- “Blink One for Yes” (Love and Radio)