Secret Best Thing Ever: Cane Syrup from Ravenel’s family farm. Dark and sweet and funky in the rummy way of Molasses (which makes sense since this is what molasses is before it gets hot, boils down and goes rogue), but with the lightning quick pour of hot Aunt Jemima. Sugar Cane juiced by mules (named Molly and Weezer) in the ancient manner, bottled in an old Hurricane (with the label drawn by Rav’s dad) perfect on buckwheat cakes. Secret Best Thing Ever.
If you hadn’t noticed, my holiday plans are seriously nesty, and this year, I’m planning on gifting along those lines. If I’m trying to live simply with a focus on use and beauty, purging my scene of things that are not purposeful or graceful, then I should pay that forward, right? And, no, it’s not just because I’m currently 396 miles away from the Union Square Holiday Market mayhem. This year, that goes for the wrapping too. So, I have my stack of plain brown paper bags and farm twine ready to go, aaaaand, as if on cue: the genius ladies at DesignSponge* are offering these free printable gift tags. How Lovely.
Waiting on pictures from the grand festivities of this weekend, in the meantime, it’s officially fall and my need and want to nest has escalated to epic proportions. I am especially coveting Katherine Wolkoff’s amazing photographs of FOUND BIRDS. The silhouettes are striking, austere—sort of like an Audubon mug-shot—and each has the description of where the bird was found, under what circumstances (brought down by a storm, taken from a cat etc. and by who. There is something sort of morbidly curious but also noble and honoring about the series. As always, it’s the story behind them that makes them matter most.
Above: left: Black-billed cuckoo, Coccyzus erythropthalmus. Killed by flying against a lighted window, presented by Alice Northup. May 6, 1925. right: Yellow-billed cuckoo, Coccyzus americanus. Killed by South East Lighthouse, salvaged by Charles Rogers Jr. September 23, 1935
Barn Owl, Tyto alba. Blind in one eye- telephone wire victim. Found by George Grime. December 25, 1943Great Blue Heron, Ardea hernias. Found dead in road by Richard Conley. November 15, 1947Great Egret, Casmerodius albus. Brought to Block Island by Captain Alfred Jacobsen. Alighted on fishing vessel “Friars” at Georges Bank during N.E. storm. April 2, 1931Greenbacked Herons, Butorides striatus left: Immature: taken from a cat by Mr and Mrs Herb Winsor. September 23, 1944. right: Male, Wired victim found by Mary Elizabeth Lewis. May 18, 1944
Everyone who knows me well knows what I’m about to tell you. It’s one of my few deep, dark secrets… not mentioned at the food Co-op, kept under wraps at yoga, quieted up and hushed down until certain forces combine and champagne collides with the morning: I love McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish sandwiches. Like, LOVE. A Filet-O-Fish (formerly #9 on the combo list, now #11- which I have learned in order to avoid the ignominy of actually having to say “I’ll have the Filet-O-Fish, please” in line and have other patrons look at me like I’m gross) is not only the absolute best cure for a hangover, its strange and incredible squareness is at once crispy, salty, greasy, miraculous, and, yes, a little fishy. I have been shamed by this. Now, it seems: NO LONGER! We are not alone. See above. This, dear ones, is the cheese fish sandwich from Laketrout in Williamsburg (Brooklyn). It is an homage to both the classic MacDo’s Filet-O-Fish and the orange-drink Baltimore fish sandwiches of the chef’s youth: a perfectly executed crispy square of fish topped with a sideways square of cellophane cheese and what I can only imagine is the worlds most delectable tartar sauce. Pandemic! WMD! The secret’s out, thank goodness.
This image from the absolutely incredible Fish Sandwich centerfold in New York Magazine’s 2012 cheap eats issue. Read em and weep (for joy).
Seriously considering getting Mr. Nipsey Russell this New York Apartment friendly under-the-chair cat hammock. On my pros list: small, doesn’t take up extra space, would fit perfectly on the Danish modern. Cons: could it possibly live up to the majesty/warmth of perching atop the record player receiver? could it replace the fortress of the cardboard box? We shall put it to a vote and see. In the meantime, a girl can dream.
Thanks to Smills for keeping her eyes peeled for me.
Today is a good day for Emmylou: personal style icon, heavenly angel voice on the high harmony, and strongest argument yet seen for going grey gracefully. Put on the Pancho & Lefty, sit by the open window while it rains, and think about all of these outfits.
love and thanks always to woodsmaiden for these and oh so many other awesome images.
It’s no secret we love nests around here, so obviously we went head over wing when we saw these newly re-released lithographs from the Illustrations of the Nests and Eggs of Birds of Ohio. The story of the book is almost as lovely as the images- a girl sees John James Audubon’s work chronicling Birds of America at the 1876 World’s Fair, and she and her family decide that there should be a companion book focusing on the birds, eggs, and nests of their native Ohio. So? They make one themselves. A hundred years pass, their book languishes under plexiglass in a random corner of an Ohio museum for years until a young librarian finds it, falls in love with it and writes her own book telling the family’s story and preserving the images for generations to come. Rare birds all, no?
Images and backstory from here. Lovelovelove.
On our way out to spend Memorial Day at Sweetheart’s house in Rockaway we drove past Floyd Bennett Field. I’ve always had a bit of a love affair with the old airfield (see here and here). How interesting, then, to discover this amazing photographic series “Found in Nature” by Barry Rosenthal: collections of items and objects found out at Floyd Bennett Field. This weekend, on that brilliant, sunny, fresh-hot birth of summer day, they had a carnival set up: a Ferris Wheel, a funny purple roller coaster, big fat circus lights and cotton candy. How many new contributions must have been left behind…
In New York, the literal distance between friends- the few blocks separating a single neighborhood- can be the difference between weekly wine dates and once-a-year-in-review catch ups. You live in Cobble Hill? Are you free next September? You live in Clinton Hill? Come over for cocktails this very minute. Le sigh. It can be daunting. BUT- after much karma, zen real estate, and wise choices in love and loft we find ourselves with four very good households of friends all living within a five minute walk of each other. This seems a New York miracle. Yes, Virginia, Brooklyn sometimes feels like Virginia. Ever since I read this post from Oh Happy Day!- a progressive dinner carousing from arrondissment to arrondissment through the streets of Paris- I’ve been dying to try it. A Progressive Dinner, in short, moves from house to house with each stop serving a different course of a meal. A Moveable Feast of Brooklyn intuition. I’m thinking that the whole shebang will probably look and feel like the above picture from Comet in Moominland– which Eben and I both read as children and made mental notes that we wanted our lives to be like this- as he agrees: so far so good. I’ll let you know how it goes. Cheers to good friends and a lovely weekend to you!
ps. I also made these for tonight. They are so absurd and wonderful!
pps. Love and congratulations to Dear Rav, tying il nodo in Tuscany this very night. My heart is full for you.
Moomin image from here, naturally.
This weekend I’ll be celebrating birthdays and vegetarian dim summing and Great Googa Mooga-ing and lolling around Brooklyn tending my budding vegetable garden… but with all of that loveliness, I still wish I was on this river. Ahhhh, Summer! Hope you have a lovely weekend.
this amazing image from the truly wonderful Lost in America.