On the Fringe

24 Aug

I just returned from Edinburgh — a fairy-tale city. It happened to be the annual Fringe Festival. It’s a visual treat and celebration of arts and culture. The entire city participates from street performers to live plays to booths selling books, fashion and art. Artists and authors are abound in this cabaret setting.

What’s the best selling point? It’s for the entire family — all ages. I personally went to see Kafka for Kids with my granddaughter. Yes, it was a Kafkaesque experience — fun, delightful and meaningful. (Not sure Franz had that in mind!)

The New York Times reports the 2018 Carol Tambor Best of Edinburgh Award is the play Ulster American by David Ireland. The play ponders “how men are reacting to a world in which women are increasingly empowered.”

This play was one of 1,000 plays from the Fringe this summer. For more award news from the New York Times, please click here.

If you love theater and culture, the 2019 Fringe Festival should be on your travel wish list.

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Summer Sizzling Novels

2 Aug

If you liked Gone Girl, you will like these summer picks. All are fast-paced novels, with more twists and turns than State Route 1 down the coast in California.

If you were not a fan of Gone Girl, with an unreliable narrator, you probably will not like most of these.

So, my favorite is The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen. Yes, it’s confusing with the narrators, but stick with it for the multiple surprises at the end. I guarantee you will not figure out the ending!

Another psychological thriller is The Wife by Alafair Burke. Again, another marriage mistake. Who is the con artist? It will keep you flipping the pages.

 

Then, there is the Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn. It reminds me of the Hitchcock classic movie, Rear Window. Yes, someone sees a murder being committed.

Finally, there is The President is Missing. How can you go wrong with the dynamic duo of James Patterson and Bill Clinton? Forget the politics and read a thriller!

What are your beach reads this summer?

Better than Butter!

24 Jul

So you want to eat healthy? Former Motowner  and family friend Aidan Altman along with his partner Andrew McClure have created a product that’s vegan, healthy and a butter substitute. You know that gooey liquid found in a can of chickpeas? Well, they have combined it with coconut oil to make Faba Butter.

It was recently on the Today show as one of 15 new healthy snacks this summer.

The New York Times just featured Faba Butter in the article, “I can’t believe it’s chickpeas,” by Florence Fabricant. Read it here for more details as it’s even effective for sauteing and or just perfect with a baguette.

 

 

Heat Wave Rescue

4 Jul

I was in the parking lot last week and a man frantically asked me to stop. He wanted to use my cell phone because his toddler was locked in the car. The temperature was more than 90 outside, and he explained that he was using his mother’s car. He inadvertently locked his cell phone and keys inside. So, I gave him my cell phone. He called his wife. Of course, she did not pick up because she thought it was a robo call. We both decided it was time to call 9-1-1. He did, and the police and fire rescue came within 5 minutes.

Then with long instruments, the rescuers worked on both sides of the car. The toddler was not crying yet, but we were all upset because of the heat. Thank goodness there was a happy ending for this family.

It’s been so hot lately and this can happen to anyone. So, please be safe!

It’s interesting that some people thought I should not have gotten involved. They thought that it could have been a scam.

What would you have done?

Classic, Chic & Classy

15 Jun

Ever wonder how to create a classic style? Fashion expert and illustrator Kate Schelter walks readers through an illustrated guide on how to develop a personal, timeless style in the book Classic Style.

I literally stumbled upon this book on Madison Avenue a few weeks ago peering into the window of the boutique Veronica Beard. There was a book party with free mimosas. Well, I was lured in and saw the author Kate Schelter. I did not have time to interview her, but I snapped a photo and asked the publisher (Grand Central, Life & Style) for a press copy.

Kate is the lovely lady on the left. ( I have no idea who the lady on the right is. If I find out, I will update this post.) The book has lovely illustrations all by Kate. (See the photo below.) One tip on defining your own classic style is your pajamas. (I think I’m in big trouble here.) It’s what you do naturally. She also discusses how “less is more.” She reveals what makes an outfit stylish — your grandmother’s ring, a signature hat, comfy jeans. Interspersed are vignettes of other people’s personal style. For example, author Julia Chapin’s favorite piece of furniture is a 1970 Bellini sectional couch, while her favorite makeup is Bobbi Brown lip gloss and NARS bronzer stick.

I love how Schelter suggests finding a good tailor and breathing life in old clothes. “I try to find a balance between shlumpy and high-gloss,” she says.

Schelter ends her book aptly with these words:

Find your unique mix.

Have less.

Do more.

Be more.

Be yourself.

Today.

Heavenly Fashions

27 May

You neither have to be religious nor Catholic to enjoy the exhibit “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination,” (now through Oct. 8.) at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. You just have to love fashion and art!

Fashion and the Catholic church intertwine in this expansive exhibit. “Heavenly Bodies” features the fashions of many well-known designers who were raised Catholic, but are not necessarily religious. Some of the designers include: Dior, Lacroix, Lagerfeld, Galliano, Givenchy and Saint Laurent. All the designs were influenced by the church. There is one room devoted to garments on loan from the Vatican.

The vestment, top left, is from the Vatican, while top right is by John Galliano.  Both designs in the bottom half are by Christian Lacroix.

It’s a brilliant mix of fashion. In fact it’s quite enchanting and heavenly.

Happy Socks!

25 Apr

 

Photo: Paul Morse, AP

 

 

Detroit’s Architectural Legacy

4 Apr

We, Motowners, recognize the beauty of Detroit’s architecture. Now, others are finally acknowledging. The New York Times article, “Detroit’s Looking Up” by John Dorman, highlights the grand buildings from the Fisher Building to the First National Bank Building. The article delves into the famed architect Albert Kahn. Be sure to check out the NY Times story here.

But, there is so much more. Frank Lloyd Wright, Yamaski and Saarinen have a large footprint in the city.

As a former magazine editor in Detroit, I had the opportunity to work with the late Balthazar Korab. His architectural photography is outstanding. Here is his photo of the fountains at Cranbrook in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.

Michigan Modern, by Brian Conway and James Haefner is a new book eleased last month and features a Frank Lloyd home located in Detroit. On the cover is the General Motors Tech Center designed by Eero Saarinen.

 

 

Doesn’t Everyone Have a Crazy Aunt or Uncle?

8 Mar

 

Well, meet The Mighty Franks, a memoir by Michael Frank. With wit and charm Frank weaves the tale of his storybook Hollywood family. They are all a bit wacky and mostly loving at times.  His parents, aunts and uncles are all siblings, while the grandmothers live together.  Everyone lives close by, and it’s an eccentric enclave. The family dynamics are compelling, comical and hurtful, which is why there is a possibility of a TV mini-series. Without giving away the plot, let’s just say the special aunt goes overboard.

I had the opportunity to meet with the author on his recent book tour. He is a charming as the book. He tells me his next book is fiction. I’m looking forward to more zany characters.

Superhero Alert! It’s a Dad with MS

22 Feb

Max Melamed, age 13, wrote and illustrated the book Who is El Pitlum Rossicles? He wrote the book as part of his Bar Mitzvah project. (When Jewish children are 13, they often choose or are required to complete a social action project to make the world a better place.)  The story of “grit and perservance” is about a superhero who has Multiple Sclerosis (MS). The superhero is actually the father in the story, who is underestimated by the family because of his disease. He helped everyone in the town, and no one suspected him because of his condition.

It’s a personal story for Max because his father does have MS. Another reason Max wrote the book was to inspire others who might have a family member with this disease. Profits from the book go to help find a cure for MS. Max will personally send a copy of his book to anyone who donates $18 or more to the National MS Society.  For more information about Max’s book click here.

As Max states, “If your mom or dad has MS, don’t stress because they can be heroes and you can help too!”

The title of the book is an anagram. What do you think it spells?

 

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