T LOunge for December 7, 2020

Posted on December 07, 2020

Amazónico Bar, Restaurant and Lounge – London, England

 

Let’s all hide in a subterranean lair today, kittens. But a fabulous one, of course. We may be in constant, endless hunker-down mode but that doesn’t mean we have to all live in bunkers, now does it?

Today is MONDAY, which should have been obvious from all the talk about living in a bunker. We’ll get through this, darlings. And by “this,” we mean the next 16 hours.

Our holiday shopping is almost completely finished, which is what happens when all your shopping is accomplished by clicking buttons and waiting. To be fair, being in the middle of a mall or department store in a so-called normal December wouldn’t be our fave activity in the world, but it’s amazing what you miss when you can’t have it. When we realized our stash of holiday wrapping paper was more depleted than we expected, we decided to have a little healthy competition to spice up our holidays: each of us will buy our own set of paper and trimmings and try to outdo the other’s wrapping. We’d put up the results to a public vote, but we’re not sure we want that level of cutthroat competition. Lorenzo is a world-class wrapper, famous among our extended family for the fabulousness of his gift presentation. Tom has vowed to topple him.

What’s on your menu for today? Aside from all of the distractions we’ve provided below, that is.

 

Gallerist Mariane Ibrahim Is Bringing African Art to the World
Representing 16 artists of African heritage, Ibrahim, who was born to Somali parents in the French Pacific territory of New Caledonia, has a keen eye for detecting new talent. She often discovers artists on Instagram; some she finds on her travels. Raphaël Barontini, a mixed-race artist who lives in Paris, met her in Venice during the Biennale. Their connection was forged when she bought one of his collaged portraits for her personal collection at an art fair in San Francisco. “It was one of my favorites,” Barontini says. “She really has an eye. When you show her a series of pieces, she always will go for the best one.” Ibrahim strives for an ecosystem in which emerging Black artists learn from more established ones, nourished by the loyal support of Black collectors. “There’s been so much exceptionalism and wanting to have only one Black superstar artist,” she says. “It’s necessary that the masters and older artists influence the younger artists.”

 

The Most Misquoted Movie Lines of All Time
“Luke, I am your father.” Despite this iconic exchange occurring in one of the most climactic scenes in movie history, Darth Vader never says, “Luke, I am your father.” In actuality, he says, “No, I am your father.” Lork, I am your father.” This line was ingrained in our collective memory after we saw ​“The Empire Strikes Back​,” but the character’s name is actually Luke, not Lork, and the quote is “No, I am your father.” “Luke, I think I dropped my car keys down this big hole.” Even if you haven’t seen the movie, you know this line. But rewind the tape, and you’ll find that Darth Vader never mentions anything about his car keys or dropping them down a big hole.

 

Marsai Martin On Breaking A World Record And Career Advice From Her Black-Ish Castmates
Earlier this week, Guinness World Records officially announced that Martin, 16, had been entered into the 2021 edition of the Guinness World Records book as the youngest executive producer in Hollywood, a title she earned at just 14 years old. “It feels crazy, honestly,” Marsai said in a video announcing the honor. “A world record? Like, that’s insane. Like the world, and then I hold the record.”
Fittingly, Martin nabbed her EP credit on a 2019 film titled Little, a Black female-led twist on the Tom Hanks classic Big, an idea that Martin pitched when she was 10 years old. (She ultimately starred in it, alongside Regina Hall and Issa Rae.) At the time, she had just wrapped her first season of Black-ish, the ABC sitcom where she plays daughter Diane Johnson, and quickly her resume started building: At 14, she also became the youngest person to get a first-look production deal with Universal.

 

Margaret Qualley Isn’t Afraid To Dive In
The actress, dancer, and Chanel ambassador takes on a bold—and timely—new role.
Margaret Qualley is among the vanishingly few people in Hollywood who can credibly wield the word “gosh.” Jimmy Stewart’s favorite interjection resounds through her sentences like a slingshot, going hand in hand with her soft North Carolina twang and sweet manner. She is one of an even smaller number of actresses who could take the prompt “You’re having an argument with your hand” and make it make sense. That was just one of the things Spike Jonze asked Qualley to do when she auditioned for a Kenzo perfume campaign he was directing. The clip subverts your typical fragrance ad: A glamorous woman in a green gown walks the halls of an architectural landmark. Then there’s a glitch in the Matrix. She starts going manic, flailing like a velociraptor, shooting laser beams from her hands like a sci-fi heroine racing into intergalactic battle and, yes, fighting with her own extremities.

 

The Big Business of Being an Ally
The antiracism industry is booming. Will it actually make us antiracist?

The ideals of equality and social justice, along with bursts of activism in the wake of police brutality, are not new. But after the murder of George Floyd, something shifted dramatically. With tens of millions of people unemployed, and much of the country sitting at home in quarantine with little to do besides check social media and read the news—and with a presidential election rapidly approaching—there was an unprecedented collective opportunity. And it was not just police brutality that drew attention; the downstream effects had implications across every professional and social dynamic. Criminal justice reform, workplace discrimination, the pay gap, and hiring practices that systemically disadvantage Black Americans, to start. There were also more abstract issues to consider: representation of Black people in advertising and pop culture; tokenization in media; and more covert expressions of racism, like microaggressions, tone policing, and spiritual bypassing.

 

The True Story Of Princess Diana’s Groundbreaking AIDS Advocacy
The Princess of Wales helped to raise awareness and dismantle stigma around the disease.

The season 4 finale of The Crown, “War,” follows Princess Diana as she embarks on her first solo royal engagement overseas—a trip to New York that plants the seeds for the advocacy work she would soon become known for. Having long felt restless and alienated in her role as a royal, and with her marriage to Charles now beyond repair, Diana comes into her own during her time across the pond. In one particularly moving scene, the show recreates Diana’s visit to a pediatric AIDS ward in Harlem, where she hugs a young boy suffering from the disease.
In real life, this incident played out very similarly to how it does onscreen. But groundbreaking though that moment was, it wasn’t Diana’s first visit to an AIDS ward, nor would it be her last. Here’s the true story of Diana’s years-long efforts to raise awareness and dismantle stigma around HIV-AIDS.

 

The Culture Lover’s December Guide
Here’s how you can get your streaming and socially distanced culture fix this month.

Get into the holiday spirit with an array of upcoming culture events that’ll make the season feel all kinds of cheery and bright. From virtual productions of Christmas classics, including Handel’s Messiah, George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, and Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol, to IRL exhibition openings and innovative Art Basel Miami Beach virtual programming (think a conversation about mycelium), there’s truly something for everyone. If ever there were a year to go out with a bang, it’s this one.

 

See How the Mank Cast Compares to Their Real-Life Counterparts, In Photos
Once you’ve watched their on-screen portrayal of 1930s Hollywood, see what the cast of David Fincher’s Netflix film looks like next to the real people they’re playing.

David Fincher’s new film Mank, premiering December 4 on Netflix, tells the story of legendary screenwriter Herman Mankiewicz and his rollercoaster experience writing the screenplay for Citizen Kane. The film features a who’s who of Hollywood heavyweights from the time, including Gary Oldman as Mankiewicz, Amanda Seyfried as Marion Davies, Arless Howard as Louis B. Mayer, Tom Burke as Orson Welles, and many more—all of whom played a part in inspiring, creating, or attempting to derail what became one of the best known movies in history. How do you cast a film portraying some of Tinsletown’s most recognizable legends? Very carefully, it seems. Here, get to know the characters in Mank and the real-life actors who portray them.

 

Patiently Wrought in Rum and Tradition, Black Cake Is a Triumph
Black Cake, a West Indian holiday baking tradition, demands more because it delivers more.

During the 1700’s, British presence in the Caribbean was anchored by the economic priority of sugar (which was powered, of course, by slave labor). The abolition of slavery in the 1830’s marked an exodus of colonial powers, but the Brits inadvertently left some souvenirs and plum pudding was one of them. Over time, plum pudding received a spicier, more robust facelift: Thanks to the ingenuity of island folk who harnessed the flavorful impact of home-grown ingredients, plum pudding was reborn as a cake that reflected their land and its inherent bounty. And so, Black Cake was born. It is a delicious work of syncretism, a combination of opposites, and for some an earnest gesture of generosity.

 

How Do We Find Joy Again?
This year was tumultuous, trying, and, frankly, terrible. Yet we humans, resilient species that we are, can—and must—let ourselves feel happiness once more.

A friend of mine who’s an entrepreneur once described the joy of “not owing anybody shit.” His declaration made me laugh and stuck with me; it was one of the reasons why I recently decided to step off of the corporate treadmill and start my own venture, Phenomenal. Just before the pandemic hit, I took a leap of faith, leaving my comfortable job for the life of an entrepreneur. It was an immense privilege to be able to afford to do this, and I was determined not to waste the opportunity. But as I suddenly found myself sharing an office with a toddler and a preschooler, my vision of creative hustle and blurry work-life lines didn’t seem so sweet. And yet even though my days didn’t look the way I had imagined, I found joy in the freedom that came with being my own boss by pushing myself to try new things and allowing myself to say no.

 

Fishing by Lantern on an Island in Kenya
On Lake Victoria, attracting baitfish with lanterns extends as far back as anyone can remember. But overfishing may jeopardize the tradition.
As the sun sets over the waters of Kenya’s Lake Victoria, the soft sound of the lapping waves is drowned out by the hum of motors. Squinting, I can see them on the horizon, the tiny boats splitting the oranges and blues of the twilight sky. At first only one or two appear, but soon the few become many, a fleet spreading out over the water, appearing to chase the horizon. The vast expanse of the lake, the largest in Africa, appears to swallow the boats as darkness descends. But I know their destination and goal: the fishing grounds and the silver cyprinid — known as omena in Luo, the local language in this part of Kenya — that stir in the night under the wind-whipped waters.

 

The Social Life of Forests
Trees appear to communicate and cooperate through subterranean networks of fungi. What are they sharing with one another?

As a child, Suzanne Simard often roamed Canada’s old-growth forests with her siblings, building forts from fallen branches, foraging mushrooms and huckleberries and occasionally eating handfuls of dirt (she liked the taste). Her grandfather and uncles, meanwhile, worked nearby as horse loggers, using low-impact methods to selectively harvest cedar, Douglas fir and white pine. They took so few trees that Simard never noticed much of a difference. The forest seemed ageless and infinite, pillared with conifers, jeweled with raindrops and brimming with ferns and fairy bells. She experienced it as “nature in the raw” — a mythic realm, perfect as it was. When she began attending the University of British Columbia, she was elated to discover forestry: an entire field of science devoted to her beloved domain. It seemed like the natural choice.

 

What a Portrait of a British Family Reveals about 18th-Century England and Tea
Exploring tea time in the portrait of John, Fourteenth Lord Willoughby de Broke, and His Family

Chinese porcelain and tea-drinking were the rage of European elites when Zoffany was painting this portrait, and by about 1750 tea had become the British national drink. The Chinese had consumed tea for thousands of years, mainly as a medicinal drink. The first leaves were brought to Europe in the early 17th century by the Dutch East India Company and the drink became fashionable in countries such as France, Russia, and England.

 

 

 

[Photo Credit: amazonicorestaurant.com]

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