Peacock Room at Kimpton Hotel Fontenot – New Orleans, USA
Today is WEDNESDAY and your humble hosts are still partying in Vegas (hence the rather sporadic posting schedule), but despite our much-needed semi-vacation, we couldn’t leave the bitter kittens without a place to hang and topics to discuss. We’re not barbarians, after all.
We’ll be prepping for tonight’s book event (i.e., sunning by the pool) today, but we have one or two content-y type things to serve you today; don’t you fret. No need to thank us (more than once)! Ciao, darlings!
A First Lady for All of Us: On the Road with Dr. Jill Biden
When Jill Biden visits community colleges, which is a lot these days, she is received in highly choreographed settings by a governor, say, or members of the public as the nation’s first lady. But to administrators and teachers, she is Dr. Jill Biden, college professor. At Sauk Valley Community College in Illinois, there were pink and white flowers set out everywhere, befitting her visit; they even matched her white dress and pink jacket. But there was also a “Welcome Dr. Biden” sign so huge that the period on the Dr. was as big as her head. It felt like a subtle rebuke to that scolding she was subjected to back in December for using the title she has every right to.
Luma Arles Pushes the French City Into Its Next Era of Artistic Fame
The Frank Gehry-designed arts laboratory and campus created by Maja Hoffmann is bringing world-class art exhibitions to the French countryside.
The sleepy town of Arles, in the Mediterranean South of France, is known mainly for two things: its Roman and Romanesque history, and the fact that Vincent van Gogh lived there for about 15 months toward the end of his life—sufficient time to create some of the most instantly recognizable and beloved paintings in the history of art. Now, however, Arles is becoming an unmissable destination on the global contemporary art circuit, not by relying on its past but by confidently looking to the future.
In Defense of Small Watches
In Dimepiece’s latest column for Harper’s BAZAAR, writer Brynn Wallner asks why bigger timepieces are automatically assumed to be better?
Earlier this year, I strolled into a Tourneau to try on some watches (because that’s my idea of fun these days) and asked about the Cartier Tank Française model. The salesperson very enthusiastically pitched the largest model to me. “Oh, women today are allll about the big watches,” he explained. “Don’t even bother trying on the small.” For context, this particular watch comes in two sizes—small and medium—and with the medium’s case size coming in at 30 millimeters by 25 millimeters. It’s not even considered a “big” timepiece by today’s standards. But nevertheless, I tried on the medium, and my heart sank. This watch felt oversized and bulky on my wrist, and I couldn’t even see the gorgeous chain-link bracelet that sets the Française apart from the other Cartier Tanks. I took a photo of the watch for good measure and slept on it. But the more I thought about it, the more distraught I became. Why shouldn’t I give a second thought to the small version?
How Track and Field Became Center Stage for Black Glam
Long nails, fast times, and showing up as one’s most authentic self.
With origins in the South, the super-stacking of ornate gold jewelry and long (like, really long), heavily detailed nails are a fixture in the Black community. Before it was deemed stylish, this glam was derided as being ghetto or, at best, ghetto fabulous. But for more than 30 years, spectators have seen these trends take center stage at the most-watched event in the world. A spectacular display of showing up as one’s most authentic self, this move encourages others watching to do the same. And when these women win races and crush records in the process, it further proves that the sky really is the limit.
You Can’t Stop Suni Lee
The 18-year-old gymnast has dealt with death, injury, and a postponed Olympic dream. Now she’s fighting to make history in Tokyo.
While training for a wildly unpredictable Games, Lee has been caring for her recently paralyzed father, mourning the deaths of her aunt and uncle from COVID, and recovering from a broken foot that jeopardized her lifelong dream to win gold. Now Lee, whose parents emigrated from Laos, is also fighting to qualify as the first-ever Hmong American Olympic gymnast—all while her community contends with a national surge in anti-Asian violence. “People hate on us for no reason,” Lee says from her parents’ house in St. Paul, Minnesota. “It would be cool to show that we are more than what they say. I don’t know how to explain that…”
The Instagram Guide to Napa Valley
Picture dreamy sunsets, wine glass(es) in hand.
After a difficult pandemic year, Northern California’s wine country is welcoming the public back to its vineyards, wineries, and tasting rooms—just in time for harvest season August through October. Napa Valley is at the top of many travelers’ lists, attracting oenophiles with its more than 375 winery tasting rooms and another 90 urban tasting rooms (off-site locations that aren’t on winery grounds). Although the idyllic small towns of Napa, Yountville, St. Helena, and Calistoga that make up Napa Valley are used to accommodating surges of out-of-town guests, it’s more important than ever to secure reservations and confirm activities in advance due to capacity limitations and high demand.
The Moving, Powerful & Humanizing Effects of Jeong
In an excerpt from her latest endeavor, ‘The Little Book of Jeong,’ Soko Glam cofounder Charlotte Cho explains how everyone can apply the Korean concept in their life.
When I think about what I love most about Korea, a few things come to mind. There are velvety sheet masks, drenched in my favorite fermented skin care ingredients. There’s the excitement of sharing Korean BBQ, sitting around sizzling meat over hot coals with a green bottle of soju being passed around. There’s the buzz you get from watching Korean entertainment—the electric dance moves of BTS or the never-ending feels of Korean dramas. There are the super aesthetic cafes that dot all my favorite neighborhoods. And then, there’s jeong.
Jeong isn’t something you can buy. It’s a cultural concept that influences every aspect of Korean life, from your relationships with your family and friends to your career. Jeong is a complicated term; as my colleagues explained, it can’t be easily translated into English.
47 Murder Mystery Movies That Will Satisfy Your Inner Detective
Complete with more than a few twist endings.
We’re living in a golden age of true crime content, from documentaries to podcasts to TV shows and books. Which means, no surprise, that the murder mystery film is also seeing a resurgence in popularity. The classic genre has had some major standouts over the last several decades, and the typical whodunit setup—several people in a house, one dies, a detective has to solve the crime—has expanded to include truly unique settings and stories. That’s a good thing: It means that a lot of these mysteries can play with form and framing while still giving you a perfect twist ending. There are horror films, action movies, and dramas on this list (not to mention a couple comedies!). From Alfred Hitchcock to the Coen brothers to David Fincher to Rian Johnson, some of the best directors in history have tried their hand at this iconic genre. The one thing these movies have in common? A killer mystery—pun absolutely intended.
Where Did That Cockatoo Come From?
Birds native to Australasia are being found in Renaissance paintings—and in medieval manuscripts. Their presence exposes the depth of ancient trade routes.
Madonna della Vittoria by the Renaissance painter Andrea Mantegna, must have looked imposing when it was first installed as an altarpiece in Santa Maria della Vittoria, a small chapel in the northern-Italian city of Mantua. When Heather Dalton, a British-born historian who lives in Melbourne, Australia, took a moment to examine the painting some years ago, during her first year of study for a doctorate at the University of Melbourne, she was not in Paris but at home, leafing through a book about Mantegna. Although the Madonna image had been reproduced at a fraction of its true size, Dalton noticed something that she well might have missed had she been peering up at the framed original: perched on the pergola, directly above a gem-encrusted crucifix on a staff, was a slender white bird with a black beak, an alert expression, and an impressive greenish-yellow crest. Moreover, without the context of her own surroundings, Dalton might not have registered the bird’s incongruity. “If I hadn’t been in Australia, I wouldn’t have thought, That’s a bloody sulfur-crested cockatoo!” she told me.
The pop star versus the playlist
Streaming services’ playlists make it easier for listeners to find music worth playing. But experts say they’re also breaking fans’ relationships with artists.
Success in the music industry used to rely on radio plays and premium retail “endcap” placements (where stores like Best Buy gave album releases prime real estate). It’s no secret that streaming has changed everything, providing unfettered access to the largest catalog of music in human history.
It also presents a paradox of choice: What should you listen to when you can hear nearly any song that’s ever been recorded? With more and more songs released by more and more musicians on more and more platforms — and less emphasis on traditional media to tell listeners what to like — the sprawl of streaming has upended what it means to be a pop star. For an artist like Daniels, streaming both gave him the opportunity to break out from obscurity and made it exponentially more difficult to have a follow-up hit. That’s because like so many other viral hits, the song, not the artist, became the asset.
What stories about influencer drama totally miss
YouTuber scandals fall into one of two categories. Neither is much fun.
Over the last few rounds of YouTuber drama, something finally became clear. A few weeks back, there were two perennially controversial creators fighting over the handling of their respective controversies. About a month later, there was a thing about a popular beauty vlogger who’d disappeared from the internet a year ago following a different feud. Finally, there was breaking news about a beekeeper on TikTok — she’d caused some kind of kerfuffle within the beekeepers-on-TikTok community, and every news publication in the entire world covered it as though it were the most riveting story of the day, even though the whole thing amounted to basically one person’s criticisms, which turned out to be pretty mild and possibly inaccurate in the first place.
Which Royal Family has the most expensive tiara collection in the world?
The top slot is shared by two royal dynasties
Glittering with diamonds, festooned with pearls and bright with coloured gemstones, there’s perhaps nothing more closely associated with royalty than the tiara. Worn by royal brides on their wedding day, and thereafter at ceremonial events, they are often rich with history and symbolism. The royal houses of Europe all own them – but who has the most expensive collection?
Capri and Procida: A Tale of Two Islands
As Italy reopens to tourists, glamorous Capri and its quieter, grittier sister, Procida, prepare — with joy and trepidation — for an influx of visitors.
After more than a year of lockdown, the Italian islands off Naples are also hungry for visitors and a return to the bustling summer seasons that are their economic lifeblood. In May, glamorous Capri, that Italian Epcot of jet-set dreams, and its smaller, gritty sister, Procida, which feels like a neighborhood of Naples drifted out to sea, had managed to become among Italy’s first fully vaccinated islands. Prime Minister Mario Draghi urged travelers “to book your holidays in Italy.”
Those travelers who do have a chance of hitting a rare, perhaps once-in-a-lifetime sweet spot in which thinner crowds, wonderful weather and more motivated, vaccinated hospitality make for memorable stays. To be on the islands these days is to be present for the stirring of great beauties who, having slept late, are fully rested, rearing to go and full of aspirations about what the future might hold.
[Photo Credit: markzeff.com]