T LOunge for December 17th, 2021

Posted on December 17, 2021

Fandango Bar and Restaurant – Es Pujols, Formentera, Spain


Darlings, we made it. It’s FRIDAY. Also, welcome back to uncertain times and an abundance of caution. It’s 2020 all over again. Or it is if you want to be panicky about it, as most of the media appears to be at the moment. Part of the problem with the pandemic discussion is that it’s largely being led by people in the spots hit most hard by it. i.e., major metropolitan media centers like New York and Los Angeles. Not that we’re arguing against caution as Omicron rages, nor are we the types you’ll ever hear complaining about coastal elites (since most of the country would consider the two of us prime examples), but there is definitely a distinct difference in how people are reacting to the latest surge based on how much media they consume on a daily basis and how much time they spend on social media. The media thrives on panic. We’re continuing with our holiday plans, which were always going to include masking but now are going to include rapid testing as well. We guess what we’re trying to say here is don’t be scared but do remain cautious. It really isn’t 2020 all over again.

Anyway, enjoy the wine list!


The Life-Changing Curiosity of bell hooks
For all the big topics in life—love, feminism, revolution—she asked us to think and feel deeper.

Her insistence of always considering the “what about?”—no matter how uncomfortable that question might make us—made hooks one of the most prolific philosophers of our time. It was her ability to stay rooted in her praxis of Black feminist thought but expand it to consider all the ways that power impacts everything we do that appealed to me, a young South Asian woman, child of immigrants, lost in white America, searching for a language of understanding. It was through her work that I and countless other young women found ourselves: We expanded our worldviews, were led deeper into feminism, and learned to question everything that was fed to us as taken for granted or expected.


Sara Ramirez on Body Acceptance, Their Look on And Just Like That…, and Embodying Che’s ‘Authentic Self’
It is a truth universally acknowledged that the original Sex and the City was in desperate need of characters who represented more of what New York City had to offer. So far, its reboot, And Just Like That…, has delivered on that front—particularly with the introduction of Che Diaz, a queer, nonbinary comedian who hosts a podcast on which protagonist Carrie Bradshaw frequently appears. Diaz is brought to life onscreen by the Mexican American actor Sara Ramirez, who is perhaps best-known for playing Callie Torres on Grey’s Anatomy (and who publicly came out as queer in 2016 and nonbinary in 2020).


Venetian Plaster—the 15th Century Technique—Is Suddenly Hotter Than Ever
You may have seen it in the pages of design magazines, or on Instagram, or perhaps just in the home of the trendiest friend you know: a wall that’s covered not with paint, not wallpaper, but a textured material known as venetian plaster—or its similar aesthetic cousin, limewash.
Venetian plaster master Jan Hooss, who is currently working on a custom commission for an Upper East Side apartment building, is also ready with an explanation: “The principle of venetian plaster is very simple and basic: lime and marble powder together. You can use it to cover walls and model nearly anything,” he says. “I love it because it is so simple and at the same time you can create very complex forms with a fresh and natural looking surface.” Clive Lonstein, an interior designer who worked at Studio Sofield and for Tiffany & Co before founding his own studio, adds this about limewash: “Venetian plaster is an actual opaque material that is integral to the overall look of the plaster, but limewash is a translucent material which is applied over a surface.”


The First Pictures Of Amanda Seyfried As Elizabeth Holmes Are Here
Few scandals in recent memory have captured the public’s attention quite like the dramatic fall from grace of Elizabeth Holmes. Holmes, of course, is the Silicon Valley entrepreneur whose health tech start-up, Theranos, falsely promised a revolutionary new blood testing method, and went from being valued at $9 billion – making Holmes the world’s youngest self-made female billionaire – to zero. Following a series of high-profile exposés by The Wall Street Journal, along with the hit podcast The Dropout and Alex Gibney’s docuseries The Inventor on HBO, the Theranos debacle became a highlight of 2019’s so-called “summer of scam” alongside the dealings of Anna Delvey and Fyre Festival.


Harvard has dropped its SAT and ACT score admission requirements until 2026, and it’s a watershed move as schools debate the value of standardized testing
Harvard University is making SAT and ACT scores optional until 2026 for those applying to the prestigious school, extending a policy that it started last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the university said Thursday.
The announcement is a milestone in the growing drive to reduce the value of standardized testing in university applications. More colleges — including Ivy League schools — are waiving the need for SAT and ACT scores as the pandemic restricted students from getting to testing sites.


Chris Noth Accused of Sexual Assault by Two Women
Triggered by the recent ‘Sex and the City’ reboot, the women allege two incidents of misconduct they say took place more than a decade apart.

It was the revival of the television series that had made him such an iconic character that was triggering for the two women.
Zoe, now 40, and Lily, now 31, both allege they were sexually assaulted by actor Chris Noth. The two women — who approached The Hollywood Reporter separately, months apart, and who do not know each other — said promotions and press reports of HBO Max’s Sex and the City sequel series And Just Like That, in which Noth reprises his role as Mr. Big, stirred painful memories of incidents they say occurred in Los Angeles in 2004 and in New York in 2015, respectively. To protect their privacy, THR is allowing both women to use pseudonyms.


Succession’s Costume Designer Explains Shiv’s Wedding Look and Kendall’s Chain
Succession fans, much like Swifties, have been trained over the past three seasons to look into absolutely every detail projected onto their screen for an hour every Sunday. Nothing that makes it into the show is unintentional. And that’s why, among all of the chatter online, the discussion around the outfit choices of the past few episodes has risen to the top. Why is Shiv’s Italian wardrobe seemingly so out of character? Does Tom finally look good in a suit? And what is up with Kendall’s newest chain? Luckily, Michelle Matland, famed Succession costume designer, answered some of the web’s most burning questions so, hopefully, we can all start to move on with our lives.


A Deep Dive Into Selling Sunset’s Uncanny Girlboss Soundtrack
On many television shows, especially those that fit within the “reality” genre, music is merely filler used to connect one scene to the next. But what sets the Selling Sunset soundtrack apart, according to producer Adam DiVello, is that it’s not just a tool for creating continuity, but actually “one of the characters on the show.” That might explain why, when the latest season dropped last month, fans were just as captivated by Selling Sunset’s bubblegum pop laced with uncanny, eerily omniscient lyrics as they were by the tensions mounting on screen between all of the ladies of The Oppenheim Group, the Southern California real estate company where most of the drama unfolds. To find out more about what went into the creation of this larger-than-life soundtrack, W spoke to Devillo and the show’s music supervisor, Carrie Hughes, about how they managed to so perfectly capture the sound of multi-million dollar real estate and the glamorous women who sell it.


And Just Like That… Star Cathy Ang Isn’t Here to Cause Drama
The actress on why she thinks her character Lily Goldenblatt foiled Carrie and Big—again.

“I just want to make this very clear,” Cathy Ang says through a fit of laughter over the phone, “Growing up, I was not allowed to watch Sex and the City.” That didn’t stop her from eventually catching up with the HBO series that follows the exploits of Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte, and Samantha when she moved from the Bay Area to the east coast to study at New York University. “I have experienced a lot of the things that they experienced in the original show, and I don’t think I would’ve understood a lot of those problems or how they navigate through their relationships until now, so I think I actually picked a great time to watch.”


Fatalism is not the answer to the coming omicron wave
There is no grand plan for stopping omicron — but that doesn’t mean we’re powerless.

Just a few months ago, people in America were dying because hospitals had been overwhelmed with Covid-19 patients and couldn’t find a bed for them. This was what more than a year of public health interventions had tried to avoid, and it was happening well after the vaccines had become widely available. Now there is the distinct possibility of a repeat of the same catastrophe.
Meanwhile, the country’s tolerance for public health interventions appears to be shrinking. Most people say they are still planning to travel to see family and friends for the holidays and they consider those activities to be a small or moderate risk. Sporting events, concerts, and other large gatherings are happening every day. Just nine states currently have any kind of mask mandate in place. A return to more drastic lockdown measures appears to be off the table — and some experts think they would be inappropriate now because those policies can have their own negative effects and because vaccines are widely available.


Is this the beginning of the end of gas stoves and dirty heat in buildings?
New York City is phasing out gas in new buildings. It’s a milestone in the fight to clean up climate pollution.

Carbon emissions from buildings are a major driver of climate change, and the main culprits are boilers and water heaters, and to a lesser degree, gas stoves. In the US, 13 percent of greenhouse gasses come from commercial and residential buildings powered by fossil fuels. New York City’s buildings account for a much larger share of its emissions, more than transportation or any other category.
The appliances that run on gas — stoves, furnaces, boilers, and water heaters — also come at another cost. When natural gas combusts indoors, it releases a mix of particulate matter, nitrogen and sulfur oxides, and volatile organic compounds — air pollutants that harm respiratory and cardiovascular health.


Sex, lies and Polaroid film: Mary Killen on the Duchess of Argyll
The target of an impoverished duke, Margaret, Duchess of Argyll loved the company of men. But when her racy private photographs were stolen, scandal turned the public against her, says Mary Killen

In 1951, she married the 11th Duke of Argyll, who was popular, charming and handsome, but also malicious, addicted to alcohol and gambling, and a shameless sponger. By 1959, and determined to divorce since Margaret’s father had decided to stop paying his bills, he had gained access to her Queen Anne house on Upper Grosvenor Street while she was abroad, and called in a locksmith to crack the locks of the private drawers and cupboards containing her memorabilia. He’d been delighted to find Polaroids of naked men, with only the torsos visible, being loomed over by a woman, her face hidden from view. Margaret was identifiable by the diamond clasps of her trademark three-strand pearls and distinctive hairstyle.
So You Still Need to Buy a Gift …
Regifting is the responsible choice for both your wallet and the environment. And does anyone even need to know?

Need a last-minute gift that’s both laziness- and supply chain-friendly? Look no further than your own things.
Yet another outgrowth of the pandemic reset, regifting is the perfect way to funnel your next purge in a way that benefits your friends and family. Have a clown sweater that may not be right for you? Chances are high that you know where its real spiritual home lies.
“If you had a good experience with an object, energetically it gives it a good feeling to the person you give it to,” said Angela Dimayuga, a chef and cookbook author, who shared her own gift idea below. The bonus? “Then you get to see it on your friend’s body or in your friend’s home.”


12 Best Over-the-top Luxury Honeymoons for 2022
Splurge on one of these romantic trips, from an adventure in Patagonia to wine tasting in South Africa.

There is no better time than a honeymoon to splurge and take an extended and more luxurious trip. Now more than ever, couples that we plan honeymoons for are looking to celebrate their wedding by ticking something huge off their bucket list. Many things can make a honeymoon over the top: special and rare experiences, an exceptional level of luxury, remote far flung destinations, adrenaline-pumping adventures, and mind-blowing food, wine, and spa.





[Photo Credit: destudio.es]

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