The Alchemist Cocktail Bar – Birmingham, UK
Having thrown you into the sunlight for two consecutive LOunges, Lorenzo is ready to serve up a moody, glamorous, vibe-heavy bunker for the day. After all, it’s Wednesday, is it not? Practically the high holy day of coasting through it. The celebrity content is slowly ticking up again post-holidays, but we’re right back to the kind of Zoom and Insta promotional stuff that characterized most of 2020, which is kind of distressing, but we try to remember that things are markedly better than they were then and that this period of escalation and shutdown is going to end sooner rather than later. The good news is, we’re old pros at pivoting in response to current events and we have a day of opinionating to serve you. We’ll get to working on that, but you should definitely take a seat and order some nosh while you scroll through our distractions.
Cher Doesn’t Know What You Mean by “It’s Giving Cher”
When Cher first appeared on TV—a 25-year-old sylph cracking wise in spangly couture alongside her shorter, older, mustachioed husband—millions of people watched her every week, the kind of market share that’s basically inconceivable 51 years later. “Sonny and I didn’t know what fame was until Sonny & Cher became a hit,” she says. It was a rocket ship that left her in a different stratosphere as a mononymous multi-hyphenate, an Emmy, Grammy, and Oscar winner, and a fashion icon. Today it has also made her the star of the new Ugg FEEL ____ campaign.
The Crown Season 5: What We Know So Far
This won’t be the last season of the hit Netflix show.
The Crown will last much longer than we previously thought. Despite earlier announcements saying the show’s fifth season would be its last, Netflix has confirmed that the series will continue past Season 5. The biggest issue, however, is that because of coronavirus-related delays, fans will have to wait longer than usual for it to return.
Yet, even with the postponements, Netflix has already begun announcing members of the new royal cast. (Like Claire Foy and Matt Smith of Seasons 1 and 2, Olivia Colman and co. will be replaced by new actors for Seasons 5 and 6 to reflect the passage of time.) Here’s what we know about the next installment of The Crown, who’ll be in it, and when to expect it.
Jennifer Beals on The Book of Boba Fett and Joining the Star Wars Universe
“Madam Garsa is no one’s fool,” the actress says of her new character.
Jennifer Beals made her mark with one of the defining roles of the 1980s: Flashdance’s Alex Owens, a welder who dreamed of being a professional dancer. Now, she’s joined another iconic ’80s filmic universe: the world of Star Wars. Playing a member of the Twi’lek species, Beals stars in the newly released Disney+ series, The Book of Boba Fett.
“Madam Garsa is extraordinary. She is not like any other Twi’lek we’ve seen. She’s enormously wealthy. And the costumes are extraordinary. Shawna [Trpcic, the show’s costume designer] and I were talking about yoga, meditation, and dreams in our first meeting, and she said, ‘If anything regarding this character comes up in your meditation or your dreams, please let me know.’ So I sent her these images that came to me, and she incorporated them into my costumes. It was incredible to me.”
How Maggie Gyllenhaal’s The Lost Daughter Compares To Elena Ferrante’s Book
Gyllenhaal’s directorial debut, now streaming on Netflix, stays loyal to its source material.
As a movie, The Lost Daughter has the satisfyingly melancholy feel of a rained-out vacation in a dream destination. Maggie Gyllenhaal’s directorial debut is a prickly examination of ambivalence towards motherhood, with an emotional heft that belies its coastal Italian setting. More than picturesque set dressing, the locale is a nod to the source material: a slim volume of the same name by Elena Ferrante, a precursor of sorts to the Neapolitan Novels that later made her famous. (Fans of those books will notice some familiar names and themes in The Lost Daughter—both the novella and the movie.) Though Gyllenhaal has Americanized her characters, the drama still unfurls on the same slice of Ionian Coast as in Ferrante’s original telling. It proves to be an appropriate setting for the story, at once sunny and dreary in a way that gives life to its protagonist Leda’s (an unmissable Olivia Colman) inner conflict.
As A Chinese American Mother, I Didn’t Want My Family’s Native Language To End With Me.
The author of The School for Good Mothers on how raising her daughter forced her to confront her relationship with Mandarin.
Why can’t you read?” It was spring 2020. The interrogator was my daughter, who was three at the time. My parents, Chinese and Taiwanese immigrants who came to the U.S. in the 1970s, had gifted her the picture book Guji Guji by Chih-Yuan Chen, which is about a baby crocodile who believes he’s a duck and joins a family of ducks. Hijinks ensue. It’s a tale of acceptance, belonging, and family. Though this version contains an English translation crammed onto the last few pages, all the fun illustrations are in the body of the book, where the story is written in Chinese characters.
I’d like to tell you that I could once read the book in its original language, but actually I never could, despite two valiant years of Chinese courses in college. But as a child, I would have understood the story being read to me, say by my parents or grandmother. At my daughter’s age and through elementary school, I was bilingual. My parents and maternal grandmother spoke to me almost exclusively in Mandarin. I could carry on my side of the conversation. I didn’t feel lost in Mandarin, as I do now.
Pickle Lovers, Rejoice: Pennsylvania Now Has a Trail for Fermented Foods
There are nearly 100 stops on the state’s new fermented foods trail, featuring everything from sauerkraut to Amish root beer.
We all know that sauerkraut, beer, and kombucha are fermented, but did you know that coffee and chocolate, plus some root beer, teas, and cheese, are too? You can sample these and more on Pennsylvania’s new Pickled: A Fermented Trail, which launched this fall. It’s part of the state’s drive to showcase Pennsylvania’s culinary history, and preserve its foodways in the process.
“Fermented food, like kombucha, is cool right now,” says Mary Miller, cultural historian and professor who engineered the trails. The route showcases the long tradition of Pennsylvania Germans and Eastern European immigrants pickling and fermenting foods to preserve them through the winter.
Cher On Twitter, Kim K And The Hair Tip She Gleaned From Michelle Pfeiffer
No one does it quite like Cher. A singer, actress and overall icon, she shot to fame as one half of Sonny & Cher, gifting the world with hits like “I Got You Babe”, and she has now sold 100 million records and counting. At 75, Cher is starring alongside rapper Saweetie in MAC’s Challenge Accepted campaign. Here, she speaks to acting beauty and wellness editor, Hannah Coates, about everything from meditating to Kim Kardashian.
The Queen will be keeping her Christmas decorations up for this heartbreaking reason
As we enter 2022, it’s safe to say that Christmas is truly over for another year.
The royal family however as always does things differently, and this month it’s extending the festivities.
A royal Christmas is famously unique, from the unusual royal tradition of ‘the family weigh in‘ to the fun exchange of joke presents. It was a tradition involving Christmas decorations however that resurfaced this week.
Most of us take down the decorations before the twelfth night (5th Jan) or Epiphany (6th Jan) as it’s said to be bad luck not to. However the Queen apparently keeps hers up for a while longer, and the reason behind it is heartbreaking.
Chris Evans in Talks to Play Gene Kelly in Film Produced by John Logan
Chris Evans is in talks to step into the shoes of legendary actor Gene Kelly in a developing film project produced by John Logan, Variety has confirmed.
According to a source close to the project, the untitled film is based on Evans’ original idea in which a 12-year-old boy who works on the MGM Lot in the 1950s finds an imaginary friend in Kelly while working on his newest film.
Meet Leia Jospé, Curator of Cringe
The mastermind behind the @favetiktoks420 page and How To With John Wilson videographer explains the dark humor behind TikTok’s cringiest videos.
There’s a strange thing that Succession star Nicholas Braun, the Grizzly Bear frontman, a New Yorker cartoon editor, and the creator of Tuca & Bertie all have in common: they are frequent commenters on the Instagram account @favetiktoks420, a collection of the cringiest Gen Z content ever made, reposted for millennials’ pleasure and horror. These creatives agree, this is “the best unintentional art of this generation.”
The mastermind behind the account is Leia Jospé, a New York City photographer and a videographer for the HBO docuseries How To With John Wilson. Over the past year, the page has gained a cult following—“wake up babe, @favetiktoks420 posted”—creating an inside joke between 31,000 strangers who affably compete for the most-liked alternative caption. “It’s not about hating on these teenagers,” Jospé says. They’re literally “geniuses” making “Lynchian ass” work. Over tequila, she took W behind the scenes of mining her disturbing For You page for perverted e-boys’ thirst traps, out of sync lip-syncs, and improbable POV scenarios (if the videographers manage to get the concept of a POV right at all).
Jasmin Savoy Brown Is Manifesting Her Reality
The Yellowjackets and Scream actress on starring in an instant cult classic and spinning pandemic heartbreak into creative works of art.
“No one knows what’s going to happen,” says Jasmin Savoy Brown, minutes into our Zoom call together. For most conversations, it might seem a bit early to get so existential, but Brown is talking about Yellowjackets, the Showtime series on which she stars as a 17-year-old soccer champ whose plane full of teammates crash lands in the Canadian wilderness in 1996; the passengers are left to survive on their own. Brown plays Taissa, a natural leader on the team, who is eventually rescued from the wilderness and, shown in flashes forward to 25 years later, becomes a successful politician who marries a beautiful woman and raises a beautiful kid in a beautiful home. “This is a show about women. There are men in the show, but it’s not their world,” the 27-year-old actress goes on. “This is a woman’s world, seen through a female lens in its savagery, backstabbing, self-consciousness, and vulnerability. It’s ugly, but it’s really beautiful. And I think part of what’s so beautiful is that it’s honest in its ugliness.”
Motorists have been trapped on an icy Virginia highway for more than 24 hours.
A search-and-rescue expert explains how drivers can weather frigid conditions for that long.
Thousands of drivers were trapped on a stretch of I-95 in northern Virginia for more than 24 hours after several tractor-trailers crashed during a snow storm.
Weathering those conditions is something most people could do “successfully without much pain as long as you stay warm,” according to Chris Boyer, the executive director of the National Association for Search and Rescue.
People trapped on the road should make sure their exhaust pipe is not covered by the ice or snow if they plan to keep their vehicle running to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning, Boyer said.
How to Easily Sew a Button by Hand
Learn to fix up your pants, shirts and shorts, even if you’re a complete beginner.
Learning the basics of sewing will definitely come in handy when you’re in a pinch and need to mend one of your favorite pieces of clothing. Whether you’re a complete beginner or just need a little refresh, sewing 101 begins with mastering how to sew a button correctly. Not only is it a great skill to know in general, it will save you countless trips to the tailor.
We tapped expert sewer Amanda Perna, who is also the fashion designer behind The House of Perna and a Project Runway alum, to help guide us through a step-by-step tutorial.
The great population growth slowdown
The pandemic has only accelerated a decline in US birth rates, even as immigration has plummeted.
Increased deaths from the pandemic plays a role, as do inevitably creeping mortality rates in an aging population. But the primary cause is declining fertility rates, as fewer Americans have children, and those that do tend to have smaller families. The total fertility rate in the US — an estimate of the average total number of children a woman will have over her lifetime — has declined from 2.12 in 2007 to 1.64 in 2020, well below the 2.1 needed for a population to replace itself without immigration.
Nor is this merely an American phenomenon. By one estimate, half the world’s population lives in countries with below-replacement-level fertility, and nations like Japan — with very low birth rates and little immigration — are already experiencing population decline.
The re-emergence of that shirt: The BBC includes Colin Firth’s iconic Pride and Prejudice shirt in 100 objects collection
As the BBC marks its centennial celebrations it looks back at notable objects from the archives
If you were lucky enough to be introduced to the world of Jane Austen through the 1995 six-part production of Pride and Prejudice, then there is every chance you will recall the emergence of Mr Darcy, played by a youthful Colin Firth, in his clinging and dripping white shirt, from the ponds at the fictional Pemberley Estate. The Regency style shirt, used in Andrew Davies’ adaptation of the novel and now considered an iconic addition in the sphere of television moments has been awarded a place among the BBC’s 100 object collection in celebration of the corporation’s 2022 centenary. The online collection includes familiar and notable pieces from programmes spanning the last 100 years of its existence.
The history of the Royal Family’s christening dress, most recently worn by Princess Eugenie’s son
The original gown was commissioned by Queen Victoria and was worn by 62 members of the Royal Family
The end of 2021 saw the christening of not one but two of the Queen’s great-grandchildren, August Philip Brooksbank, the son of Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank, and Lucas Philip Tindall, the son of Zara and Mike Tindall. Her Majesty made a special effort to attend the unique dual christening, after months of resting due to ill health. With two babies being christened at the same time, one tradition had to be altered slightly: the wearing of the royal christening gown.
Middle Age Doesn’t Happen ‘Just Like That’
Why is the “Sex and the City” reboot populated by adults who seem perplexed by everything from politics to their own bodies?
Have you heard? There’s a TV show featuring 50-somethings on HBO, right now. “And Just Like That,” the reboot of “Sex and the City,” has resurrected the old gang (Carrie, Miranda and Charlotte — minus Samantha) in present-day New York City, 17 years after the last episode aired. Yes, it turns out that people — even women-people — can actually keep existing beyond the age of 38. Incredible!
Or at least that appears to be the perspective of AJLT, which depicts a world of middle-aged characters suspended in perpetual astonishment and discomfort about everything they encounter, from commonplace political and social phenomena to their own bodies.
The 10 Best Cities in the World for Art Lovers, According to a New Study
Four U.S. cities made the list.
For art aficionados looking to plan their next trip, the resident experts at Money.co.uk conducted a study to find the best art and culture-filled cities around the world. The study used a variety of data points to rank 40 global cities already known for their unique arts and culture scenes. Ranking criteria included more obvious factors, like the number of galleries, museums, and sculptures, but also took into account variables such as street art and highly rated art universities and colleges to give a more complete picture of each city’s offerings.
You Can Visit Every National Park for Free on These 5 Days in 2022
Mark the National Park Service’s 2022 free days in your calendar now.
The National Park Service (NPS) announced its free entrance days for 2022, so mark your calendars — you won’t want to miss the chance to visit the country’s best national parks without having to pay an admission fee. And it’s not just wide-open parklands — some national seashores, historic sites, and even battlefields run by the NPS are free to visit on these days, so do a little research to find your perfect park, near or far. NPS free days are the perfect time to explore the beauty, history, and culture right in your own backyard or across the country.
[Photo Credit: thealchemist.uk.com, macaulaysinclair.com, tysonlighting.com]