T LOunge for June 21st, 2022

Posted on June 21, 2022

Norma Bar and Restaurant – London, UK


Who’s in the mood for some cozy chicness today? Or chic coziness, if that sounds more appealing. It is TUESDAY and we feel like today’s LOunge has exactly the vibe we all need to get through. Pick your booth and hold court for the day.


Who Killed Mae West’s No. 1 Fan?
In the mid 1970s, nearly a half-century after her rise to superstardom, Mae West held court among an eccentric, sexed-up entourage of admirers, hangers-on, musclemen and monkeys. The mysterious death of one of her acolytes offers a window into the Hollywood legend’s strange world.

Late in 1971, a shaggy, 23-year-old college student and aspiring screenwriter was toiling away at his master’s thesis at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. Born Feb. 2, 1948, in Waukegan, Illinois, David Ray Johnson displayed nothing particularly remarkable at first glance. He stood about 5-foot-7, had long brown hair and a thick mustache, and was “your basic Midwestern kid,” as one friend would later describe him.
But he was not entirely basic. Johnson was openly gay and rather flamboyant. He was entranced by drag queens. He spoke with a breathy, halting affectation. He’d often declare of things that met his approval, “What a hoot!”
The pioneering sex symbol was the subject of Johnson’s film studies thesis. The 72-page dissertation, “An Historical and Interpretive Analysis of the Development and Perpetuation of the Mae West Phenomenon on Stage and Screen 1900 – 1970,” reverentially traced how West parlayed her wisecracking, oversexed vaudeville persona into one of Hollywood’s most legendary careers.


How a Century-Old Story Inspired the New Series Irma Vep
Indie king Olivier Assayas directs the HBO hit, which stars Alicia Vikander and Tom Sturridge.

In its way, Olivier Assayas’ 1996 film Irma Vep has become as much of a cultural touchstone as Louis Feuillade’s Les Vampires, the silent French serial to which Assayas’ movie paid homage. Not only did the film—about the making of a contemporary Les Vampires remake—become an influential cult favorite, it gave star Maggie Cheung the best role of her career as Maggie Cheung, an actress starring as Irma Vep in an adaptation of Les Vampires.
Now Assayas returns to Irma Vep for HBO, loosely adapting his film into an eight-episode limited series airing Monday nights on HBO. Starring Alicia Vikander, this version follows Mira, an American movie star seeking redemption from her career of blockbusters and a recent tabloid scandal by tackling a role in a miniseries adaptation of Les Vampires. And just as the original Irma Vep was written with Cheung in mind, so too did Assayas’ current leading lady inspire this latest iteration.


Beyonce Drops Disco-fied New Single, ‘Break My Soul’
Three hours before the announced release time of her new single, Beyonce surprise-dropped “Break My Soul,” the first single from her forthcoming seventh solo studio album “Renaissance,” and it’s the Bey jam fans have been waiting for: A driving dance track co-produced by the “Single Ladies” team of Tricky Stewart and The-Dream, with a plinking, insistent hook, a hot beat and periodic exhortations from Big Freedia.
“Release your anger, release your mind/ Release your job, release the time/ Release your trade, release the stress/ Release the love, forget the rest.”


Queen Elizabeth’s Alarm Clock Is Live Bagpipes
The Piper to the Sovereign acts as a human alarm clock for the British monarch.

Forget the classic alarm clock noise: Queen Elizabeth’s day begins with the sound of live bagpipes every morning. A musician, titled Piper to the Sovereign, plays the bagpipes at 9 o’clock a.m. for 15 minutes within earshot of her window every morning.
Wherever the Queen sleeps—Windsor Castle, Buckingham Palace, or Balmoral—her bagpiper is there to get her day going. However, the musician reportedly does not join her at Sandringham.


The Drives That Brought Me Closer to My Dad
When I was 10 years old, my Aunt Janny told me a secret: “I asked your dad which of you he’d choose to be stuck with in a car for 24 hours,” she whispered conspiratorially. By “you,” she had meant me and my four other siblings. “And La,” she said, smacking my arm, “It’s you! He didn’t even have to think about it, he just said, ‘Laura. No question.’” At the time, none of this made much sense to me. Why would she ask my father that? When would he and I ever be in a car for 24 hours? Where would we even be going without the rest of our family? The thought that maybe this was Janny’s way of telling me I was my father’s favorite did surface, but it just as immediately vanished. The whole thing seemed fishy to me, which is probably why I remember it so clearly.


The Best Corkscrew
The winner is the Pulltap Double-Hinged Waiter’s Corkscrew.

As long as wine has been packaged in glass bottles—since the 17th century, roughly—there have been tools designed for the safe removal of cork stoppers. Although they came in many shapes and sizes, most antique corkscrews were variations on the screwpull model. That is, a metal helix (also called a “worm”) is sometimes encased in a frame that could be twisted down vertically into a cork, requiring the person wielding it to brace the bottle and tug firmly upwards until the cork emerged, often with a cartoonish popping sound. Screwpulls are still around today. And still effective, too, though I would exercise caution when using one on a bottle of red while wearing a white blouse or dress.


Sydney Sweeney & Christina Ricci — Actors on Actors (Full Conversation)
Sydney Sweeney has had a breakout year, stealing the spotlight on two HBO shows: as the insecure, self-destructive Cassie on “Euphoria,” and as the withering mean-girl Olivia on “The White Lotus.” Christina Ricci elicited a combination of laughter and terror as the macabre, damaged Misty on Showtime’s genre-defying survival drama “Yellowjackets.” When the two actors meet, they discuss their characters’ varied traumas; how life on sets has changed for young women, particularly when it comes to sex scenes; and being memes. Watch the full conversation above from Variety’s “Actors on Actors,” presented by Apple TV+.


‘We Are Lady Parts’: How Costume Designer Blended Culture and Fashion to Style Rocking Leading Ladies
“We Are Lady Parts” centers on an all-female Muslim punk band who are making music their way, building an audience, and balancing their personal life on and off stage.
Costume designer PC Williams designed each woman’s wardrobe to honor her relationship with her faith while also using costume to act as an avenue for cultural and self-expression.
The series, streaming on Peacock, follows five women— Amina (Anjana Vasan), the newly recruited lead guitarist; Saira (Sarah Kameela Impey), Lady Parts’ lead singer; Ayesha, (Juliette Motamed) Lady Parts’ drummer; Bisma (Faith Omole), the bass player, and Momtaz (Lucie Shorthouse), the band’s manager.


Harry Styles And Alessandro Michele Have Collaborated On A Gucci Collection
The inevitable has happened. Long-time friends Alessandro Michele and pop god Harry Styles have collaborated on a Gucci collection. Unveiled during the menswear shows in Milan, Gucci HA HA HA is described as “a collection born from a creative relationship that self-generates from amusement and ends with the tangibility of a product”.
“Harry has an incredible sense of fashion,” said Michele in a statement. “The idea of working together came to me one day while we were talking on the phone: I proposed creating a ‘dream wardrobe’ with him… We ended up with a mix of aesthetics, from 1970s pop and bohemia to the revision of the image of the gentleman in an overturned memory of men’s tailoring,” the creative director added.


Emma Thompson: “Does Anyone Know Or Care If Middle-Aged Women Are Getting Any Sexual Satisfaction?”
For her latest role, Emma Thompson explored the principles of pleasure. Here, the actor reveals what the process taught her.

A 62-year-old retired religious education teacher (Nancy), who has never had an orgasm, hires a 28-year-old male sex worker (Leo) to help expand her horizons. This is the story of the film Good Luck to You, Leo Grande, which was written by Katy Brand and sent to me with an “Is this anything that might intrigue you?” kind of message.
It perhaps goes without saying that it was a very unexpected script to receive. Four pages in, I was hooked. At the end of the first reading, I wrote to Katy to say that we absolutely had to do it. And not many months later, we did.
Over the course of 19 days in February 2021, Daryl McCormack, now 29, and I, 63, filmed four meetings in a Norfolk so Covid-secure it felt like ours and ours alone. You might be forgiven for assuming that this is a sort of Home Counties riposte to Last Tango in Paris – more of a First Two-step in Norwich – but, in fact, it’s an adventure in several kinds of intimacy. An exploration of pleasure and shame, and a portrait of sex work as one of the caring professions.


Johnny Sibilly Would Happily Play Queer Characters for the Rest of His Life
The Queer as Folk actor speaks on the importance of capturing the unapologetic joy of the LGBTQ+ community while also not shying away from the realities of today’s world.

Johnny Sibilly will never forget the first time he saw Queer as Folk, the pioneering British drama that chronicled the lives of three gay men living in Manchester, England. He was 12 or 13 years old, watching cable television by himself at a family member’s house. Suddenly, two men appeared on screen, kissing and having sex. He’d never experienced a sight like that before, and immediately tensed up. With a finger planted firmly on the remote, ready to switch back to the Disney Channel in case someone were to walk in, Sibilly had found a show that made him feel seen, even if he was nowhere near ready to talk about those feelings with his friends or family.


7 Top Health Benefits of Pistachios, According to Registered Dietitians
Wondering if you can eat these little nuts every day? Here’s what our experts have to say.

Coming from the Greek word pistákion meaning “the green nut,” pistachios are a beloved tree nut that have been around for centuries. But the popular snack nut is extremely versatile and can be used in everything from pesto to cookies. Here is everything you need to know about the nutritious nut, including pistachio benefits and side effects.


There’s Never Been a Better Time for an Outdoor Dinner Party
Here’s how to make your dinner — and your summer — a memorable one.

As warm weather arrives, so does the opportunity to entertain outdoors — an especially appealing prospect this year, as the pandemic drags on but it feels like we’ve been isolated for long enough.
Whether it’s in the garden, on a deck or on a small balcony, your dinner party should be one that guests remember. That means thinking beyond the basics and creating a dining space that’s as thoughtfully appointed as any indoor dining room.


The Enigmatic Janet Jackson
A risk-taking innovator who revolutionized Black cultural expression in the 1980s and broke barriers for women in music, Jackson is a capital “S” Superstar. A global icon and Rock & Roll Hall of Famer with incomparable impact, she’s built musical universes that centered pleasure, personal agency, self-esteem, spirituality, identity, race and social justice. She’s been a singular force for close to four decades—but she is also an enigma. We see her, we hear her, we feel her, but we don’t truly know her.


Go Off the Beaten Path in Bulgaria — and Find Historic Cities, Stunning Landscapes, and a Mix of Cultures
Bulgaria is often overlooked, but with historic cities and stunning landscapes, it makes for a fascinating European trip.

Long overshadowed by its southern neighbors and, for Americans, often associated singularly with its Communist past, Bulgaria is only now starting to be seen as a travel destination — boosted by a growing interest in Eastern Europe (and far enough removed from the war a few countries north in Ukraine). I first became enthralled with the country while reading Kapka Kassabova’s extraordinary book Border: A Journey to the Edge of Europe. Kassabova, who left Bulgaria as a teen after the collapse of the Soviet Union, returned to her homeland 20 years later to explore the layered communities along its borders with Greece and Turkey. Her book highlights the natural beauty and mysticality of Bulgaria; instantly intrigued, I began plotting a trip from my home in Greece.


This Canal Cruise in Amsterdam Was Just Named the No. 1 Travel Experience in the World — and It Comes With Unlimited Wine and Cheese
You had us at “unlimited wine.”

The cruise, which takes you through Amsterdam’s iconic canals on an electric saloon boat, is not the sort of experience where you’re herded on a boat with hundreds of other tourists. The capacity on the company’s open-air boats is small, typically around 30 people. The entire one-hour experience is intimate and the level of service is top-notch — each cruise has a private skipper and an English-speaking guide who knows all the ins and outs of Amsterdam. Travelers also note that the crew is more than happy to dole out local restaurant and activity recommendations.






[Photo Credit: normalondon.com, rosendaledesign.com]

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