Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Mad for Mad Men Banana Republic Collection

I love the TV show Mad Men. The reasons for my love range from deep (e.g. characterization, historical accuracy) to shallow (e.g. Don Draper is attractive). I would be lying if I did not admit that one of the main reasons I love the show is the clothing. Subsequently, I was ecstatic to learn that Banana Republic is having Janie Bryant - Mad Men costume designer - assist in designing a line for both men and women. My excitement is on par with when Gilt had a Neal Caffrey day.

As the campaign says: shop now. you'd be mad not to.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

My Summer Soundtrack: The Rip Tide

In the summer film that is Hillary Gamblin's life, the soundtrack is a lightly strummed ukulele, the hum of an accordion and intermittent bursts of a brass band.

Zach Condon, you have done it again. Brilliant. Simply brilliant.

Each Beirut album is an innovative experiment in sound. This particular album, The Rip Tide, is phenomenal because of its mature restraint in instrumentation. It is simple and has a sunny disposition. It sounds like summer, or what summer should sound like. It even indulges my lingering feelings of summer nostalgia...Once I hear that accordion and ukulele, I feel like I'm sitting in a field of sunflowers in the old country.

Picture of sunflower fields in Hungary (i.e. Old Country).

Monday, August 1, 2011

Rainier Cherries

I love fresh fruit and the stands that sell it.

This summer when I was visiting my sister in New York, we went to Trader Joe's that had Rainier Cherries. Until then I had never considered people eating these cherries outsides of Washington. I mean, they are called Rainier cherries and I grew up in the foothills of Mt. Rainier, so it seemed like a local thing to do when I was growing up. I have been eating Rainier cherries my whole life. Correction, once I convinced myself that I could manage to spit out the seed and not choke to death, then I became a cherry eater. I have a lot of summer memories of going to local fruit stands to pick up Rainier Cherries. Let me tell you, there are no better cherries than Rainier Cherries; they are the sweetest type of cherry, larger than most, and  have a creamy texture.

After my discovery in the New York Trader Joe's, I did a little research on Rainier Cherries--I know it's super nerdy. I discovered that Rainier cherries were cultivated by a professor at Washington State University in the 1950's--hence the christening "Rainier Cherry." They are considered by most people to be the best type of cherry you can buy--no surprises there. In fact, the Japanese will pay the equivalent of five dollars for a perfect Rainier cherry.  The high price are a consequence of pampering necessary to make these cherries grow.  To begin with, they are so particular about climate that they are only grown in northern California and Washington, but they grow best when in their homeland. And it's not just the Japanese and myself that find them delicious: one third of the crop are eaten by birds. Yes, birds will eat the entire cherrie and leave the pit hanging on the stem.