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Leslie's List: Carbonara, Documentaries, and Floating

The best things to eat, do, and read this week.
Leslie's List-Recovered EDITTED

This to-do list is culled directly from my own calendar and interests. Most everything on the list can be done no matter where you live, but because I live in L.A., my "Do" each week will spotlight a unique L.A.-based event or activity. If you're inspired by any of these tips or have some of your own to add, I'd love to hear about it in the comments below!

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Over the past several months, I've noticed several so-called "flotation therapy" centers that offer tubs filled with enough salt water to ensure buoyancy. The idea is that clients can float half-underwater and contemplate their inner Zen distraction-free. Notable centers include Float Pause (pricey, but gorgeous), Just Float (which has a great first-time discount), and NOVA (which offers memberships and guided meditations). While I haven't tried it yet myself, I'm planning on going this weekend or next—I love the idea of a distraction-free space and am curious to see if it actually works!

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I love cookbooks, but I'm picky about them. It takes a lot for any given book to make it to my cookbook shelf in my kitchen (which is, in effect, my favorite part of my home). This is all to say that when I was gifted Martha Stewart's Vegetables over the holidays, I had my doubts—that is until I dove into it. Rather than focus on vegetable sides, the book takes a much more holistic approach, with recipes that (at least loosely) feature a vegetable. One of my favorite recipes I've made so far is the Pasta Carbonara with Leeks and Lemon. It's comfort food, but it's also fresh, bright, and so, so addictive. While it'll be a few months until leeks are in season, I couldn't help but share it in case you live in a place where you can get your hands on a bunch!


I feel like I'm among the last to see the Academy Award nominated documentary, 13th, since every friend I've spoken to about it has responded with a solemn, "I know." In short, the film explores the enormous issue that is mass incarceration—particularly of African-American people—and presents theories, like phrases "super-predator" and "war on crime" are born directly from the U.S.'s scarred and troubling history of racial inequality. It's a disturbing but incredibly important film.


If you're into musicals: I'm fascinated by early versions of creative processes—last week I briefly mentioned Damien Chazelle's precursor to La La Land, Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench and this week, I came across these early drafts of Hamilton songs on Kottke. If you're familiar with the music, I highly recommend giving it a listen. It's fascinating to hear the early drafts of songs like "Say No to This" and songs that were never included in the final show like "Congratulations." It also goes to show how much work and revisions went into the final product. Okay, have I nerded out enough yet?

If you're not into musicals: (I gotchu.) German songwriter Bibi Bourelly's single "Sally" came out last year, but I only came across it last week and it's my new favorite song to run to/jam in the car to. P.S., If you aren't familiar with Bourelly, you've almost definitely heard her music before—she penned Rihanna's "Bitch Better Have My Money." Other songs I'm into this week:

1. If you're into badass female vocals: You and I by Margaret Glasby
2. If you like running to rap: T5 by Swet Shop Boys
3. If you love Joni Mitchell, circa "Blue": I Was an Eagle by Laura Marling
4. If you're looking for something chill while you work: Oh February by Y La Bamba

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