Leslie's List: Gypsy, Travel Journals, and My Favorite Album of Summer

The best things to eat, do, and read this week.
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Leslie's List HERO 2

Last weekend, I had one of those picture-perfect L.A. Saturdays—I met friends for a yoga class on the beach, browsed the Renegade Crafts Fair, and attended a lecture at the Annenberg Center of Photography. On Sunday, I tried out a "fitness climbing" class at Rise Nation, joined a friend for a hike, and attended a Sofar Sounds show, where my boyfriend volunteers. I'm not telling you this to convince you I had a fantastic weekend, but as evidence that Los Angeles, which gets a bad rep for being a money pit, is actually one of the easiest cities to save money in. From Friday through Sunday, I spent $12—total (plus maybe $10 for gas)! The only thing that cost me a cent was the lecture at the Annenberg Center, which was well worth it (I even downloaded my beach read from the library, and the first class at Rise Nation is free). The only thing I had to be careful not to spend on was food, but I just packed picnics and ate every dinner at home—so easy! Here's what I'm up to this week:

Do small
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If the crowds at the Twilight Concert Series on the Santa Monica Pier every Thursday are too much for you, considering heading to KCRW's Summer Nights at the Hammer Museum, instead. Sure, you'll miss out on the ocean views and sea breeze, but it can be worth it in exchange for the easier access to parking spots and live performances from female artists. Go early to attend a free museum tour, then stay for happy hour with food trucks (including my personal favorite, Kogi!) and cocktails starting at 6:30 p.m. and music, which starts at 7.

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After receiving a box of vegetables from Imperfect Produce last week, I was faced with the task of deciphering a windfall of root vegetables, which turned out to be a rutabaga, turnip, parsnip, daikon radishes, taro, and carrots. I roasted the radishes with anchovies and capers, turned the parsnips into latkes, made fries from the taro, and roasted the carrots into the most amazing buttery goodness. If roasting carrots in butter sounds boring or basic, let me tell you, they are good and the recipe really won me over with the line, "Add more butter." Eat standing over the sink while they're still warm (because you will definitely get butter on your clothes otherwise).

Read small 2

What kind of a C&C editor would I be if I wasn't following along with our new book club(!)? As Emily announced yesterday on her Instagram, we're launching a Cupcakes and Cashmere Book Club, inspired by your recommendations. First on the list is Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough! I've resisted reading anything about it, aside from your responses in the comments, so all I know is that it's a thriller worth diving into. I can't wait to start it this weekend (and probably spend a good chunk of Monday morning chatting with the team about it)! Let me know in the comments if you're reading it, too. 

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Last week, the virtual reality installation from director Alejandro G. Iñárritu opened at LACMA. It recreates the experience of crossing the Mexico/US border, inspired by refugees' actual experiences. I haven't personally been yet, but I'm making plans to as soon as possible. It looks amazing.

watch

Reviews of the new Netflix show, Gypsy, didn't exactly set high expectations for the psychological thriller starring Naomi Watts. Instead, they read as a thesaurus entry for "boring." Vulture called it, "drowsily paced," The New York Times deemed it, "an utter snooze," and Variety warned, it's "tedious." But I have to say, after watching the first several episodes, I'm really enjoying it. It may be an exaggeration to call it a "thriller," and it is, as one review called it, "well-made bad TV," but that's what I like about it. It has the quality of a well-written but poorly executed thriller novel where we all know the "perfect'" husband did it, but continue to read, in spite of that.

Listen

When Dan Auerbach released his new solo album, Waiting on a Song last month, it quickly became my favorite thing to listen to, preferably while cooking a summer feast with all of the windows open. Unlike his previous solo album, Keep it Hid, which is much more bluesy, Waiting on a Song has a laid-back 70s folk vibe to it. The music video to the title song, linked above, follows suit with a pot-filled Dazed and Confused-like ode to the end of summertime. Keep a look-out for cameos from artists featured on the album (including John Prine, who co-wrote the song, and Dan himself). If you like the album, catch up on music from Dan's collaborators: John Prine, Luke Dick, and David Ferguson.

Make
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You may have already seen in my newsletter update that the reason I'm being so careful about saving money is that I have some big trips coming up and want to save every cent for exploring! In August, I'm headed to a cousin's wedding in Guatemala; September, I'm visiting Olympic National Park with my boyfriend and his mom; and in March we're going to Vietnam! I've kept a travel journal for every trip I've ever been on (including Paris!), and while I've stepped up my game from the purple Winnie the Pooh spiral notebook in which I documented a trip to Ireland when I was eight, I loved these tips for making it even more special. Before heading to Central America, I'm planning on buying a polaroid camera, a pack of Moleskines, some pretty gel pens, and washi tape so I can really go to town.

P.S., Here are some of my tips for saving money in general and for travel