Leslie's List: Shibori, Wine Tasting with a View, and Hibiscus Tonic - Cupcakes & Cashmere

Leslie's List: Shibori, Wine Tasting with a View, and Hibiscus Tonic

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

You know those weeks when you're just in your groove? Somehow the weeknight meal gods aligned and I had the perfect amount of food for lunch and dinners, I'm looking forward to every evening plan, and finally got back into running every morning, which I've been struggling with lately. Here's hoping it continues through the rest of the week and into the long weekend. P.S., I'm staying in L.A. for the long weekend and looking for inspiration for fun hikes to do—let me know if you have any I can't miss!

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It probably doesn't help Barnsdall Art Park's popularity that it's in the no man's land between Los Feliz and Hollywood, but for those who know and love it, it certainly helps with the crowd control. The highly underrated park has some of the best views of the Griffith Park Observatory and Hollywood in the city, and is home to one of my favorite summer events. Every Friday through September, they host ticketed wine tasting events in collaboration with Silverlake Wines, with rotating food trucks like Jeni's Ice Cream and the Silverlake Cheese Shop, and music from KCRW DJs. It's the perfect way to kick off the weekend—and, for architecture nerds, the perfect opportunity to tour Frank Lloyd Wright's first-ever L.A. project, the Hollyhock House. You can purchase tickets here.

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Okay, so this is more of a "drink" than an "eat," but it still counts right? The other day I was talking with a friend about how many summer events revolve around booze—frozé, Coronas on the beach, rooftop bars, spritzes... you get the picture. But sometimes, we just want a drink, not a drink. This yuzu-hibiscus tonic is refreshing in the same way many of its boozy counterparts are, and just as sophisticated (without the iffy decisions and next-day hangover). I make it without the tinctures, and just keep a batch of homemade hibiscus tea in the fridge (you can buy jamaica blossoms in most latin supermarkets for next to nothing, and just steep a few for 3 minutes in boiling water). It's the perfect weeknight mocktail.

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Have you ever biked to work? I've never done it, even though I have every reason to—I live fairly close to the office, with bike lanes-galore, an easy place to store it once I get to the building, and showers in the office, so I don't need to worry about helmet hair. But whenever I get close to pedaling, I lose my nerve and grab my car keys instead. A recent article on the New York Times though has convinced me to give it a try—the piece lays out a step-by-step guide on how to cruise to work, from what to keep at the office, to common road rules and signals. I'm planning on using a morning this long weekend to practice so I can hit the road on Monday.

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To me, the single most surprising thing about the new Judd Apatow-produced movie, The Big Sick, is that it's a true story! In real life, as in the movie, comedian Kumail Nanjiani and writer Emily V. Gordon, were dating—and facing significant societal pressures (his family is Pakistani, while she's white)—when she suddenly came down with an illness that left her in a coma. The unexpected illness meant that he had to bond and work with her parents in unusually close proximity, but their crisis, it turns out, made for the perfect foundation for a charming and smart romantic comedy. Spoiler alert: They've been married for ten years!

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Even if you don't recognize LeVar Burton, chances are you recognize his voice. He's best known from Star Trek, Roots, and Reading Rainbow—the last of which served as the inspiration for his brilliant new podcast. LeVar Burton Reads is basically the reboot of Reading Rainbow, for adults. Each week, Burton hand-picks a piece of short fiction and reads it out-loud, which makes a pretty solid argument for bringing back story time (and nap time, while we're on the subject).

Make
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I love the Shibori patterns that are taking over interior design—there's something so clean and understated, but really beautiful about them, and while I can't quite justify the cost of a Shibori chair, I love the idea of making a homemade Shibori pillow to dress-up my couch. I'm thinking blue and white!