Happy Monday! This weekend I flew "home" to Reno, Nevada for the first time in nearly two years and it was so needed! I spent Saturday and Sunday morning skiing with my parents and Jonah on the same trails I memorized in high school on the local mountain, Mt. Rose, followed by a low-key brunch with family to celebrate my birthday before flying home Sunday night! It was a short but sweet visit that reminded me how special home is, even when visits are few and far between. Here's what I'm up to this week!
As much as I would love to pick up and head to Japan for cherry blossom season, it isn't exactly doable—luckily, L.A. has the next best thing this weekend: a Japanese food festival and cherry blossom festival! When the Japanese Food Festival opened in 2016, it didn't anticipate just how many people would flock to it, so it's back with a bigger venue and more events (and food!), from sake tasting to sushi making.
Let me preface this by saying that, usually, I couldn't care less about celebrity news (unless I'm at the airport, in which case I'm 100% buying People at Hudson News to go with my $5 mini bottle of Chardonnay). That being said, I've been obsessively reading about Amy Schumer's secret wedding to Chris Fischer—one, because they're such an unexpected but adorable match! and two, because I may be even more in love with Chris than I am with Amy, which is really saying something (Exhibit A from the summer of 2015). His cookbook, The Beetlebung Farm Cookbook is one I return to often, for both its gorgeous al fresco dinners created with produce from his family's Martha's Vineyard farm and the belief that cooking from it will bring me one step closer to casual seaside dinners and greenhouse parties (here's to hoping). It's been a few months since I've cooked from it, but the matrimony reminded me I was long over-due. Last week, Jonah and I made Fischer's Japanese-inspired fluke with "crack rice," minus the scallops, and grilled broccolini. We brought it outside and ate it bundled up (hey, L.A.'s been cold lately), while contemplating life's big questions: Will Chris continue to host seaside dinners? How can we get an invite?
The first time I came across When Dimple Met Rishi was on the staff picks table at Elliott Bay Book Store in Seattle. I was immediately drawn in by the cover, but put it down almost as soon as I read the words "this young adult novel." I don't know when I stopped reading Y.A.—or became so turned off by the idea of a "book for teens" that I wouldn't even consider the rest of the review—but I used to read them the same way I do magazines now, in a single sitting, barely looking up from the page. Since watching it climb the N.Y. Times list this past week, I decided to pick up a copy at the airport this weekend, and devoured the entire thing by the time I reached my parents' house (which, honestly, was fitting for sleeping in my childhood bedroom). In it, Dimple Shah can't get away from her mom fast enough, who's desperately trying to set her up with the “Ideal Indian Husband," and goes to a summer program for developers. Little does she know, her parents have selected and also sent a potential spouse, Rishi Patel, to the same program. Let the crushes begin!
P.S., A few weeks ago I wrote about my frustration with people taking photos of art in museums in place of experiencing it first-hand. This weekend, Quartz published a similar piece in the context of the Obamas' portraits at the US National Portrait Gallery—definitely worth a read! Here's a snippet: "It’s very strange way to spend a day: Waiting in line for hours to look at two paintings; only to stand in front of them, looking at them through the tiny screen of your phone—upon which you could easily have called up a million already existing photographs of the paintings."
Raise your hand if you kinda, secretly wanna see 50 Shades Freed (🙋). While we're on the subject of totally enjoyable, if not ground-breakingly original, rom-coms, I have two to recommend—both by female directors! In Sophie Brooks' film The Boy Downstairs, Zosia Mamet's character, Diana, moves back to New York City to discover her ex-boyfriend lives in the same building as her (seriously, what are the chances?). It's far from perfect—and Diana is at times cringingly pretentious—but I really enjoyed it! Whitney Cummings' The Female Brain has a much more "Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus" feel to it, examining relationships through the neural differences between men and women. Are they perfect movies? Far from it! But definitely worth a double-feature on a lazy Saturday afternoon—both are playing in select theaters now!
In his newsletter last week, music culture writer Bob Lefsetz wrote, "Music discovery is broken." He went on to write about an artist named Jade Bird, as evidence. "If this were the late 80s, Jade Bird would already be a star. The above video would have been aired on MTV and fans would have been intrigued, purchased her album, gone to see her and eagerly awaited the follow-up." Instead, she's mostly unknown. The issue, he points out, is that there's "too much product. If I go on Spotify and check out the top tracks, it's all hip-hop, at least in America." His newsletter doesn't offer a solution, per se, but it does serve as a reminder to search beyond the songs that are presented to us on Top 40s. As for me, I'll be listening to Jade on repeat—how incredible is her voice??