One of my favorite things about L.A. is how easy it is to get out of L.A. This weekend, Jonah and I headed to a campground in Angeles National Forest for a 24-hour getaway with friends and after a short hike, we just spent hours napping, chatting, and reading outside of our tents. It was such a great reminder of how nice it can be to have absolutely nothing scheduled! Here's what else I'm up to this week:
This week, The Independent Shakespeare Co. is finishing up their months run of Midsummer Nights Dream (they'll still have few more shows, just not as regularly), and transitioning into their performance of Titus Andronicus. Performances are almost nightly, beginning at 7 PM in Griffith Park, by the old zoo, and they're free! Find more information here.
The thing about taramasalata is you either love it, or you hate it. I happen to love it. The Greek cod roe spread definitely isn't for everyone, but for those who grew up eating the "satisfyingly salty and pleasantly fishy," spread, as Gabrielle Hamilton writes, it's addictively delicious. It's also something I never thought I could make at home, instead opting to make bi-monthly pilgrimages for the homemade stuff from Papa Cristo's on Pico in L.A. But, recently inspired by Hamilton's recipe (which uses salmon rather than cod roe), I made a batch for last night's dinner—and used it in a way I never thought to before. Traditionally, I've stuck with swiping it over bread, but, as Hamilton writes, "With a clove of garlic and a bit of white onion grated into it, it makes a delicious salad dressing with diced ripe tomatoes and shaved celery and red onions." And to do anything else during summer in L.A.—where there are heirloom tomatoes in every farmers' market and grocery store—would feel wrong. Find the full recipe here.
Last week, I read an article in the New York Times I haven't been able to stop thinking about or (talking about) since. It covers the story of an ornithologist who photographed and subsequently killed a rare bird, to add it to the Natural History Museum's millions of specimens, in the name of research. Sounds bad, right? Not quite. While a Twitter storm and actual death threats ensued after the story went viral, calling the scientist a 'murderer,' the piece lays out a much more nuanced argument about why killing one bird is not nearly as inhumane as it sounds (and addresses the question: Why do we only care about 'pretty' animals?). Whether you agree or disagree, it leaves room for an interesting debate and consideration over just how helpful bandwagon Twitter trolls are.
In the new movie, Leave No Trace, a man suffering from PTSD (Ben Foster) and his daughter (Thomasin Harcourt McKenzi) live off the grid together in Forest Park, Portland—nature is the only place he feels, at least relatively, free from his violent nightmares. The opening sequence is one of my favorites, in which the father and daughter go through their daily routine, which is almost unrecognizable to someone who lives in a city. They forage for clovers, build a fire using a flint and feathered pieces of wood, collect rain water, and eat hard-boiled eggs then gently tuck the shells into soil in their garden. When they're found by Child Protective Services, both are forced to question whether assimilating in mainstream society is the answer, similar to the plot of one of my all-time favorite movies Captain Fantastic. The movie moves along slowly, but beautifully and, if anything, will make you crave temperate rainforests.
I've written about my love of the political podcast, Pod Save America, countless times here—it's the first place I go for commentary (and comedic) relief on current events. Their media brand, Crooked Media, just released another podcast, The Wilderness, a documentary-style series on the democratic party by Jon Favreau. The first episode dove into the history of the party, and consecutive episodes addressed Obama's legacy as well as the party's divisions. Today, four more episodes were released so you can binge-listen your way through how the democratic party addresses economic equality to immigration. Can't wait to listen to more this week!