Yesterday after spotting a shop called The Candy Store while running errands, I abandoned my resolution to clean my apartment and do the dreaded laundry and instead bought a banana flambe bistro chocolate bar, recommended by shop owner Diane Campbell. Then I decided that I needed to eat said chocolate bar while watching the new Harry Potter movie. It all made for a delicious afternoon. Harry Potter was great fun and the chocolate bar, exquisite. So today--after I finish this post--I'll be (hopefully) cleaning my apartment like a speed demon and finish just in time for a Bastille Day picnic at Nob Hill Park with my favorite French podcaster and friends.
The Lady Eve is playing tonight at the Castro Theatre and it is highly recommended by yours truly. There is one scene between Barbara Stanwyck and Henry Fonda that is so particularly swoon worthy and romantic, I remember replaying it several times.
"Shakespeare's Cleopatra may have been darkened by 'Phoebus's amorous
pinches', but in Tiepolo's magnificent frescoes in the Palazzo Labia in
Venice she is as pearly-pale as the earring she is about to drop into
her gilded cup, with albino eyelashes and opalescent breasts. It wasn't
until the very end of the 18th century, the period when Napoleon sent
his troops and his scholars to Egypt, that Cleopatra's exoticism became
once more (as it had been in her lifetime) the most important thing
about her. Delacroix painted her as a kind of Gypsy fortune-teller,
dark-eyed and tousle-haired." ("The Most Wicked Woman In History," The Guardian)
I always say that winter is my favorite season (perhaps it's because I have fair skin that burns easily and I tend to wear a lot of the heat-hording color black, or maybe it's because a fireplace is my only indispensable appliance...), but this summer has, so far, proved to be exceptional.
Friday night Nicki and I had dinner at Blue Plate, where I chose a glass of the Tempranillo from the "Risque" section of the wine list, before seeing one of her favorite musicians, Grant Lee Phillips, at Cafe du Nord. The show was sold out when we arrived, but it was our lucky day. We both managed to get in thanks to two patrons, one of whom proved to be a particularly charming and well-traveled person, so we ever so quickly befriended him and began our interrogation of his habits and interests.
In Nicki's overview of the evening she neglects to mention the besotted, rock-star-like Australian who was so enamored of her (and equally drunk on spirits and possibly other substances) that all he could do was simply kiss her jacketed shoulder like a penitent and adoring monk placing his lips reverently to the hem of St. Theresa of Avila's gown. It was a sight to behold.
On Saturday Linda and I watched French heartthrob Romain Duris (The Beat That My Heart Skipped) get/lose/get/lose/get women in Russian Dolls, the sequel to the international traveler's favorite L'Auberge Espagnole. Afterward we met up with her friend David who took us to the fabulous Savannah Jazz club.
Sunday I woke up knowing that the only place I wanted to be was in the Medieval and Renaissance wing of The Legion of Honor Museum, where I was lucky enough to be the only person signed up for the European tour. I decided it was time that I learned a bit more about some of my favorite paintings. I have secrets to share, but I will save them for another day. After a champagne cocktail brunch with my friend Ryan who's leaving for Japan for a few weeks and a stop at Green Apple to unsuccessfully hunt for a used copy of an essay collection by Wendell Berry, I enjoyed a peaceful sunset at my new favorite spot.
It was there that I found myself wishing, if only summer could last forever...
No new book reviews as yet, but I did finally manage to get to the library on Sunday afternoon. I picked up Evelyn Waugh's Vile Bodies for the Entre Nous book club and am enjoying it immensely. Also, in my stack: Knut Hamsun's Mysteries (many people have recommended Pan, but it wasn't available), Anne Bronte's The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, and Julian Barnes' England, England. So if it rains all weekend, see if I care!
The Makeout Room was packed as usual for last night's Progressive Reading and I caught the tail-end of Peter Orner reading a piece from what I believe is his novel The Second Coming of Mavala Shikongo. I was intrigued.