Last Friday I took a quick day trip up to Le Havre, a small city on the English Channel that’s a two-hour train ride from Gare Saint-Lazare. I wasn’t sure what to expect from Le Havre; I had basically only heard about it in reference to some Impressionist paintings and Auguste Perret’s post-war reconstruction of the city. As soon as I walked out of the train station, I could feel that I was not only in a different city, but in an entirely different kind of city. At first it looked like a mess of ugly mid-century buildings to me, but as I wandered around town they started to grow on me. The Church of Saint-Joseph and the phenomenal Hôtel de Ville pushed me over the edge, and I am now a huge fan Perret, who reimagined and rebuilt the city, mostly in concrete, between 1945 and 1964. The strangeness of the architecture (to my Paris-calibrated eyes) and the coherence of the city’s design make the streets of Le Havre unlike any I have ever visited. I felt completely removed from my lives in Paris and New York, as though I were not 200 kilometers away from home, but in an entirely different world. It was lovely; this is why we travel, no?
I decided to try something new and make a video from my trip and I hope it gives you a little taste of what I mean. Other methods of consumption include the photos after the jump and the playlist I made myself for Le Havre, available on Spotify and embedded at the end of the post (add “Lullaby Haze” by Mates of State, which doesn’t seem to be on Spotify?). Let me know what you think!
Eat: This is yet another installment of I-need-to-go-grocery-shopping cooking. I scrambled some eggs, finished off some sad lettuce, and topped a baguette with goat cheese and avocado. I ran 16 miles this morning as part of my marathon training, which means I’ll be spending the rest of the day eating and napping.
Drink: Nespresso, or I would have fallen asleep immediately after my post-run shower. (more…)
Pro-European protestors gather during clashes with riot police in Kiev. Pencil on vellum Bristol, 9×12.
A year and a half ago, I met New York City-based artist/illustrator/designer Eli Neugeboren on a project for my old job, where he did some lovely graphic design work for us. Since then, I’ve kept up with him on social media and have become a particularly avid fan of his “Drawing the News” series, which is exactly what it sounds like: every few days he draws a major story from the news. I love the drawings, so I set up a quick interview to learn more about the series. Hope you enjoy it!
He has a solo show opening in at the Ouchi Gallery in Dumbo, Brooklyn on March 4, so if you’re in New York, go check it out (details below or here)!
When and how did you start Drawing the News?
I started Drawing the News a little after Hurricane Sandy hit NYC, back in November 2012. I had been meaning to start going to figure drawing sessions for years, but always seemed too busy and never did, and felt like my drawing skills had been atrophying. I didn’t want it to be any kind of Sysiphean act of suffering, just something to get myself better informed about current events, and to improve those drawing skills.
I’ve tried not to set too many rules on myself other than making sure what I’m drawing is from the previous day or so, and using the same materials and dimensions. Specifically I wanted to improve my ability to draw likenesses, and to get comfortable enough that I could make these drawings seem both realistic and somewhat true-to-life, but also that I would be loose enough with them that they would develop their own style. (more…)
Eat: I had a delicious pita creation from Miznon, the shorter-lined (though still pretty packed) neighbor of the famous L’As du Fallafel. I met my friend Josh there for lunch before he flew back to New York, and while it occurred to me to whip out my camera and start snapping, I honestly just wanted to perch at the crowded bar, watch the cooks churn out pitas, and hear about Josh’s recent trip to Rome. Plus, let’s be real, I was also starving and anxious to inhale my food. Long story short, no food pictures today, so enjoy this view of Our Lady instead.
Drink: Water. Earlier, coffee, of course.
Read: Also not pictured here for obvious reasons, is Infinite Jest. I’m still on pace to finish by the end of February, so this is the last time I’ll be featuring it in Place Settings. It feels a little premature to talk about it definitively since I still have about 180 pages left to go, so maybe I’ll do a special IJ post when I finish.
What follows is surely one of the most obnoxious sentences I’ve ever written, but I’m going to say it anyway: Reading Infinite Jest is turning into a very meta experience for me. A few weeks ago, I assigned myself a certain number of pages to read every day to make sure I finish the book by the end of the month, which has definitely influenced how I interact with the text. (more…)
Hi everyone! I’m working on some back-end stuff for Sunnyside Tuxedo this week, hence the slightly slower rate of posting. Not much is going to change on the surface here, but I’ll give you guys a full update when I’m done.
In the meantime, I’d love to hear what your favorite kinds of posts on here are, and if there’s anything about which you’d like to hear me ramble. Hope you are having a great week!
As some of you may have been able to guess, I am a paper addict. I like paper when words are printed on it and when pictures are drawn on it. I like touching it and smelling it and especially writing on it. I like holding a stack of paper that has been glued or sewn together and put between covers. No matter how dependent on my phone and computer I become, I still love interacting with paper.
What follows is a photo-heavy look at the paper (and a few pens) I use every day. I understand if it’s not your thing, but fellow paper addicts, click on! (more…)
Eat: Avocado mash on a slice of the first non-baguette bread I’ve bought here. I took half of a ripe avocado and smushed it up with some diced onion and topped with salt and red pepper flakes. And an apple.
Drink: Back on the Nespresso train.
Read: This is the penultimate Place Settings post that will feature Infinite Jest, I promise. I’ve been sticking like glue to my 31-pages-a-day schedule, so we’re right on track for a February 28 end date. Like I mentioned last week, all the big themes of the book are coming together in a nice way. It’s not an overt convergence, but it is surprisingly tight and neat for such a huge, sprawling volume. (more…)
Valentine’s Day is a complicated holiday. If you’re single, you’re inclined to feel bad about yourself; if you’re attached, it turns into an unspoken competition between you and all the other attached people for the cutest/most romantic/most unusual celebration. And so now anyone who wants to be considered “grounded” is supposed to go around talking about how much they hate Valentine’s Day, regardless of relationship status. After many years of being single or otherwise in the middle of February, my personal feelings about the holiday have settled into a somewhat moderate zone. I think it is a kind of silly holiday, but knowing this doesn’t stop me from wanting to be made to feel special.
Paris is my Valentine this year, in case you couldn’t see that coming from a million miles away. To celebrate, I decided to make palmiers, otherwise known as elephant ears. They are a simple French pastry; the only ingredients are flour, butter, water, salt, and sugar. Nothing makes me feel quite as special as stuffing my face with French butter, so it somehow seems appropriate. (more…)
I already blabbed on about some books about Paris, but I now present you with the books that actually came to Paris with me. As you might imagine based on the troubles I encountered packing my clothes, it was not easy for me to decide who was cool enough to make the trip. Books are heavy and, according to some outside sources whom I consulted mid-packing crisis, “non-essential items.” I of course beg to differ, and if the cost of bringing Borges and Wallace with me is a restricted range of sartorial options, then I shall simply have to look like a fashion-challenged but well-read slob while I’m here. C’est la vie.
Some books were no-brainers: the aforementioned Michelin Green Guide, Papa’s A Moveable Feast, and Marcel Proust’s In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower. You can’t come to Paris without both literal and literary guidebooks, plus I need Marcel to write my other blog, so he got an automatic berth. Being seen with either the Green Guide or the Hemingway in public would be a bit damaging to my attempts to seem like une vraie Parisienne (sometimes if I sense skepticism on the part of a shop clerk, I’ll choose to pay with my French bank card as if to validate my existence here, which now that I think about it, probably lowers their estimation of me given my terrible French, as if I’m telling them, “Yes, I live here but am making zero effort to speak your language properly.”), but they are consulted weekly in the privacy of my apartment. (more…)
Eat: It turns out that one can only subsist on sardines, pasta, and butter for so long (still a pretty decent amount of time though!). By Friday I was craving fruits and vegetables, so I collected some apples, clementines, and mangoes from the market. I also got salad ingredients, although this particular salad includes egg, lardons, chicken, and Roquefort, so it’s probably only about 30% vegetation. I took myself on a 15 mile run this morning, so I wanted to pack some protein in there.
Drink: Not coffee! I have discovered Innocent Smoothies, a UK-based juice and smoothie company. Every single flavor is delicious, but my favorite is mango passion fruit, seen here. (more…)