Oh March, you topsy turvy month of lions and lambs, sunshine and snow, steaming hot lattes and iced coffee on the rocks, you really took us for a roller coaster ride. We’ve been busy of late — with work, with friends, with life — and your ups and downs left us feeling discombobulated at times, unsure of where we stood or, on a more practical note, what on earth to wear when we walked out our doors. The highlights? Zelda celebrated her college bestie’s impending wedding with her first ever bridal shower (and a huge Long Island one at that — she required several days to recover). Scout cheered on her Cats to a…on second thought let’s not talk about that. And in the most exciting event of all, we both made it back to our beloved Ville, and for an overlapping 24 hours no less, during which we fêted the universally beloved Gaga and her 85 years on this earth, checked out our newly renovated hometown museum, drank Easter beer in a converted church served by a bartender dressed like Jesus, and snagged some of Louisville’s best chocolate chip cookies . It was a sorely needed home fix and family fix for us both, and we made our way back to New York decidedly sleep-deprived, but ready to face April — or, as we like to call it, pre-Derby. Stay tuned, y’all. It’s about to get real.
What We’re Doing: This month on the blog, Zelda made her 2016 Broadway wish list, checked it twice, and prayed to the Hamilton gods once more that they, in their infinite wisdom, might grant her a seat in the room where it happens. Scout taught y’all how to speak Southerner, using the true language of 2016: emoji. In the newest addition to our GRITS series, Zelda profiled Tennesseean, retro style maven, and vocalist extraordinaire Rachael Price of one of our favorite bands, Lake Street Dive. We both shared some of our favorite podcasts, the things we listen to when we just want some non-musical education, amusement, or both in our ears. Scout reflected on just how small New York City sometimes seems. And of course, we rounded things off with a playlist (wordless, a first for us), a little inspiration (for the ones with wanderlust), and an “Eat This, Drink That” with eyes toward spring, and our favorite springtime holiday — the Kentucky Derby.
What We’re Listening To: We decided to separate music and words this month. First, we brought you a playlist of our favorite instrumental songs — the ones that help us stay productive, provide moments of zen, and provide the score to the movie in our heads that is our lives. And then, just for fun, we gave y’all a bonus list of our favorite podcasts. These shows have all the good parts of talk radio and none of the actually-needing-to-have-a-radio parts. Genre-wise, they range far and wide, from the meme-inducing, enthralling, must-binge Serial to the sports-nerd-celebrating, WWI-poetry-loving, soccer-talking Men in Blazers and tons of chuckles and good vibes in between.
We also love: This A+ project in which many people of note each read a chapter of the great American novel, Herman Melville’s Moby Dick. Featuring Tilda Swinton, Chad Harbach, Benedict Cumberbatch, Stephen Fry, and many more. Also available in podcast form. And Zelda has fallen head over heels for 26-year old dishwasher-turned-gospel/soul-singer Leon Bridges and his album Coming Home. She realizes she’s a bit late to the party (said album came out last June), and as with most new music, she has her younger and far hipper siblings to thank for bringing her up to speed.
What We’re Watching: If you aren’t watching the joyous celebration of a show that is the CW’s Golden Globe-winning “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” you are the insane one. It’s fun, and it’s poignant, and it has Santino Fontana, and, oh yeah, it’s A MUSICAL. Seriously, you need to be watching this, like, yesterday. A rap song about being a Jewish-American Princess? Oh we have that. A sexy song about the pain we go through to get ready for a night out? We’ve got that too. A song legitimizing and celebrating bisexuality without fetishizing it, in the style of Huey Lewis and the News? SIGN US THE F*** UP. Seriously, GO WATCH THIS SHOW NOW.
We also love: This Tiny Desk concert by our favs, Lake Street Dive, courtesy of NPR. This TimesTalk with composers and writers Jeanine Tesori, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Danai Gurira and Artistic Director of the Public Theater, Oskar Eustis, about bringing off-Broadway shows to the Great White Way and breaking all sort of barriers in the process. The women of Hamilton — Renee Elise Goldsberry, Jasmine Cephas-Jones, and Phillipa Soo — rapping and singing feminist quotations in honor of Women’s History Month (Werk!). This video in which Hank Green breaks down the politics of our favorite fictional Indiana town, Pawnee, and the unlikely but strong friendship between Leslie Knope and Ron Swanson. And finally, this new HBO documentary about our personal hero Nora Ephron, and her philosophy that everything is copy.
What We’re Reading: This BRILLIANT Tumblr that chronicles the travails of the first-ever muggle to work at Hogwarts, and his half-blood partner in wizarding IT. This ode to the most important meal of the day, and our favorite genre of eats: breakfast (The New York Times). This latest piece of brilliance from Zelda’s fav Adam Gopnik, whose title says it all: “Straightened Out Croissants and the Decline of Civilization” (The New Yorker). This profile of badass Kentucky crooner, and GRITS profilee, Loretta Lynn (The New York Times). Speaking of Ms. Lynn, this list of a baker’s dozen of Kentucky’s greatest musicians, herself included (Kentucky for Kentucky). This peak behind the curtain (pun intended) at the life of theatrical godfather and master of the Public, Oskar Eustis (Vogue). This conversation between delightful Africans (and humans in general) Lupita Nyong’o and Trevor Noah (The New York Times). This valiant defense of the great pun power of William Shakespeare, and why modern English speakers should be fighting to put the funny back in Falstaff (The Atlantic). This list of 28 reasons we’re so lucky to be alive right now, in what may be the newest Golden Age of New York theatre (Vulture). This trip to an alternate reality in which Donald Trump reviews classic works of literature instead of making us want to put our heads through our desks, a truly delightful work of satire for the Twitter Age (BuzzFeed). This essay by the delightful Caitlin Moran about the things human women won’t tell you about being a human woman (Esquire UK). This musing on the challenges of navigating feminism and emojis, featuring our favorite of all the pixelated bunch — the flamenco dancer (The New York Times). This defense of the pronoun America loves to mock but secretly really needs: y’all (The Atlantic). This tip of the hat to our hometown art museum, the Speed, and the awesome work they’re doing to increase diversity among their leadership (The New York Times). This profile of budding Broadway composer and pie enthusiast, Waitress’s Sara Bareilles (The New York Times). This take on everyone’s favorite hapless diarist, Bridget Jones, as the original millennial (The New Yorker). This profile on art collector and generally rad dude, Al Shands, whose existence we discovered during our visit to our recently re-opened hometown museum, The Speed (Hyperallergic). And finally, our dear friend Jason has embarked on a new project wherein he writes every day about a song by one of his (and our) favorite bands, The Mountain Goats. It is thoughtful and funny and all around great, much like Jason himself. We highly recommend you check it out.
What We’re Eating: We’re gearing up for Derby celebrations here at the Z&S homestead, so this month, for our Eat This, Drink That adventure, Scout tried her hand at the Kentucky staple benedictine. This is one of many recipes we’re looking to perfect before our Second Annual Zelda and Scout Derby Party, and our version turned out pretty tasty, if we do say so ourselves — refreshing and just the right consistency. It will definitely be making a reappearance come the first Saturday in May. And of course, no trip home is complete without good eats. Scout hit up Holy Grale for Easter Brunch, to much success (Cider-infused rabbit pâté, hash browns and fried eggs, plus avocado bacon sliders? Home Sweet Home). Zelda went gaga for August Moon‘s crab meat and goat cheese wontons, Please and Thank You‘s chocolate chip cookies, and Havana Rumba‘s everything (plus her mama’s home cooking, of course).
What We’re Drinking: Spring has tentatively sprung in these parts (and then run away, and then come back, and then disappeared in a whirl of snow, and then come tiptoeing back in again). Zelda got in the spirit with this month’s ETDT cocktail, a vernal twist on an old favorite she picked up during her European travels — ooh la la! The Bee’s Knees is a refreshing gin cocktail, traditionally made with lemon and honey. Zelda added fresh lavender in a twist that delighted our taste buds and made her feel like a bona fide mixologist for the afternoon. In other drank news, we’re both loving Birrificio del Ducato’s Baciami Lipsia, a gose made with pink sea salt (and a host of other delicious flavors) that we sipped courtesy of, you guessed it, Holy Grale.
What’s On Our Wishlist: We’re always praying for spring weather and tickets to Hamilton, but there are a few more concrete items on our wishlist this month as well. Zelda’s got her eye on these rocks glasses (in the Louisville pattern, of course). And Scout is dreaming of finally upgrading from her twin bed, which was all that would fit in her first apartment here in the city. She’s looking to IKEA hack something useful as well as ornamental. Suggestions and tips welcome.
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