lots of unexpectedness today: a tumultuous start in the morning, an honest-to-goodness free lunch (out-for-hours leftover pizza harkens back to grad school-worthy small victories), windows-hate technical difficulties, and the miraculous chance that i didn't get anything on my purple silk harness filippa k dress that i was foolishly, swelteringly traipsing in all day. score.
the reason for the outfit (the concept of day-to-night dressing is like a sofa bed; it doesn't really do proper justice for either function) was for the 500-or-so attended yelp gala at the harvard museum of natural history. the 'gala' aspect of it was silly but fun -- an excuse for ladies and gents to get dolled up for each other (rather than in front of the computer tapping away at yelp.com, ostensibly). i invited jake along for the ride, and looked forward to seeing a slew of familiar faces.
traversing through harvard yard on a breezy summer evening like tonight was pure pleasure. all nostalgia, tender familiarity. silent, wise trees saying hello like they've known me for years -- and they have.
any excuse to see the glass flowers is a treat in itself, but the frozen-in-time venue held a precarious balance between an eye-opening collection of animals and a pathetically retro appeal (some taxidermied specimens were so distressed you could see the armature; glass was warped; walls and surfaces were accidentally stained or painted a mustard yellow that hadn't seen the light of day since 1962). even for me, who usually has squeamishness in the negative, the idea of chomping on pork burritos or steak tartare while standing next to a dozen creatures in various stages of fur and formaldehyde was a little disquieting.
one gastronomic and personal highlight: seeing chef marco suarez at the bon savor table, with a most exquisite bacon-wrapped pheasant terrine. (notwithstanding the fact that a brilliantly plumed pheasant, caught in outstretched prostration, was strapped on display in a diorama near the museum's entrance.)
another highlight was getting my eyebrows threaded gratis at the naz kupelian salon booth in the 'mineral hall'. how often do i get my eyebrows done, and do i usually get them waxed or threaded? er... no comment. i take pride in the fact that i'm pretty low-maintenance (and do everything at home as much as possible), but goodness, it always feels good to be groomed upon. if the hair on my head could grow fast enough, and money wasn't an issue, i'd get my coif cut at a salon every day. there's something about the element of transformation, and having your head at the absolute mercy of an artist.
but seriously. thank you, leighann, for organizing this absolutely tamed circus. it was a wonderful event to see everyone in their sunday best, and the array of tasty sponsors amidst a historical institution. plus, we bore witness to a wicked funky air conditioner with ducts and foil that looked like it came out of tomorrowland. that: priceless.
afterward, stopped by upstairs for a chit-chat and zebra-lined comfort. while dipping grilled cheese odds and ends into vats of impossibly creamy tomato soup, i received my mocktail experiment for day 2. matt, in attempt to make something "not so sweet" for me, came up with this, which i adored: mint muddled with lime, shaken with lino's housemade ginger beer, dashed up with peychaud's and fee bros whiskey-aged bitters, and fizzled with a bit of soda water. sensually spicy and mintalicious, and totally refreshing in such a season. shall i bestow the moniker... "jamaican patience"?
though it didn't entail going out, i did maintain the summer-campy cultural experience promised to myself. tonight i unearthed a lot of gems while preparing for my show, sans serif, on wmbr 88.1FM. (listen to the hour-long show in MP3 here). you can recount the playlist for yourself, but what struck the hardest was how modern the work of patrick cowley & jorge socarras sounded, despite its recording in the late 70s. the synthy proto-techno stuff spawned and influenced the likes of depeche mode and lcd soundsystem. they were absolutely artists before their time. though cowley died in 1982, a bunch of tracks of unreleased work from 1976-1979 is being released in the album catholic, which i got the privilege of queueing up tonight.
by the way, some visual evidence surfaced from last sunday's whiskey smash bash at eastern standard. in my natural habitat, of course, washing down pork product with eagle rare. and it feels. so. good.