Welcome to Bar\Heart's weekly Cocktail Hour! I’m so glad you’re here. Grab a drink and settle in. Each Friday afternoon we talk books, cocktails, binge-worthy shows, advice and whatever detritus I picked up on the Internet over the week. I can't promise you'll sound smart after reading, but you'll never be dull, so be sure to subscribe. Cheers! 🍸
Happy Friday, y'all. It's Cocktail Hour!
It has been a perfect fall week here in Detroit: Crisp temperatures. Smell of bonfires in the air. Changing leaves on Belle Isle. The Lions losing, per usual.
Got some big news to start us off with: Editor Caitlin has left us. 😭 She's gone over to Jezebel full time, where she will be writing about reproductive rights, abortion, gender politics, etc. I'm so sad for us, but thrilled for her. I raise a glass to her and encourage you to keep following her critical work by connecting on Twitter. 🍸
My drink this week has been a pretty basic gin and tonic — put ice in glass, add gin, top with hint of tonic and twist of lime — so I don't have some great cocktail adventure to share with you. But here are some great recommendations from previous weeks: pisco punch, espresso martinis and spicy margs.
Speaking of espresso martinis, it turns out that bartenders hate making them.
One hint? Don't order them in a place where you aren't likely to also get a good espresso. The Bestie occasionally orders them at dives, making me want bang my head on the bar.
I kind of miss my bartending days — especially at dives, where I would have just poured Bestie a bourbon and told her to like it or lump it. Maybe I can find a bar that will let me pick up a guest shift for old times.
Anyway, this week we're doing something a little different for Cocktail Hour because I spent most of the week learning to edit audio instead of combing the Internet for the best detritus to share with you. On Tuesday, you'll get to hear the results of my efforts.
When I interviewed Mamba Hamissi about his experience coming to America as a refugee from Burundi, I knew I wanted you to be able to hear his story in his own voice, not just read the words. I hope you'll tune in on Tuesday, when I drop the episode in your inbox.
Here's a sneak peek of one of our exchanges:
Amy: In Burundi, what is a celebration meal versus what's an everyday meal?
Mamba: Oh, celebration meal is meat. OK? Yeah, the meat. The goat or chicken or beef. That's a celebration. Every day meals is rice and beans. That is every day, every day's meal.
Amy: Is that the same tradition for you now that you're here?
Mamba: Oh, no. Every day in America is a celebration day. Every day in America you eat meat. Every day in America, you drink pop.
I also spent a lot of the week in the depths of the Bad Art Friend story that has had the writing class abuzz for two weeks now. I read blogs and counter blogs and Twitter feeds. Like, I lost sleep over it as I laid awake realizing that I might be Dawn.
If you want to catch up, here's the original story about mean girls and empathy and what we expect from friends and art. How you feel about the characters might say something about your relationship to class. Here's a good Tweet thread about that. And then here's a blog that goes into the court documents. Her analysis:
One question I have is this: How would we have felt if Sonya was a man? Would we still expect Dawn to turn the other cheek to her work being plagiarized? Or would we celebrate her and encourage her to fight? And why — why!? — is the most graceful option what a transgressed party is supposed to do?
In other news, The Bestie™ and her husband went to Iceland this week, and I really just wanted to see photos of the Aurora Borealis, so I kept stalking his Insta. It doesn't look like he's posted any yet, but Iceland still looks amazing. Go check it out. He's also got a cool series called "empty New York" that he shot during the pandemic. As the title suggests, it features places in New York that should be packed ... but aren't.
I know this newsletter is about belonging in America, but this week I'm going to take us around the world. I was looking in the Getty Images archives for inspiration and realized, a week-in-the-life-of-the-world might be fun. Enjoy!
Yekaterinburg, Russia: A firefighter extinguishes a peat fire in south Yekaterinburg, Russia. The Russian Emergencies Ministry reported that there was a smoldering peat bog on an area of about 300 acres and the smoke has been choking the town of Yekaterinburg, which is about 1,100 miles east of Moscow. (That's close to the distance between Denver and Chicago.)
Istanbul, Turkey: Boji, an Istanbul street dog rides a subway train on October 21, 2021. Boji, is a regular Istanbul commuter, using the city's public transport systems to get around, some times traveling up to 18 miles a day using subway trains, ferries, buses and historic trams. Istanbul Municipality officials began have been tracking his commutes via a microchip and a phone app. Most day's he will pass through at least 29 metro stations and take at least two ferry rides.
Madrid, Spain: Maria Jose Moya and Maxime Iannarelli perform on stage at the Royal Theatre during the "La Gala Mas IN," an event to promote diversity and inclusion in different artistic disciplines. In this gala, artists with functional diversity from all artistic disciplines take the stage to perform in eight music and dance performances that bring together more than 20 artists, with and without disabilities.
Venice, Itlay: Maxi yachts start from the Giudecca Canal during the Venice Hospitality Challenge 2021. The regatta run entirely in the city's canals and is part of the celebrations for the 1,600th anniversary of the birth of Venice.
Port-au-Prince, Haiti: Tires burn in the background as a man films himself during a nationwide general strike that emptied the streets of Haiti's capital on Monday. Organizers denounced the rapidly disintegrating security situation highlighted by the kidnapping of American and Canadian missionaries last weekend.
Folkestone, United Kingdom: Actor Jude Law walks with Little Amal on Folkestone Pier. The 11.5 foot-tall puppet represents a migrant Syrian girl and has nearly completed its 5,000 mile journey across Europe. It started in Gaziantep, Turkey, and culminates in Manchester, England in early November.
Mexico City: A woman disguised as Catrina is pictured with Cempazuchitl, or Mexican marigolds, that line Paseo de la Reforma Avenue in preparation of the Day of the Dead celebration that will happen on Nov. 1 and 2.
New York City: And finally, the Hunter's Moon rises behind the Statue of Liberty as the sun sets on October 19.
That's it for this week, friends. See you next Friday for Cocktail Hour!
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