Happy hump day and 5/12ths birthday to me- how am I already nearly halfway to 31?! April was such a fabulously jam-packed and exciting month for me and May is shaping up to be more of the same. Here are all the things I was loving in April.
As I wrote about in this post, this past month brought the lovely Nikki Lee Kurt into my life and exposed me to the practice of palm mapping. I won't drone on about it again (you can read my previous post for all the deets), but suffice it to say, I found the reading fascinating and am so glad to now know Nikki.
Books: The Life of Pi & The Wellness Project
*Spoiler Alerts* Somehow I never read The Life of Pi until now and wow. It took me a bit to get into it but once Pi's journey started, I was hooked! I became absolutely engrossed and each time I had to put it down, felt like I was letting Pi down by leaving him out to sea longer than he needed to be. The story is exquisitely told and plays like a movie in your head and then comes the ending. What a twist! I don't think I've encountered a novel that ends with such an "omg they flipped the whole thing on me" moment. It was brilliantly done and if like me, you are also late to the party here, I think it's time you RSVP.
I was so excited to get my hands on The Wellness Project (though technically I read the Net Galley on my computer). Written by my longtime friend Phoebe Lapine, the book chronicles her year of wellness projects done in a quest to get her Hashimoto's under control and improve her health. Rather than make you feel guilty about any of your vices, Phoebe talks to you like a friend, acknowledges her own shortcomings, and ends each chapter with easy action steps you can take to make strides in that particular chapter's mini project. The book is so relatable and inspired me to do some wellness challenges of my own. I'm working on avoiding added sugar when I can (desserts don't count), buying organic to the extent I can when it comes to the fruits and veggies that are highest in pesticide residue and meats/fish, and have started taking a collagen supplement each day (I do a packet of Vital Proteins in my tea).
Shows: Grace & Frankie season 3, Big Little Lies, Th1rteen R3asons Why
April was all about the Netflix + Big Little Lies for me. Grace & Frankie has been a favorite of mine since the first season came out. It's hilarious, has a fabulous cast (I adore Lily Tomlin), and celebrates the power of female friendship and women. I love seeing a smart show that focuses on the later stages of life (not in terms of death, I just mean that there's no coming of age ish going on and provides a vehicle for some of the older and most talented actors out there). If you haven't watched, I strongly suggest you do and fear not, the seasons are 13 episodes long (or at least I think they all are, I might be slightly off) and each is just 30 min.
I'll admit I was skeptical of Big Little Lies. There were a lot of big names, which sometimes means the show/film is less than stellar and hoping to get by on its stars. More than that, I wasn't sure how I felt about Shailene Woodley playing a mom amongst the likes of Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern, and Nicole Kidman. I was pleasantly surprised on both accounts, although I still feel like the role of Jane Chapman (Woodley) was miscast and Scarlett Johansson, J. Law, Charlize Theron, or Olivia Munn would have been better suited for the part. This is a tale of the lives of the wealthy families that live in Monterey, CA, focusing on the women, and what happens when an outsider and her son join the community. Their is abuse, infidelity, pettiness, and a whole lot of drama. It's what I imagine (because I've never watched either) Real Housewives of [insert city here] meets Desperate Housewives would be. The ending makes you want to do a little (ok a big) fist pump. Girls rule and we always have each other's backs. #OkLadiesNowLetsGetInFormation I hear there will be a second season and as much as I loved this 8-episode mini-series, I fear that adding on will simply ruin what was a well-crafted, excellently acted, piece of work that kept you on the edge of your seat.
Th1rteen R3asons Why was released by Netflix on March 31. I didn't learn of it until halfway through April when stories about concerned parents and schools sorting out how to deal with its effects starting hitting the interwebs. What on earth was this show causing such a ruckus and could it really be as intense as these articles were making it out to be? In short, YES. As soon as I started watching, I knew I was in for a binge fest. True story, I spent a Sunday night (err early Monday morning) waking myself up every 5 minutes because I just had to finish episode 10. It's addictive. The dark side of teenage life, or really life in general, that come up (rape, bullying, and of course suicide) aren't new for a TV show or even a show set in high school but here they are powerful and moving. There is no filler fluff, it is raw, emotional, and nothing is glossed over- even the lighting is dark, in the way that much of Moonlight and HP3 was. While I strongly recommend Th1rteen R3asons Why, I would be remiss if I didn't caution you that it left me destroyed and, in my opinion, is not for anyone under the age of 16, maybe even 18. I don't get rattled by things I see on TV/movies (scary I can't do but gory, upsetting, I am ok). I watched parts of episode 13 through my fingers, weeping, and at times feeling physically ill. Still, I think it is excellent and I do hope that the rumored second season comes to fruition. If nothing else, I hope TRW will make people rethink how they treat others and lead to decreases in both bullying and suicide.
A New Work Opportunity
With the start of April came the start of a part time position at a company in the health and wellness sector where I work on social and editorial. From the work to the people to the company's mission, I am so happy. I'm not sure how long I will be there, it may turn out to last only as long as my current contract, or it may go longer, but I am so grateful that this opportunity came along.
Public Art Fund Spring Benefit
Spring in NYC, or spring for me, means benefit season. The Public Art Fund was founded by my late grandmother and is now run by my aunt. Needless to say, it is an organization close to my heart. PAF's benefit is always really fun. During cocktails there are interactive pieces and all the art that is being auctioned online on display. This year's benefit was particularly special as it is PAF's 40th anniversary (birthday?) and there was a wonderful short film put together about PAF which included clips of my grandmother speaking. I realize that hearing your grandmother's voice doesn't sound all that exciting but I never got to meet her and I only know her from photos, most of which are black and white. Once, several years ago, I saw a brief clip of her speaking, but this was much longer and really allowed me to see the woman I've heard so much about come to life. While I loved seeing family and friends and celebrating PAF, seeing my grandmother made this evening one I will always treasure.
The Love Parade
This one just snuck in as the Love Parade took place on April 30th. I learned about the Love Parade from my friend Nikki and was so glad I had the chance to stop by. So far as I can tell from their website, the event began in 2015. I'm not quite sure of their full history/founding story but their mission is "Act with compassion in the present moment to create a peaceful future" and I can majorly get down with that. I hope the Love Parade is around for a long time, i.e. forever.
Ever since Pietro Nolita opened in December, I've been wanting to check out this little slice of pink paradise. While the interiors did not disappoint, if you want to go I'd just get a drink and then find an alternative dining location. The food wasn't bad but it wasn't really good either. The staff was lovely and I was with a dear friend so overall it was a beautiful night and in the words of Pietro Nolita, "pink as fuck."
If you stuck it out to the end, bless you. Now tell me what were your April favorites?