Celebrate the 80th anniversary of the end of Prohibition at Holiday Spirits! On Thursday, December 5 the Village Voice will host a liquor tasting at Studio Square in Long Island City with more than 25 local distilleries including Breuckelen Distilling, Brooklyn Gin, Long Island Spirits and more. The L Magazine is teaming up with the Village Voice to send one lucky winner and a guest for free. That means you'll have access to unlimited samples of locally-made spirits, complimentary hors d'oeuvres and more.
Sound good? Here's how to enter to win:
1. Follow @thelmagazine on Twitter.
2. Tweet at us to let us know why you want those tickets!
3. Use the hashtag #lmagspirits.
You have until midnight on Saturday, November 2 to enter to win. We'll announce a winner on Monday, November 4. Good luck!
For more information about Holiday Spirits, click here.
So, have you heard? Jonathan Franzen is angry and hates Twitter and wrote about it for a paper that's not even the New York Times and also he hated women when he was a 22-year-old man and maybe still does or maybe he just hates Jennifer Weiner but, wow, does he hate Twitter. He loves some things though. Things like dead Germans. And himself. Probably he loves himself. And also probably he hates himself. Because he's a writer. So it's only natural.
Yesterday brought the news that noted polymath James Franco achieved yet another literary laurel. Now you might be asking yourself, What is even left for James Franco to accomplish? He's done it all! But you'd be wrong. He hadn't done it all. He hadn't been on the cover of a newly released edition of a William Faulkner novel. But now he has! So now James Franco has done everything.
The reason that Franco is on the cover of As I Lay Dying is because he directed, wrote and stars (as Darl) in the upcoming film adaptation of Faulkner's modernist classic. And while I understand what the publisher's intention was, and I'm sure that there'll be a real run on Faulkner now that James Franco is on the cover, I can't help but be a little annoyed . Why am I annoyed? I guess partly because I'm an overly critical, elitist asshole. I mean, I highly doubt that it will get more people reading Faulkner. In fact, I think that it might actively turn some people away from Faulkner. But so, as long as I'm in an annoyed, asshole-y mood, I figured I'd round up a bunch of other incongruous covers of beloved books and tear them apart for being terrible representations of the pages they protect. Because while, figuratively, it might not be a great idea to judge a book by its cover, sometimes it is really hard not to literally judge a book by its cover. And it would be a shame if anyone judged these books by these particular, cringe-worthy covers. Really. They're the worst.
Like almost every other girl I know who grew up reading the Babysitters Club series, I can still rattle off many of the more daring sartorial choices that Stacey McGill and Claudia Kishi made. There were scrunched socks and belts looped loosely around teenage-girl-hips and fringed white leather ankle boots and feathered earrings and barrettes shaped like birds and all of these things were put together in ways that were visually dissonant, sure, but also exciting. At least, those outfits seemed exciting at the time, although maybe that was a function of me being a 10-year-old girl who didn't really care that much about good literature, but did care very much about convincing my parents to let me get a second piercing in each ear and giant palm tree earrings to wear in said piercings. No matter! Much in the same way that meals in literature make an indelible impression on the reader, there are some outfits in literature that beg to be recreated. And so that's exactly what we're going to do. The following are ten of the most memorable moments in literary fashion, proving the notion that clothes make the man. Or, in this case, proving the notion that clothes make the character (and, for our purposes, the female character, male characters will have to take a back seat.) Luckily, recreating these outfits is an easy enough task when you've got access to the kinds of clothes carried by many of Brooklyn's best boutiques. So now you have no excuse not to dress like Nicole Diver or Lux Lisbon. Which, dressing like a character doesn't mean you have to act like her. Because while you might have no desire to meet the fate of the Lisbon sisters, there's nothing wrong with wanting to dress like them.
Chuck Bennet runs a small cleaning "company" called "Maid Men." I hesitate to call it a company because its "founder" himself is hesitant about it too. The Manhattan-born, Westchester-bred 31-year-old worked at the Hotel Elysee in Midtown, where "Maid Men" gets its name. The hotel was mentioned in an episode, and a friend of Bennet's came up with the name on the fly. Bennet quit that job and started getting offers to clean friends' apartments, and it eventually developed into other people's condos. Bennet and I met up in McCarren Park and talked his love for cleaning, his own personal messiness, changes in Brooklyn, and trade secrets.
It seems like a strange question to ask, but how did you get into cleaning?
I was working at a hotel, and I had to work weekends, every single weekend, and I thought, "You know, why don't I just be my own boss? Why don't I just work for myself?" Then I just started cleaning my friends' apartments, and I was doing it a lot, and I saved up some money, and I thought: "I could make this my 9-5." Except maybe more of a 1-5.
This morning on the subway, with a selfie-taking woman sporting a bicep tattoo of Porky Pig anally penetrating a regular pig on one side of me and a man with a George Hamilton tan who wore loafers with no socks on the other side, I found out that Elmore Leonard had died. Leonard, 87, had suffered a stroke three weeks ago, and died at his home in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Leonard's career spanned more than four decades and he left an indelible imprint on the popular crime genre of novels, sure, but also film, and most lately, television. His pared down style was admired by acclaimed writers as stylistically different from him as Martin Amis, who once said of Leonard, “[he possesses] gifts—of ear and eye, of timing and phrasing—that even the most indolent and snobbish masters of the mainstream must vigorously covet.” In honor of the great writer, here's a look back at the best of his work in three different media: books, film, and television.
Yesterday, The Toast dedicated its content to all things V.C. Andrews, the author who gave us such wildly inappropriate classics as Flowers In the Attic, a book in which a brother and sister sleep together, a mother feeds her children arsenic-laced donuts, and a grandmother pours hot tar all over her granddaughter's hair while she sleeps (more on Flowers In the Attic and V.C. Andrews later). The thing about that book, and all V.C. Andrews books, is not just that it had incredibly creepy incestuous and homicidal content, but that it was marketed to young adult audiences. Which, if you were any kind of a bookish, nerdy kid who used to leave the library with as many books as you were allowed to check out at a time (10 at my branch), means you read it at about age 11 and it left a permanent mark on your mind, warping your view of the world and changing how you view powdered donuts for the rest of your life.
Sad but true, the final SummerScreen movie of the summer is this Wednesday! But this isn't just any movie, it's The Neverending Story, the winner of our audience vote. Thanks to everyone who voted! Also, nice choice, you guys.
Get there early because we're starting the evening with music from Aa (aka Big A Little A), Ratking, Amen Dunes and Chota Madre, presented by MARKET HOTEL. Thanks to Todd P and SHOWPAPER for bringing music to this year's SummerScreen! Plus, don't miss the pre-show entertainment. This week, we're showing China, IL, presented by Adult Swim and Once Upon a Time in Italy, a film by Charlie & Joe, presented by 55DSL.
Come hungry, because we'll have food from Pizza Moto, Handsome Hanks, Landhaus, Coolhaus, V Spot and Selamat Pagi. Plus, Sixpoint Brewery and City Winery will be pouring beer and wine all night long. Looking for a treat on the cheap? vitaminwater, Crunch Gyms and Starbucks® Iced Coffee will be serving up complimentary snacks, too. And speaking of free stuff, be sure to sign up to win the last Meatwad piñata we're giving away this summer, courtesy of Adult Swim. Just give your name and e-mail address at The L Magazine table near the N. 12th St. entrance.
You'll find SummerScreen at McCarren Park at the corner of Bedford Ave. and N. 12th St. (right next to the tennis courts). Gates open at 6pm, the bands start at 6:30pm, and we'll get the movie started by sundown.
Thank you to our sponsors for keeping SummerScreen free: 55DSL, Adult Swim, Starbucks® Iced Coffee, City Winery, Sixpoint Brewery, Crunch Gyms, vitaminwater, East River Ferry, Squarespace, Enterprise Car Share, Cinedigm and Zipcar.
See you Wednesday!
This week in censorship news, Sherman Alexie's award-winning young adult novel, The Absolutely True Story of a Part-Time Indian, has been removed from the reading list for incoming 6th-graders at PS/MS 114 in Rockaway Park because a concerned parent, Kelly-Anne McMullan-Preiss does not think it's "appropriate" for her 11-year-old child to read about masturbation. Which, ha. Ok. Cool that you think your 11-year-old can't handle learning about something that is a pretty universal part of the human experience, Kelly-Anne, but to diminish this book as being just about self-pleasure, simply because it contains sentences like, “And if God hadn’t wanted us to masturbate, then God wouldn’t have given us thumbs. So I thank God for my thumbs,” is reductive and, well, dumb. So, in protest of this pointless book ban (I mean, seriously, these kids are going to learn about masturbating one way or another), I thought we should all take the time to celebrate some great moments of masturbation in literature. And, then, you know. Go celebrate masturbation in your own way. Be creative. Just don't think of Kelly-Anne McMullan-Preiss when you're doing it, because that would just ruin everything.
I’m not the biggest fan of book clubs. I’m always really hopeful in the beginning, and it’s usually pretty good in the beginning: we read, we discuss, sometimes crackers are eaten. But, as is often the case, schedules conflict, dedication wanes, and thirst increases. Every book club I have participated in routinely turns into a glorified excuse to drink with people I like, the book is read less and less, and I fall into a guilt spiral. We’ve abandoned the book! The culprit partly to blame is some kind of social anxiety to sound really smart (maybe just mine?), and have a discussion rather than a conversation. The other culprit is, well, who doesn’t like an excuse to hang out?
Why should summer reading be any different than winter reading? Why does everything need to be so seasonally specific? I don't know. It just does. Actually, scratch that. I do know why even reading is so closely related to whatever time of year it is. It's because everything moves slower in the summer—even our brains—and so the tangled, tightly woven plots that we don't mind plowing through in the winter are just too much for our minds to take when the newly hot weather dictates we expend as little energy as possible. Also, beaches. Being on the beach, preferably with something icy and alcoholic nearby, always makes me want to peruse a book or two. After all, reading by the water is a very particular pleasure (this does, of course, include bathtub reading, the very best kind of reading in the world) and it's one that requires a certain type of book. The following ten books are loosely themed as all being by Brooklyn authors, but beyond that all of these books—whether new releases or decades-old classics—are at least partly related to or evocative of either the summer or heat or love or laughter or death or sex or the sort of false fecundity that this season offers. I say false because, as F. Scott Fitzgerald noted in This Side of Paradise, summer is "a sad season of life without growth." So live a little this summer, and read these books. Who knows? They might even help you grow in some small way, and allow you to get through this overripe time of year.
But aaaaaah who doesn't love a good hoax? Well, I don't, since I'm pretty easily tricked all the time and it's more embarrassing than you'd think it would be, but our friends over at Mellow Pages library seem to be taking things pretty well in stride.
For our readers who may not be familiar with your work, what’s the most accurate thing someone else has said about it?
The Village Voice once said of my book Ticknor, "Missing Ticknor would be like missing pistachios." I thought that was accurate, but only if one likes pistachios.
For our readers who may not be familiar with your work, what’s the most accurate thing someone else has said about it?
The writer Thisbe Nissen once wrote, "Matthew Aaron Goodman writes with tremendous heart…” I'd like this to be true. But I don't know. All I know is that I try to write with all of my heart, every last ounce of it. But I could be writing with only a sliver of it too.
Merry Muthafuckin' Christmas - Eazy-E is def my favorite These two dudes hanging Christmas lights…
In my defense, it works either way, & I love your stuff...
Ha - never mind, just re-read it properly for the 1st time (LOL)