October Favorites

favorites, messy thoughts

Photo by Paige MacCready

Hocus Pocus—Set in Salem, Mass. Forewarning: as a film, it’s nothing to write home about. But it’s fun! And spooky. And nostalgic. And stars Bette Midler and SJP! And there’s just something about 90’s movies.

Little Miss Sunshine—A hilarious classic from ’06. Cast includes a young Abigail Breslin, Greg Kinnear, Toni Collette, Steve Carell, etc. The film follows the Hoover family en route to California in a VW bus for the “Little Miss Sunshine Pageant.” Stylistically quirky and alluring cinematography. Overall: funny, cute, and undoubtedly heartwarming.

^ By reader, Brianna Knight

So ridiculously bizarre is this 2002 short by artist Matthew Barney (shot in the Guggenheim, from his series The Cremaster Cycle). I don’t have a point in sharing this other than: watch and be confused.

^ Happy Halloween!

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot—A nonfiction book recounting the life of Henrietta Lacks, or the women of whom HeLa cells came from (aka the first immortal cell line). The book was published in 2010 and, since, an HBO film based on the book has been released. In short, it is about a poor black women whose cervical cancer cells were taken by doctors at The John Hopkins Hospital in 1951 without her or her family knowing. The cells become incredibly influential in the field of medicine, single-handedly changing the course of cancer research. It is not just a dry, nonfiction medical book thoughit’s very compelling and discusses larger issues of race and class within the past 80 or so years too. A stunning read.

Old journal entries—I was home for the weekend recently and found myself flipping through a pile of my old journals that are stuffed next to my bed. None of them are finished, I guess that was a habit of mine (and still is). I tended to leave a chunk of blank pages at the end of each. Within the piles of journals were old yearbooks and other print memories for me to explore. We all have our minds as places where memories and thoughts from our past reside. However, as time progresses and the moments when these entries were written fade further and further into the recess of the past, so does the vividness of the memories within us. Reading and seeing words on paper from the past, scrawled out in evolving but stylistically consistent handwriting, is one way to reignite the vibrance of our memories. To take us back in a way that simply racking our brains is unable to do.

Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists? By Linda Nochlin—A 1971 essay by Linda Nochlin, an influential art historian, that explores why there have been little to no known names of female artists when we reflect upon written history. It’s a little dry at parts but worth reading—it is considered a pioneering piece in the realms of feminist art history/art theory.

Shape/object earrings—Stars, moons, teeth, farfalle pasta, lightening bolts, croissants, stilettos. Try mismatching too, maybe a tiara in one ear and a skull in the other.

Sweat-suits—or tracksuits, whichever word you prefer. Whether the pieces were bought as a set or you picked up same-colored sweats and a hoodie while shopping, it’s an easy look that doesn’t need to be limited to airport wear or cleaning day attire. Dress it up. Wear it out. Look to the 90’s for inspo. Extra points for velvet.

Belts—Simple but easy way to add interest to any outfit. Belt a long skirt, your favorite jeans, a dress, etc. Often found near the jewelry display in vintage stores in varying sizes, materials, colors, and embellishments.

Pants that aren’t jeans—Not vetoing jeans at all whatsoever. Just wanting to remind you that SO MANY other types of pants exist. And fun pants! Trousers. Gauchos. Silk pj pants. Corduroys. Sparkly pants. Fun pants!

A “you” color—We’ve all been told at some point or another that there’s a certain color that is “our color” (most likely by an aunt or grandmother, but that’s besides the point). We all have different skin-tones, eye colors, hair textures and shades, etc. And it’s inevitable that our unique features are complimented beautifully by particular hues more than others. So embrace that uniqueness. Hold onto the times you’ve been told a certain color looks great on you. Or, when you look in the mirror, what color do you like to wear? What do you gravitate toward? What makes your eyes pop? Have fun experimenting.

COSTUMES—Yes, the big day is right around the corner. What are you going as? Carrie B? The tooth fairy? Playboy bunny? Warhol? Maybe throw on bits of your costume and jaunt around in your fancy wig or puffy tutu before Halloween strikes…Why not?

Pho—So warming and filling. So many varieties. Broth, rice noodles, a protein of your choosing, bean sprouts, maybe some steamed veggies, and don’t forget the squirt of lime. Cilantro to garnish (if you don’t have that soap-cilantro gene).

Cinnamon toast—For me, the epitome of nostalgia. My mum always buttered a piece of toast and sprinkled cinnamon sugar on top for me before bed. Since moving out, I find myself making such concoction when I am craving home, a hug, or just a comforting nighttime snack.

Dumplings & steamed buns—Delicious and such a quick, affordable snack or meal. Vanessa’s here in NYC (locations in Chinatown, Williamsburg, and near Union Sq) is my favorite. Veggie dumplings with both the soy and spicy sauces are so tasty & only $4.50 for 8. Best eaten too late.

Frozen grapes—Not just for the summer! Grapes will be out of season by the end of October (in the Northern Hemisphere, that is), so buy the good ones while you still can. They’re great fresh too, but there’s something so refreshing about snacking on grapes straight out of the freezer. Great energy booster too.

Delicata squash—Roasted with just a little olive oil, salt & pepper for about 30 mins in an oven set at 425 degrees. Heaven.

Wraps—Just in general. I know it’s random, but they’re so painless, versatile, etc. Anything can go in a wrap. A salad, rice and beans, nut/seed butter & jelly…Whatever you count as a meal, why not wrap it up? Transportable and easy to scarf down quickly for busy days. And it doesn’t need to be a flour wrap! Why not a rice paper wrap? Then it technically becomes a spring roll. Can’t go wrong.

Appetizers—When I have the time, it’s so nice to sit down at maybe 5 or 6 with a glass of wine and a plate of something to snack on, either while cooking or contemplating what to do for dinner. It’s a time to slow down. Maybe you’re solo, or maybe you’re able to chat with your roommates or friends and reflect upon your day. The options are endlessa veggie platter, chips and salsa/guac, fresh bread and fruit, etc. My recommendation: cracked black pepper triscuits avec jam (try apple cider jam)…sounds weird, but I promise you’ll understand if you try it.

Apple pie! T’is the season. Best homemade. Fresh apple-orchard apples peeled and sliced. Follow a recipe online or your grandmother’s. Don’t forget the ice cream with your slice when you’re ready to dig in (highly recommend Trader Joe’s soy vanilla ice cream).

Martin Parr—I’m currently taking a photography class and was introduced to Martin Parr by my prof. I realize I’m a little late to the game, but I really love his work. His photos are zany and raw, and he’s especially well-known for his peculiar food photos. Seems like ‘foodography’ existed far before the Instagram ‘food porn’ era (Parr has been photographing since the 70s). Check out his site: www.martinparr.com

Listening—I mean listening to others…REALLY listening. I’ll admit it, I’m a culprit of half-listening. I get stuck in my head, rolling around in to-do’s and worries and thoughts and dreams. And it feels shitty for both people, both me and the person who I should be fully, sincerely listening to. Most likely, they can tell. I’ve made it a conscious goal to be more mindful and engaged with whatever my task at hand is, be it: a conversation, reading, walking and taking in my surroundings, etc. Do your best to isolate whatever you’re doing. It is a far more enlightening, fulfilling, authentic, and meaningful way to live.

Face serums, hyaluronic acid—We’ve all seen it on blogs and in mags and know from experience that: when the weather gets colder, skin gets drier. And no one is immune—whether your skin is dry, oily, combo, etc. the importance of regularly moisturizing stands. Hyaluronic acid is a glycosaminoglycan and is claimed to improve skin texture and brightness with intense moisture. I vouch for it and have used a variety of products that contain hyaluronic acid for said benefits. I am particularly a fan of the Derma E’s Hydrating Serum with Hyaluronic Acidskin saver (+ all natural and cruelty-free!)

Zinc—The sniffles can’t really be avoided in the fall. Especially being in the crowded city with germs galore, catching a cold seems to be unavoidable. Seasonal allergies have also been hitting me hard. Taking zinc is a great homeopathic remedy for when you’re already sick or as a preventative measure. I like to buy the cherry flavored dissolvable tablets at CVS, but zinc can also be purchased as supplements in pill form without the added flavors. Course, check with your doctor first before changing up or adding any new constant to your health routine.

Art history is a really enlightening subject to study. It seems frivolous as a field in some senses.  But what people have been able to accomplish and create over the years is really astonishing. Read about it if you’re interested—pick a century and dig in.

Getting in the Halloween spirit—Seems obvious but that’s what October is for. Last weekend in NYC was the Halloween Dog Parade in Tompkin’s Sq Park, and there are lots of fun events coming up this weekend. Check out whats happening in your city—whether it’s an apple pie eating contest, a parade, a movie screening, a party, etc. Maybe gets some friends together to do things you did as a kidcarve or draw on pumpkins, decorate cookies or cupcakes, watch scary movies, make some art.




Sunday Morning—Velvet Underground

Stay—Milky Chance


Same Drugs—Chance

The Bird—Anderson.Paak

Everything—Rayana Jay

Butterfly—Crazy Town

Good Girl—Melanie Rosé

Lonely Lullabies—Kweku Collins



All the Young Dudes—Mott the Hoople

Son Of A Preacher Man—Dusty Springfield



  1. Thanks for bringing Martin Parr to my attetion! I really want it to be sunny and to have an ice cream cone in my hand right now.

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