Category Archives: books

Book Recommendation: Typical Girls, The Story Of The Slits

I didn’t grow up listening to punk. I guess that they were punk rock enthusiasts in Birmingham, Alabama but I didn’t know them. For some reason, I didn’t hear about The Slits until I heard their cover of Marvin Gaye’s “I Heard It through the Grapevine”. Then I promptly bought and immediately fell in love with their album, “Cut“. Last weekend, I bought Typical Girls, a book about The Slits, and I am in love with it too. Author Zoe Street Howe chronicles the squatter beginnings to the fame of this all girl punk band who were proto feminists, proto-Madonna, proto-riot grrl. I didn’t do Women’s Studies in college, but the story of The Slits is one to study.
I especially like this quote which was their ethos:

The Slits weren’t’ particularly interested in Women’s Lib, and their approach was ultimately more successful and less eroding on themselves: don’t get angry, don’t think about chauvinists, get on with what you want to do and as long as you don’t think they have any power over you, they won’t.

Niche List: Melting Season, Stained Glass, Lucid Food


Jan 14 Book party for Louisa Shafia’s new cookbook, Lucid Food: Cooking for an Eco-Conscious Life. at Jimmy’s 43. $22.50 adv. $25 at the door. It is also a fundraiser for Just Food. Price of admission includes a signed copy of the book and an sampling of small plates.

Jan 19 Stained glass artist Joseph Cavelieri is having an artist reception at THINK coffee. Work will include The Simpsons “Missing Episode” series and the Muscle Man series. (1 Bleecker St near Bowery) 7-9pm FREE

Jan 21 Jami Attenberg is back with a new novel, The Melting Season. Her first reading in Manhattan will be at the Barnes & Noble Tribeca (97 Warren Street). FREE

Not time sensitive but interesting: I love this song by Childish Gambino (AKA Actor Donald Glover), “Bitch Look At Me Now“. He raps over Grizzly Bear’s “Two Weeks”. Wow! Next, I hope he raps over the Dirty Projectors’ “Stillness Is The Move”.

Niche List: Obsolete Debate, Erin and Her Cello and More

Erin and Her Cello Residency at Rockwood

I’m back in New York City and the calendar is high octane until the middle of December.

Thursday November 12. Is it Obsolete?  Debate about it at Word in Greenpoint.  Anna Jane Grossman’s book about Obsolete objects is sparking a fun debate. Faye Penn from Brokelyn moderates. 7:30PM FREE

Friday November 13. Erin and Her Cello begins her residency  at Rockwood Music Hall. New Songs. Special Guests. 7PM FREE

Playing until Thursday 19.   The classic movie, The Red Shoes, is playing at The Film Forum.

Niche List: The Collander For Your Calendar October 28

Paint The Town Red pretty much covered most of the upcoming events this week, but here’s a few eclectic things that are actually NOT Halloween-related.

Thursday, October 29. Meet the real star of The September Issue, Grace Coddington.  Grace will be doing a book signing of The Catwalk Cats at Clic Bookstore & Gallery 255 Centre Street 7PM.

Friday, October 30. Housing Works New York Spelling Bee. Ward off a witch’s spell by spelling some tough words.  Jen Dziura hosts.  8PM $10

Monday, November 2. After drinking out of Red Solo cups at the Halloween and the NYC Marathon parties on the weekend,  by Monday you will want a real drink.  @SweetBlogOMine has put together a fancy cocktail tweetup which includes a Chartreuse tasting at Astor Wine.  399 Lafayette Street $35 6-9PM

BTW, Matt’s birthday  is November 3rd, so  next Tuesday @mcaldecutt or poke him on Facebook.

Read, Reading and More Books Next Saturday

I just re-read Danzy Senna’s Symptomatic.  It is a fascinating book, and after reading for the second time the book still gave me chills.  It’s  a story about New York, loneliness, race, class, women and toxic friendships.  A good companion book to this is Nella Larsen’s Passing.

Today I picked up an old copy  of The Great Gatsby at a used bookstore in the Village. This classic novel seems like the perfect book to read in the summer in New York City.

Next Saturday, I can pick up more books for next to nothing at Housing Works Open Air Street Fair on Crosby Street.

Are you reading anything good this summer?! I would love any suggestions!

The Week In Links (Mach 27): Erin, Elline, Betty and Delia

An Evening of Reinvention

This week was about all the ladies which is very appropriate since it is the end of Women’s History Month.

Wednesday, I attended the book party for The Lazy Environmentalist.  Spotted Top Chef’s Gail Simmons there.  Kelly Samardak from MediaPost covered the event and took pictures.  It was great to see Alexis Tirado, Caroline Waxler and the girls from Morris+King, Katie Smith-Adair and Jen Moses.

Thursday was a night of Reinvention at SAKs.  Alyson Campbell from AMP3PR told me about her inspiring client Elline Surianello last summer, but it was like a real-live Oprah show to see Elline speak about women and hair loss. Editors from Betty Confidential were there, and I met the wonderful Annette Moore of Crowned Regal.

Saturday, I went to BAM Cafe to see Erin and Her Cello, and the show was packed. The show was enhanced by a horn section and a tap dancer, Danny Gardner. Then the boy and I headed out to Fort Greene for the monthly Dig Deeper show at the Five Spot Soul Food Supper Club.  Each month,  Dig Deeper features a live performance. Many of the artists haven’t played NYC in decades, making every show a once-in-a-lifetime affair. Delia “Dee Dee” Gartrell was the singer who threw down Saturday night. Her soulful voice filled the room. The Sweet Divines and The Divine Soul Rhythm Band backed Miss Gartrell.

Feast on This

The things that make a great conference is learning new things, meeting cool people and not feeling overwhelmed with both.  Today I went to All Day Buffet’s The Feast at The Scandinavian House.

Presentations included:

  • Vertical Farming by Columbia Professor Dickson Despommier
  • Making Garbage a positive commodity by Terracycle’s Tom Szaky
  • World traveler and organic soap maker Josh Onysko, founder of Pangea Organics.
  • New Orleans as a Social Innovation Laboratory by Robbie Vitrano of Trumpet. In his presentation, he had one of the best Don Draper references, “Everyday I do God’s work, which is advertising”.
  • Social Design  and Social Impact with Elizabeth Johansen from Ideo.
  • Organizing Ideas with Scott Belsky of Behance.
  • I miss Play Pumps but they bring water pumps to Africa
  • Piers from PSFK talked about creators, communities and companies.
  • If We Ran It by Michael Romanowicz and Marissa Shrum. Daylighting. Slashers. It’s a look at how young  people have an interdisciplinary approach toward career and work.
  • Fame Theory by Jose Serrano-Reyes and Seth Aylmer. Using data to steer social capital.
  • Chad Rea of EcoPop who challenged everyone to do the opposite of what they are currently doing.

Read This: The Decline Of Men

decline of men by guy garcia, originally uploaded by nichellest.

Last Friday, I stopped by the book party for Guy Garcia’s new book, The Decline of Men: How The American Male is Tuning Out, Giving Up, and Flipping Off His Future.

This book is really interesting with a mix of anecdotes, biology, statistics, and recent pop culture references. It is a critical of men in America today. I hope the Y-chromosome survives. Even though, I sometimes suffer from manesia, I think men are kinda super.

Baked Book Party and FreshDirect Event

Nato, Matt, Niche and RKB, originally uploaded by nichellest.

Tonight, I went to the book party for Baked at PowerHouse Arena in DUMBO. Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito, the owners of Baked in Red Hook, have written their first cookbook,  Baked: New Frontiers in Baking, which is full of delicious recipes for cakes, brownies, whoopie pies and cupcakes. The Chocolate Malted cupcakes pictured above are so yummy!

Artisanal Cheese and Wine At USQ

Before going to the Baked event, I stopped by the FreshDirect event at Union Square Wine and Spirits.  The event was to promote the FreshDirect’s new online wine store partnership With USQ Wine Store.  There was cheese and wine pairings, sake with edamame,  a few Spanish wines and a really spicy ginger cocktail made with Canton.  I especially liked the Llopart Rose Brut Cava so I may get some for the holidays since they will be here soon.  At the event, I met a couple of writers from Crain’s,  a very cool former model who is a foodie, and actress Robin Mattson who played Heather on General Hospital back in the day. Plus, I talked to fellow foodbuzz blogger Miss Ginsu and the very nice publicists at MWW.

I Like Action Verbs

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Nichelle likes Moo cards, originally uploaded by Rachel Kramer Bussel.

It’s Advertising Week, so I know Don Draper and the guys from Sterling Cooper will be out having cocktails and cozying up to new clients.(Ha!)

There are other things going this week including the Biddies on Monday and Neal Medlyn’s Kanye West show on Thursday.

Quirky Circus: Expect weirdness on Tuesday night at the Gershwin Hotel. Armitage Shanks, Zero Boy, Lady Rizo and Coney Island Sideshow folks. $10, 8PM

The Alcoholic: Jonathan Ames animated may seem redundant or ironic depending on when you catch him, but he’s doing a reading of new graphic novel this Wednesday at Book Court in Brooklyn at 7PM.

Cause For Drinks: Also on Wednesday, you can drink and give to a good cause at All Day Buffet’s happy hour at Gallery Bar.  BTW, are you going to The Feast Conference on October 16? I am.