RIP Mike Nichols

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Mike Nichols was one of my favorite directors. In college, I wrote several term papers about him and his films. He was incredibly talented, told fantastic stories, and he’s responsible for a few of my favorite movies of all time.

As a film major, I watched movies constantly for class and for fun (sometimes movies you have to watch for class are definitely not ones you would watch on your own time). Mike Nichols’ films stand out above them all, and there are two in particular that I think of often: Working Girl and The Birdcage. And then as most people know, he directed The Graduate, a classic that hugely impacted filmmaking in both its content and filming techniques.

Most recently I saw the play he directed, Death of a Salesman, which of course was intense and powerful and stunning. His talents are obvious, as he is one of the few people to earn an Oscar, a Grammy, a Tony, and an Emmy. I could go on and on and on about how much this director had an impact on film and my own film interests.

To learn more about Nichols, here’s a great piece from the New York Times about him. As his comic partner Elaine May said best, “So he’s witty, he’s brilliant, he’s articulate, he’s on time, he’s prepared, and he writes. But is he perfect? He knows you can’t really be liked or loved if you’re perfect. You have to have just enough flaws. And he does. Just the right, perfect flaws to be absolutely endearing.”

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Burt’s Buzz: He’s the Balm

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The weekend I watched Burt’s Buzz on Netflix, and it was a great way to spend 1.5 hours. Burt Shavitz, the face and co-founder of Burt’s Bees, is an eccentric and simple man, and I became an immediate fan when he said: “A good day is when no one shows up and you don’t have to go anywhere.” That accurately sums up life. The documentary itself moves at a slow pace, but the visuals are stunning and you’ll get a good sense of Burt and how the company started.

I love how Burt lives simply and doesn’t rely on material goods. He’s also incredibly straightforward about what he’s thinking. There was a sad and sweet moment when Burt was talking about his dog Rufus, his constant companion who died in his arms. His love for his dogs is obvious, and you can’t help but laugh when he Skypes his other dog, Pasha, and they howl together. Burt’s story is incredible not just because of Burt’s Bees, but also because he unapologetically lives the life he wants to live. It’s rare, refreshing, and inspiring.

Check out the documentary, now streaming on Netflix!

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Image: Burt’s Buzz

Film History: Movie Theater Etiquette

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These movie theater etiquette lantern slides from 1912 are fantastic. All the same rules apply today, with the addition of no talking or texting on cell phones. Also, you’re unlikely to see someone wearing a large hat at the movie theater, but doesn’t that make you just a bit sad that dressing up for a night on the town to see a ‘picture’ no longer exists?

These slides were shown during what are now previews, trailers for upcoming movies, and trivia quizzes. They were also sometimes used during intermission. Multiple films used to be shown at one time since they were much shorter than movies are now. To read more about these cool pieces of film history, here are two great articles: Etiquette Lessons for the Annoying Moviegoers of Early Cinema and Lantern Slides That Advertised Coming Attractions in the Silent Film Era.

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Images via SlateBack Story Radio

That’s a Wrap!

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Last week my sister and I had breakfast at Lafayette, and it was the best way to start the day. So many great flavors in our dishes, and the restaurant is charming. This was the bakery’s autumn set-up (above) – could it look any more autumn? Insert hearty-eyed emoji. I still need to see Birdman, and haven’t really been catching up on all of my favorite shows. Once Upon a Time and Revenge are becoming priorities since the storylines have gotten very tangled and unpredictable. I can’t believe Halloween is in a week. While I love the holidays and autumn, I weirdly don’t actually do much to celebrate Halloween. This might have to change next year. Now, let’s wrap up the week with a recap…

* Excited to read this book. Also, what an amazing cover.

* The temperature dropped suddenly, so this recipe has my name all over it.

* These salty oatmeal chocolate chunk cookies look like perfection. Ina Garten can do no wrong.

* Maybe this is why I developed a serious love for food at such an early age.

* Tom Hanks wrote a story for The New Yorker.

* Behind-the-scenes of A Nightmare on Elm Street.

* The glamorous gowns and women of Oscar de la Renta.

* Dexter becomes Hedwig. Amazing.

* I can’t get over how delicious these look.

Have a fun weekend!

{photo by lauren}

Around Town: Ralph’s Coffee – New York City

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When I first heard about Ralph Lauren’s coffee shop, Ralph’s Coffee, opening, I knew I’d eventually have to find out what it was all about. I’m so glad I did. Located on the second floor of his 5th Avenue flagship store, Ralph’s is adorably charming. With tiled floors, a large seating area just outside of the shop, and a stack of books behind the tables, Ralph’s is a perfect place to meet a friend for coffee or to have a business coffee meeting. The logo is amazing and I enjoyed the coffee (and I don’t normally drink coffee). The ham and cheese scone was just okay. Nothing spectacular. Next time I go back I’ll be bringing my work and camping out with a latte.

Ralph’s Coffee: 711 5th Avenue, New York City

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{Photos by Lauren}

Best Breakfast Nooks

When it comes to breakfast, I love the idea of relaxing in a nook that is comfortable and visually stunning. Why not start (and end) the day in a private corner enjoying good food, conversation, or a book? These are my 10 favorite breakfast nooks…

1. The light in this room is perfect. With the high wooden ceilings, black bordered windows, and open doors out to a patio, I would never ever leave this nook.

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2. Another classically clean and airy room, these linen chairs and pillows look great for snuggling up on and enjoying breakfast in the mornings.

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3. The striped booth and pillows give this breakfast nook a chic quality. And that candle chandelier – amazing!

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4. For a more eclectic morning, this nook is simple and unique.

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5. A new spin on the nook – put it against the kitchen island. I like it.

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6. A chic, upper-scale diner look. Love it.

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7. These bursts of color through the cushions, pillows, and flowers add a great vibe to this room.

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8. Gorgeous huge windows and a simply corner seating area make for a lovely morning drinking coffee and reading.

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9. More eclectic details here: gallery wall, cool table, unique pillows, and a basket lamp.

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10. Stairs leading up to a private nook? This is fantastic. What a beautiful kitchen, too.

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Which breakfast nook is your favorite?

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That’s a Wrap!

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I tried my first-ever Levain Bakery cookie this week, and it lived up to the hype. It was chewy and had a brownie-cookie quality. As you can see, the cookie was so heavy that I had to use all of my fingers to hold it up. Birdman comes out today, and with an amazing cast and interesting story-line, I’m excited to see it. There are long choreographed scenes in the movie, which I am such a fan of. I love when movies do long takes that feel like you’re actually watching a play, and for the plot of this film (about a washed-up actor who once played an iconic superhero who must overcome his ego and family trouble as he stars in a Broadway play in a bid to reclaim his past glory), that makes total sense. And now, let’s wrap up the week with a recap…

* Starting a business with a sibling? I share my tips on The Huffington Post.

* 10 rare Hollywood props.

* I kind of really like this collaboration.

* Bill Murray and Sofia Coppola reunite.

* Crumbs 2.0.

* The perfect butter tray.

* How Keli Lee made television more diverse. Still not diverse enough, but glad to see that changes are being made.

* Pizza from around the world.

* The most incredible houses from movies.

Have a wonderful weekend!

{Photo by Lauren}