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Explore + Stuff: My Self-Improvement Regimen

Brooklyn, Clinton Hill, weekend, photography, InstagramWhat follows is nothing more than a State of the Union of my pop culture spongedom. While I loves me some episodes of Bachelor Pad and the Housewives, I do like to temper my baser urges with higher pursuits, along with a soupçon of irreverent knowledge hoarding. If you’re looking for some fresh material to while away this scorcher of an August weekend, look no further. 

Favorite Walk this Week: Clinton Hill, Brooklyn. Brownstones, clouds, trees; pretty much perfect.

Things I’ve been Listening to:

The Crush: Whitney Adams and Christina Pickard’s wine podcast, The Crush, is a great resource for improving wine knowledge without the stuffiness of sommelier-speak. Oenogeeks and their ilk, rejoice! (Seriously, though, you’ll learn a bunch. Ha. Get it? I made a punny.)

Throwing Shade: Throwing Shade, produced by Erin Gibbler and Bryan Safi, is hands down one of my favorite things to listen to. I look like a crazy manic person in need of a Xanax/elephant tranquilizer on the MTA listening to this podcast. Made for “feminasties” and “homosensuals,” it’s an irreverent weekly look at issues affecting women and gays. Mind you, I’m being diplomatic here. Sometimes, it could get a little “too real”: last week’s episode heavily featured a “I shit on myself” story.

Things I’ve been Watching:

The Outs: This tiny webseries-that-could has been getting major press, and it is highly deserved. Directed by Adam Goldman, it’s an honest, “I’ve been there” look at life as a twenty-something gay dude and his friends. Poignant and effortlessly relatable, The Outs is the gay-centric TV show I didn’t know I wish I wanted when I first dipped my toe in the murky waters of adulthood. Funny and far-too-short-to-be-sweet (four episodes out of six planned have been produced), this webseries is entirely funded by Kickstarter and deserves every penny you decide to give them.

Things I’ve been Reading:

Brain Pickings, a seriously verbose and wonderful weekly digest of curated “interestingness,” highlighted Central Park: An Anthology, edited by Andrew Blauner. In the book’s pages, twenty love letters by some of New York’s most celebrated scribes sings the praises of the beloved park. With excerpts from the likes of Adam Gopnik, Jonathan Safran Foer and Colson Whitehead, it’s a book that I already know I’ll cherish, so major hat tip to BP for bringing it to my attention.

Imbibe by cocktail historian Dave Wondrich is one entertaining, informative look at the evolution of the American cocktail. The Boy had it on his shelf, and knowing what little I do about cocktail culture, mixology and tending bar, I picked it up, thinking I’d walk away with a handful of new recipes. Wrong: this book is so much more. Filled with the stories of the Founding Fathers of Hooch, their mistrials and achievements, it’s a surprisingly scholarly look at the development of the art of the bar by a rough and tumble crowd of journeymen.

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