IMBIBE | LAZARUS BREWING AUSTIN
On the corner of East 6th and Chicon, you can still see the original mural where Bob Marley adorns the wall of what once was the 6th Street Cool Store. That place was a gem, but what is now “Lazarus Brewing” (there and next door) does a helluva good job making the neighborhood and city of Austin happy. They brew their own tasty beer in the space, including Flagship and Rotator (Draughts) - our favs are the Prodigal Pils and Kokomo Pale. There are also special releases, and the last one we had was called Numbers, a Mexican Tepache Wild Ale that was marvelous. The have a fine wine list as well. You’ll find the joint a hoppin’ nighttime haunt, but take note that they open at 7:30am and serve coffee and tacos that are to the nines. Don’t tell anyone, but seriously, their breakfast tacos are top 3 on our Austin list. There’s a lot to Lazarus, the space is laid out totally feng shui (maybe accidental, maybe not), and the balance of leather, wood, steel and glass is snappy and sophisticated while avoiding trend and being approachable and welcoming. They profess that “joy” is an option on their menu as well, and they sure make us happy. Go check ‘em out.
A man and a woman. An artist and his muse. Marianne & Leonard. The most loving songs ever written about the separation of two lovers, and this documentary tells how it happened. Fascinating, devoted to the strings of the heart, and often tortured by the spiritual, Leonard Cohen is and was one of the most proficient and prolific poets (and accidental musicians) of our time. At the root of one of his many lost or broken loves, we’re told the story of Norwegian mother Marianne Ihlen, following her relationship with Cohen while on the Greek Island of Hydra in the 1960’s. The song, “So Long, Marianne” is the tender soul of this documentary/memoir by Nick Broomfield, who was a close friend of Ihlen. The stories are told through interviews and footage that span half a century. Whether or not you’re a fan of Leonard Cohen, we suggest watching this timeless documentary, because the profound art that was birthed from it, fueled by inexplicable loss, has influenced so much of the world’s creative landscape.
READ | STEPHEN KING ON WRITING
When we think of Stephen King, we think of Carrie, Pet Cemetery, Firestarter, Misery, or The Shining...the list goes on and on and on. He’s the boss of all bosses when it comes to horror, supernatural, suspense, and science fiction. So much of his work has been adapted to film and television, it’s bonkers. Stephen King has created a reality that for so many decades has taken the imaginations of hundreds of millions on thrill rides they’ve only been able to experience through his work. Seriously, he’s sold well over 350 million books and counting. But that’s where we want to insert this book into the convo. It’s his attempt, urged by many close to him, to try to write something about, well, writing. Where did it all begin? What’s his process? Why does he write? Where do all of the ingenious ideas come from? Half way through, we forgot it was even a book about writing. The biographical intimacy, vulnerability, truths, comedy, and sorrow that S.K. shares from the first page is refreshing and moving. We’ve never read anything like it. Hailed by critics and authors alike as, “The best book on writing. Ever.,” we can’t say strongly enough that this book is as much about life and the journey as it is about writing. Read it. We’ll guarantee you’ll want to share it. Long live the King!
EXPERIENCE | JAKE GYLLENHAAL READS THE GREAT GATSBY
As if he’s not easy enough on the eyes, damn is he talented! Jake Gyllenhaal only has one role in the new Spiderman: Far from Home movie, but he reads every part in one of our audio recommendations this week. If you don’t already have it, you can download the Audible app to hear Gyllenhaal's one man performance of The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. This work of genius is already one of our top 5 books ever, so this project brought much excitement (albeit doubt) if someone, anyone could do it justice by reading aloud. If we were to rank this audio presentation against every project Gyllenhaal has ever done, it would be at the top of the heap. He's the perfect fit for Fitzgerald's sprawling prose with a delivery that sends us into a zen-like reverie. Seriously. Incredible. An ideal choice for air travel, although maybe not for operating heavy machinery. So it begins…”In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I've been turning over in my mind ever since.” Brilliant!
BBQ season is upon us, which means we've been going to our fair share of house parties as of late. Bust out the record player because fresh vinyl remains our go-to gift for hosts. Think about it, records are a fun and utilitarian gift (plus, bringing a selection generally guarantees you a crack at the party playlist). We don’t really care if this performance was impromptu or planned, Live at The Checkerboard Lounge by Muddy Waters and The Rolling Stones is grand and has been on heavy rotation for our summer vibe. You need to check it out. Grab a copy for yourself and another for a gift because it’s gold in the mine of vinyl history. We promise you won't regret adding this classic to your collection. It’s often a combative conversation, but due to the nostalgia factor and the fun of watching the positive influence of a record player (and album art) on the ambiance of the room, you can drop the needle on this one because some of the best music just sounds better on wax. Yeah we said it.
GIVE | D.E.L.T.A RESCUE
So many of us have animals in our lives that have been with us through thick and thin and have never wavered in their love and companionship, bringing us joy like only a pet can. Their lives are so important and the thought of not tending to those in need is tragic. That’s one of the many reasons we’re so grateful for D.E.L.T.A. (Dedication and Everlasting Love to Animals), the largest “No Kill, Care-for-Life” Animal Sanctuary of its kind in the world. The 115-acre mountain top ranch is located in the high desert area of Los Angeles. It’s beautifully landscaped and is surrounded by rolling hills. It is truly a haven for the animals lucky enough to have crossed paths with its founder, Leo Grillo, whose life is dedicated to rescuing animals who are either abandoned or born in the wilderness. Visit the website to learn more about the foundation, see photos and videos, read the stories of those rescued, and learn how you can help. There’s even a documentary on the site that you can watch here. Thank you Leo, for all that you do.