READ: WHO IS MICHAEL OVITZ?
If you want a true look at what it’s like behind the scenes in the crazy business of Hollywood (not the gossip/rumorville), then this is a good place to start - this is the real deal. Michael Ovitz cofounded CAA (Creative Artist Agency) in 1975 and served as its chairman until 1995. This is his first book, and you get the personal insight into the kind of character it takes to make real change take place in a city that has so much power you’d think it impossible. Surprisingly candid, somewhat shocking, and extremely educational, this memoir is definitely worth the read. So is the post-reading-research you can do to make your own decision of whether he’s truly a hero or just a villain? A mastermind or a master manipulator? Either way, the WSJ says it right. "When the history of Hollywood is written, few people will have played a larger role than Michael Ovitz...It is impossible to read such a chronicle and not see Mr. Ovitz as the Steve Jobs of agenting, possessing a version of Jobs’s fanatical drive and a similar desire to remake an industry."
Originally one of our favorite stores in ATX and now one of our favorite stores in PDX, Spartan is our choice go-to for gifts for anyone and any occasion. They offer beautifully curated collections of carefully considered goods for home, furniture, lighting and fine art. With amazing ceramics, jewelry, candles, plateware and all tableware needs - the website gives you a taste, but visiting the ever-changing store is what gives you the “feels.” They also have a design studio that focuses on sourcing and retail strategy for hotels, restaurants, and interior styling for commercial and residential spaces. Gotta check ‘em out.
Honoring the German heritage in our parts has to be legit, or the spirits of history might not have your back. If you ask us, Batch Craft Beer and Kolaches makes the cut. They are an Austin, family-owned and operated kolache bakery, taproom, and retail craft beer shop. Their pastry chefs elevate the classic Central Texas Czech pastry to gourmet status by teaming up with Micklethwait Craft Meats and local fruit vendors. The curated beer selection features the best of local breweries, the exploding domestic craft beer scene, and the newest and oldest breweries in Europe and beyond. We had more than our share of brews during our visit, and nothing disappointed. Our favorite kolache was the sausage cheese kraut, but we don’t think you could go wrong with any of the others. Um, there’s also select live jazz and comedy, so be sure to give that a listen too. Well done, Batch!
DRINK: KLLR COFFEE
When we were recently doing our pop-up in Downtown OKC, some folks told us to check out Clarity Coffee (simple, clean cool cafe’). While there we discovered retail bags of KLLR Coffee, and boy howdy we’ve been fans ever since! We even brought a few home. There are a heck ton of coffee roasters out there these days, but something about these beans being boutique micro-roasted in OKC brings the heartland right to your cup. The art on the bags is pretty fun as well. We’re fans of both of the Ethiopian roasts, but the Smallbatch is our favorite. Try it. You’ll like it.
SEE: SMALL FOOT
Ok, we know it’s a “kid’s” movie, but there’s actually something more to be heard here, especially in today’s climate. This movie made us laugh pretty hard and is made up of a star studded cast of voices. When the story builds and the theme comes to the forefront, we realized it’s about a lot more than some silly yetis becoming buddies with a species called humans. The message of questioning what society calls “truth," understanding what community is, and acceptance of others even when we might not understand their ways is what the core of this animated feature is about. It is a children’s film, but there’s a lot we can learn from it as “grown-ups.” Consider a viewing.
WEAR: ELLIS ADVENTURE DUFFEL
We’ve been fans of Moore and Giles for years now, and a few of us around the HELM offices even have a bag or two ourselves. We’re totally into this new one and wanted you to see it as well. Made of the finest leathers, it is not only quite swanky and innovative, but is also sophisticated enough to put it on and comfortably say, “You know what? I’m never gonna be too old to wear a backpack!” Especially when you don’t have to sacrifice your style.