Favorite things of 2020

A R T:  The Triumph of Death (1562-63) by Pieter Bruegel the Elder With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, I cannot think of art that crystallizes the inexorability of death more terrifyingly than Pieter Bruegel the Elder's painting (follow the link above for a close-up), which evokes Emily Dickinson ironic personification of death in her poem, …

Favorite things of 2019

A R T:  The Song of the Lark (1884) by Jules Adolphe Breton But in that same room there was a picture—oh, that was the thing she ran upstairs so fast to see! That was her picture. She imagined that nobody cared for it but herself, and that it waited for her. That was a …

Eau d’Italie

Birthed by Le Sirenuse, a luxury hotel on the Amalfi Coast, Eau d'Italie is a collection of fragrances that invite "a journey through the senses of Italian creativity." The original fragrance, Eau d'Italie, remains the best. Imagine an evening outdoors at Franco's Bar, which belongs to the hotel and overlooks the Li Galli Islands, where legendary …

Beautify the hours

Stuff Aesthetic Fascists Like: I am an Anglophile except when it comes to timekeeping, and then I am positively Mediterranean, that is to say, leisurely rather than punctual. If it is necessary to mind the time, then let us beautify the hours with horological instruments that are classic and handsome. The watches below catch my eye. Regrettably, …

Sufjan Stevens: No Shadow in the Shade of the Cross

Stuff Aesthetic Fascists Like: Of all the singers populating my ears over the years, none has provided more habitual companionship than Sufjan Stevens. His music is a soundtrack to my life, which has a certain fittingness because we were both born in the same year. It is never easy to articulate why one singer becomes a resonant voice over another. But …

Sufjan Stevens: The Perpetual Self, or “What Would Saul Alinsky Do?”

Stuff Aesthetic Fascists Like: Of all the singers populating my ears over the years, none has provided more habitual companionship than Sufjan Stevens. His music is a soundtrack to my life, which has a certain fittingness because we were both born in the same year. It is never easy to articulate why one singer becomes a resonant voice over another. But …