Five Favorite Devendra Banhart Songs

Devendra Banhart.  What a name.  What beautiful music.

I don’t think they’ve coined the genre yet, so I vote for “Avante-Folk Spanglish Tone Poetry“.

 - Brindo

 - Quedate Luna

 - Seahorse

 - Hey Mama Wolf

 - Freely

Bonus:

 - La Pastorcita Perdida

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More Hair Than Wit

Is it just me, or do Porteñas have really nice hair?  Forgive the stereotype.

Every day I see shiny heads of impossibly long, healthy, radiant hair.  It makes me think of the mythological locks of the princesses in old fairytale books from my childhood bedtime stories.  Some tales spoke of hair so magical, that princes would take a lock of their love’s tresses for protection during daring adventures.

The city is full of Princess Hair.  It can be seen on every street corner, cafe, and subway car of Capital Federal.  Sometimes it is thick and black with tight curls.  Sometimes it is waxy and blonde; with three shades of color variation from root to tip.  Sometimes hair is arranged into messy buns worn at the crown of the skull, or cascading over shoulders, with wide waves leftover from yesterday’s coiffure.  Both styles could easily accomodate a tiara.

The color of my own hair changes with the light.  The tips are blonde, leftover from summer shinshine’s natural bleach, and the roots are darker brown, grown in winter.   I don’t bother styling it because I like the way it falls.  As it grows longer, I fear its influence over me.

The last time I had my hair cut, I cried.  The barber, if he even deserves such a title, took his silver scissors to my hair and added a few long layers.  My eyes welled up with angry tears and I rose my voice.  “Que estas haciendo?! Para! Dame los tijeras!” (What are you doing? Stop! Give me the scissors!)

His hand went to his chest and he gasped.  He put the scissors away in a drawer, far from me.  “Linda! Podria ser una modela!  Sos hermosa!”  (Pretty!  You could be a model!  You’re beautiful!)

No me chamuyes!” (Dont bullshit me!)  I left in a hurry, and cried as I walked home.

I wish this were fiction.

I called Jamie and made him take me to the movies.  That cheered me up, but only for a minute.  I felt a bald ache in pit of my solar plexus for having placed my precious locks  in the hands of a scissor-bearing stranger.   I had a dream shortly thereafter of my hair falling out in my hands.  I awoke feeling weak, empathizing with Samson’s loss of strength from the biblical haircut of betrayal.  Alas, let me die with the Philistines, I lamented, and wore a ponytail for a week.

It has since grown back.

Long hair isn’t easy to maintain.  But here are five long-hair care tips that I would tell you, were I your haircare provider.

1. Dont wash your hair.

Every princess knows that to truly harness the full potential of hair power, one must not wash the magic out.  Washing hair two or three times a week is plenty.  By day three, yes, it will be ready to be washed, and when it is washed, it will feel softer than silk and shine like the sun.   Arrange dates around your hair-washing schedule.

2. Don’t use shampoo.  

What I am about to write is going to contradict a widely accepted, socially agreed upon myth of hair care and personal hygiene, so take a deep breath:

Shampoo is a lie, and conditioner is a joke.

One needn’t employ either, least of all conditioner.  Quit using them.  At first one might experience an unpleasant oily scalp and be tempted to return to shampoo.  Resist this urge and rinse in hot water, massaging the scalp.  It feels great, and eventually hair will cease to produce so much oil.  It was producing this oil to compensate for the shampoo.*

There are many alternatives to the chemical and fragrance laden sludge bottle sitting on the bathtub ledge.  Baking soda.  Vinegar.  Olive Oil.  Coconut milk.

3. Brush it.

Peasants might assume that unwashed hair is dirty hair.  This simply isn’t the case.  Washing hair is not the only way to clean it.  Brushing the hair cleans out the dust, spreads the oil and naturally styles hair.  Best of all, brushing hair feels amazing.  It massages the scalp and stimulates creativity.  Spend one-on-one time with a high-quality natural bristle brush.

4. Trim it.

Samson and I learned the hard way what can happen during a haircut, so we sought alternative solutions.  He had his eyes stabbed out and brought down some pillars, and I decided to take responsibility for my own trims.  Long hair is easy to auto-coiffe.  When the ends appear dull or begin to split, trim them with a pair of sharp scissors.  Pay attention to how hair falls to ensure the haircut is even.  Bi-annual haircuts with a trusted professional can be maintained with monthly split end trims.  Regular trims help hair to stay healthier and grow longer.

5. Sleep in a braid.

Arranging hair into a loose plait prevents hair from being torn during sleep.  Simply braid hair into a lose braid and fasten at the end.  A braid is preferrable to a bun or pony tail because the band used to secure it will only break the tips, which should be regularly trimmed.  Upon waking, hair will be easier to maintain.  This is the fastest way to grow long hair.

Then, when a prince comes to your tower, you can throw your long braid out the window for him to climb up, in case you can’t be bothered to go downstairs to let him in.

* This guy goes to a psychiatrist and says, ‘Doc, my brother’s crazy, he thinks he’s a chicken.’ And the doctor says, ‘Well why don’t you turn him in?’ and the guy says, ‘I would, but I need the eggs.’
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Picasso Says

I needed an excuse to post this picture, so enjoy this random post.

The cover picture for MyBeautifulAir is a painting by Picasso, as he will always be my favorite artist, along with all of my other favorite artists.  Picasso is my favorite because his revolutionary genius knew no bounds.  Just as he could deconstruct complex figures into their individual planes, shapes and colors, his quotes deconstruct complex questions into simple statements.  In that simplicity truth is revealed.  Here are my five ten favorite Picasso quotes:

1. Art is a lie that makes us realize truth.

2. I do not seek. I find.

3. Everything you can imagine is real.

4. He can who thinks he can, and he can’t who thinks he can’t. This is an inexorable, indisputable law.

5.  Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.

6. I paint objects as I think them, not as I see them.

7. If there were only one truth, you couldn’t paint a hundred canvases on the same theme.

8. Inspiration exists, but it has to find us working.

9. Others have seen what is and asked why. I have seen what could be and asked why not.

10. Success is dangerous. One begins to copy oneself, and to copy oneself is more dangerous than to copy others. It leads to sterility.

(SOURCE)

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Skye Lucking and the Seuss/Escher Lovechild Debut

Artist Skye Lucking debuted her KickStarter Art Project last weekend at Reserve!

You may recall Skye’s adventure in crowd funding for the arts with her Kickstarter project in May.  It was an adventure in the changing world of an online economy and on July 21st, we gathered for the unveiling of her large-scale painting.  It was a great event.

Check out this awesome video showing the Artist’s process.

Photos of the event were captured by Beatrice Murch, of Beatrice Murch Photography.  (A WU Art History Alumna!)  See the full album here.

The author would like to take a moment and indulge in the nostalgia of the moment she met Skye.  It was a year ago, at a closed door dinner, and it was captured on camera.  We’ve shared some great adventures since then.  Best of luck in your next stage, Skye and Charlie.  We’ll miss you!

 

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Play I Some Music, Just Like a Mighty Dread

I wave at a taxi turning onto Las Heras from the other side of the crosswalk.  The driver  stalls and smiles at me as I cross the street, walking behind the car and opening the passenger-side backseat door.  I tell him my destination, and he puts the car into gear and turns up the music.

I hear the smooth horns and the rattle of a tambourine playing an introduction to Bob Marley’s beautiful voice coming through the car speakers.

Oh please, don’t you rock my boat, cause I don’t, want my boat, to be rocking.”

I can’t stop myself from singing along with the Wailers’ backup vocals.

Rock my boatI like it like thisSatisfy my soul.”

All I ever really wanted to be was a Wailer.

The cab driver turns around and says “ahh, te gusta Bob?”

I smile.  “Si, che, me encanta.”  Che is overly familiar, but we are clearly kindred spirits.

I lean back and let it flow.  We are cruising to the music.  The car is our spaceship and we’re on a journey through time and space and everything is perfect.  I close my eyes, and transport myself back to my childhood.  I’m with my family, driving down a lonely highway on a long road trip.  It is dark out, and the music is our only entertainment.  We don’t speak, we don’t argue.  We just lay back and listen to some reggae.  Dad would fill the six CD changer with Bob Marley’s Legend and let it play.

If you met my Dad, you wouldn’t guess that he loves reggae.  But he does.

Reggae was the music that made my young self realize that my parents were people before they had children.  There was a time when they had fewer responsibilities, and didn’t live their lives under the constant vigilance of impressionable young eyes.  I always wondered what it would be like to take a ride back from the future and meet my parents when they were just people.  Some parts of their pre-parent lives crossed over, but I only saw brief glimpses of this during Bob Marley serenaded road trips and on the rare occasion I could persuade Dad to tell us about his fraternity days.

The taxi arrived at the destination too soon.  I wasn’t ready for my sweet little reggae road trip to be over.  I paid the price on the meter, and while the driver was fumbling for change, I wanted to tell him that while we traveled from Las Heras to Juan B Justo, I traveled back to my childhood.  I wanted to tell him that the song induced the melodic comfort of my fondest memories and that listening to good music in the car is life’s most underrated joy.  But there was no point in saying it aloud.  He already knew.

Instead I just smiled and sang along: “Satisfy my soul.”

Satisfied, indeed.

Posted in La Musica, My Life | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

Home Hotel – Let’s Move In

I love Palermo’s boutique hotel culture!  The city is full of smaller, personalized hotel treasures so lovely that I almost feel sad living here, because the boutique culture is part of what makes Buenos Aires is such a great vacation destination.

Home Hotel in Palermo Hollywood was devised by a couple who, after hosting international visitors for their wedding, were inspired to create the type of hotel they would want their closest friends and family to enjoy when visiting.  They created a hotel to be an extension of the hospitality and comfort they would offer in their own home, and named it accordingly.

The stylishly furnished Home Hotel offers far more amenities than most personal homes including a cozy restaurant, spa, fully stocked bar, a gorgeous manicured lawn with a pretty pool, and best of all, turn down service.  I was ready to move in, but then I remembered – I already have a home in Buenos Aires.

Brunch, however, was allowed.  Photo credit again belongs to Dean Debonair and the Notable Nikon.

The menu was brief, and stuck to the essentials of homestyle comfort food like burgers and huevos rancheros.

And the dessert de la casa is the alluring apple crumble.

For travelers looking for a home away from home, or brunchers looking for a Sunday morning escape, Home Hotel is the destination.

Home Hotel
Honduras 5860
4778 1008
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Strawberry + Marshmallow

Weird food combinations are the spice of life.  So when a dear friend muled me a bag of marshmallows back from the States, I grabbed some strawberries (also imported from some tropical country) and got crazy.  Sugary, sticky, fruity, chewy goodness was created.

Strawberry Marshmallow Cookies 

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 Cups of Flour
  • 1/2 Cup of Oats 
  • 1/4 Cup of Light Brown Sugar (Azucar Rubia)
  • 1 Teaspoon of Baking Powder
  • 1 Stick of Softened Butter 
  • 1 Large Egg (I like the brown ones)
  • Dash of Vanilla
  • 1/2 Cup of Marshmallows, Chopped, or Mini Marshmallows if Available
  • 1 Cup of Fresh Strawberries, Chopped

Directions:

  1.  Prep your strawberries by washing, chopping and sprinkling with a little sugar.  Place in the fridge for a few hours til the fructose mixes with the glucose and the berries get juicy.  Chop those marshmallows, too.
  2. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and oats and mix, then fold in the butter, egg and vanilla.  Mix well. 
  3. Drain the strawberry juice, and slowly add the berries and marshmallows to the cookie dough and fully incorporate.  Things are going to be pretty sticky at this point.
  4. Refrigerate the dough until it is cold and holds a firm shape.  This prevents flat, crispy cookie problems.  In the meantime, preheat the oven to 350F/176C.
  5. When the dough is solid, roll into golf ball sized … balls, and space evenly on a non-stick sprayed baking sheet.  Bake for 15 minutes or less.  When it comes to cookies, don’t go by the number of minutes, go by the temperament of your oven.  

Variation:

Leave out the oats, and forget the refigeration step, and make mini cupcakes instead!

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Coconut Curry Butternut Squash Soup

Winter is officially here, and I am freezing.  The heating in my apartment leaves warmth to be desired and  I constantly complain that I am freezing to death, but just to put this in perspective, it is sunny and I don’t even own a coat.   Which, as I write this, I realize this might be the reason I’m so cold all of the time.

The best part about cold weather is definitely soup.  And skiing.  And sweaters.

I developed a new spin on an old favorite: butternut squash.  That sweet, fleshy beta-carotine-loaded pulp is the ideal vector to transmit heat from spoon to stomach.

This soup is spicy and sweet, with a rich flavor collaboration of curry, coconut and cinnamon.  It will definitely warm you up, in case you also don’t have a coat ….

Coconut Curry Butternut Squash Soup 

Ingredients:

  • 1 Yellow Onion
  • 1 Butternut Squash
  • 2 Apples
  • 2 Carrots
  • 1 Cup Coconut Milk
  • 1 tbsp of Yellow Curry Powder
  • 1 tbsp of Cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp of Cayenne Pepper
  • Raw Ginger, to taste 
  • 1 tbsp Butter
  • Salt to Taste
  • Water, as needed

Directions:

  • Cut the butternut squash in half and roast in the oven at 350 degrees for 15 minutes until soft.  This isn’t necessary, but it makes the squash much easier to cut.  Once the squash has softened, remove the skin and cut into two inch chunks.  Set to simmer in a large pot, covered with 1 inch of water.  Add the cinnamon and cover.
  • Peel the carrots and quarter the apples.  If you own a juicer, juice the apples, carrots and ginger.  Set the juice aside, and collect the pulp.  If you own a food processor, finely chop the raw vegetables.  If you own a knife – get chopping.  
  • Dice the onion and saute it with the curry powder until translucent.  Add the pureed apple carrot mixture and saute with some water.  
  • When the butternut squash is soft, use a hand masher to puree it.  You can also use a blender.  Add the onion/apple/carrot and mix well.  Add the coconut milk and water (and carrot/apple juice, if you used a juicer) until soup reaches desired consistency.  Add salt to taste.  
  • Stir and simmer for a few more minutes.  This recipe makes at least 10 servings, and the soup can be frozen.  Provecho!  
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Take Me To Brunch Or Lose Me Forever

Here’s something about me: I don’t like going to the same restaurant twice, but I make exceptions for worthy invitations.

Dean suggested Olsen for brunch, but let me make the ultimate decision.  I suggested ten other restaurants, which we google searched, before ultimately landing on the initial suggestion.   It was sunny and we walked there.  My nose turned pink from the sunlight.

Olsen has a beautiful garden, with ponds and fountains and ivy climbing the walls and tall sculptures gracing the lawn.  Diners adorned in scarves and hats read the paper and quietly sipped cappuccinos on stylishly designed furniture.   The hostess lead us to a corner table inside.  We sat down and the waitress told us: “You can pay with visa or cash.” We laughed awkwardly at her unintended insinuation that we looked like we couldn’t (or wouldn’t) pay.

Olsen’s Menu is as confusing as an Ikea construction manual.  To order one must follow a defined progression of steps and rules and set choices.  I would venture to guess that the waitresses are rather tired of explaining it.

Once your order is assembled, the finished product is quite pleasing.  Omelette with fruit and yogurt and granola for her:

Gravlax and risotto for him:

To the delight of our keenly intuitive waitress, we decided that this was a brunch worth paying for, so we paid the bill.

The photos in this post were captured by the dashingly dapper Dean and his Nikon.

Gorriti 5870
4776-7677
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Charlie’s Rummy B.A.-nanas Foster

I’m struggling to find the words that could dignify this dessert.  Alas, they are beyond me.

Rummy B.A.-nanas Foster

A recipe by Charles Lucking.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 cups rum
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 6 bananas, peeled and sliced diagonally into 1″ chunks (or smaller if you like)
  • 1 kilo ice cream (I like something vanilla-ish based, but Dulce de Leche would be pretty great too)
  • 1 jar of good quality dulce de leche (La Salamandra is my go-to)

Directions

In a large, deep skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in sugar, rum, vanilla and cinnamon. Allow the mixture to bubble for 8-10 minutes, place bananas in pan. Cook until bananas are melted on the outside but still firm , 3-4 minutes. Serve at once over ice cream, with a dollop of dulce de leche on top.

Note from Veevs – this was hands down the best dessert I’ve ever had in my life.  That’s not an exaggeration.  And I’ve had a lot of dessert.

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