Colossal posted some photos of a stunning site-specific installation by Motoi Yamamoto. Called “Univer’sel,” these intricate patterns within an old French castle are formed by delicately arranged salt. (Sel is French for salt.)
I had been purposefully ignoring the kerfluffle earlier this month about lookism in the publishing industry, but I appreciated Constance Grady’s take on it in light of a new book by a first-time author. Grady reviews Sweetbitter, a novel about a pretty girl who moves to the big city and encounters the pretty girl’s catch-22: good looks will open a few doors but close off many others as peers and managers conflate your appearance with your worth. What makes this plot less banal than it sounds, according to the review, is its intelligence and humor; that and the fact that the main character’s arc of self-discovery is paralleled by her education in food and wine have encouraged me to give this book a chance. But I think Grady’s review stands on its own as an insightful reflection on the ways a book like Sweetbitter sheds light on wider patterns of sexism and lookism in media. It’s well-documented that the service industry has its own particular troubles of that kind, and I’m interested to see how that plays out in the novel. The author (Stephanie Danler) was a waitress at a restaurant frequented by the editor to whom she pitched her book, an intriguing subversion of the accommodation usually expected from female front of house staff.
On that note, at the Toast: Why Everyone is Attracted to Baristas (It’s Because of Late-Stage Capitalism)
This Sociological Images post combines some of my favorite topics: New Orleans, the socioeconomics of architecture, and the bourgeoisification of formerly aristocratic food practices (such as having a dining room).