This week’s lynx round-up includes the lyrical voices of David Bowie and Father John Misty, Scientology, and the value of long-distance train journeys. Oh, and Oscar Wilde.
What can long-distance trains teach us about public space in America? Among other things, “Being in a shared physical space that’s also outside of one’s normal environment for an extended duration facilitates a special sense of focus and an enhanced sense of accountability, which can lead to conversations we wouldn’t normally have with strangers.”
Simone Gorrindo writes of leaving New York for Columbus, Georgia and of balancing her life as a writer and her life as the wife of an Army Ranger.
New England poet Charles Simic extols the virtues of writing in bed, among other things.
Megan Draper better prepare herself for the invasion of Joni Mitchell and co. We found this oral history of Laurel Canyon, a music mecca in the 60s and 70s, almost as enchanting as Jessica Paré’s new 70s style in the latest MadMen ad. To give you a little taste, here’s a quote from Joni Mitchell:
“Ask anyone in America where the craziest people live and they’ll tell you California. Ask anyone in California where the craziest people live and they’ll say Los Angeles. Ask anyone in Los Angeles where the craziest people live and they’ll tell you Hollywood. Ask anyone in Hollywood where the craziest people live and they’ll say Laurel Canyon. And ask anyone in Laurel Canyon where the craziest people live and they’ll say Lookout Mountain. So I bought a house on Lookout Mountain.”
Check out Chekhov’s abbreviated autobiography as written in a letter to a friend in 1892.
Father John Misty has given the world a gift in the form of his new album, I Love You Honeybear. Recently, he has taken to covering Leonard Cohen songs, including “I’m Your Man” and “Birds on a Wire.”
Ted Scheinman recounts the day, 20 years ago, when Oscar Wilde’s remains were transferred to Poet’s Corner, the name given to the section of Westminster Abbey that houses the UK’s great poets, playwrights, and writers. It only took them 95 years.
Lorrie Moore interviews Miranda July. I don’t think there’s much more I need to say here.
Read the story of the 1948 flood that destroyed Vanport, the second largest housing project in America at the time, and forever left a mark on Portland and the makeup of its population.
After listening to a Terry Gross interview with David Remnick, the editor of The New Yorker, I was inspired to read a piece the magazine ran a few years back on the Church of Scientology and Paul Haggis. Haggis is a prominent Hollywood screenwriter who left the church over its public support of California’s Proposition 8.
While we’re talking Terry Gross, here’s her interview with David Bowie from 2003 in case you haven’t heard it. Let his voice carry you into the weekend.
P.S: The photo at the top of the post was taken at the Huntington Botanical Gardens in Los Angeles!