Welcome to this edition of Dimanche (That Means Sunday), a rundown of everything that caught my eye this past week.
The holidays went into high gear last week. I went to Clayton, a suburb of St. Louis, to get my haircut on Thursday and I ran into these Christmas lights as I looked for parking. I’ve always been a sucker for Christmas lights: The more, the merrier. I walked through this display, which wrapped around a small park, and took it all in. It definitely got me in the holiday spirit.
Then yesterday, I drove to one of my favorite neighborhoods in St. Louis to do some holiday shopping. Maplewood is an interesting place because in a lot of ways, it feels like it’s frozen in time. The downtown is equal parts charming and kitschy, with old storefronts and neon signs lingering from the 1950s and 1960s.
Still, in the last ten years or so the downtown has gone through some major changes. There are local shops selling everything from homemade bath salts and soaps to artisan chocolate. I like to take my time and walk through the downtown strip, popping into the stores and seeing what they have on display for the holidays.
I got a box of chocolates to take to my boss’s holiday party last night. I also got a couple ingredients to make clafoutis, or French custard pie, to take as a dessert. The holidays are an excuse to eat as many sweet things as humanly possible (if you need an excuse).
This time of year is also a time to reflect. I find myself drawn to news stories with human interest angles. Sure, I’m still fired up about politics and disillusioned by this country’s current political climate. I close my eyes whenever Trump comes on the TV at the gym, which has resulted in some near-death situations on the elliptical.
But now more than ever, I want to hear about people’s lives and how they’ve triumphed despite adversity. There’s never a wrong time to become inspired but dark times call for extra insight.
Without further ado, here is Dimanche:
Kakao is one of my favorite chocolate shops in St. Louis. The truffles are OUT OF CONTROL. I had a Turkish coffee flavor yesterday and I almost passed out in the middle of the store. How can anything be that good? I guess the answer is, because it can be.
Spotify released its Top Songs of 2017 individualized playlist this week and mine took me by surprise. I listened to music for almost 64,000 minutes in 2017 (this is only counting Spotify), which elates and terrifies me. How did I listen to music for two months and still accomplish everything that I accomplished in 2017? Sometimes it’s better not to ask questions.
I read this article in The Washingtonian the other day about the insane lengths restaurants go to to identify food critics. The story talks about how restaurants do things like create dossiers on food critics and circulate them among other fine dining establishments in town. I’d highly recommend reading food critic Jonathan Gold’s take on the situation. His article predates this story but it still rings true.
Have you heard of Norman Fait Des Vidéos? If not, you should check out his YouTube page. He’s a French comedian but most of his videos are subtitled in English, so you can still enjoy them even if you don’t speak French. This video parodying raclette parties is one of my favorite things.
I randomly clicked on this story earlier this week and it ended up being one of the best things I read. It’s about an adopted black baby and the family who gave her up in the 1960s. The story is very compelling and thought-provoking. At one point, the grown woman questions if she would have been worse off if the white family had kept her.
So…lawmakers in Quebec just outlawed “Bonjour hi!” It’s the latest chapter in an ongoing battle to preserve French, which is the official language in the province. Shopkeepers now are required by law to just say “Bonjour,” when someone walks into their store. Some people are pissed, while others think it’s a good idea. You can read more about the situation here.
I got a haircut earlier this week (as I mentioned before) and I’m still amped about it. Kelsey at KINK Salon in Clayton, MO, is a GENIUS. I might start wearing my hair straight more often now, even though it requires a little more work than wearing it curly. If you’re on the fence about getting a haircut, I say go for it. A good haircut makes you feel great. Treat yourself.
Enjoy your week! I hope it brings lots of sweets, fun holiday parties, a few surprises, and good company. Here’s a song that I’ve been jamming out to this weekend. It’s good for dancing alone in your room when no one is watching, or, you know, whenever.