1. Sno-balls. On a side street in Greenwich Village, there is a tiny shop that opened recently called the Imperial Woodpecker. What do they sell? (Not woodpeckers, silly) Snow cones, of course. Do you remember snow cones – shaved ice with flavored sugar syrup poured over it? But these aren’t just any snow cones – they’re New Orleans style sno-balls. Mine is on the right. It’s “dreamsicle” flavor which is orange cream. My friend got “hurricane” flavor (sans alcohol) which is supposed to be modeled on the famous drink by the same name, but he added condensed milk to his sno-ball. Then, of course, you need to have the salty Zapp’s to compliment the sweet sno-ball. It’s a party in your mouth! We talked with owner Neesa Peterson for a bit, but I’m still not sure what the secret is.
Can you New Orleans folks weigh in on this? What makes these snow cones New Orleans style?
2. You are not special. If everyone is special then no one is. So says David McCullough as the keynote speaker during the Wellesley High School commencement ceremony. Probably not what the graduates were hoping to hear, but an eye-opener nonetheless. This ten-minute speech is filled with great reminders for living life to the fullest – whether you’re 18 or 88.
We have come to love accolades more than genuine achievement. We have come to see them as the point. We are happy to compromise standards or ignore reality if we suspect that’s the quickest way or only way to have something to put on the mantelpiece.
3. That’s right you’re not from Texas. I’m not from Texas but whenever I listen to Lyle Lovett, I wish I was. He put on a wonderful (and free!) concert in the park last weekend. We were a little ways from the stage, but that just meant more room for dancing.
Have you seen any great concerts this summer?
4. Is the “social” gone from social media? Are online friendships inherently shallow? Those were interesting questions posed by author Jody Hedlundin a recent post. She cites motivation as the key component in the depth of bonds formed over the internet, i.e. what is your intent in making the connection? As we all know, a lot of people have turned social media as a format to sell you stuff. (If you’re a writer, you’ll want to check out her link to the Guardian article written by Ewan Morrison about why social media is not a magic bullet for authors.) So like other media that came before, there is more and more white noise on social media. Folks who are using social media solely as free advertising have to turn up the volume so to speak to get your attention. How to they do that? Enter another wonderful post by the always-on-point Caitlin Kelly. She wonders about the TMI factor present in a lot of social media interactions. Underneath it all is everyone just searching for validation? What are the consequences of too much navel-gazing?
They can high-five us across six time zones — or trash us with vicious comments. It’s the deliberate risk we take in exposing our soft underbelly to the cool gaze of strangers.
Have you made any lifelong friendships through social media? Do you feel there is too much “me, me, me” on social media?
5. I’m a hunka, hunka burning love. Or something less creepy. But hey, it’s Elvis Week, and when at Graceland… Yesterday marked the 35th anniversary of his death. Each year, Graceland goes into overdrive when fans descend to honor the king. What started spontaneously as a candlelight vigil by some of his more
manic dedicated fans has morphed into a week long festival filled with Elvis movies, Elvis impersonators tribute artists, trivia contests and dance parties. Everyone from Elvis’s barber to the check-out girl at the Piggly Wiggly who sold him a gallon of milk comes out of the woodwork is on hand to sign autographs.
A few years ago my parents and I went to Graceland. I know the words to “Jailhouse Rock”, have seen Viva Las Vegas, and even know how to play “Love Me Tender” on the guitar (that’s a story for another post). I’m certainly not an ELVIS FAN, but I was a bit in awe, not of the man or the house (which was modest by today’s standards for someone of his wealth and fame), but of the simple fact that I was at Graceland. What on earth drew me there? There are plenty of performers I like, but I’m not driving hours out of my way to tour Frank Sinatra’s house or taking photos of the bandana Axl Rose wore at the Grammy’s. What is it about Graceland? Why do people write songs (Marc Cohen, Paul Simon) and plays (Ellen Byron) about Graceland? I’ve yet to get to the bottom of it.
Have a great weekend, everyone!