Stranger Things

 

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Netflix has a new series called Stranger Things. It takes it’s inspiration from 80’s nostalgia, when the young innocent outcasts help save the day. Starring Winona Ryder, it feels immediately familiar and fresh at the same time.

The horror-sci-fi-mystery starts pretty quickly when a boy, Will Byers, disappears. And under not so clear circumstances. His group of friends become determined to find him, and soon find more going on than they ever anticipated.

It’s been a breakout hit with people binge watching all 8 episodes. There is already discussion about a second season.

Check it out, but don’t watch it alone.

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http://www.cnet.com/news/stranger-things-is-every-80s-movie-trope-in-one-awesome-series/

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Napoleon House

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On a recent visit to New Orleans I eventually made it outside in the sweltering heat to explore the French Quarter. It was on this journey where I stumbled upon Napoleon House. It barely caught my attention as it seemed run down and non-descript.

But I stepped inside  after looking at the menu and to get out of the heat. What I discovered was this completely fascinating location, Napoleon House. I made my way up to the bar to have lunch.

After receiving the menu I discovered this place was designated as a Historic Building by the United States Department of the Interior. And it was amazing.

From the menu:

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Walls that had paint chipping, antique works of art covered the walls, and classical music played throughout. I felt as though I stepped into another time period; where internet, cell phones, and distractions of the day had no place here.

The bartender made some suggestions and I ordered the Bruscetta, thinking it was be light and fresh. It was not, instead it was this amazing tomato and cheese soaked bread. It was so large I could only eat half. Paired with a nice glass of wine, it was awesome.

So obessessed was I with this place, I made sure to return one more time before I left new Orleans. This night the waiter could tell I was amped up about the place, and even gave me a menu to take with me, and told me they had T-Shirts for sale, so I bought one.

For dinner I had one of their signature items, a Muffuletta.

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From the website:

The Muffuletta

Muffuletta is the quintessential New Orleans sandwich and a Napoleon House signature that pays homage to the Italian immigrants who first opened grocery and deli stores along the riverfront of the French Market in New Orleans. It is a hearty sandwich of cured meats and cheese, slathered with a tangy olive salad dressing piled onto a sesame-crusted Italian loaf.  The muffuletta is heated to intensify the flavors of the ingredients.

It was completely memorable and I could return again and again. It felt familiar, like somewhere you’d meet your friends, and to relax.

http://www.napoleonhouse.com/

 

Side by Side by Susan Blackwell

Full disclosure, Susan Blackwell is a friend of mine.

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So what, would you say, came before James Cordon’s Carpool Karaoke? Side by Side by Susan Blackwell, perhaps?

The premise is straightforward: Susan interviews Broadway Stars in comfortable, unique settings while engaging in a specific activity, different each episode.

But now, the successful series and features, produced by Broadway.com have racked up over 60 episodes.And Broadway stars such as Audra McDonald, Sutton Foster, Daniel Radcliffe, Kelli O’Hara, Jonathan Groff, Zachary Quinto, and more have taken part.

It is an example of a good host who helps showcase the artists in a great, natural, and flattering light. It feels like you are sitting around listening to friends talk.

And it’s funny.

Check it out, especially if you love theatre.

Here are a few highlight episodes:

http://www.broadway.com/videos/series/side-by-side-by-susan-blackwell/

http://www.susanblackwell.com/

 

 

The Shallows

 

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The Shallows is a new film starring Blake Lively about a surfer who encounters a shark in a secret beach in Mexico. Beautifully shot, it clearly gives homage to the classic film Jaws, but with some modern elements.

The plot is not deep, but touches lightly on the character’s recent loss and her quest for connection in the vast world. In the middle of this quest she unexpectedly comes face to face with a shark.

Thrilling, intense, and a bit of how would I survive this, this summer popcorn flick is a true diversion. Found myself invested the whole time and impressed at the accomplishment. I’m hard-pressed to find a better shark related film since Jaws. While not perfect, it hits the right notes, and made me jump at least 4 times.

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ZAYN

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And then there’s Zayn Malik.

Here’s what we know: He’s beautiful. He’s formerly with One Direction. He’s 23. His net worth is around 215 million.

Here’s the surprise, his first solo venture, Mind of Mine,  has been a success and has offered some very compelling music. Even coming off one of the most successful bands ever doesn’t guarantee solo success, but somehow he is pulling it off.

He’s also to pull off that rare achievement for artists, branding himself by only one name, ZAYN.

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Check out some of the music below from the new album:

PILLOWTALK:

BeFoUr:

LIKE I WOULD:

http://www.papermag.com/zayn-malik-1870720600.html?slide=EjTqVS