Gallery Mondays: Peacock Wallpaper @ The Astor Room

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Last week I hung out with a few friends at The Astor Room in Astoria, Queens where I treated myself to a cup of mint chocolate chip ice cream.

I’d never been to The Astor Room before, but as I walked in, I immediately felt the 1920s speakeasy vibe of the place. Everything was so dark and sophisticated!

I loved the wallpaper lining the entrance by the stairwell, featuring peacocks and floral print. It’s simply gorgeous.

You should definitely swing by The Astor Room for some ice cream this summer if you get the chance!

Unbranded: A Century of White Women, 1915-2015 @ Jack Shainman Gallery

Unbranded: A Century of White Women, 1915-2015 by Hank Willis Thomas @ Jack Shainman Gallery on W 24th

Unbranded: A Century of White Women, 1915-2015 by Hank Willis Thomas @ Jack Shainman Gallery on W 24th

After reading about this exhibit in New York Magazine a few weeks ago, I made it my business to see Hank Willis Thomas’ “Unbranded: A Century of White Women, 1915-2015” at the Jack Shainman Gallery.

My obsession for the culture of the 1920s and 1950s really made me appreciate this exhibit. Interestingly, all of these portraits are advertisements striped of the words that go along with them. I wish I could go back in time to see Thomas’ earlier exhibit of the same concept, titled “Unbranded: Reflections in Black by Corporate America, 1968-2008.” I’m sure it was amazing.

The exhibit really makes you think about how different picture ads would be without words. They just look like normal pictures you’d see in a history textbook or on the wall in a nice house.

Not surprisingly, some of my favorites in the exhibit were ads from the 1920s and the 1950s. And also the ones that featured couples. Can’t help my hopeless romantic eye!

1. 1922 (left)

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Ahh, courtship ❤

2. 1953 (far right)

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Mary Kay cosmetics?

3. 1929

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Why do I feel so concerned about them falling?!

4. 1939 

In another life, I think I would have had a thing for sailors.

In another life, I think I would have had a thing for sailors.

5. 1948 & 1947 (left & second from left)

Doesn't the woman in the middle look a bit like Natalie Portman?

Doesn’t the woman second from the left look a bit like Natalie Portman?

6. 1938

I'm glad Amelia Earhart was included in this exhibit :)

I’m glad Amelia Earhart was included in this exhibit 🙂

7. 1958 (right)

Pour it up, baby! (Probably some sort of beer commercial)

Pour it up, baby! (Probably some sort of beer ad)

Can we expect to see a “Century of Men” anytime soon Mr. Thomas?

Be sure to check out this exhibit before it closes on May 23rd!

Movie Review: ‘The Great Gatsby’

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Yesterday, for my 19th birthday, I went to see The Great Gatsby (2013) with my guy and my best friend. ticket stub

Not having read the book in high school (due to my transferring between schools with two different English literature curricula, resulting in my having missed the reading of Gatsby by the time I had transferred), I read through the book at the beginning of May, finishing it about a week before yesterday.

Since this movie is based on the book, this review will have a bit of comparison between Fitzgerald’s novel and Luhrmann’s film.

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The movie begins with Nick Carraway (Tobey McGuire) in a sanatorium looking at a long list of mental illnesses (supposedly the ones he is diagnosed with) including insomnia, anxiety, and depression to name a few. His doctor
tells him to write down his thoughts because it will put him at ease and help him better articulate his thoughts. Through Nick’s writing we learn the story of Jay Gatsby.

Nick takes a trip to visit Daisy Buchanan, his cousin, her husband, Tom Buchanan and Jordan Baker, a friend of theirs. Just as in the book, the two ladies are on the chairs, laying down, and the whole scene is embellished wonderfully by the white linen curtains flowing through the air in midst of the breeze coming from the screen doors.

I love the fact that they kept one of my favorite quotes from the novel, where Daisy says to Jordan and Nick, “I’ll sort of—oh—fling you together. You know—lock you up accidentally in linen closets and push you out to sea in a boat…”

And might I add that Jordan Baker (Elizabeth Debicki) is simply stunning in this film! She should be permanently brunette. How is this girl not more famous?!

When Tom and Nick go out together on the Long Island Railroad, and jump off the train to see Myrtle, Tom’s mistress that calls on the phone during supper the evening prior, things begin to get wild.

My favorite scene is where Myrtle, Tom, Nick and the rest of the people in that small room get completely wasted. Nick almost escaped the craziness, telling Tom that he didn’t feel comfortable being there while he was cheating on his cousin, but he gets coaxed into staying.

Oh my gosh. Feathers from pillows flew through the air, everyone begins to jump and hump around (I kid you not), Tom gives Nick liquor to drink in a vase, and Nick begins to see himself  “within and without.”

Well then. I’ve never been drunk before, or been around people who were that drunk before, but according to my friend this is an accurate depiction of the college party scene.

After Nick gets an invitation to Gatsby’s, I got really excited, because this was the moment I was waiting for:

The little party that never killed anybody.

I wish I knew a Gatsby. Those parties look so much fun!

At the party, to which Nick is the only one invited because, as stated in the book and by Jordan Baker, “people were not invited—they went there”, Gatsby requests to see Jordan Baker privately. There he tells her about his plan to have Daisy go over to Nick’s for tea so that they can meet up again.

Nick is not told of any of this until he and Gatsby go out to lunch the next day.

At lunch, which is a private place entered through a hole in the wall of a barber shop, we meet Wolfsheim, played by Amitabh Bachchan, who indeed looks like a wolf with all that facial hair! Tom appears at this lunch date as well, causing Gatsby to make awkward facial expressions when he realizes this is Daisy’s husband—the only thing standing in the way between him and Daisy’s romance.

Nick agrees to arrange the tea date with Daisy and Gatsby. Myself and the other people in the theater found it hilarious when we saw what Gatsby ordered to have done to Nick’s lawn. He even brought a entire greenhouse worth of flowers into the room where they were to have tea! Jeez! In the book I was under the impression that it was just a little grass trimming and a couple of flowers in a few vases!

Nervous as ever, when Daisy arrives Gatsby runs outside, getting completely drenched in the rain, only to come inside looking like a wet dog. To top it off, he knocks over Nick’s clock and can’t seem to put it back together.

Poor guy.

I thought it was the cutest thing though!

If you’ve read the book, you know how it all ends up. I will say though, that the deaths in the movie were dramatized very well. As Myrtle’s body flew through the air, I couldn’t help but think how much this was all Daisy’s fault. Daisy killed Gatsby. Figuratively, of course. She was the last word on his lips. I was deeply moved as I watched Gatsby’s body float lifelessly in that lavish pool, realizing that not a single soul would attend that man’s funeral, except Nick.

The film overall was great. I love the way they did the scenery. I really wish West and East Egg were real. The towns looked so fantastical.

I was confused though, as to why they dyed Carey Mulligan’s hair blonde. In the book, Daisy is a brunette!

“he sat with Daisy in his arms for a long, silent time […] once he kissed her dark shining hair…”

I don’t know how the casting crew overlooked this little detail, or what would possess them to change it. Carey Mulligan is a natural brunette after all…

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The costumes were so vibrant and shiny. Kudos to whoever designed them!

The music in the film was also really good. My only complaint about the music, however, is the number of times they used Lana del Rey’s “Young and Beautiful.” Two times is fine. But no. They used several instrumental versions, a jazzed up version for the party scene, and then the original. I’m sorry, but now the song has been played out in my head.

If you have not seen the film yet I suggest you do so!