the good life — no. 7

When I first joined Pinterest, the creative team of which I’m a part followed each other. With them, out of the gate, I had 6 followers. Follower number seven was someone called “imrevolting.” I’m revolting? My first “real” follower is called I’m Revolting? What? And then I went to their Pinterest boards, expecting the worse.

Little did I know that I’m Revolting was actually among the very, very best. The boards expressed an extremely refined, cerebral aesthetic. There were portraits of some of my favorite thinkers and intellectuals. All wrapped up in a slightly subversive, dry wit. There are only a handful of other people on Pinterest with whom I feel such a deep affinity for and with their intellectual formation. Plus, the handle is brilliant.

I stalked I’m Revolting’s blog. Who was this person? Where did they live? What do they do, apart from unearthing the most thoughtful visual treats on Pinterest? I found very, very little. Over the months while both of our social media followings blossomed, I decided that this elusive character was someone I simply had to meet. Ultimately, and I can’t quite remember how, I discovered that I’m Revolting was Suzanne Wu.  And eventually, we did meet, in LA, where she lives. And you know, she’s as outrageously stylish and cerebral in person as she is online. Let’s be honest: anybody who admits “I dress like a pope” is someone you really want to keep close.

There are a few other folks I’ve discovered via Pinterest with whom I feel this sort of instantaneous kinship:  LB PalmerEujin RheeMischa, Michael Stewart, among others. But I’m Revolting — well, she’s kind of special.

Here are some of Su’s thoughts on the good life. (P.S. Su, I don’t think a pope would wear this.)


I just read this interview from 1998 with the poet Mark Strand where he says, “I don’t think it’s human, you know, to be that competent at life,” and I think the trick to a good life is to be okay with that. It’s something of my disquieted heart, that for me there’s nothing much better than trying to make sense of the world, the vast tumult of emotion and experience, and figuring out why certain things grab you and don’t let go, and really facing down the sadness. I think it’s why writing is worth it, and making art is worth it, that you aren’t really describing anything so much as organizing your reasons for feeling so strongly.



My aunts, celebrating a graduation in Belém, Pará, Brazil.

My aunts, celebrating a graduation in Belém, Pará, Brazil.

My father’s side of my family has some incredible, strong women. They are architects, artists, chemists, designers, community supporters. His three sisters have been even more inspirational for me as I’ve grown older. Beijos, tias.


There is only one occasion. Life.

d’yquem is a peach

2 years ago, my friends the Alexander-Mitchells served up my first taste of Chateau d’Yquem. It was a revelation. Crack cocaine in a bottle is how I think Andrew described it. Addictive, exquisite, utterly decadent. We drank it with dessert, of course, the dessert being grilled peaches served with an amaretto mascarpone cheese. We’ll get to that later.

I am not (was not) a fan of “dessert wines.” To my heretofore unsophisticated palate, these wines tasted somewhere between cough syrup and peach schnapps (which made me wildly sick my freshman year of college and has never, ever crossed my lips again.)

But the Alexander-Mitchells, well, they know a thing or two about a thing or two. And for this particular gathering, we had come together to drink 26 bottles of 1970 vintage Bordeaux over two nights. This isn’t as irresponsible as it might seem. To begin with, there were seven of us. Some of the bottles were undrinkable, others you really could only stomach a sip or two. And we generally started eating and drinking at around 5, and kept going well into the night, finishing the first night with some Graham’s 1970 vintage port and the second with a rather shocking amount of scotch.


Handmade tasting cards next to the empty bottle of d’Yquem.

Our victims.

Some of the wines had turned into vinegar, and were ceremoniously dumped down the drain. Others bloomed in the glass, tasting like — one suspects — their youthful selves, but with more gravity. Others revealed themselves quickly, only to become ghostly and wispy, dying as we drank them. And some were the vinous equivalent of sitting with an aged aristocrat. Good breeding with an air of exhausted refinement.  A skeleton in a smoking jacket.

But the Chateau d’Yquem. I was dubious. A disbeliever. Until Andrew set a glass in front of me. And my husband delivered a charming grilled peach with amaretto marscapone.

Everything I had experienced from a culinary perspective prior to this simple little dessert + wine pairing seemed, well, dull. The d’Yquem, unlike the other Bordeaux wines we were drinking tasted utterly….drinkable. No contortions, no wispiness, no fleshy fruit lost, leaving just an acid spine in the glass. Instead, here was a confident, healthy wine. Elegant, relaxed. And with the peaches, it was maybe the best combination to have passed my lips.


We had a second bottle the next night, where the charming wine —again— raced effortlessly to the head of the Bordeaux pack. The honeyed encore: nutty, rich, luxurious…luscious. It was obscenely luscious. 

I haven’t had d’Yquem since that weekend. But as the summer begins to make itself known, I think about peaches. And whenever I think about sweet, unctuous peaches, I think about my voluptuous d’Yquem.

Denis Kelly’s Grilled Peaches with Amaretto Mascarpone

In the absence of Chateau d’Yquem, serve the peaches with a Gewürztraminer.

1/4 c. mascarpone cheese
2 TBSP packed brown sugar
2 tsp amaretto
4 peaches, peeled, halved and pitted
1/2 c. brown sugar

4 amaretti Italian cookies, crushed
1/2 basket raspberries

Mix the mascarpone, brown sugar and amaretto to make the amaretto mascarpone

Prepare grill (clean well and rub with oil)

Dip the cut side of the peaches into 1/2 c. brown sugar. Grill cut side down for 2 minutes, covered. Flip and grill for another 3-4 minutes. Remove from the heat. Top each peach with a dollop of mascarpone mixture in the hole where the pit was. Sprinkle with crushed cookies and garnish with raspberries.

collaboration with

I’m very excited to be collaborating with over at Pinterest for next few weeks. Check out my picks for the stylish man, curated from both 1stDibs and around the web.  See you over there!


do one thing well

Whilst perusing the Comm Arts “webpick of the day” page (in order to keep tabs on the competition, graphic design-wise, you understand) I noticed a little site for a little company called Hiut Denim. Naturally, because the site was so prettily made, I poked around. And the more I poked around, the more I fell in deep admiration of the company, its founders and its mission. As if it’s not enough to say “We’d like to make the best jeans in the world, with the best textiles.” Instead, why not, as your company mission, declare, “Let’s make the best jeans in the world, and revive a dead industry in our town of 4,000.”  From their site:

Cardigan is a small town of 4,000 good people. 400 of them used to make jeans. They made 35,000 pairs a week. For three decades. Then one day the factory closed. It left town. But all that skill and knowhow remained. Without any way of showing the world what they could do. That’s why we have started The Hiut Denim Company. To bring manufacturing back home. To use all that skill on our doorstep. And to breathe new life into our town.As one of the Grand Masters said to me when I was interviewing: “This is what I know how to do. This is what I do best.” I just sat there thinking I have to make this work. So yes, our town is going to make jeans again. Here goes.


Grand Master Elin

hiut-jeans-detail-06 hiut-factory slim-selvedge_large

Elation. The perfect confluence of care about the community, care about the product and care for the consumer. I feel respected because these people, who make these jeans, want to provide me with a product that won’t fall apart, is classic enough that I can wear it over time and supports the very people whose skill make the product possible.

Hey, guys at Hiut Denim. I’m rooting for you.

scarves — a perennial obsession; pt. 1

nomadic tibetan

Because I live in the Bay Area, I am allowed to indulge in my passion for scarves.  I’ve discovered two new purveyors of my favorite accessory recently, and both compelling for very different reasons.

The first of these finds are the asburdly soft scarves by Fibre Tibet.  Apart from using top-notch cashmere (yes, it’s Grade A; yes, it’s organic and undyed), Fibre Tibet keeps the manufacturing local in Kathmandu, Nepal. Alberto Zanone ensures a beautiful — and compassionate — product is the result. Monica Garry, the founder of Fibre Tibet isn’t just interested in sustainable fashion, however. She’s been actively involved in supporting and growing local Tibetan economies since 199 via her not-for-profit The Bridge Fund, and has mobilized over $30,000,000 in its service during that time.



As far as luxury goes, this pulls all the threads together nicely: beautifully crafted and kind to both the consumer and the producer.