Arts & Culture

Interviews and stories about art, culture, music, books, food / dining and sports.

Photo courtesy of Gianofer Fields

This piece originally aired July 23, 2016. 

If you are a lover of live music, you may have seen a few grey haired folks standing a bit too close to the stage.  According to Lake Effect contributor Gianofer Fields, they’re known as the Senior Scenesters and they aren't going anywhere. 

Welcome to the real-life Mad Hatter's tea party: Guests eat out of spiraling ceramics from spoons as long as their arms, while waiters serve the next course with flatware fused to opera glasses.

In 1977, Deborah Barsel, a bored assistant registrar at the George Eastman Museum in Rochester, N.Y., decided to try a fun side project. She would create a cookbook made up of recipes and images from famous photographers of the day. She sent letters to various artists and put an ad in the museum's magazine asking for submissions. In return, she received 120 photos, recipes and even a postcard from urban photographer John Gossage saying simply: "I eat out."

The scene: A quaint and placid college campus, circa 1989. In the student union sits a just-past-the-voting-age freshman. Her bangs are crispy from years of chemical encrustation, a 10-lb. Ecuadorian wool sweater is itching her neck, and there might be a Monet poster on the wall back in her dorm room. She's reading the "alternative" weekly paper from the big city up the road, and she's just not too sure about Lynda Barry.

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

This summer we've been taking you to some unusual festivals, the kind of events that take us away from everyday reality. Here's one from an arts festival in the heart of Europe where the artists' tools include the airbrush, and the canvas is the human body.

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What first grabs a reader about Mary Mann Hamilton's memoir, Trials of the Earth, is its backstory. Hamilton was born in Arkansas around 1866; her family ran a boarding house and at 18 she married one of the guests, an older Englishman named Frank Hamilton who claimed to have an aristocratic past.

Do people think about food more in times of scarcity than in times of plenty? Married culinary historians Jane Ziegelman and Andy Coe think so. Ziegelman and Coe are the authors of A Square Meal, which examines the impact of the country's decade-long Great Depression on American diets.

Ziegelman tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross that the Depression was one of the "most important food moments" in U.S. history. Coe agrees: "The Great Depression was a time when Americans had food front and foremost in their minds and were worrying about it every day."

If you watch chef Alamelu Vairavan on her PBS show Healthful Indian Flavors, or read from one of her three cookbooks, you may think that she was born with the ability to quickly chop vegetables and sauté with ease. 

Now, you can love your seafood and eat it, too. But first, you'll have to catch it. Fisherman Kirk Lombard's new book, The Sea Forager's Guide to the Northern California Coast, teaches the art, science, ethics and wisdom of fishing for your next meal in the ocean. Through wit, poetry and anecdotes, Lombard makes the case that the sincerest stewards of wild sea creatures are often those who intend to have them for dinner.

You've heard of the San Francisco gold rush. But that rush spurred another, lesser-known event: the egg rush. The legions of miners who swept into the region in the 1850s hoping to strike gold all had to be fed. And they needed protein to stay strong. But when food shortages hit, wily entrepreneurs looked for eggs in an unlikely source: the Farallon Islands.

Kids' Movies Stand Out This Summer

Aug 14, 2016
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ALLISON AUBREY, HOST:

It's the dog days of August, a time when the excitement of summer vacation gives way to boredom, baking in the heat and waiting for the next school year to start. So we thought it would be a good time to talk movies, specifically kids' movies.

It's a soup kitchen fit for kings and queens.

And that is exactly the way internationally famous chef Massimo Bottura wants it. The aim of this new venture, though, is different: It's a gourmet soup kitchen that uses leftovers to feed the less fortunate.

When you walk into Bottura's latest culinary temple, it would not be out of place in his home city of Modena, Italy, the location of his Michelin three-star restaurant Osteria Francescana.

The story of Henry Molaison is a sad one. Known as Patient H.M. to the medical community, he lost the ability to create memories after he underwent a lobotomy to treat his seizures.

He did earn a place in history, though. His case taught scientists a lot about how the brain creates and stores memories.

"A lot of what we know about how memory work came from more than a half-century of experimentation that was conducted on Patient H.M.," says Luke Dittrich, author of the book Patient H.M. : A Story of Memory, Madness and Family Secrets.

How To Create Sustainable Seafood

Aug 14, 2016
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ALLISON AUBREY, HOST:

This got us wondering about shrimp and other seafood we see at the store. How do we know when it's best to buy farm-raised versus wild or domestic rather than imported seafood? And how do these seemingly simple choices leave a larger footprint around the world?

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