Things I Saw This Week - Friday, November 5
TISTW is a collection of reads, visuals, and music, curated by Elle Perry, a Memphis-based journalist, featuring art and culture, food, cities, and more. (Issue No. 125)
Though his early career put him on a path to art-world prominence—in the early seventies, he was the first Black man to be represented by a major Houston gallery, and a decade later he became the first American artist to design scarves for Hermès—Oliver abandoned Houston in 1984 for a quieter life in Waco and a job with the U.S. Postal Service. His mature career as a painter has been marked by reclusiveness and monklike craftsmanship in his home studio. Several of his works have never been displayed outside his house.
For Refinery29, Brooke Obie calls the Whitney Houston hologram tour “zombification.”
And, OkayPlayer answers “Is Adele Really to Blame for Global Delays in Vinyl Manufacturing?”
Here’s a selection of recent news about cities:
From Bloomberg: How a Group of Black Doctors Got Philadelphia Vaccinated
From Architectural Digest: How One Memphis Recording Studio Became a Hit Factory Thanks to Unchanged Architecture
From Bloomberg CityLab: Can a Map Rekindle London’s Love of Walking?
NPR pays tribute to the 50th anniversary of the children’s show “The Electric Company,” which taught kids how to read. (My mom says I was a fan but I, unfortunately, can’t remember.)
When The Electric Company debuted in October 1971, television hadn't seen anything quite like it. Psychedelic graphics, wildly creative animation, mod outfits, over-the-top characters and sketch comedy all functioned to serve the same goal: teaching kids to read.
Brought to you by the Children's Television Workshop (CTW) — the same producers behind Sesame Street, which debuted in 1969 — The Electric Company won two Emmys, aired on more than 250 public TV stations and became a teaching tool in thousands of classrooms nationwide.
The show's cast included Academy Award winner Rita Moreno, Bill Cosby and a then-unknown Morgan Freeman. Guest stars included Mel Brooks, Zero Mostel, Gene Wilder and Joan Rivers. The teen pop band Short Circus (get it?) included future star Irene Cara. The comedy writers were among the best in the business and later went on to work on hit TV shows, including MASH and Everybody Loves Raymond.
Would you get married at the “world’s most beautiful Taco Bell? Would you like to see pictures of a couple that did? If your answer to either is “yes,” then click here.
Also, if you’re practicing sobriety, this new book has close to 100 non-alcoholic drink recipes from some of the best bars around the world.
And, finally, a guide to Vietnamese drinks in San Jose.
The United States' involvement in the Vietnam War created a pathway for the first large wave of Vietnamese immigration into the states. Hundreds of thousands of refugees wound up landing in cities such as New Orleans, Houston and San Jose, the last of which is home to the Bay Area’s biggest concentration of Vietnamese Americans. In fact, San Jose has the largest Vietnamese population of any city in the country—over 100,000, according to the 2010 census.
It should come as no surprise, then, that the city is also home to the best Vietnamese food that Northern California has to offer. Even Vietnamese people from San Francisco, Stockton and Sacramento often make the long journey for a taste. Savvy out-of-town readers have already seen the listicles featuring San Jose’s best phở or bánh mì. But what’s spoken of less frequently is the city’s sprawling, vibrant Vietnamese drinks scene—an ever-evolving landscape of colorful, icy sweet soups layered with mung beans and pandan jelly, fresh-pressed sugarcane juice and distinctly Vietnamese takes on boba and coffee.