The Mattress Factory hasn't been an actual mattress factory for a while now. Built on a hillside in the Central Northside neighborhood of Pittsburgh, back at the turn of the last century, it was used as a warehouse and showroom for Stearns & Foster until the 1960s.
Today, it's one of the country's more unusual art museums. Filled not with paintings or sculptures — and certainly not with mattresses — it is now, four stories of ... well, of "stories" in a way. Installations that take you places you don't expect to go in an art museum.
Actor and musician Theodore Bikel, whose talents landed him memorable roles on the stage and screen, has died at age 91. His manager Robert Malcolm confirmed the news to NPR's Neda Ulaby, who says Bikel "died last night at a hospital in Los Angeles after a long illness."
Some of Bikel's most notable work took place on stage — starting with an early breakthrough in the London staging of A Streetcar Named Desire, in which he starred opposite Vivien Leigh.
When film director Sean Baker moved to Los Angeles three years ago, he found himself drawn to one of the city's most infamous intersections. The corner of Highland Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard is "an unofficial red light district," Baker tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. But Baker's interest in the area went beyond the usual transactions: "I thought there must be some incredible stories that take place on that corner."
Dorothée Goffin's lab in Belgium is outfitted with 3-D printers and digital milling machines. It's also a kitchen. And, one day a week, the doors open to anyone who feels like walking in to mess around with the equipment. These days, the tech geeks, chefs and curious folk that inhabit the lab are focused on 3-D printing. Instead of spouting plastic doodads, the printers exude chocolate.
Even those of us who can't tell the difference between a pinot noir and a merlot are probably familiar with the basic rule of wine pairing: white wine with fish and red wine with steak. But when it comes to tea pairings, we're stumped.
Yet it turns out there is an art to unlocking new flavors in your food by pairing it with tea. Sipping oolong with a buttery, citrusy madeleine can highlight the flowery and milky notes of the tea, while a hot cup of green tea melts the texture of goat cheese and enhances its creamy notes.
"It wasn't that the waves beggared language. It was more that they scrambled it." Longtime New Yorker staff writer William Finnegan is being modest here, relating one of many spiritually resonant surfing experiences on Fiji's Tavarua Island in 1978. In fact, there is no wave in his memoir Barbarian Days that Finnegan can't describe in intimate detail. Honolulu, LA, Fiji, Australia, Madeira, San Francisco. Finnegan lovingly remembers every break, treating them like old friends who only occasionally tried to brutally murder him.
William Finnegan is a New Yorker journalist, but his new memoir doesn't focus on the wars or controversies he's covered. It's about surfing.
Finnegan traces his love of surfing back to his childhood, when he used to watch surfers in Ventura, Calif. He remembers being 10 years old, sitting with his family in a diner, watching waves break on the coast.
It seemed "like they were arriving from some celestial workshop ... carved by ocean angels," he writes. "I wanted to be out there, learning to dance on water."
This is a book review, a description and evaluation of Harper Lee’s novel “Go Set a Watchman,” read on a Kindle.
With an important book like this I would normally be reading an ARC—Advance Readers Copy—or a review copy, but these were not distributed. This novel had all the publicity it needed and the publishers obviously felt there was nothing to be gained and perhaps something to lose by letting reviewers see it.