It's Always Sunny in New Haven

The one principle that we have in literature and art is that the universal arises from the particular. It’s the actual thumbprint uniqueness, it’s the granular idiosyncratic, one-of-a-kindness of a work of art that gives it power across time, across space, across language, that allows it to clear that most terrible of all barriers, the barrier that separates one soul from another.

—Interview with Junot Diaz @ http://bookpage.com/interview/broken-hearts-that-span-time-and-borders

RIP Ray Bradbury

RIP Ray Bradbury

Just had a life-changing breakfast sandwich at Zoi’s on Orange St: Egg & Cheese on an asiago cheese bagel. It was so good, I had to let the Tumblr world know about it. If you haven’t been to this place—GO! Open Monday-Friday for breakfast & lunch. 

Once a little boy sent me a charming card with a little drawing on it. I loved it. I answer all my children’s letters — sometimes very hastily — but this one I lingered over. I sent him a card and I drew a picture of a Wild Thing on it. I wrote, “Dear Jim: I loved your card.” Then I got a letter back from his mother and she said, “Jim loved your card so much he ate it.” That to me was one of the highest compliments I’ve ever received. He didn’t care that it was an original Maurice Sendak drawing or anything. He saw it, he loved it, he ate it.

"The Realistic Jonses"—now at the Yale Rep through May 12

      “The Realistic Jonses”, a single-act play by Will Eno, premiered at the Yale Repertory Theater on April 20. Quirky, heart-warming, and at times, incredibly sad, “The Realistic Jonses” reveals Eno’s astute and accepting understanding of the human condition, in all its glory and all its misery. 

      The play tells the story of two sets of Jonses—Jennifer & Bob (played by Johanna Day & Tracy Letts), a middle-aged couple whose marriage and lives have been daunted by a crippling illness, and John & Pony (played by Glenn Fitzgerald and Parker Posey), the younger Jonses and new residents of the small rural town in which Eno’s play is set. In the first scene, Jennifer & Bob are sitting in the backyard when their solitude is interrupted by the arrival of John & Pony who arrive to introduce themselves to their new neighbors with a bottle of red wine. 

"We’re Jonses too," Pony tells them. The conversation between the two couples, friendly yet simultaneously awkward, is welcomed by Jennifer, whose feelings of loneliness and isolation are evident from the start of the play. Bob is suffering from a degenerative disease that he wishes to know nothing about, and Jennifer has given up her job and her life in order to monitor her husband’s treatment. Consumed by fear and uncertainty, Bob has become withdrawn, and the lack of communication in her marriage is increasingly troublesome to Jennifer. In contrast, John and Pony bluntly say whatever comes to their mind, no matter how non-sensical the thought may be. 

    Yet the two couples soon discover they have more in common than being Jonses—in an intimate moment at the grocery store, John reveals to Jennifer he is suffering from the same illness as Bob. Like Bob, John uses denial as a defense mechanism, concealing his disease from Pony, whose off-beat fragility is so effortlessly portrayed by Posey. Just as John and Jennifer seek comfort in each other as they struggle to remain stoic despite their pain, Pony and Bob form a connection based on their refusal to come to terms with the nitty-gritty stuff that surrounds them. 

    “I’ve been thinking a lot about denial and defense,” Eno told Yale Rep in an interview. “Not necessarily as negative characteristics bu more just as human ones.” Fueled by his witty humor and deadpan dialogue, the play explores these ideas beautifully in Eno’s portrayal of the Jonses. They are flawed, afraid, weak and yet so purely human. In their struggles to cope they manage to laugh and inevitably they make it to the next day. 

    In the final scene of the play, the four Jonses sit together outside, looking up at the night sky. Bob, unusually light-hearted, the result of popping an extra pain-pill, tells the others, “Well, I don’t think anything good is going to happen to us, but what can you do?”

Now what’s more realistic than that?



 

Mount fugi & spicy arctic char rolls @ Miya’s Sushi- New Haven (Taken with instagram)

Mount fugi & spicy arctic char rolls @ Miya’s Sushi- New Haven (Taken with instagram)

Thai-style chicken thighs with salty, sweet, spicy, sour sauce. (Taken with instagram)
Wine Pairing: Van Ruiten 2009 Old Vine Zinfandel. 

Recipe courtesy Food & Wine Magazine

Thai-style chicken thighs with salty, sweet, spicy, sour sauce. (Taken with instagram)

Wine Pairing: Van Ruiten 2009 Old Vine Zinfandel. 

Recipe courtesy Food & Wine Magazine

This Thursday—a showcase of New Haven’s best, all for a good cause. 

This Thursday—a showcase of New Haven’s best, all for a good cause.