Some of you already know about that newsletter written by a celebrity--it starts with the letter "g" and features everything from recipes to parenting advice from her personal gurus? You know what I'm talking about. It's the newsletter people love to hate, mostly because it comes from a celebrity people love to hate. She has garnered a backlash for appearing oblivious to our current economic crisis--and to the lives of regular folks in general--even while she courts our attention.
Last week's newsletter was a travel guide to Paris that included recommendations for expensive restaurants and hotels. It began with a sweet personal story, yet to me it still came off as a bit Lovey Howell. Oh my, yes! There really isn't anything like Paris in a recession, darling, especially with such a weak dollar. Some friends of ours (artists who don't have health insurance...) spent their New Year's in Paris and the one thing they kept saying over and over again was how expensive everything was.
So fine, you're reading a fun little newsletter about making your life beautiful and honoring the inner aspect. It's not The Economist. What do you say about Paris that wouldn't be completely gross? Where could she direct my economically-challenged, hopeless romantic friends?
Maybe the intangibles, like her favorite views in Paris--the Seine from a bridge at midnight, a corner across the street from Gare du Nord, Oscar Wilde's grave--and what they mean.
This has got me thinking about how we write about and discuss luxury in times like these. As a food writer who focuses on home cooking I do try to balance pricier epicurean pleasures with budget-conscious frugality--though I still probably spend more on ingredients than other people might because I'm obsessed. Your Wii is my Flying Pigs bacon--and most of us do have to chose between the two.
But back to the general idea of luxury, what does that mean now, right now at this minute, when many of us have lost much and aren't sure how much more we will lose? What are the intangible luxuries that I enjoy now? Time, my education, options, flexibility, friends, family, good health, inspiration, memory, taste, and an abundance of love...
Something I'm thinking about.
By the way, interesting comments on the notorious newsletter at Foodinista.
Thursday, March 05, 2009
Posted by Adriana Velez at 1:35 PM