A Light Conversation with Shannon Perry

There’s more to see at Town Hall aside from the plethora of events that we have taking place (you can check out our calendar here). There is art to see. Town Hall commissioned several artists to create permanent pieces that can be found throughout our building. In the southwest stairwell, for instance, you’ll see artwork on light boxes done by Shannon Perry.

Town Hall’s Jonathan Shipley recently sat down with Perry to discuss babies, glass powder, and tattoos.

JS: How did you become aware/get introduced to Town Hall?

SP: I’ve been attending talks, book releases, and concerts at Town Hall for years. The arts and literature community got me acquainted with the space originally. 

JS: Why did you want to work with Town Hall with your art?

SP: Town Hall provides space for such a diverse array of talented performers, authors, and artists from all over the world. I’m proud to have my art featured in the space. 

JS: What was the inspiration for your Town Hall artwork?

SP: I was pregnant while working on this project and gave birth shortly after I completed the drawings. It was a massively transitional time for me and my identity was torn between my rebellious pre-motherhood life and wanting to provide a stable, structured environment for my son without losing touch with the theatrical idealism of youth. The recurring vine is representative of life marching ever onward, and the vignettes placed throughout mark moments  of feeling within that timeline viewed from this new and intimidating precipice. More generally, it’s about growth. The piece is a reflection, both on Town Hall’s redevelopment and the experiences I’ve had there—and the different perspectives I’ve had at each event over the years crystalized into a sort of floating timeline.

JS: What was your favorite thing about creating this piece?

SP: I got to work with a great team of people, most specifically Bradley Sweek of Amiga Light, who has been a longtime mentor to me. Seeing my illustrations screen-printed with glass powder and melted into glass felt really special and permanent. I’m a tattoo artist by trade, so I work with permanent art all the time but being able to hold the glass and feel the tangible weight of it was a super gratifying experience.

JS: What was the most challenging thing about this project?

SP: This project helped expand my skill set to making larger pieces of work that are fleshed out over time. Typically I work on pieces I can finish in one or two sittings, due to the constraints of creating art on people’s bodies. I’m excited to see what new projects I will create as a result of finding out how much I enjoyed moving into a larger and more tangible framework!

JS: What do you hope Town Hall attendees get from the piece?

SP: I hope they can create their own stories and experiences with it. Most of all, I hope the humorous aspects of some of the themes will serve as a wink to children, punks, misfits and grandmothers alike.


JS: What’s next, artistically, for you?

SP: I’m working on a series of screen prints of new illustrations, some of which I’d love to eventually see turn into murals, or possibly a children’s book for all ages? I am always excited to see what the future brings, at least pertaining to making art!

What Are People Doing

Every week the Town Crier blog will look back at Seattle’s near-forgotten Town Crier magazine to see what was happening then and talk about what’s happening now. One of the largest sections of the original Town Crier was “What People Are Doing,” highlighting things like, “Admiral Robert E. Koontz entertained with a dinner aboard the USS Oregon” and, “Patrons of the Orthopedic Tea Shop are notified that an excellent tea will be served every afternoon at five o’clock.” In this series we’re revisiting the old column and tying it to our community’s current happenings, asking: “what are people doing?”

Today’s entry…

On the cover of the October 18, 1919 edition of the Town Crier was the distinguished gentleman John Spargur, the conductor of the Seattle Symphony from 1911 to 1921. The newspaper was touting their first show of the 1919 season that was to happen on November 7. On the repertoire was Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony, and Gustave Charpentier’s Impressions of Italy.

Today’s Seattle Symphony is now under the direction of Danish conductor Thomas Dausgaard, their concerts the weekend of November 7 will include the movie music of John Williams.

Town Hall has their own classical music series. Curated by artistic director Joshua Roman, our Town Music season started last month with a stirring cello show.

Upcoming concerts include:

November 25, 2019:
Piano Ki Avaaz, featuring Joshua Roman (cello), David Fung (piano), and Kristin Lee (violin).

January 19, 2020:
Catalyst Quartet, presenting “Hemispheres: South America.”

April 8, 2020:
yMusic, a sextet that reimagines the classical music genre.

May 20, 2020:
Spektral Quartet, that presents a convergence of classical canon and modern composition.

Tickets are $15 per show ($10 for members). Tickets are FREE for anyone 22 and under.

Learn more here.

Waxing Poetic with Sarah Galvin

There’s more to see at Town Hall aside from the plethora of events that we have taking place (you can check out our calendar here). There is art to see. Town Hall commissioned several artists to create permanent pieces that can be found throughout our building. In the south stairwell, for instance, you’ll see a poem written by local literary luminary Sarah Galvin.

Town Hall’s Jonathan Shipley recently sat down with Galvin to discuss her process, the poem, and gargoyle people.

JS: What’s your arts background?

SG: I started writing seriously in second grade. I was obsessed with Lord of the Rings and Narnia, and tried to write a novel about gargoyle people living on a planet made of ice cream. People told me I might be older when I finally got to publish, and I remember feeling so frustrated. I wanted to publish a book RIGHT NOW. I think as a service to little kid me I will actually try to publish that book, which was about 90 pages long, at some point. I started writing poetry when I was 14, after reading Ginsberg’s “Howl.” I was very into stream of consciousness writing at that age and what came out of that obsession was terrible. At 16 I began going to performances by this one-man-band called Sexually Active Corpse. SAC, a man named Will Waley, sang pornographic, surreal nursery rhymes over beats made with a Casio and an assortment of children’s instruments. My first real poems were sort of an imitation of his lyrics, which listed the hypersexual, surreal behaviors of a multi-gendered “speaker” with the ability to change bodies and travel through time, among other magic powers. The poems inspired by Will were also terrible. I finally began to write real poems when I realized that music, a beat, and a tune provided Will’s art a layer of meaning and a source of momentum that I needed to create somehow silently on the page. My first source of guidance for this was Joe Wenderoth’s “Letters to Wendy’s” which is (depending on who you ask) an epistolary novel or a series of poems using Wendy’s restaurant comment cards as a formal template. After gaining a rudimentary understanding of how to structure prose poems from “Letters to Wendy’s,” I started reading all the poetry I could find, and picked up techniques as I read.

JS: How did you become aware/get introduced to Town Hall?

SG: After I was accepted to University of Washington’s poetry MFA program, I went to see my soon-to-be thesis advisor, Heather McHugh, read at Town Hall. I had been freelancing at The Stranger, and when I walked into the auditorium, several people I knew from the paper smiled at me and beckoned to me to enter the room. It was one of the most beautiful experiences of my life. I started to cry. I saw Heather, up on the stage, dressed as a bird in a flesh-colored spandex bodysuit, and all these people from the paper I could hardly believe had admitted me to work with them, and thought, “how do I deserve to be in this beautiful place with these geniuses? How can this be where I belong?” Ever since that night, I have had tender and reverent feelings about Town Hall. I believe it is a cathedral of art in Seattle.

JS: Why did you want to work with Town Hall with your poetry?

SG: It was an incredible honor, given my first experience of that space and what it has come to symbolize to me, to be asked to contribute a poem to be permanently on view there. I felt like I was completing something that began the first time I walked into Town Hall, answering for myself the question of whether I really could create anything worthy of the space. It is a magical place for me, in a way, the place where I went in a few steps from making a child’s art to making grown-up art. Town Hall for me has always physically manifested a right of passage. I was a student, now I hope it’s time for me to teach, to beckon the next generation of artists into that grand hall.

THE STREET LIGHT TODAY IS AN ANGEL OF THE LORD

Because you had never seen a seagull, your description of the one
that flew into the store where you worked inspired
the manager to call the police.

I want everything to be like that bird, so overwhelmingly itself
that it is its own spotlight,

but 90% of things are the guy sitting next to me who punctuates
statements like “I’ll pull together some numbers for you” by
pounding the table so hard, my coffee bounces.

His animation lacks the meaning of emotion it references, like
an elaborate set with no play.

There are so many sets. The absence of a play seems like an emergency,
considering the amount of wasted resources,

but there’s not really anyone to call
about that kind of emergency, which perhaps is
why people pray.

JS: What was the inspiration for the piece?

SG: Richard Kenney, one of my professors in grad school, was talking about poets in a lecture. He said something about how people look at poets like they’re crazy in their exaltation of mundane moments. Something like: “Without poetry, you walk up to somebody and say, ‘the streetlight today is an angel of the lord,” and they think you’re nuts. But you really saw that.” Exaltation of mundane moments is what poetry is all about. The primary project of art in any medium is to lift the veil of familiarity from life, which we need in order to function (imagine being blown away by every streetlight! You would never make it home from work.) When art works it makes every experience it exhibits feel like you’re experiencing it as a child again. Shortly after I met my wife five years ago, she said when she first got to Seattle as a teenager she worked at Urban Outfitters, and one day a seagull came into the store. Being from North Carolina, she had never seen one of our gigantic stretch Hummer seagulls before, so she called security and told them a “large waterfowl” had entered the building, and they better come quick. They of course laughed when they saw it was just a giant Dick’s fries-fed Seattle Seagull. It’s a love poem—I adored the exaltation of something familiar in her response to the trespassing seagull. Over and over, she makes my world new, gives me inspiration, and this poem expresses that facet of our love. Art is the core of our relationship in a lot of ways.

JS: What’s your process with your poetry? Is it systematic (specific times/places you write)? How much editing do you do after? 

SG: I usually start with words from a conversation I found interesting. In this case it was Richard Kenney’s lecture. But it can be a sentence from a dream, something from social media, a poorly translated restaurant menu. I don’t think initially about what it “means,” I just follow a train of associations to create the poem. It feels like a desire to answer a question, like, what did that random sentence mean to me? Why do I keep thinking about this image? And because of the inspiration, my poems usually get their momentum from a poetic device called “anaphora” in which the same image or concept recurs and develops throughout a poem. I will write for four or five hours, finessing the same small set of words, then let the draft sit for a week or two, after which I dive back in for an intense round of editing that lasts vastly different lengths of times based on the length and complexity of the poem. Very occasionally, a poem just appears in 20 minutes in exactly the form it should be.

JS: Are there specific messages you’re wanting to convey in your work or are you opening it up to readers to give their own interpretations?

SG: I would say I hope the readers wind up in a similar emotional space after reading my poems, but I want that to be specific and personal to each of them. I want them to finish the poems with a sense of conclusion, yet with more questions than they had before they started reading. And I want them to feel deeply excited by the questions. You know how when people in cartoons turn invisible, sometimes somebody throws flour or a sheet over them and you can see someone’s there? That’s how poetry works for me. It outlines meanings that are too complex to be directly expressed with words. But I try to make the poems accessible—I want every reader to see that the invisible cartoon character is Donald Duck and not Mickey, even if they see an outline and not all of his features. It’s not language poetry, which tries to de-commodify poetry by completely relying on the reader to create meaning.

JS: What do you hope Town Hall attendees get from this particular piece?

SG: Well, as I mentioned the only words that can express what a poem is “about” are the exact words of the poem itself—I’m fond of the idea that “poetry is ‘about’ something the way a cat is ‘about’ the house—but this one is about love, and how when you really love someone, their day-to-day experiences fill you with wonder, awe and endearment. It’s also about how, as humans living through late-stage capitalism, we spend much of our time trapped in a sort of quantitative experience of life, and the little moments of love and art that free us from that. I hope people will read the poem and feel a renewed appreciation for the people they love and the moments of beauty those people bring. I hope they feel compelled to tell the important people in their lives they love them, and to make art.

JS: What’s next, artistically, for you?

SG: I just finished a new manuscript, which I sent to Black Ocean, the press that absorbed my previous press Gramma’s catalogue (which includes my most recent book, Ugly Time) when they closed down. I’ve been teaching a bit and want to teach way more! I love it. I just pitched a few classes to Hugo House, and ideally at some point I’d love to teach a class or two a quarter at Cornish, UW, or Central. I’ve been looking into how to make that happen. I also teach one-on-one writing lessons, so if you’re reading this and are interested, get in touch with me through my website! For those of you who have taken my classes, I’m sorry to say the price of the class no longer includes unlimited Jell-o shots, as I stopped drinking a year ago, but there will probably still be candy. Also, I like to write at least a couple of essays or reviews a month, and at the moment I have nowhere to publish them, so I’m looking for a publication to freelance regularly for. Oh, and I turned my blog, the Pedestretarian, a series of reviews of food found on the ground, into an Instagram, and I may either find a publication that will publish the reviews as a regular column, or start my own little printed publication. I’m also working on a book of essays.

Behind the Otto Bar

Otto Haas moved to Philadelphia in 1909 from Germany to expand his company, Rohm and Haas, which became wildly successful. In 1945 he used some of his wealth to start a foundation to address post-war social needs, and his children and grandchildren have continued his philanthropic legacy. His grandson thinks Otto would have felt very at home at Town Hall: “Otto cared so deeply about his local community, and he made sure no one was ever left behind. He would appreciate Town Hall’s commitment to making a place where everyone is welcome and can afford to take part.”

Otto’s commitment to his community was evidenced throughout his life, work, and approach to running his business. He believed it was his responsibility to ensure that his employees could live a good life. During the Depression, he worked hard to make sure no one ever lost their job. As Duncan noted “They might have to make do with a different role for a little while, but he did whatever it took to make sure their livelihoods were secure.”

Outside of public life, Otto was known for his mischievous sense of humor, love of the outdoors, and gathering with his family. Town Hall is grateful for the opportunity to honor his memory in our own gathering space, the Otto bar in the Wyncote Foundation NW Forum.

Portrait of Otto Haas by Kathryn Rathke.

The Morel You Know – Town Hall Mushroom Talks Coming Soon!

For crimini out loud, you should attend these coming mushroom events at Town Hall. Tickets are on sale now!

On October 13, famed mycologist Lawrence Millman will take the Town Hall stage with his new book, Fungipedia: A Brief Compendium of Mushroom Lore, combining ecological, ethnographic, historical, and contemporary knowledge. Millman will discuss how mushrooms are much more closely related to humans than to plants, how they engage in sex, how insects farm them, and how certain species happily dine on anything from cockroach antennae to leftover radiation. You can learn more about the event here. Tickets are only $5 (and free for anyone 22 and under).

But wait, there’s morel.

On November 15, the visually stunning and groundbreaking documentary Fantastic Fungi will debut. It is directed by award-winning filmmaker and pioneer of time-lapse photography, Louie Schwartzberg. Fantastic Fungi is an immersive experience, showing how the fungi kingdom offers us a response to some of our most pressing medical, therapeutic, and environmental challenges. The film is narrated by Academy Award-winner Brie Larson. The screening will be followed by a conversation between Schwartzberg and mycologist Paul Stamets. After the movie learn more from Schwartzberg and Stamets about the film itself, as well as the incredible communication network of mycelium under our feet—and its potential to restore the planet’s ecosystems, repair our health, and resurrect our symbiotic relationship with nature. The evening is presented by MOVING ART in association with Atremis Rising Foundation and Reconsider and Area 23a.

You can learn more about the event here

Town Hall’s Feeling Jazzed

October at Town Hall kicks off with the 31st annual Earshot Jazz Festival. The season’s lineup is diverse and eclectic, with everything from classic swing sounds to avant garde experimentation and collaborations by modern masters. Here are just a few of the jazz offerings you’ll find at Town Hall this month.

10/6 – Trailblazing trumpeter Bria Skonberg has been described as “one of the most versatile and imposing musicians of her generation” (Wall Street Journal). Whether you’re looking for a sound that evokes Louis Armstrong, or just curious to see a Millennial take on the world of hot jazz, this concert is not to be missed!

10/12Two powerhouse duos shake the stage on this Saturday night. First, witness the collision of two definitive styles, with the expressive improvisational vocals of Fay Victor alongside the practiced elegance of pianist Myra Melford. They’re followed by Indian-born jazz drummer and producer Ravish Momin and Haitian percussionist and turntablist Val Jeanty for a hypnotic and genre-exploding electronic exploration of jazz rhythm. 

10/17 – Some consider Cuban pianist and composer Chucho Valdés to be the most influential figure in modern Afro-Cuban jazz. He’s brought that energy to his latest project, a piano jazz trio that integrates the sounds of the sacred batá drum, a central feature of ritual music in the Yoruba religion. Experience the latest project of a jazz master who’s been shaping his school of music for over 50 years.

10/25 – Drummer Tyshawn Sorey is no stranger to Town Hall. He was onstage at the Cornish Playhouse in March, 2018 for the Summit In Seattle, a historic collaboration alongside three other movers and shakers of the modern jazz world. Now he takes the stage for the first time back in Town Hall’s newly renovated building to bring the house down with the help of his hand-picked quintet.

11/1 – It’s delightfully challenging to even begin to describe the 18-piece Belgian ensemble Flat Earth Society. Despite their size the group doesn’t play like a jazz orchestra or a Big Band. Their eclectic sound defies expectation, and that seems to be the way they like it. There’s nothing else for it, except to experience this provocative, disruptive, and utterly absurd performance for yourself.

Can’t get enough Earshot at Town Hall? Check out the full lineup below or click here!

10/5 – Jazz Showcase: Jacqueline Tabor, Marina Albero, Mandyck/ Johnson/ Bishop

10/6 – Bria Skonberg Quartet

10/10 – Jazz Up Jackson Street: Benefit for Washington Middle School & Garfield High School 

10/11 – Orrin Evans Trio with Jeff “Tain” Watts

10/12 – Afro-Electric: Fay Victor and Myra Melford, Ravish Momin and Val Jeanty

10/15 – Seattle Modern Orchestra

10/17 – Chucho Valdés Jazz Batá

10/18 – Cécile McLorin Salvant with the Aaron Diehl Trio

10/21 – Anton Schwartz Sextet

10/23 – Jay Thomas East West Alliance

10/24 – Jenny Scheinman and Allison Miller’s Parlour Game

10/25 – Tyshawn Sorey Quintet

10/26 – Kiki Valera y su Son Cubano

10/30 – Egberto Gismonti

11/1 – Flat Earth Society

11/2 – Jazz Showcase: Bill Anschell Standards Trio, LaVon Hardison, Tarik Abouzied/Joe Doria/Cole Schuster

11/5 – Emmet Cohen Trio

What Are People Doing?

Every week the Town Crier blog will look back at Seattle’s near-forgotten Town Crier magazine to see what was happening then and talk about what’s happening now. One of the largest sections of the original Town Crier was “What People Are Doing,” highlighting things like, “One of the most delightful screen romances ever produced will be at the Coliseum Theatre on Friday” and, “Mrs. H.W. Salmon and two little daughters will be traveling to St. Louis for two months.” In this series we’re revisiting the old column and tying it to our community’s current happenings, asking: “what are people doing?”

Today’s entry…

“Why do we hesitate to swell our words to meet our needs?” asked a writer for the September 27, 1919 edition of the Town Crier. “It is a nonsense question. There is no reason. We are simply lazy – too lazy to make ourselves comfortable. We let our vocabularies be limited, and get along rawly without the refinements of human intercourse, without refinements in our own thoughts; for thoughts are almost as dependent on words as words are on thoughts.” The writer continues in the piece entitled “On Enlarging One’s Vocabulary,” “For example, all exasperations we lump together as ‘aggravating,’ not considering whether they may not rather be displeasing, annoying, offensive, irritating, or even maddening…Like the bad cook, we seize the frying pan whenever we need to fry, broil, roast, or stew, and then wonder why all our dishes taste alike.” The writer has some suggestions. “Enlarge the vocabulary…I know that when we use a word for the first time we are startled, as if a firecracker went off in our neighborhood. We look about hastily to see if anyone has noticed. But finding that no one has, we may be emboldened.”

Many feel emboldened when they head off to college. It’s a new chapter in their lives. Their worlds are expanding. Their vocabulary is enlarging with text books stacked high in their dormitories. But does college still work? Can a college education today provide real opportunity to young Americans seeking to improve their station in life, or is the system designed only to protect the privileged and leave everyone else behind? Paul Tough will explore the landscape of higher education on Town Hall’s stage on October 4.

You can learn more about the event here.

As always, tickets are FREE for anyone 22 and under. Another word for FREE is COMPLIMENTARY.

What Are People Doing?

Every week the Town Crier blog will look back at Seattle’s near-forgotten Town Crier magazine to see what was happening then and talk about what’s happening now. One of the largest sections of the original Town Crier was “What People Are Doing,” highlighting things like, “The officers of the battleship Idaho were hosts of a dansante and luncheon” and, “Miss Florence Williams attended the ball for the Prince of Wales.” In this series we’re revisiting the old column and tying it to our community’s current happenings, asking: “what are people doing?”

Today’s entry…

The writers of the September 27, 1919 edition of the Town Crier were fond of September. A small story read, “Like wine to those that be of heavy heart are the lovely days of September, cool and bracing in the mornings and evenings, with sunny, hot noons. The second blooming of the roses adds a June touch to the gardens, and with the gorgeous dahlias, brilliant geraniums, softly shaded asters and the crisp sweet peas, the autumn lingers with us in beauty as though it were loath to take its departure.”

Before September departs, friends, add your own touch to Seattle’s gardens. On September 28, at Yesler Terrace Park, join Town Hall and The Black Farmer Collective for a Town Green Day of Service. Starting at 10 am, lend your hands for a morning of urban gardening, helping a local space grow strong and become a thriving community resource.

Wear appropriate clothes. Participants will assist in tasks like weeding, tilling, planting and more. You can learn more about the event here. Let’s keep autumn’s beauty linger a bit longer.

The Ishaque and Maria Mehdi Reading Room

Town Hall’s newest performance space is the Ishaque and Maria Mehdi Reading Room. Located on the lobby level in the former staff offices, the room features sculptures made from Town Hall’s reclaimed organ pipes and ephemera from Ishaque and Maria’s life. The Reading Room hosts community gatherings and intimate performances of all sorts, and when not in use for an event, is also a quiet place to sit with your thoughts or a notebook. We learned more about Maria and Ishaque from Town Hall board member, Yazmin Mehdi.  

“For all of us, it made sense to name this space for Mom and Dad: to have a space to honor them and to be a legacy for their five grandchildren.”
– Yazmin Mehdi

For Liam Lavery and Yazmin, Yusuf and Stephanie Mehdi, Town Hall is a temple of lifelong learning, a place to hear interesting speakers, music from around the world, and more.  They were keen to contribute to Town Hall’s capital program to ensure another 100-year future for the building and this wonderful organization. Below, they share Ishaque’s and Maria’s history. 

Ishaque Mehdi emigrated to the United States from India at 18 to study. He already had a Bachelor of Science in Physics. He earned a second B.S. in Electrical Engineering at the University of Florida, and then got hired by Boeing.  He later earned both a Master’s of Science and an MBA from Seattle University while working full-time. Maria de Lourdes Sotomayor met Ishaque when he took a rare vacation to San Francisco. She was studying the American educational system with a group of teachers from Mexico, and happened to be there at the same time.  Ishaque asked Maria to marry him three days after they met. It took him six months more to get her to agree.

Ishaque was a great believer that a good education was the key to a good life.  And as a trained teacher, Maria agreed. Besides her own teaching – of preschoolers, of adults through The Language School, and of students in the Sunset Elementary immersion program in Bellevue – Maria spent time in schools volunteering in her children’s classrooms, making piñatas for parties and attending science fairs, recitals, soccer games, and all manner of school events.  Ishaque diligently took both of his children to the Renton Public Library every Monday night to exchange their stacks of books from the week before. By example and through story-telling, Maria and Ishaque instilled a deep love of stories and learning in their children. 

All of us at Town Hall Seattle are grateful for the Lavery/Mehdis’ ongoing support and advocacy on behalf of our organization and this place. We are honored to recognize their gift to the Campaign for Town Hall—as well as their family’s legacy—in this room.

What Are People Doing?

Every week the Town Crier blog will look back at Seattle’s near-forgotten Town Crier magazine to see what was happening then and talk about what’s happening now. One of the largest sections of the original Town Crier was “What People Are Doing,” highlighting things like, “August, with its smoke and haze, its cool mornings, fierce noontides and chill evenings, has been upon us and now in its last days it has flung the unfailing harbinger of autumn in our faces” and, “One of the gayest parties of the season was the dance given by Mr. and Mrs. James Doster Hoge at the Golf Club.” In this series we’re revisiting the old column and tying it to our community’s current happenings, asking: “what are people doing?”

Today’s entry…

On page six of the August 30, 1919 edition of the Town Crier, a writer waxes poetic about breakfast. In “Ideal Breakfasts,” they write, “Every man to his taste, of course, and especially in the matter of breakfast, which is a delicate function that should have have its poise disturbed by culinary errors or the gastronomic prejudices of others.” They continue, “A breakfast, above all meals, should be simple, honest, and straightforward. It should be devoid of fantastic decoration.”

The writer goes on for some time about broiled fresh pig’s feet, grilled kidneys, and soft-boiled eggs. They have particular thoughts about how one takes their coffee. “There should be a small pot of it, just enough for two cupfuls. A Hoover portion of sugar is enough, and it always has been enough, in peace times as well as in war. Only a perverted, or a juvenile, taste can stand a dose of syrup first thing in the morning, and one must be a lumberman or a deep-sea sailor to enjoy coffee sweetened with brown sugar or molasses.”

What would the writer of “Ideal Breakfasts” think of writer Jonathan Safran Foer’s new book, We Are the Weather: Saving the Planet Begins at Breakfast? Foer will be at Town Hall on September 25 as part of our Homecoming Festival to discuss his new book with Town Hall In the Moment’s Steve Scher. Foer, the award-winning author of Everything is Illuminated and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, will discuss the ways that humanity has turned our planet into a farm for growing meat. Foer’s assertion is that catastrophic climate change has resulted from this meat production and considers how our descendants will judge our actions at this crucial moment.

This is to say, Foer probably won’t be imbibing in broiled fresh pig’s feet any time soon. I don’t know how alarmed the Town Crier writer would be upon hearing that. Times change.

Get your tickets (ONLY $5) to Jonathan Safran Foer’s event today!

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