Whitney Falk is the founder & CEO of ZZ Driggs, a lifestyle brand and interior design marketplace featuring unique, curated pieces available to rent or own. On the side, you can find her repping her friends’ art to galleries in the Lower East Side, hosting intimate dinner parties where everyone sits Indian-style and discusses Camus, or unapologetically blasting Burt Bacharach while she mists her overgrown Dracaenas.
Happenstance, serendipity and perhaps even déjà vu — all an amuse-bouche of the cosmic world beyond us. Whenever those fleeting yet savored moments strike, I find it welcoming to pick up this book and devour a chapter. Lightman, who has a double appointment in physics and the humanities at MIT (the first to have such a combination), presents a number of essays documenting recent discoveries about our universe, including the Higgs boson, or the “God particle”. He attempts to explain literally everything while balancing this with his own reflections on what makes each of us tick and what’s out there in the great cosmos of the beyond.
I’m proud to say that my pop is more well-read than anyone I know. The man is a walking card catalog disguised in a Guayabera, and it’s nearly impossible to name a work that he hasn’t already read. So when he recommends something to me, I take notice. One in particular I have on the proverbial nightstand that I’m looking forward to reading (at regular human pace, let it be known) is The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson. Set in North Korea, it examines the country’s varying propaganda triggers paralleled with the voyeurism from the Western World. Until Dennis Rodman returns to the Hermit Kingdom this will, admittedly, have to satisfy my own fascination with the country.
Rachel Zuker’s The Pedestrians is a book of prose and poetry set mainly in the city that won’t permit standing still – New York. I overheard a couple intelligentsia-types discussing her work at my favorite go-it-alone spot in the West Village, Cafe Minerva, and I was curious to know more. The Pedestrians quietly humbles yet satisfies both the cynic and side hustler in all of us — whether you live in Manhattan or off the island. One of my favorite lines: “She realized that this city, so unlike her city, was exactly like her city and that everyone in her city was exactly like everyone in this city.” A solid reminder that we’re all in this together.
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