Corporations Taking Gentrification on the Road

Lot 1

Proposed Project: Shopping mall with central plaza

Method: Adaptive Reuse

Screen Shot 2014-09-13 at 10.42.45 AM

Marked by a history of violence, this arena boasts ample square footage for varied commercial successes. The current structure is a hallmark of urban blight, crumbling and home to transient populations prone to noise and loitering violations (pictured above.) Allowed to go to ruin, current lot in need of renovation to bring investment for cultural amenities. Retaining and reinforcing outer wall, developers could gut interior to make 50 lots for vendors, each retaining some exposed brick features. Olive Garden Inc. has demonstrated interest in first five “Imperial” lots.

...Read More

The Gothic Novel 1790 – 1830: Index to Motifs

Lawrence Evalyn’s last piece for The Toast was 100 Actual Titles of Real Eighteenth-Century Novels.

As a graduate student of specializing in eighteenth century British literature, I get to read some pretty amazing stuff. The following is a curated selection of actual entries in the index of Ann B. Tracy’s important reference text, The Gothic Novel, 1790-1830: Plot Summaries and Index to Motifs. Before the Victorians turned the Gothic into moor-stranded governesses and the brooding hunks who love them, the Gothic novel was characterized by:

baby swapping, 22, 33, 34, 45, 56, 113, 119, 154, 191.

Bible-reading, dangers of, 99, 128.

blood: alleged pool of, 53; baptism of infant in, 107; boiling, 158; bowl of, dipping daggers in, 116; cup of, in demon’s hand, 10; drinking, 59, 75, 102, 129, 187, 206; on face, from invisible hands, 108; of lover, on cudgel, 98; as noble adornment on scarf, 100; overflowing room, dream about, 137; as payment to witch, 10; spreading magically, 134.

bosom: bloodstained, 9, 90, 116; as distraction, 74, 99, 167; hag’s naked, 75, 100; lover’s severed heart placed on, 33; pawed by lecherous jailer, 75; viper in (figurative), 30, 35, 36, 46, 61, 71, 83, 108, 113, 168, 178, 183, 188, 194.

...Read More

“You Cannot Be Mommy”: A Female Cook on Ratatouille

Pixar’s Ratatouille is a masterpiece, a beautiful, fun, well-made movie all on its own. But it also touches the heart of gastronomy, the love and study of deliciousness. For a cook, for someone who devoted her life to food and cooking for years, it’s deeply moving. It came out sometime after I graduated culinary school, while I was working my first few prep jobs, chopping and washing, and maybe occasionally plating a salad. Ratatouille was an inspiration to me.

And it has Colette Tatou:

You waste energy and time! You think cooking is a cute job, eh? Like Mommy in the kitchen? Well, Mommy never had to face the dinner rush while the orders come flooding in, and every dish is different and none are simple, and all different cooking time, but must arrive at the customer’s table at exactly the same time, hot and perfect! Every second counts and you CANNOT be MOMMY!

Colette, of course, is the one woman cook in the kitchen at Gusteau’s:

How many women do you see in this kitchen? . . . Only me. Why do you think that is? Because high cuisine is an antiquated hierarchy built upon rules written by stupid, old men. Rules designed to make it impossible for women to enter this world. But still I’m here. How did this happen? . . . Because I am the toughest cook in this kitchen! I have worked too hard for too long to get here, and I am not going to jeopardize it for some garbage boy who got lucky! Got it?

She is, too. The crew at Gusteau’s is pretty (stereo)typical, a bunch of guys most people wouldn’t, at first blush, want to meet in dark alleys, some of whom have spent time in prison for unknown reasons, or are serious gamblers, or gun runners, or just slimy little guys about whom you have to wonder how they made it to the station they have. They left out the drinking and drugs and the obscenities — it is a Disney picture — but none of these things are uncommon. Gusteau’s may have a higher concentration of, ahem, colorful characters than most real kitchens, but cooks are a motley bunch of misfits.

...Read More

Meet Nicole

The Toast has acquired another Nicole as part of our long-term plan to absorb every woman with that name in the next five years. Please give the warmest, Toastiest welcome you can muster to Nicole Soojung Callahan! She’s ours now, and we are hers.

...Read More

Dad Magazine: September Edition

Dads will never be impressed with how much you saved. You could have saved more.

...Read More

Link Roundup!

This article on male rape in the military is really, really good and very difficult.


A Scenic Guide to Your Abnormal Pap Smear:

Sorry that I’m not an artist like you but rather a nurse who saves lives with nothing but her bare hands and raw intuition. (Did you like the little bowties?) First, you have to get HPV, which is seriously so easy to do that almost everybody does it at least once, like dropping your cell phone in the toilet. Then, the HPV you get has to be a high-risk strain — especially either #16 or #18, the two strains responsible for 70% of cervical cancers. Ninety percent of infections clear at this point and never go any further. 90%!! The remaining 10% become persistent, which takes years. After this, the HPV has to get all pissed and cause more changes in your cervical cells (dysplasia). THEN the dysplasia has to progress further and further, but it’s still not cancer until it breaks through the bottom layer of the membrane in a process known as “invasion,” because the people who name things in medicine do so from deep within the irony-free zone. Only after invasion is the diagnosis of cervical cancer made. “CIN” stands not for “Cancer Impossibly Near” but “Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia,” the fancy name for the cell changes that HPV makes. The number after the “CIN” stages the proportion of cells affected. With all this said, as slow as it is, HPV turns into CIN3 faster than CIN3 turns into cancer. Seriously, do you see how the cancer part doesn’t happen until that very last cervix all the way on the right? At every step there is something we can do to manage or treat it. All of this is how an estimated one fourth of all women in the US age 14-59 have some strain of genital HPV, and 23% a high-risk strain, but there were only about 12,000 diagnoses of cervical cancer predicted in 2011.


Do not talk to me about abusive murderer Oscar Pistorius almost certainly avoiding jail time. Do not look at me in the eyes. Set it on fire. Michelle Dean did a great explainer about how this happened. I hate everything. Except Roxane Gay.


...Read More

Rocky Horror Picture Show And My Grandmother

On her 71st birthday, my grandma married a strapping, 6-foot-2 guy with a shaved head nearly 40 years her junior. My Floridian grandma, who I call Gramel, faced an October audience of about 50 people in a dark movie theater. Her knee had recently been replaced, so she stood with her back close to a wall. From where I sat, with the other guests, I could see her weight shift, trying to find stability.

“Who brought their grandmother to Rocky Horror for her birthday?” shouted Tor, a short man who had threatened the audience if we didn’t participate he would torture us “with a chainsaw.”

When I came out about seven years earlier, I could never have imagined attending a show with my grandmother that even hinted gay people existed, never mind celebrated them. A Southern Baptist grandmother, Gramel had responded to my sexuality more Ten Commandments than TheRocky Horror Picture Show. Now, standing in front of a crowd ready to do the Time Warp, she was about as far away from her initial response as the tides during Moses’s parting of the Red Sea.

...Read More

Introducing “Hollow Stars: A Tribute to Rory’s Heart”

Bitmap Bombardier has released a Gilmore Girls tribute album, and you can listen to it right here, or just talk smack about Dean and Jess AND THE NETFLIX RELEASE OF THE WHOLE DAMN SHOW.

...Read More