Aliza’s Curios 2022: An AESTHETIC Gift Guide
My aesthetic is rather straightforward once you get to know me: whimsical but grounded, literary, arch, meta, dramatic, sometimes sweet.
My last gift guide was two whole years ago, in the midst of pandemic times:
And this gift guide is a continuation of that energy.
If you are looking for practicality, this is not the place for you. But fear not! Though the aptly named HEAUXS Magazine is no longer with us, I have in my possession a transcript of the uber-practical gift guide I made for them in 2018:
Please enjoy the following collection of physical manifestations of my AESTHETIC.
We begin with our Jewish roots. I have long struggled with turning art into something I can buy. In college I had the perfect routine: every time I saw a piece of art that spoke to me, I got a postcard of it in the gift shop and hung it on my wall. These days my home doesn’t really support that guerilla, scrapbook feel of the-pictures-on-my-wall-aren’t-of-me-and-my-bosom-buddy-friends-they’re-of-IMPORTANT-ART-we-are-not-the-same vibe. Hence, I love a good merch moment. Would anyone hang a triptych poster set of Chagall’s windows in their living room? Not likely. It’s so much more consumer-friendly as a scarf, fit for a good look for hair, neck, or fancy purse.
God, do I have a love-hate relationship with Euphoria. I’ve written a bit about the pilot, but what I failed to convey is how maddening it is to find a show that has genre-defying structure, gender and character, but makes me feel so dirty. The first season was really something. Not enough to make me want screenplays of every episode on my shelf, but this particular set is just … like … LOOK AT IT. It’s so purty!
I love everything Howl’s Moving Castle. I love the book, I love the dubbed version, I made the muzh go to the theater and see the subbed version with me (whereupon I reverted back to my love of the dubbed version [first time for everything!]). I’m not a Studio Ghibli fan per se, but I’ve never seen a film of theirs that I didn’t like or at least appreciate. This art series is a lovely interpretation of the films: 11x4 inch prints in an Art Nouveau style, accented in gold leaf. Available in a set or individually.
No one needs a typewriter made of Legos. No one needs anything made of Legos. This is such pure enjoyment and fun, how can I not fall in love with it? My local Barnes & Noble lost their lease, but before they did they made sure to display every expensive Lego set they had behind the registers. Thankfully, they’re reopening a year later in a smaller space so hopefully they can focus more on books and less on making me chalash for useless things LIKE THIS TYPEWRITER.
The objective correlative is a concept I learned in Stuart Dybek’s creative writing workshop, and my ability to understand and subsequently explain it comes and goes. Suffice it to say, most stories need more objects to tie emotion to. The Neverending Story, of course, has plenty of them – but what if you’ve worn the Auryn plenty of times and already have a Neverending Story journal?
Enter these Southern Oracle earrings. It’s perfect because the oracle has two sphinxes, we have two ears, and the blue etched mirror is such a wonderful evocation of their ethereal glow in the movie. *For people who weren’t traumatized in childhood by the film, of course.
In the Bookstore Puzzle from Princeton Architectural Press
I actually did this puzzle! It was great!! Enough color variety to make quick decisions about piles, and cute little jokes sprinkled throughout about different genre sections. For the beloved bibliophilic dissectologist in your life.
The religious Jews don’t really do Chanukah clothes or decor. It’s one week out of 52, it’s kitschy in a way that we aren’t necessarily kitschy, and though Jewish ugly sweater parties have been steadily swinging from “ironic satire” to “wishful copycat” over the past couple of years, we can’t wear a Menorah sweater that was gifted to us because we’ll think you meant it seriously.
So if you’re hankering to purchase some Jewish-themed item for your Jewish friend, might I suggest the innocuous anti-Evil Eye hamsa? This particular one is a great layering piece, and while blue opal isn’t strictly the Eilat stone, there’s a lot of distinctive Israeli jewelry that incorporates it.
I just really like umbrellas, okay?