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Blue Banisters

It’s hard to believe that the Lana Del Rey of Blue Banisters, the album she released last weekend, is the same Lana Del Rey who became a pouty, melancholy meme with her infamously off-key Saturday Night Live performance, in 2012. In the last decade, Del Rey has worked to prove herself as far more than that, releasing grandiose, often fatalistic pop ballads dripping with tortured glamour. But it’s her latest album, the second she has released this year, that shows Del Rey at her most evolved—less a damsel in distress with daddy issues than a bona-fide Lady of the Canyon, waxing poetic on quarantining in Los Angeles, outgrowing your clothes, and turning pain into something beautiful. With the help of collaborators that include her longtime producer Rick Nowels, an ex-boyfriend, and family members (her dad and sister are co-writers on “Sweet Carolina,” the album’s standout closing track), Del Rey’s voice sparkles against a stripped-down backdrop of twinkly piano and acoustic guitar. Like a far more mature iteration of Taylor Swift’s Reputation, it’s a falsetto-laced “Screw you” to those who have doubted her, proving that her ideas—and vocals—are much stronger than anyone’s given her credit for. ( —Sarah Nechamkin


Allpress Espresso

The coffee pod has long been looked down on by serious espresso drinkers. But that’s changing. Allpress Espresso—a New Zealandbased coffee roaster that started in 1989 as a coffee cart and has grown into a global company that stocks more than 1,000 cafés—has just launched its own brand of espresso capsules. There’s a decaf option, an espresso blend, and an espresso roast, which is best suited for frothy lattes and flat whites. The pods are Nespresso-compatible, recyclable through the brand’s network of partner cafés, and took three decades to perfect. (Starting at $9, —Bridget Arsenault


New Beverly Cinema

On Beverly Boulevard in Los Angeles, across the street from the Mexican restaurant where Sharon Tate ate her last meal, is Quentin Tarantino’s movie theater, the New Beverly Cinema. A porn theater born again as a movie theater in 1978, the place was purchased by Tarantino three decades later. The head programmer since 2014, Tarantino vowed that “as long as I’m alive, and as long as I’m rich, the New Beverly will be there, showing double features in 35 mm.” Playing films from his vast personal collection, prints from fellow collectors, and select new releases, Tarantino curates weekend matinees for kids, midnight showings of his oeuvre, 70s slasher flicks, 80s Japanese action films, 90s blockbusters, and much more. His audience is consistently respectful and engrossed—there are rarely mid-movie cell-phone checks, and people stay seated through the end credits. ( —Jensen Davis


Lingua Franca

If you know us at all, you know that we don’t even consider buying new pajamas unless they are piped in contrasting colors. It’s a thing. A newcomer to this niche market merits our attention, especially when they are made of sustainably sourced silk charmeuse and are customizable. Lingua Franca’s latest pajamas are available in black and mulberry, and can be personalized with either patches—placed jauntily near the lapel, the pocket, or across the back—or one’s initials. The tailoring is so sharp that more daring individuals might be willing to take them out on the town. (The look works especially well with a slim sweater underneath.) As much as we want them for ourselves, they’ll make an especially good gift, so order early and often, and consider your holidays partially handled. ($375, —Ashley Baker


Summerill & Bishop x Claridge’s

While visiting the Summerill & Bishop boutique in Notting Hill last week, we were a bit perplexed to see the exterior being painted in the black-and-white, Art Deco checkerboard pattern that features so prominently in the Claridge’s lobby. Now all has been revealed: the two forces collaborated on a line of table linens destined to quicken the pulse. The black-and-white checks are graphic and memorable, but those who prefer a more muted approach will enjoy the dusty blue-and-green version. Earn bonus points for the matching napkins. It’s not quite the same as a weekend at Claridge’s, but it’s not a terrible substitute. (napkins, $36; tablecloth, $499; —Ashley Baker


Mighty Patch

When it comes to matters of complexion, we’re all sensitive. Our egos can be as delicate as the skin to which we carefully tend—when acne attacks, we think everyone notices. That’s why Hero Cosmetics’ Mighty Patch—particularly the Invisible+ variety—may well be the best skin-care product on the market right now. With an arcane, plant-based gel we won’t pretend to understand, these discs quietly siphon off sinister matter, vanquishing acne and leaving your skin as smooth as a dermatologist’s bottom. The best part? While they’re working their magic, Mighty Patches shroud blemishes and allow you to go about your life, whether you’re trying to turn heads or remain invisible. ($18, —Nathan King

Issue No. 120
October 30, 2021
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Issue No. 120
October 30, 2021