Twisted by Jessica Zafra – Pumping irony since 1994

Archive for the ‘Places’

Our secret city is gone

April 06, 2015 By: jessicazafra Category: Cats, Places 3 Comments →

saffy meaulnes

We’ve always stayed in Metro Manila during the lenten holidays. While everyone makes a mad dash to the provinces, enduring traffic, congestion and the infernal heat only to run into the exact same people they encounter daily in the city they have just escaped, we enjoy Manila. Emptied of its frantic inhabitants, this place is actually charming: temporarily quiet, comparatively less polluted and chaotic.

We can tool up and down the highway at top speed and visit the burbs which we never see during the working week. Hence our decades-old plan to shut the entrances to Metro Manila and declare it an independent republic one Black Saturday, preventing the vacation crowd from returning to block our view. Aalis-alis kayo, huwag na kayong bumalik.

In recent years many people have caught on that the best place to spend the long weekend is Manila. (Or maybe there are just more people.) We no longer have the city to ourselves. More restaurants stay open, but they’re all full. You have to make reservations at Old Swiss Inn and good luck getting into Cafe Adriatico. Traffic around the restaurants is as heavy as weekday traffic.

Our secret city is gone. Next year we will contrive to get as far away as possible. (Unless by saying this everyone decides to get out next year, in which case we will stay.)

See you at the Far East Film Festival 17 in Udine

April 04, 2015 By: jessicazafra Category: Movies, Places No Comments →

FEFF, now on its 17th year, is the largest showcase of Asian pop cinema in Europe. Film festivals tend to be hectic and impersonal—endless jockeying for tickets and interviews, watching ponderous movies until you end up in a waking coma—but FEFF is fun. The focus is on popular entertainment, the spectators are unabashed movie fans, and the atmosphere is convivial. You can actually hang out with the filmmakers without having to beat your head against a solid wall of press agents and suits.

This year the festival opens with a concert by Joe Hisaishi, composer of the music for Hadao Miyazaki’s films including Nausicaa, My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle, Ponyo and The Wind Rises. Finally we’re getting our hands on those soundtracks!

Udine is a charming city in northeastern Italy which dates back to the medieval ages—festival banquets are held in the ancient castle. The food is fantastic. And the Friulian wines! If you need to decompress after watcing ten movies straight, walk around the city or hop a train to Trieste or Venice, just an hour away.

Art Fair Philippines 2015: Making, shopping, schmoozing

February 04, 2015 By: jessicazafra Category: Art, Money, Places No Comments →

NSFW drawings by Jose Legaspi

Geraldine Javier wants to know what you think art is.

Alwin Reamillo does stuff with the innards of old pianos.

They’re like burial plots for the colorful undead.

Clearly Poklong Anading wants you to ask what the hell that is.

We forgot to ask gallerist Albert Avellana what this is. It looks itchy.

Art Fair Philippines
5-8 February 2015
The Link (across Landmark), Ayala Center, Makati

In other art news, Picasso’s granddaughter plans to sell art, worrying the market. Because she inherited about 10,000 pieces by Picasso, whom she hated. Ooh, a glut. Can’t have prices dropping.

Evolution of cats in art: Japan

January 27, 2015 By: jessicazafra Category: Art, Cats, Places 1 Comment →

19th century Japanese art featuring cats doing people stuff.

Their descendant in the media: Maru.

From Des Hommes et des Chatons. Of course a cat would be reading Murakami. And we know that Ben Affleck is super-smart, but the cat looks more convincing.

Charlie Hebdo, by a survivor

January 22, 2015 By: jessicazafra Category: Current Events, Places No Comments →

The cartoonists Georges Wolinski and Cabu at the offices of Charlie Hebdo, Paris, May 23, 2012. Photo by Patrick Fouque/Getty Images

Dear Friends of Charlie Hebdo and Libération,

Right now I have nothing left but three fingers wrapped in Band-Aids, a heavily bandaged jaw, and just a few ounces of strength, a few minutes in which to express to you all my affection and thank you for your friendship and your support. This is all I wanted to say to you: if there is one thing that this attack reminded me about, or even taught me in the first place, it’s why I practice this profession at these two papers—out of a spirit of freedom and the sheer fun of expressing it, whether in the form of news or caricature, in good company, and in every way possible, however unsuccessful, without feeling the slightest need to judge the result.

Continue reading at the NYRB Blog.

In case of dead body, everybody make coffee.

January 12, 2015 By: jessicazafra Category: Books, Crime, Places No Comments →


It’s an old cop trick to mask the smell.

The most insane deaths seen by an NYC medical examiner
by Maureen Callahan

When Judy Melinek was considering where to begin her career as a medical examiner — New York or LA? — she was given great advice.

“If you really want to learn forensic pathology, do a rotation in New York City,” her chief resident said. “All kinds of great ways to die there.”

Including, but not limited to: plummeting down a manhole, attack by egg-roll machine, miscalculating the tensile strength of cable cord and scaffolding collapse.

In Melinek’s first week on the job, the tone became clear. As one novice began describing the case of “a man who was shot by a lady,” Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Charles Seymour Hirsch corrected him.

“Shot by a woman,” Hirsch said. “Ladies don’t shoot people.”

Keep reading. Thanks to Jackie for this cheery Monday reading.