MonthJanuary 2017

Eat, pray, pizza: London’s slice of the Neapolitan revolution

L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele has been an Italian institution for more than a century, but a Hollywood blockbuster turned it into a worldwide phenomenon. Now, its handcrafted pizza has made its way to the UK. Plus: the 10 best UK pizzerias outside London and the 10 best worldwide Is L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele the best pizzeria in the world? No – it is far bigger than that. Which explains the hysteria surrounding the opening of this Italian institution’s third branch outside Naples, after Tokyo and Rome. It opens on Friday in Stoke Newington, London. Expect the queues to be long. There is a reason: da Michele is the restaurant where Julia Roberts’s character in Eat Pray Love enters into a relationship with a margherita pizza. While there are dozens of old-school pizzerias in the historic centre of Naples with hardcore followings for soft-cored Neapolitan pizza, da Michele has asserted itself, generation after generation, as a paragon of purism. “L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele perfectly represents the Neapolitan tradition,” says Antonio Mattozzi, author of Inventing the Pizzeria: A History of Pizza Making in Naples. Continue reading… [hmp_player]

Kia LaBeija’s best photograph: an HIV check-up in a prom dress

‘I’ve had the virus all my life – and this is what I see in my head when I go to the doctor’ This image is taken from my 24 series, a collection of self-portraits exploring what it’s like growing up with HIV. I was born with the virus – I’ve never known life without it. I wanted to explore how this can feel, how it can look, how living with HIV has differed from what I expected. All the photos are glamorous, very cinematic and theatrical, as if I’m on stage or in a film. It’s a kind of re-imagination: what my life might have been like had things been different. I took the shot in 2015, but it had been in my head for a long time. I’m with my doctor, whose surgery I have visited regularly since the age of four. He checks my blood and monitors my numbers to make sure I’m healthy. The photo shows what I see in my head when I go for check-ups. I suppose it’s a kind of fantasy. The dress is the one I wore to my school prom. The colour, the glamour, the juxtaposition – there’s an element of fashion photography, something that has always inspired me. I’m sitting on the same bed my mother sat on – which she no longer sits on Continue reading… [hmp_player]

Hello spaceboy – Buzz Aldrin and fashion’s other models of substance

The second man on the moon strutted his stuff on the catwalk for Nick Graham in New York. He joins Joan Didion and Mikhail Gorbachev in making surprising style cameos Going where no man should probably go again, legendary astronaut Buzz Aldrin modelled a silver jacket and silver trainers – to match his silvery beard and hair – in a catwalk show on Monday for the fashion designer Nick Graham. “I’ve walked on the moon, so how hard can it be to walk in a fashion show,” said Aldrin, whose jacket was emblazoned with a badge reading Get Your Ass To Mars. Fashion designers have long known that getting a celebrity to model for you is a shortcut to lots of press, but the trend for models of substance, rather than just style (not to mention advanced years), is welcome. Here are some other unlikely models: Continue reading… [hmp_player]

£500-a-bird! How falcons get first-class airline treatment

This viral picture of VIP birds of prey en route to Saudi Arabia came as no surprise to Bryn Close, breeder to the sheikhs Bryn Close was not surprised by the picture flying around the web this week showing 80 falcons on an airline flight to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia. The birds of prey sit on boxes on the middle-row seats, apparently ignoring the safety talk. “To me that’s totally normal, we do it all the time,” he says from a Doncaster industrial estate, where he breeds the fastest birds in the world. “But when we do it they normally send a private jet over here to pick them up.” There is big money in falcons, nearly all of it circling around the deserts outside Middle Eastern cities. For centuries, tribesmen in the region used the birds to hunt. Today, as cities including Jeddah as well as Dubai and Abu Dhabi have exploded, falcons have become economic as well as cultural status symbols. Continue reading… [hmp_player]