Remember December: Brunch Crumbs & the Emotional Hole of Doom


This past weekend, I made the most amazing brunch. I wish you could have seen it. But you didn’t. And you can’t. Well, you could if you looked at my Instagram, but imagine you couldn’t. (No cheating!) And also, imagine me after brunch: Sitting on my bed after my friend left, looking at the table (because, yes, I live in a studio apartment where the place that I sleep and the place that I entertain brunch guests are the same thing), stuffed and sleepy, debating whether to nap before or after the dishes…

I looked at the table with great satisfaction, basking in the glow of my impeccable culinary prowess and Grade A hostess skills. Foods that were once organized in straight lines and circles were now crooked and strewn—half on, half off the plate—mixed together, piles emaciated. Bread crusts pushed to the side of plates, crumbs proudly littered where our mouths had been. Cups coated with half-dried coffee and champagne, some with tiny pools at the bottom of the last sip we didn’t need.

If you had walked into the room and looked at the table without any prior knowledge of what had taken place before, you would have known a delicious brunch had happened there. Without ever having seen a scrap of food, the evidence would have given away that a feast had occurred, an experience, a moment that mattered. People were nourished and felt something and then went on with their lives. This is what the most important typographic memory of my year—Hell, probably of my entire career thus far—is like. Because although I can’t tell you about the project or any of its details, I can show you the table afterwards. I can tell you the story.

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Jillian Loves Avant Garde Magazine

Valentine’s Day. The day of love, lust, and crushes. Maybe the first time you saw the object of your affection was across a room, at a party or a bar or on the street. Your heartbeat quickened, your palms began to get slippery, your mouth went dry … because you were in the presence of something that spoke to you, that you felt a chemical connection with, something that made you feel understood and less alone in the world. Well, that’s how I feel when I find a piece of beautiful printed type.

When you visit a flea market, there is great furniture, handmade wares, and delicious street food … and then there are the antique booths. If you’re anything like me, the paper ephemera portion of these booths create the same effect as if I was to see David Beckham across the room. Once upon a time, when I lived in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, I visited the Brooklyn Flea just to encounter such a corner of such a booth. I can’t remember exactly how the conversation began as my memory isn’t what it used to be, but I ended up in a deep conversation with the owner of the booth about some copies of Avant Garde magazine she had for sale.


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