The magic of the summer is still lingering in the air.
That humidity that settles in around you as you stop running or walking from one meeting to the next, or one beach to the next, is -- although heavy -- somehow comforting knowing that summer is still here. Produce is still the most bountiful. Chilled wines and tall glasses of limeade seem to quench any thirst like ambrosia. The smell of charcoal and bonfires is still the preferred perfume that keeps me from doing laundry maybe as frequently as it should be done. Short shorts and tank tops and pushpops and tacos at the beach. This is that summer magic that still pulls up to the table, grabs a seat, and says, don't worry, I'm still here for a minute.
As we wrap up Issue 11 and gear up for the fall, I'm nothing but excited. Stay tuned, because Counter Service is excited for what's next.
Eating the Eclipse
We bumped down the dirt road for an hour, after turning off the graded gravel. The headlights beamed into the sage, two tunnels of light illuminating our rocky path. The three of us sat silent in the car, the alien light of the clock reminding us we had been up since 4:30.
This was not just any early alpine start. This was not just any hike, chosen at random to fill a day off. It was the eclipse: full totality in Jackson, Wyoming.
Our excitement blossomed as we began our climb, headlamps on. Eventually sunlight swarmed the sage fields as we climbed through the open meadows toward our iconic summit, the Sleeping Indian. We clicked our headlamps off. We de-layered, peeling puffies from warm shoulders. I sat down in the spiky grass and peeled open a sorry banana thirty minutes in, dipping it into a single-serving Jif packet and handing inch-long chunks to the others in silence.
We reached the belly of the Indian, six miles and 4,300 feet of elevation gain later. The earth turned to gravely shale, gray and open. Gone were the shocks of fireweed, the dewy willows brushing our arms with morning’s condensation. I turned and looked back over the mountain’s sloping flanks. A loopy string of brightly colored nylon and polypro dotted the gray like an irregular string of pearls. We weren’t alone anymore. The other hikers looked like rainbow sprinkles dotted across the monochrome meadow.
On the summit, hikers and umbraphiles had spread out and claimed their spots. Some looked east, toward the sweeping Gros Ventre mountain range. Others turned west, toward the spectacular Tetons. I unstrapped a Crazy Creek from my pack and shook it out, facing the sun. The partial eclipse was about to begin.
A Bake Sale
Words by Natasha Li Pickowicz
Photographs by Liz Clayman
Before food consumed my whole world, I mostly just thought about music. For years I curated small concerts, hoping to give subversive musicians a space to share their work, while also pushing audiences to be less reluctant about avant-garde and transgressive sounds. When I transitioned into the more pragmatic world of restaurants, I missed those idiosyncratic and improvisatory nights. But I knew food could function like music, and I began to recognize it as a powerful cultural tool that could create both support and provocation within a community.
After the devastating presidential election last fall, I saw how anxious and tense everyone was at work. I wondered how I could draw on my past life as curator to empower myself and others. So at Cafe Altro Paradiso, the restaurant where I make pastries, I asked if I could curate a city-wide charity bake sale for Planned Parenthood, an organization I've personally depended on for decades.
Art and Wine
Art selected by Mary Eannarino
Wines selected by Zoe Laird
Anish Kapoor "As if to Celebrate, I Discovered a Mountain Blooming with Red Flowers"
Massa Vecchia Rosato 2014 Tuscany, IT.
Anish Kapoor’s sculpture series represents the coming together of different elements to make something more powerful, more impactful, more moving when placed strategically together. So the wine I chose had to be a blend. And to match the powerful pigments used, it had to be red - or in this case a rosato that packs a punch. A deep ruby blend of Malvasia Nera, Merlot, and Aleatico makes for a delicate, but balanced wine equal to the magic of Kapoor’s artistry. Dark berry fruit with funk and acid = ✨⚡️☄️
Tara Donovan, "Untitled” (Styrofoam Cups)
2Naturkinder Franken Silvaner Pet Nat 2016 Germany
Made entirely from Styrofoam cups, Tara Donovan evokes a fluffy cloud of angelic white bubbles. What else includes angelic white bubbles? Sparkling wine, but more specifically, 2Naturkinder’s Franken Silvaner Pet Nat. This golden haze of a wine is liquid magic with a herbally stonefruit nose and a yellow apple, light citrus palate finished by a perfectly creamy mouthfeel.