Arts editor’s guide to autumn

Material for changing seasons

Autumn is here. Get all cozy, put some pumpkin spice in your coffee and take some art recommendations from arts and culture editor Cierra Bettens.

Supplied photo

I’ve always felt that autumn is far more indicative of a new year than Jan. 1.

For the first time since 2003, I’m not returning to school in September. From preschool to the final semester of my undergraduate degree, the yellowing of the leaves marked the beginning of my studies. Though I’m no longer hitting the books, it remains a time of change and regrowth.

I like to colour each season with art, music and recipes to measure time passing. Here are a few things colouring my autumn.

Listening: Heaven Is a Junkyard by Youth Lagoon

I’m rekindling my high-school love for Youth Lagoon by listening to their newest release on repeat. Heaven Is a Junkyard is the perfect autumnal daydreaming album. I can’t recommend romanticizing your evening grocery-store walks to “Lux Radio Theatre” enough.

Watching: Girls

Like it or not, we are in a Girls renaissance. I like to think of the series as an early 2010s period piece. Although it was released just over a decade ago, it feels, to me, like a form of escapism into simpler times. The characters are often so deeply unlikeable that they become entertaining and, dare I say, self-reflective. Now is the perfect time for a rewatch (or hate-watch).

Reading: Happy Hour by Marlowe Granados

Described by the press as an “anti-capitalist fairytale,” writer and party-girl Marlowe Granados’ Happy Hour chronicles a whirlwind summer of two twenty-somethings in NYC working odd jobs and getting by on charm alone. It’s a dirty martini of a novel. If a thick plot is what you’re looking for, this is not the book for you. If decadent, whimsical narratives are your thing, this is the perfect book for you.

Self-help: one sec

Screen time is among the most taboo subjects of the digital age. I’ll admit, with courage, that I averaged seven hours per day in August – though I once hit a record-breaking 11 hours.  Recently, I sought the help of an app called one sec. Every time you open social media, it requires you to take a deep breath and set your intention. Two weeks in, I’ve successfully cut my screen time down to three or four hours a day. Not bad for a chronically online gal.

Cooking: white bean fall harvest soup

A fall column would be incomplete without a soup recipe. Start by heating olive oil in a large pot. Fry up one diced white onion until translucent. Add two minced garlic cloves, a few chopped carrots, three chopped celery stalks, a teaspoon of thyme, half a teaspoon of oregano, a teaspoon of salt and half a teaspoon of black pepper. Cook for two to three more minutes.

Pour in six cups of veggie broth and three rinsed cans of white kidney beans and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let it simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in two cups of spinach and a cup of kale and cook until wilted. Top with parsley and fresh parmesan cheese. Send a jar to someone you love.

If you try anything from this column, I would love it if you’d send your thoughts to [email protected]. Happy autumn!

Published in Volume 78, Number 02 of The Uniter (September 14, 2023)

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