+
Pop Culture

Bored guy spent his free time building a restaurant for the squirrels in his yard

Bored guy spent his free time building a restaurant for the squirrels in his yard

This article originally appeared on April 5, 2020


One man from the Detroit area put his quarantine creativity to great use. James Vreeland used his newfound free time to, as he put it on Instagram, "get into the restaurant game."

He did that, of course, by building an entire tiny restaurant in his yard specifically for squirrels. It's hilarious and also weirdly very impressive.

It's an open-air concept with communal picnic-style tables and natural grass floors, which really brings a sense of connection to the earth and the source of the squirrel food. It's a brilliant design.


It's called Maison de Noix, or "The Nut House" in English, and it's the newest, hottest neighborhood spot that all the squirrels are chattering about. If they didn't have to social distance, there would be lines out on the sidewalk every day to get a table. It's very exclusive.

James Vreeland/Instagram

It has a tiny coat rack with wire hangers for squirrel jackets and everything! And even though the restaurant is aimed at its squirrel patrons, it's open to all sorts of creatures. James said that the blue jays in the area are also loving the new place.

Not only did James build an innovative restaurant, but his menu is like nothing I've ever seen. It's so diverse, and yet, so streamlined. And don't worry; he's printed out the menu and stationed it at the front of the restaurant for those who might be interested.

Let's take a closer look, shall we?

James Vreeland/Instagram

So simple, yet so sophisticated, you know? A mixed seed trio! How intriguing. And you can't go wrong with stale bread or pizza crust. I appreciate that the chef leads with what he has on hand and fresh (I mean, stale) that day, instead of shoehorning out-of-season ingredients into a year-round menu.

Raw peanuts on the shell are a known squirrel favorite, and counter-softened apples, well, that's an application you don't see very often, mainly because they're so hard to get just right. But I have faith in the kitchen staff of Maison de Noix.

James Vreeland/Instagram

For a brand new restaurant that opened during a global pandemic, Maison de Noix is doing very well. It helps when you are the only restaurant that caters to squirrels in the whole United States. They really cornered the market.

He has even started doing Facebook Live videos that are just a live stream of the restaurant. You can tune in each day to see the animals stop by. At one point during the last live stream, James commented, "Sorry for the shaky cam — there is a bluejay sitting on the camera."


A time-lapse of the "brunch rush" can be found on his Instagram, and it's just delightful. This whole venture is just entirely lovely, and I thank James for his efforts. I hope things like squirrel restaurants don't go away once the pandemic ends. We need them now, and we'll need them then.

All illustrations are provided by Soosh and used with permission.

I have plenty of space.

This article originally appeared on 04.09.16


It's hard to truly describe the amazing bond between dads and their daughters.

Being a dad is an amazing job no matter the gender of the tiny humans we're raising. But there's something unique about the bond between fathers and daughters.

Most dads know what it's like to struggle with braiding hair, but we also know that bonding time provides immense value to our daughters. In fact, studies have shown that women with actively involved fathers are more confident and more successful in school and business.

Keep ReadingShow less
Identity

This blind chef wore a body cam to show how she prepares dazzling dishes.

How do blind people cook? This "Masterchef" winner leans into her senses.

Image pulled from YouTube video.

Christine Ha competes on "Masterchef."

This article originally appeared on 05.26.17


There is one question chef Christine Ha fields more than any other.

But it's got nothing to do with being a "Masterchef" champion, New York Times bestselling author, and acclaimed TV host and cooking instructor.

The question: "How do you cook while blind?"

Keep ReadingShow less
The Prince Charles Cinema/Youtube

Brendan Fraser dressed as Rick O'Connell.

Brendan Fraser might be making the greatest career comeback ever, racking up accolades and award nominations for his dramatic, transformative role in “The Whale." But the OG Fraser fans (the ones who watch “Doom Patrol” solely to hear his voice and proudly pronounce his last name as Fray-zure, for this is the proper pronunciation) have known of his remarkable talent since the 90s, when he embodied the ultimate charming, dashing—and slightly goofball—Hollywood action lead.

Let us not forget his arguably most well known and beloved 90s character—Rick O’Connell from the “Mummy” franchise. Between his quippy one-liners, Indiana Jones-like adventuring skills and fabulous hair, what’s not to like?

During a double feature of “The Mummy” and “The Mummy Returns” in London, moviegoers got the ultimate surprise when who should walk in but Brendan Fraser himself, completely decked out in Rick O’Connell attire. The brown leather jacket. The scarf. Everything.

Keep ReadingShow less

Gordon Ramsay at play... work.

This article originally appeared on 04.22.15


Gordon Ramsay is not exactly known for being nice.

Or patient.

Or nurturing.

On his competition show "Hell's Kitchen," he belittles cooks who can't keep up. If people come to him with their problems, he berates them. If someone is struggling to get something right in the kitchen, he curses them out.

Keep ReadingShow less

This article originally appeared on 01.27.20


From 1940 to 1945, an estimated 1.3 million people were deported to Auschwitz, the largest complex of Nazi concentration camps. More than four out of five of those people—at least 1.1 million people—were murdered there.

On January 27, 1945, Soviet forces liberated the final prisoners from these camps—7,000 people, most of whom were sick or dying. Those of us with a decent public education are familiar with at least a few names of Nazi extermination facilities—Auschwitz, Dachau, Bergen-Belsen—but these are merely a few of the thousands (yes, thousands) of concentration camps, sub camps, and ghettos spread across Europe where Jews and other targets of Hitler's regime were persecuted, tortured, and killed by the millions.

Keep ReadingShow less
Health

What I realized about feminism after my male friend was disgusted by tampons at a party.

"After all these years, my friend has probably forgotten, but I never have."

Photo by Josefin on Unsplash

It’s okay men. You don’t have to be afraid.

This article originally appeared on 08.12.16


Years ago, a friend went to a party, and something bothered him enough to rant to me about it later.

And it bothered me that he was so incensed about it, but I couldn't put my finger on why. It seemed so petty for him to be upset, and even more so for me to be annoyed with him.

Recently, something reminded me of that scenario, and it made more sense. I'll explain.

Keep ReadingShow less