Jennifer Rubell

Artist, New York

Monte Azul is a magical place, like visiting friends who know everyone in a very exotic neighborhood and devote themselves to helping you discover whomever and whatever your soul craves. In my case, that was a drive over a collapsing mountain to find a working moonshine still and get a lesson in making hooch from the contrabander himself; a cup of raw milk from a cow I milked myself at an all-handmade family dairy and cheese making farm; a walk through a farmers’ market with table after table of some kind of delicious homemade dairy product sold in discarded soda bottles; an afternoon stop at a roadside restaurant with insanely delicious, rustic food and home-fermented corn wine; and a walk through a rainforest backyard filled with such otherworldly wonders that it was hard to believe that I was still on Earth at all.