Tag Archives: news

Can anything improve on the book?

31 Jul

Absolutely not.

But that Kindle article did have a few good things to say about iPhone reading, which led me to discover this beaut: Eucalyptus is an application that gives you unfettered access to books that are publicly available via the Guttenberg Project. It is lovely. I left my books at home, and on the train today, started F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short stories Flappers and Philosophers. I was able to read the first one between two subway rides. The tale was absolutely charming, and the language, of course, amazing.

More importantly, the experience of reading on the iPhone was pleasurable. The brilliance lies in its simplicity: instead of having a fancy technology to imitate the way letters fall out on a page, it simply uses scans of pages. So it really looks like a book. And the tiny pages have numbers, and you can actually turn them by swiping your finger across the screen n a motion that causes the effects of a normal page turn. I’m really happy with this. Obviously, nothing is better than ink and paper, but as for reading off a screen, this experience is great. (But it means I’m in the middle of one more book and thus progressing at a 1/4 slower speed. But I’m sticking to my guns anyway–slow reading is better reading).

Whew. I am so exhausted after today’s fast. And I was exhausted to begin with from a long, rainy work day yesterday, trying to figure out what happened to the poor engineer who was hit by a huge branch in Central park. It’s simply tragic. Today, the News reported that his mother said he’s improving slowly, so that’s good. My best wishes to Sasha and his family.


It has been sunny

29 Jul

and I am redder then ever. I will not illustrate this time–am too embarrassed.

Yesterday brought me to a treasure trove of rock memorabilia. I came in close contact with: Elvis Presley’s jumpsuit, the Michael Jackson outfit Eminem wore in his music video, a lifesize Ahnold dummy used in Terminator 2, Madonna’s love letter faxes and erotic video, artwork by John, Ringo, and Paul, and Jimi Hendrix’s first contract.

That was a ton of fun.

And today took me to the streets, where I asked New Yorkers to weigh in on the NYPD’s slim pickings of the federal stimulus fund. People were particularly talkative and open today near Penn Station. I liked that! But during this brief amount of time, the sun did its damage on my fair complexion, and I look like a brunette tomato.

Meanwhile, I am in the middle of reading the TNY Kindle article. I’m not done yet—and as Betsy pointed out, it’s self-perpetuating that the culturally snobbish (I say that with love!) New Yorker would run an anti-Kindle story—but I haven’t warmed to the idea of the device yet. People like the Kindle because it’s clean and smell-free, but I like the worn textures of books that have been places. When my high school English teacher gave me books to read, I didn’t mind that it smelled like his cigars, because the eau de tobacco comprised his reading experience. And that’s powerful, and in a sense, becomes part of the text, if you let it. But, on the other hand, it would probably be cheaper and logistically sound to use a Kindle. Still, I’m holding out as long as I can.

It’s Saturday night

12 Jul

and I’m working on an article (for the Forward.) It’s the only time I have to polish things up before deadline. But I don’t resent it, because I think this one is going to be pretty meaningful. We shall see. I just don’t feel like I’m in the zone for a hardcore editing session yet. Hopefully five minutes of distractions will cure that… and maybe I’ll even finish with enough time to get some sleep for work tomorrow.

Meanwhile, I just read about the AP’s court confirmation strategy. Pretty smart for a company usually characterized as old media. Their Twitter, AP_Courtside, is already soliciting questions from readers.

Also, I’ve had unusually vivid dreams lately. One of them was a bizarre reflection on sleepaway camp. In another, for some reason, the News office was housed in the St. Louis Beacon building (weird because one is based in NY and the other in the middle of the country.. Also weird because the Beacon doesn’t have its own building), and some supernatural disaster caused a glass ceiling to cave in on top of us. All sorts of things rained down on the building, including these brown, dirty, rectangles. Since the News didn’t have me on anything at the moment, I offered to help the Beacon’s coverage of the tragedy. So I took to the apocalyptic streets, notebook in hand, to end up … in Harlem. Which is decidedly not in Missouri. Sheesh.

Stendhal’s book is a brilliant picaresque. He’s great at capturing social subtleties. I find myself savoring over details, and reading so so so slowly. At this rate, I won’t finish until the end of the summer.

Life’s a beach

7 Jul


Work sent me to Coney Island and Sheepshead Bay to work on a few stories yesterday. I suppose it’s a bit strange that I grew up in New York but had never been to Coney Island until yesterday! What a colorfully fun place. Full of old-school New York gritty charm that is hard to find these days.

But as a result of that unanticipated trip and hours spent under the rarely-seen New York sun, I am so red right now. Burned, in a bit of pain at the bridge of the nose. Worth it, though.

Work on a beach

Work on a beach

Then went with some friends to see My Sister’s Keeper. It was a real tear-jerker, but not artfully told. The actors seemed to have integrity, but the movie could have been much shorter and packed more of a punch. What bothered me most, though, was the ease with which the family dealt with seemingly toxic outbursts. Dramatic conflicts seemed to magically fade, unresolved. Uncomfortable relationships disappeared when the plot needed them to for convenience’s sake.

Meanwhile, the newsroom is all Jackson, all the time.

Fireworks, stakeouts, St. Louis

6 Jul

Weekends have a peculiar quality. Even though I work Sundays, my week somehow resolutely starts on Monday. Hm.

The night of the 4th was nice. As we drove into the city, different fireworks shows cascaded around us—on land, sea, etc. Beautiful (and loud—I am so so so scared of loud noises). Failure of the evening: I left On Beauty somewhere. I was about 70 pages into it and this is a problem. I wasn’t loving it, more like enjoying it. And wanting more of it.

Today was also my first News stakeout. Thank goodness for the nice weather and lovely location. It doesn’t get much better than that. Afterwards, I went to a family barbeque in New Rochelle. I saw many relatives and lost several flesh battles to mosquitos. Time to pile on the calamine lotion.

(Conversation from the BBQ: There was also a family who was friends with my aunt. A seven-year-old boy went up to me and said, “you want to hear something funny? I was watching family guy and a student had a crush on his teacher!”
Me, playing along: Ha, that is funny.
Kid: You know what’s funnier? After he told her about his crush, she suggested that he kill her husband! *bursts out laughing*
Me: … That is NOT funny)

Also, check this out. Not only is it a great example of an interactive newspaper graphic, but it showcases a landmark I unfortunately missed last summer in St. Louis. Look at all that art. I wish I could go back!

Chesil a go

1 Jul

After reading other reviews—and following Ian’s (oh, not McEwan! I don’t think that I channel the author’s guidance in my head…) advice—I decided, despite my unfiltered reaction to the “lazy” NYT review, I would forge ahead with On Chesil Beach. Plus, the New Yorker already got me 45 pages (or 1/5 chapters) in. So why not?

It’s okay so far, pretty good, not awful, not amazing. Worth reading, of course.

Aaaaanyway today my work assignment—not crime!—brought me close to school. It was good to be back and to bump into lots of people I know after hours. Also the sun has turned my cheeks red. But then it rained. And, of course, I was caught in it. Some things never change.

Also, I saw the South Pacific revival last week with my family. This well-done musical doused my parents and grandparents in nostalgia (my grandma sang in my ear…). I enjoyed the excellent performance, but question the value of reviving a play so historically and ideologically topical. The different reactions from different generations (at least within my family) showcased a conceptual divide: my brother and I initially had trouble grasping that a huge chunk of the plot turned on questions of marriage between different races.

This stuff was revolutionary when Rodgers and Hammerstein produced it way back when. Now, it seems sort of meaningless: the overcoming of these barriers is a conclusion that does not need to be told, let alone celebrated with three hours of music, dialogue, and elaborate sets. But its lack of dramatic intrigue in 2009 could be considered an artistic feat—a barometer that illustrates how far we’ve come.

Life in brief

9 Jun

Brief due to extreme fatigue. But here it is, just to keep track for myself

Yesterday I:
-started at the Daily News
-interviewed theatergoers on the impact of Archbishop Dolan’s visit to Irena’s Vow on their viewing options
-walked a lot
-went to the bronx to work on this
-took the train home, ate, read, slept

Today I:
-went to a press opening of the High Line, the elevated park where some cool people spoke
-met some incredible reporters and fellow interns
-went to a park in the Bronx for man on the street reporting (turns out it’s the park my dad grew up in. two blocks away from his first U.S. home).
-met a person who lives in a homeless shelter for medical disabilities since he very recently woke up from a long coma that left him financially devastated
-was walked to the subway by someone I interviewed in the park
-went out to dinner
-traveled home

Bullet points mean I am lazy. Will try to not do this again. Good night.