Tag Archives: the new yorker

Another reason to love the New Yorker

30 Nov

I am thankful for … this interactive feature with portraits of world leaders. Platon took them earlier this year when they came to New York for the U.N.

Take a look at the intro page. At the risk of being cliché, the first thing I noticed was the preponderance of male faces. Obviously, it’s no secret that most of the world’s leaders are men, yadda yadda, but this visual presentation drove the point home more for me—more than any statistics.

And: I haven’t read this yet, but this week’s fiction is by Ian McEwan. That makes the rain feel a less dreary.


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.

Chaucer guilt

3 Jul

Ah, working from home. So relaxing. About to make some calls for an article I’m working on. Technically I’m off today, but since i work 6 days a week, I don’t really have business hours for interviews. I’m excited about this one!

But while I was wasting time this morning in my den, watching the West Wing, Chaucer winked down at me. And by Chaucer, I mean the Riverside Chaucer, my big red edition. Meaning, I should get started on my thesis/independent study thing. Because gosh, when will I be able to do it during the year, with Spec going on etc?

And let me share this, via The New Yorker:

Now, an interview.

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.


29 Jun

I suppose blogging comes easier when I’m bored. I have been anything but bored. Work sends me across the city to report on (mostly) crime and gather quotes from New Yorkers. I have a long commute, and Sunday-Friday I come home tired, often after hanging out with friends post-work, and crash. Seeing the city from behind a notebook is enlightening and humbling. I visit places where I do not fit in, and do my best to show residents that I am their ally. All I want is to gather their stories. To expose tangible wrongs that make their lives more difficult than they should be. But often, they distrust me on the basis of my existence as a reporter. There are always barriers to be dismantled, some tougher than others.

Naturally, my reading has slowed, but the commute is good for getting a few pages in between phone calls and broken LIRR lights. I just finished McEwan’s Saturday this morning, and started On Chesil Beach online (thanks to the excerpt in the New Yorker).

I went to a friend’s wedding yesterday, and On Chesil Beach begins at the start of a marriage: “Almost strangers, they stood, strangely together, on a fresh pinnacle of existence, gleeful that their new status promised to promote them out of their endless youth—Edward and Florence, free at last! “

To do to do to do

1 Jun

Sorry I’ve been MIA! Last week I got sick, then it was a holiday (Shavuot, the holiday that celebrates the Torah), and all the while, my computer was gone. The pseudo-deities at the Apple store have returned it to me in good shape, which is why I can now type. Woohoo.

Aside from a few events and appointments, I’ve been lounging around for the past week. But I recalled: I have so much to do. For example, all those books on my reading list! After shirking it for the convenience of manuscripts I picked up at the New Yorker in the fall, I made a dent. But then I realized, if I did this the right way, the list will unfold eternally.

I usually try to get through books as quickly as possible—I’m anxious to start the next one—but my goal this summer is to become a painfully slow reader. I should revel in the beauty of sentences, dissect images, unravel plot mechanisms, and analyzes technical components in the hopes that some skill might rub off on me. A tiny bit. I also need to get my license, learn web design, and brush up on my languages. Jobs aside, I have tons to do. So here’s to using this summer to grow in many ways—and burgeoning knowledge of the West Wing doesn’t count.

Anyway. My 92-year-old grandfather stayed over for shavuot, which was lovely. Then today, I went to watch the parade since my brother was singing on a float. Then I joined some pals for a sunny picnic in Central Park. We chilled and played whiffle ball, briefly. Then I bought a book.


26 May

Jorge Colombo drew this week’s cover of the New Yorker on his iPhone! To see how it was done, click here.

Here’s another example of Colombo’s artistic process:

I’m stunned.