Archive for June, 2014

Photo diary: NYC walkabout June 2014

June 27, 2014

(click photos to enlarge)

scenes from Central Park

6-16 backstage much ado6-16 polish king closeup6-16 redbeak birdie
Make Music New York Festival

Gamelan Kusuma Laras played from noon to 6 pm on E. 68th Street in front of the Indonesian Consulate

Gamelan Kusuma Laras played from noon to 6 pm on E. 68th Street in front of the Indonesian Consulate

we drew a diverse audience

we drew a diverse audience

our opening act was the excellent new-music group Ensemble Et Al

our opening act was the excellent new-music group Ensemble Et Al

6-16 bergdorf rapture 6-24 mens fashion 2014 6-24 q-train cutie 6-24 my new veranda



Quote of the day: WRITING

June 27, 2014


My advice to writers: First, keep a low overhead. Second, make sure your lovers have some regard for your work. The next thing you have to do is tell the truth all the time.

— Grace Paley


In this week’s New Yorker

June 27, 2014

The single most noteworthy sentence in this week’s issue comes early in Jeffrey Toobin’s long, must-read profile of loathsome Texas senator Ted Cruz, who has spent an insane amount of time attempting (sometimes singlehandedly) to repeal “every blessed word” of the Affordable Care Act: “Cruz gets his own health-care coverage from Goldman Sachs, where his wife is a vice-president.” Could anything make this smug bastard more despicable?

ted cruz

Another remarkable sentence flies quickly by in John Colapinto’s profile (“Shy and Mighty” — great headline) of the xx, the British quietcore trio whose songs are written and sung by Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim (below, center and right), whose aural and onstage intimacy suggests that of current or former lovers: “Another defining aspect of the xx’s music — the tamped-down eroticism of the singers’ entwined voices — was also unintended, since both are gay.” Huh. I didn’t see that coming. Makes me love them all the more.

the xx
Aside from those pieces, Nathan Heller’s long profile of filmmaker Richard Linklater is worth reading, along with the always entertaining David Sedaris’s essay, “Stepping Out,” about his obsession with Fitbit.

robot pet cartoon

The New Yorker has had some stellar issues lately. Last week’s, for instance (July 23, 2014), had four very different, all fantastic feature stories:

* Jill Lepore’s “The Disruption Machine,” a meticulous takedown of of the current valorization of disruption as a business ideal, based on her close reading of the book that preached the gospel of innovation, Clayton M. Christensen’s The Innovator’s Dilemma;

* Nick Paumgarten’s hilarious and intimate profile — “Id Girls” (another great headline) — of Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer, the creators of the Comedy Central hit series Broad City, for which Paumgarten got an astonishing amount of reportorial access, a quality his article shares with…

* the great Janet Malcolm’s “The Book Refuge,” a family portrait of the women who run the Argosy Bookstore, the antiquarian bookseller on 57th Street; and

* Sarah Stillman’s long, sad, infuriating article “Get Out of Jail, Inc.,” about how the so-called “alternatives to incarceration” industry preys on the poorest Americans, exorting vast sums of money for offenses like driving with expired license plates or an unpaid parking ticket.

gift bag cartoon

The issue before that, the Summer Fiction: Love Stories double-issue (June 9 & 16), was noteworthy for me primarily for Margaret Talbot’s “The Teen Whisperer,” a superb profile of young-adult novelist John Green, completely unknown to me but now strangely prominent on my radar, to the point where I’m actually curious to see the movie based on his big hit, The Fault in Our Stars (which, weirdly, shows up fleetingly in season 2 of Orange Is the New Black).

kept awake

Photo diary: a week in California part 2 (Monterey Bay Aquarium)

June 17, 2014

Fish are mesmerizing to watch under almost any circumstances. Exotic fish in aquariums even more so. Monterey has a famous aquarium, with an especially dazzling, even psychedelic collection of jellyfish.

(click photos to enlarge)

6-8 horizontal pile o jellywish 6-7 anchovies 6-7 black sea nettle 2 6-7 black sea nettle best 6-7 black sea nettle storyboard 6-7 crystal jelly 1 6-7 crystal jelly 2 6-7 crystal jelly 3 6-7 crystal jelly 4 6-7 crystal jelly 5 6-7 crystal jelly 6 6-7 crystal jelly writeup 6-7 cuttlefish 6-7 flamboyant cuttlefish 6-7 jellyfish mushroom 6-7 mackerel 6-8 best blue jellyfish

Quote of the day: New York

June 17, 2014


There are roughly three New Yorks. There is, first, the New York of the man or woman who was born here, who takes the city for granted and accepts its size and its turbulence as natural and inevitable. Second, there is the New York of the commuter – the city that is devoured by locusts each day and spat out each night. Third, there is the New York of the person who was born somewhere else and came to New York in quest of something. Of these three trembling cities the greatest is the last – the city of final destination, the city that is a goal. It is this third city that accounts for New York’s high-strung disposition, its poetical deportment, its dedication to the arts, and its incomparable achievements. Commuters give the city its tidal restlessness; natives give it solidity and continuity; but the settlers give it passion. And whether it is a farmer arriving from Italy to set up a small grocery store in a slum, or a young girl arriving from a small town in Mississippi to escape the indignity of being observed by her neighbors, or a boy arriving from the Corn Belt with a manuscript in his suitcase and a pain in his heart, it makes no difference: each embraces New York with the intense excitement of first love, each absorbs New York with the fresh eyes of an adventurer, each generates heat and light to dwarf the Consolidated Edison Company.

— E. B. White, “Here Is New York”

new york_0001

%d bloggers like this: