Archive for February, 2015

In this week’s New Yorker

February 28, 2015

The staff outdid themselves for the 90th anniversary issue with substantial profiles of a string of extraordinary people:

  • “Holy Writ,” in which longtime New Yorker copy editor Mary Norris reveals the inner workings of the New Yorker’s famous copy desk;
  • “The Cabaret Beat,” Ian Frazier on an early New Yorker star I’d never heard of named Ellin Mackay, who pretty much retired from writing her Jazz Age dispatches when she married Irving Berlin;
  • “The Shape of Things to Come,” very long and fascinating piece by Ian Parker about Apple’s chief designer Jonathan Ive;
  • “The Unravelling,” Jon Lee Anderson’s report on Libyan general Khalifa Haftar that leaves you with the impression that that country is, for the foreseeable future, as hopelessly fucked as Syria is;
  • “Brother from Another Mother,” a terrific reporting piece about the comedy team Key and Peele by novelist Zadie Smith; and
  • “Look Again,” literary critic James Wood’s piece about a writer named Edith Pearlman, who is unknown to me but apparently has been writing amazing short stories for decades.

And following a curious and yet sensible new publishing fashion, the New Yorker commissioned nine different covers and, rather than anointing one, published them all. My subscriber copy came with three, and the rest are easily visible online or on the iPad app. Here are my two favorites, by Carter Goodrich and Anita Kunz:

new york anno tweet cover new yorker anno reefer cover


Quote of the day: TIDYING

February 15, 2015


During her recent visit to New York, Kondo gave a consultation at the home of New York’s design editor, Wendy Goodman. The apartment—a one-bedroom in Greenwich Village with billion-foot ceilings, plantation shutters, and a fireplace—was the kind of charm-stuffed dream pad that makes a visitor feel wickedly covetous. [Japanese tidying guru Marie] Kondo voyaged inside and absorbed the overstuffed bookshelves, the antique tomato-velvet ottoman, the conch shells, and the silver urns. “At the moment, everything is a big mishmash,” Goodman explained.

Kondo started with the bookshelves. “It’s going to be labor-intensive and time-consuming, but you need to take all the books down and put them on the floor,” she said. “Take them down and spread them in one area. Physically pick each book up, one by one. If the book inspires you, keep it. If not, it goes out. That’s the standard by which you decide.”

“Why can’t I just look at the book?” Goodman asked.

“Because your body is very honest with you,” Kondo replied. “Your body will respond if the book sparks joy.”

Goodman scanned her bookshelf. “That’s a big job,” she said, her voice a little shaky.

“Think of it as an event,” Kondo said. “A festival.”

–Molly Young, “Marie Kondo Will Change Your Life. Or at least your living space,” New York Magazine, February 9-22, 2015

Photo diary: San Miguel de Allende (part 2)

February 15, 2015

(click photos to enlarge)

2-1 hombres1-29 garage skulls2-1 beaded skull

It really is true that Mexican culture acknowledges death more openly than others — Day of the Dead is practically their Fourth of July. You see skulls and skeletons everywhere: the sign for the men’s room (top), garage walls (middle), all kinds of art work (bottom).

2-1 gallery entrance fabrica aurora2-1 lis bisgaard table2-1 mask

We checked out Fabrica Aurora, a former factory that now houses art galleries, antique stores, and cafes.

2-1 david kestenbaum toro2-2 sancho panza lane2-1 skeleton tiger mural

Public art everywhere — David Kestenbaum’s bull is a landmark, but down any alley you’re likely to discover a mural on Sancho Panza Lane or Via Organica.

2-1 cruddy storefront2-1 barbed wire boost1-29 cactus

I loved the cruddy storefronts and the half-finished, now-abandoned hotel just outside the center of town.

1-29 giu

Giuliano (above center) likes San Miguel de Allende so much he bought a house there — he and Stanley live in Sonoma County, California, but will probably be spending more time in Mexico in the years to come.

2-2 stanley hecho2-2 mole negro la cocina
Andy was under the weather for the first few days but finally got the mole negro of his dreams.

Quote of the day: VINYL

February 11, 2015


The first record I bought with my savings was Discovery by Electric Light Orchestra, from 1979. I bought it at Sears. I still remember the cover, the jacket with the lyrics on it, and the picture of the Arab boy running away from thieves after stealing the ELO flying saucer. But other senses also intervened: the smell, cellophane’s aroma, the texture of cardboard, paper, and vinyl. The secret of vinyl records lies in the senses, in the way we related with the object and its art. The touch which, as I remember, as a young boy having slept with a 45 RPM containing the musical tale of Peter and the Wolf between my hands. The feeling that the story was mine as many times as I wanted and with the magic of a wonderful box that extracted all its secrets, and which my alchemist father knew how to operate as many times as I asked. We enjoy our mother’s voice and the comforting feeling of sucking on our thumb since the moment we are inside the womb. The same thing happens with the right size of the 33RPM record. The covers, the concept could be admired as contemporary art pieces, thanks to the fact that Alex Steinweiss turned, in 1938, into the father of this concept by adding light and color to the boring and almost anonymous packages.

–Iñaki Manero

Photo diary: day trip to Guanajuato

February 10, 2015

(click photos to enlarge)

Someone I know had dismissed San Miguel de Allende as “Gringo Gulch” but praised the next town over, Guanajuato, as “the most beautiful place in Mexico.” I don’t know about that, but it is a very different environment — absolutely not thronged with gringos, lots of tourists but from all over Mexico. A much more local experience.

Mercado Hidalgo

Mercado Hidalgo

The houses are often painted in bright colors, a wider palette even than in SMDA.

2-3 colorful cruddy crumble
It was overcast when we arrived, so a little subdued.

2-3 u of guanajuato2-3 teatro juarez2-3 quiet plaza
Later, the sun came out and we got the rainbow spectrum.

2-3 guanajuato from above
Meanwhile, we took in a lot of art — the Diego Rivera Museum (in the house where he lived with Frida Kahlo)…

2-3 diego and frida marital bed2-3 diego drawing frida nude2-3 diego looks askance at church lady

and the Museum of Contemporary Art, small but packed with some good stuff.

2-3 museum of contempoary art guanajuato2-3 classic velasco figure2-3 velasco bronze Arrullando al Mar

"Electro Encephalo Sax V" by Jazzamoart

“Electro Encephalo Sax V” by Jazzamoart

"Untitled," pencil drawing by Eiki Ito

“Untitled,” pencil drawing by Eiki Ito

small painting by my favorite artist on display, Javier Hernandez, aka Capelo

small painting by my favorite artist on display, Javier Hernandez, aka Capelo

lunch at a very local place

lunch at a very local place

2-3 blue wall red bourgainvillea



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