In this week’s New Yorker: food, travel, and the Queen of Soul

April 2, 2016

There’s a bunch of good stuff in this week’s Food and Travel Issue of The New Yorker. Lauren Collins’ piece on the Salon International de l’Agriculture made me wants to check out that legendary annual Parisian food fair. Dana Goodyear’s “Mezcal Sunrise” reminded me that I’ve always meant to investigate that smoky intense agave spirit, which my friend David Lida raved about to me years before it became trendy. Carolyn Kormann’s “The Tasting-Menu Initiative” gave me a peek into Bolivian food culture and almost made me want to check it out. I’m still looking forward to reading the dispatch about a Himalayan glacier by the great reporter Dexter Filkins. And I’m inspired to following Roz Chast’s disappearance down the rabbit-hole of looking at Japanese product labels printed between the two World Wars.

aretha by avedon

But nothing interested me more in this issue than “Soul Survivor,” editor-in-chief David Remnick’s article about Aretha Franklin (above, photographed by Richard Avedon), which is stuffed with fascinating tidbits. To name just a few: Miss Franklin will not go onstage to sing until she is paid in cash (“small stacks of hundred-dollar bills”), which she puts in her purse and takes onstage with her, keeping it in her sight at all times. When she goes to the theater, she buys two seats, one for her mink coat. A film exists of the gospel concert Franklin gave in Los Angeles in 1972 that she released as a live album, Amazing Grace — originally filmed by Sydney Pollack, it’s been tied up in technical and rights issues that are on the brink of being resolved and is reportedly unbelievably great. And the Queen of Soul, who sensational performance of “You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman” at the Kennedy Center Honors last December brought tears to President Obama’s eyes, is seventy-four years old.

One Response to “In this week’s New Yorker: food, travel, and the Queen of Soul”

  1. youngjw3 Says:

    So good to have your “must read” notes again. I’ve missed them. (I’m about six issues behind 😣)


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