The New Yorker

Articles from Vol. 86, No. 4, 2010

Big Time
The art world is peculiarly suited to dramatize a problem, or at least a syndrome, of the present day: that of abominable wealth, by which I mean the effect of huge fortunes on people who don't have them. The global tide of prosperity that rose in the...
Colicchio & Sons
Tom Colicchio closed his Craftsteak flagship in New York earlier this fall and vowed to make its revamp personal: he'd be there, behind the stove, doing what he loves to do. The other night, a waiter confirmed that Colicchio was indeed wearing his whites...
Heat Treatment
Jason & the Scorchers were one of the bright lights of the mid-eighties, fusing rock guitars, punk tempos, and country songwriting on albums like "Fervor." The band's double-speed take on Bob Dylan's "Absolutely Sweet Marie" confirmed the wisdom...
Hell on Earth
"The Pacific," a ten-part miniseries that begins Sunday on HBO, is a companion piece to the channel's "Band of Brothers," which chronicled a company of paratroopers in the 101st Airborne Division from training to D Day, and on to Germany, through Holland...
Keeping It Real
Does literature progress, like medicine or engineering? Nabokov seems to have thought so, and pointed out that Tolstoy, unlike Homer, was able to describe childbirth in convincing detail. Yet you could argue the opposite view; after all, no novelist...
New Math
Fourteen-year-olds frequently accuse their parents of moral dereliction; parents do not frequently respond by selling their house and donating half the proceeds to villagers in Ghana. But such was the response of Kevin and Joan Salwen, of Atlanta, to...
New Note
Not long ago, Esperanza Spalding, the prodigiously gifted bassist, singer, and composer, performed at Yoshi's, a posh sushi restaurant and jazz club in downtown Oakland, California. Spalding, twenty-five years old, was playing bass with the pianist McCoy...
No Credit
In the history of product launches, the rollout of the Obama Administration's plan to stabilize the financial system was in the category of "Ishtar," smokeless cigarettes, and New Coke. On February 10th of last year, the newly appointed Treasury Secretary,...
Obama's Lost Year
Virginia's Fifth Congressional District has the shape of a triangle, larger than New Jersey, that spreads from its apex, at Charlottesville, in the center of the state, down to the North Carolina border. In the district's southwest corner, at the farthest...
Plant TV
Jonathon Keats--a San Francisco-based experimental philosopher who has, over the years, sold real estate in the extra dimensions of space-time proposed by string theory (he sold a hundred and seventy-two extra-dimensional lots in the Bay Area in a single...
Platonic
Erik Satie, when he was working on his oratorio "Socrate" (1917-18), wrote to a friend, "I want it to be as white and pure as antiquity." On the days when he was composing, he said, he ate only white foods. Satie had grown up with the grandiose music...
Solvers
When crossword fanatics get together, they like to complain about words like "inee." "Everyone has a different definition of 'crosswordese,' " Peter Gordon explained the other night. "To me, 'crosswordese' is not a word like 'Oreo.' Any four-letter word...
SPECIAL INTEREST: The Financial Page
It's the time of year when a young man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of deductions and write-offs. One select group of Americans, though, has a more pressing tax-season task on its mind: preserving a lucrative loophole in the I.R.S. code. The provision...
The Ski Gods
A guy I know who competed in the Summer Games in 1988, 1992, and 1996 brought back tales not so much of athletic triumph or disappointment (he won a couple of medals, neither of them gold) as of hedonic delight. For the athletes, the Olympics, as he...
Troubled State
New York has a state flower (rose), a state beverage (milk), a state insect (ladybug), and a state muffin (apple). It also has, if the past few weeks are any indication, a menagerie of politicians whose sole interest seems to be avoiding--and thus exacerbating--the...
Underhanded
I don't know a single self-respecting black actor who wouldn't feel shame and fury while sitting through Martin McDonagh's new play, "A Behanding in Spokane" (directed by John Crowley, at the Gerald Schoenfeld). Nor do I know one who would have the luxury...
Under the Gun
The fact that "Green Zone" begins with a bombing raid should come as no surprise, given that the director is Paul Greengrass. He made two of the "Bourne" films and "United 93," and his attitude to the average viewer remains that of a salad spinner toward...
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