The New Yorker

Articles from Vol. 80, No. 7, 2004

Briefly Noted;
Literary LivesA Chance Meeting, by Rachel Cohen (Random House; $25.95). In a manner that half recalls the friezes behind Barnes & Noble coffee bars of literary notables hobnobbing in an idealized caf, Cohen's innovative study examines a century of...
CAMPAIGNS; COMMENT Series: 1/5
As the war in Iraq enters its second year, Americans find themselves trapped in an epistemological black hole: the war's end recedes into an indefinite future while its beginning grows daily more contentious and obscure. Before the war, the sight of...
DOUGH DREAMS; THE SPORTING SCENE Series: 4/5
George Giove, a twenty-nine-year-old journeyman pizzaiolo (Italian for "pizza guy"), competes for the United States Pizza Team. He made his name in the freestyle pizza toss, on the strength of his double-dough toss-and-spin moves (across the shoulders,...
Escaping the Matrix; Profiles
In the history of drama, many plays have been published with an author's note, but Laurence Fishburne's "Riff Raff" is the only one, to my knowledge, that comes with a warning. "Practitioners of the craft, be forewarned," he writes in the 1997 acting...
Heists; the Current Cinema
Why remake "The Ladykillers"? The original, directed by the Scotsman Alexander Mackendrick in 1955, was not the cream of the Ealing comedies--that supremacy belongs to "Kind Hearts and Coronets"--but it outstrips the tweeness of some of its fellows,...
Home of the Braves;
It remains to be seen whether OutKast's outsized success will eclipse other Atlanta soul acts or pull them into the spotlight. The latest postulant is Cee-Lo Green, ne Thomas Callaway, who has just released his second album, "Cee-Lo Green . . . Is the...
It Takes Two; on Television
The theme song for the Bravo miniseries "Significant Others," an improvisational comedy about the marriages and the marriage-therapy sessions of four couples, is a speed-rock version of the old Partridge Family hit with the refrain "I think I love you,...
Kindergarten; Letter from China
The night before his first day of kindergarten, Wei Jia refused to talk about it. He was five years old, and he had spent the summer playing in Sancha, wearing nothing but a dirty tank top and a pair of underpants. Sancha is a small village in the mountains...
Mean to Gene; Books
Eugene McCarthy, the dragon-slayer of American politics, belonged to a famous cohort of Minnesota Democrats who came together in the years after the Second World War and produced a governor, Orville Freeman, and two Vice-Presidents, Hubert Humphrey and...
Mysteries of Love; Musical Events
The first time the Metropolitan Opera staged Richard Strauss's "Salome," ninety-seven years ago, J. P. Morgan's daughter blanched at the sight of a soprano making out with a severed head, and the production was shut down after one night. The ballerina...
NECK FACE; STEALTH DEPT. Series: 3/5
For the past year and a half, a mischievous presence has been asserting itself on the city's street lamps, doorways, traffic-light-control boxes, and any other visible surface that it is in no one's interest to monitor or clean too diligently: drawings...
OLD SPILL; THE WATERFRONT Series: 2/5
In the quaint game of rhapsodizing about the city's foul waterways, Newtown Creek is generally a bastard stepsister to the more celebrated Gowanus Canal. The Newtown offers only one point of public access, and it has just one residential building along...
PUNCTUALITY PAYS; THE FINANCIAL PAGE Series: 5/5
At high noon last October 1st, the citizens of Ecuador did something they'd never dreamed possible: they synchronized their watches. In doing so, they embarked on a Campana Contra la Impuntualidad, a national crusade against lateness. A group called...
Screwballs & Oddballs; the Theatre
By 1934, when Howard Hawks's screwball comedy "Twentieth Century" was released, America had fallen victim to the twin catastrophes of the Depression and the Hays Office (the film industry's watchdog agency, inaugurated in the late twenties to prevent...
Selling the Beat; the Music Scene
Club La Vela, a sprawling hacienda on a swampy stretch of coast along the Florida Panhandle, claims to be the largest night club in the country, accommodating up to seventy-five hundred people in its many dance halls and bars. For several weeks each...
The Height Gap; a Reporter at Large
When Vincent van Gogh was thirty-one years old, in the fall of 1883, he travelled to the bleak moors of northern Holland and stayed at a tavern in the village of Stuifzand. The local countryside was hardly inhabited then--"Locus Deserta Atque ob Multos...
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