The New Yorker

Articles from Vol. 79, No. 43, 2004

Angry Middle-Aged Man; Onward and Upward with the Arts
At the end of the nineteen-eighties, Larry David was a standup comic in trouble. He was middle-aged, single, living in a building with subsidized housing for artists on the West Side of Manhattan, and just scraping by. He had been doing standup, with...
[ Briefly Noted ];
Bandbox, by Thomas Mallon (Pantheon; $24.95). Mallon's fizzy new novel is set at a men's magazine during the Jazz Age--and a raging newsstand war. The aging but irrepressible Jehoshaphat Harris has made Bandbox into a roaring success, but now his right-hand...
BUILD YOUR OWN; HOUSING DEPT. Series: 4/5
Here's a way around the city's increasingly impossible real-estate market: build your own house. Granted, it's the road less travelled--if indeed it's travelled at all. (In the last thirteen years, according to Buildings Department records, only one...
CLEAN GENE; CHECKING IN Series: 5/5
Former Senator Eugene J. McCarthy, the paladin of the antiwar movement in the nineteen-sixties, is not encouraged by the current crop of Democratic candidates for President. Asked about them recently, in an informal conversation at his apartment at the...
D'amico;
309 Court St., Brooklyn (718-875-5403)--"What's your problem?" Joanny D'Amico says by way of greeting to a blond woman in a snow-white coat by the open barrels of coffee beans. "What do you need? What? What?" From 7:30 a.m. to the dinner hour, the owners...
European Dreams; Books
In "The Radetzky March," Joseph Roth's 1932 novel about the decline of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, there is an Army surgeon, Max Demant, whose wife loathes him. She is very beautiful. We first encounter her as Demant walks into their bedroom. She is...
Fortress Bush; Annals of Communications
Last August, in Crawford, Texas, George W. Bush gave a barbecue for the press corps. Bush has let it be known that he's not much of a television-news watcher or a newspaper reader, apart from the sports section; and during a conversation with reporters...
Hanging on; the Current Cinema
Do not go and see "Touching the Void" if you suffer from a fear of heights. Or a fear of death, which amounts to the same thing. Or a fear of Peru. That was the destination of two young British climbers, Joe Simpson and Simon Yates, in 1985. What happened...
HOMECOMING; THE SPORTING LIFE Series: 2/5
A buzz enveloped Madison Square Garden last Thursday the likes of which had not been felt there in years. (The Knicks and the Rangers, let's face it, have been awful.) The formidable Houston Rockets, coached by the Knicks' former coach Jeff Van Gundy...
LATE REVIEW; COMMENT Series: 1/5
American families plunked down half a billion dollars for movie tickets in the holiday season just past, a nice upturn in an otherwise disappointing year, with Peter Jackson's "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" beating out "Cold Mountain"...
ONE GLOVE; LOST AND FOUND Series: 3/5
The ratio of right-handed people to left-handed people is said to be about nine to one (and this dominance goes back more than a million years, apparently), so the lost-glove theory espoused by Alexandra Horowitz, a cognitive scientist who taught at...
The Cryonic Castle; Our Far-Flung Correspondents
When Stephen Valentine talks to real-estate agents, he uses a made-up name. He doesn't want them to say that no land is available because they have looked him up and don't like the sound of his project. He tells them that he represents a biotech company....
The Magic of Miss M.; Onstage
If you're fortunate enough to catch Bette Midler's extraordinary revue "Kiss My Brass" (on tour through March 2nd), you'll be reminded not only what a star is but what makes Midler such a great one. Even before she got to work on January 3rd at the Nassau...
Webstalker; Personal History
After my lover left me, I went a little crazy for a while. By day, I could pass for normal, as that concept is broadly understood on the Upper West Side, where I live--I sat at my desk, I took long furious walks in Riverside Park rehearsing all the terrible...
What Lies beneath; Books
In 1992, when reporters asked Bill Clinton about his favorite writers, he named Walter Mosley, a forty-year-old African-American mystery writer who had published a pair of novels featuring a hardboiled detective named Easy Rawlins. The endorsement made...
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