DemosNews: The Bonus

Featured Material

A Glimpse at Old New York EnterprisesCurious to see what businesses thrived in Manhattan 150 years ago? Peer closely at the tiny building signs included in Edward Burckhardt’s meticulously depicted panoramas, 1842-1845. (“Drawn From New York”, New York Historical Society, 77th Street and Central Park West, through January 7, 2009.)
Ah Quince!Fruit soups offer their fragrant, bright tang at special seasons. During the height of summer, for a week or two, one thinks Hungarian sour cherry soup. Late autumn, it’s the perfume of quince that makes one salivate
Painting with LeavesGorgeous live art graces the exterior walls of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s galleries that extend back into Central Park. Catch it now while the various colors and textures are at their prime.
ObamaA thin man comes along…. Out of nowhere…. A black man comes along… Out of everywhere… Against all odds… Comes along… Materializes young and whole… Out of our very selves....
Francis Bacon Retrospective, Tate Britain, 9/11/08 to 1/4/09Yes, the show will travel from London to Madrid and New York, but why wait? You’ll just have the chance to savor Bacon’s genius again and again.
Painting with LeavesGorgeous live art graces the exterior walls of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s galleries that extend back into Central Park. Catch it now while its various colors and textures are at their prime.
ObamaA thin man comes along Out of nowhere A black man comes along Out of everywhere Against all odds…
Wild ChaseTerrific picture! The viewer on the horse's back plunges forward into the scene. Two dogs trot along the scallop of sand sideways. Waves sweep toward us .The boat hangs perfectly in equipoise. And the silvery light!
Enjoying the culinary and quaffing pleasures of rural northeastern Victoria, AustraliaAustralia produces some of the most luscious wines in the world, but the best rarely may be found abroad. Treat yourself to a leisurely visit to prime vineyard country near gracious old Melbourne.
Gupta’s Prayer Room RevealedWhat a prayer room captured in living video—Hindu deities, Bollywood actresses, Bambi, throbbing movie music, flashing lights, the works!
Francis Bacon Retrospective, Tate Britain, 9/11/08 to 1/4/09Yes, the show will travel from London to Madrid and New York, but why wait? You’ll just have the chance to savor Bacon’s genius again and again.
White Ghost GirlsWords and thoughts rippling like running water, a pungency of sounds and smells that meld with the chaos, danger and mindset of Far Eastern venues at the cusp of upheaval during the Vietnam War era—this is a stunning first novel by Alice Greenway.
Sao Paulo GraffitiCrazy stuff on the city walls in Sao Paulo.
Rotund Lady-ManA collage of and by Gordon Bishop (1946-2007), a deeply political activist/journalist. Is this the bloat of the world? our policies? or just camp?
Three Reasons the Barack Obama Candidacy is MisunderestimatedDemos contributor Nat was prescient. He wrote this October ’07, when Hillary Clinton was the run away lead.
It Takes (Out) a Village: Illegitimate American PowerWhen Hillary Clinton was still vying with Obama, she remarked that whoever holds the US presidency makes split-second decisions that affect the lives of millions of people. She implied that Obama wasn’t qualified for that, but didn’t even question that such Zeus-like power exists in the first place.
HonoluluIn the city on business or for a conference instead of with a family in tow on vacation? Prefer a tasteful toe on Waikiki, but absent the hordes and hubbub? Here’s a very pleasant, older, Japanese-run venue with its own pretty beach, together with a short list of tasty local places to eat.
Green MarketThe flavor, the community, the lush abundance, the sweet vibe of a city green market—only a poet can distill it.
Timeless Floral Lures for Kids’ PlayOne of the dearest ways that kids learn to love flowers is to tickle them hands-on in the wild or in the garden-- decorate themselves with them, pop them, tell the future, taste their hidden honey. Herewith, some of the favorites.
Zimbabwe After MugabeThe sight I remember as most haunting was the roads leading out of Harare, into the farmlands that rank among Africa’s most fertile and which until just a few years earlier had produced enough food to feed the country. They were abandoned, casualties of the government’s notorious campaign to forcibly seize white-owned farms. Field after field now lay overgrown, covered with wild shrubs and punctuated only occasionally by the rotting frame of a gutted greenhouse. The only sign of life was desperate people standing along the roadside trying to sell worms to wealthy fishermen driving out of Harare.
Oranges, the Winter TomatoNo sense eating tomatoes during the winter. The last heirloom beefsteaks—the resonant ones we long for—ebb from gardens and farmers’ markets early October. The hard red objects in stores during the cold months simply resemble tomatoes. It is here that I switch to thin slices of orange to provide brightness and juice for sandwiches and salads.
A Moment in the New Delhi Twilight ZoneJuhi called to tell me the wedding was on and that I should wear traditional clothing. I told her no problem. I was ecstatic, in fact. This would be my first Indian wedding. I didn't have a sari waiting in the closet but I had acquired a satisfactory collection of the long panjama-pant-and-scarf-worn-backward outfits commonly associated with north Indian fashion. I picked the outfit I thought was the most dressy: black, white and with just a hint of silver threading. Looking back, I realize it was likely viewed by my hosts as boring, tame and underdressed.
Two Bright Spots Among Frankfort’s Anonymous TowersFace it: Germany's financial downtown isn’t a looker. But here’s a place to stay with personality (an old princely house converted to hotel), as well as an obscure destination for mouth watering Japanese food (tiny place, nil ambiance, perfect authentic food).
Nuts for NutsSpring finally reached us today. Suddenly, gardeners' fingers itch to touch earth again and set the next cycle of edible bounty in motion. But why limit the urge to vegetables and fruits? There’s still time to add an entirely new dimension to your land that’s statuesque, valuable, and luscious: gracious nut trees.
Luscious Fruits for a Short Summer SeasonI’m thinking not only of the growing season, but rather of the special predicament that confronts anyone with a summer house in the country: guests, family, and mouths evaporate by Labor Day to return to work and school. Solution: a peach, a cherry, and some raspberries to dazzle and delight the assembled in July and August, year after year.
4 Painterly Reasons to Hot Foot It To London Pronto: Classic, Moderns, Cutting Edge Swinging London: see the fascinating surprises of Lucas Cranich the Elder at the Royal Academy; also there, the blockbuster French and Russian Master Paintings 1870-1925 from Moscow & Petersburg; at the Tate Modern, Duchamps, Man Ray and Picabia tickle one another into invention and fun; and the immediacy of Antony Gormley show at White Cube Gallery is enormous.
Plant/Artist CollaborationsI picked up a postcard by chance at the door of an Armory art show last week – two tissue thin, translucent, slightly overlapping lemon slices against a mysterious black ground, their rinds and central glow heightened with citron chalk. It announced the upcoming exhibition at the International Print Center New York.
KashmirOn the plane, the seat-back monitor’s topographical map of the flight course depicted the Kashmir Valley as a green, oval-shaped hole in the middle of white mountain graphics. As the captain announced our descent into Srinagar, the Himalaya were in view where the mosaic of snow-covered rice paddies ramped up to snowcapped, awesomely pointy peaks.
Making Money on the Very YoungDisney’s Club Penguin, for $5.95 a month, allows little ones to dress up and buy merchandise for “stuffed animals” flickering on screen. Does that compare to hugging and sleeping with and drawing comfort from a little plush one, much less with the purring, warmth, devotion, and non-verbal communication of a live pet?
A Treasury of Children’s Books—Part IIIAs vocabulary broadens and more abstract concentration kicks in, another level of shared pleasure becomes available—stories with few or no pictures, chapter books, books of wonder. Series and anthologies of tales extend the delight beyond a single session.
No Country for Old MenThis is a fascinating type of storytelling, exquisitely made. Most of the film’s inwardly revealing content occurs within a series of two-person vignettes, like theater, set in closely constricted (usually interior) contexts. High tension, not only at these moments, but throughout the film, hurtles it along.
Great Restaurants in São PauloA deal for dates, a sushi serenade, a night-blooming nuance, a panoramic paradise, a midnight menu, a smorgasbord of sirloin, a form-and-function fiesta, an inside-outside exercise, a feast worth fasting for, and a special superlative spot….
General Suharto of Indonesia. One Small Man Leaves a Million Corpses.General Suharto of Indonesia is fading fast, the news bulletins say. So when I came into the country, I started asking how people felt about their dying killer. (Body count, circa one million plus, overwhelmingly civilian)…. “Suharto?” she said. “He ate too much money. He’s full. He ate so such that others can’t eat.”
Food for the BrainThere are certain venerable research tomes one treasures, dipping into them again and again to browse and to learn. On Food and Cooking by Harold McGee serves as an underground bible for chefs—a close examination of the structure and origins and attributes of the whole panoply of foodstuffs we humans consume.
Gupta’s Prayer Room RevealedMr Gupta is an older fellow: he only had one apartment he wanted to show me and although it isn’t really a possibility, it was definitely worth the visit. Just imagine a 200-square-foot bedroom without an inch of wall left uncovered by flashing, sparkling, chirping tributes to hindu gods, bollywood actresses and Bambi.
Quick Watercress Eggdrop Soup Look, it’s wonderful to have nice, pint-sized, plastic containers of your butcher’s stock, or your own homemade from all those chicken wing tips and necks you’ve saved. But if you come in starved and cold, try this quickie for instant succor. Pair it with some goat cheese smeared on bread, and you have lunch.
A Treasury of Children’s Books—Part IIOnce past the baby stage, a broad realm of books opens wide. Choose ones with a resonant picture on each page, and words that are relatively simple and few. Artsy abstract ones fall flat. Kids relish and peer deep into recognizable detail. Pop-ups contribute a newly beguiling trove....
Bespoke LoveI learned the word “bespoke” today, and it instantly became my favorite word. It has a long vowel that ends in a K sound which sounds wonderful—like “yoke” or “ache”—especially when tumbling from the lips of a girl who from time to time speaks English as it should be spoken....
The Diving Bell and The ButterflyDirector Julian Schnabel’s painterly eye flashes original and brilliant in The Diving Bell and Butterfly—different from traditional cinematography, different from theater. Artistic, impromptu, happening-like strokes glide unexpectedly into the frames of this marvelous, hugely affecting film—juicy, heartbreaking, funny, uplifting.
Seurat Drawing Exhibition at MOMAThe sensual delight in light and dark to model and compose is the special purview of Georges Seurat’s magnificent drawings showing now at the MoMA. Drawings allow the observer rare insight into an artist’s thought process and exploration because everything is laid bare to breathe with special spontaneity.
Duduk-Duduk, Ngobrol-Ngobrol. Sitting Around Talking, in IndonesiaSitting around in a house in Indonesia over seaweed gelatin, the talk is of police, the local mob boss, a framed son, tiny worms, buying used clothes from rich lands, but, most fundamentally, jobs and whether, in America, you have to pay a bribe to get one.
Growing Old LiliesLilies entice nose, eye, and mind with rich perfume, gracious flaring blooms, and archaic origins. With careful attention to bloom period, one variety can cede to the next in continuous display from early summer through fall. Unlike most hybrids that blur ubiquitously, I prefer species lilies and the old breeds.
Danger: TriclosanTriclosan has long been embroiled in controversy: many fear its dual role in eliminating harmless – some even argue helpful – bacteria, creating antibiotic-resistant strains of super-bacteria
Responsible OutsourcingFair trade emerged as a market-based model of international trade which promotes relates to the production of goods. As far as I know, there’s no equivalent social movement behind the fair trade in services. What would it take to create a brand around responsible outsourcing?
William Steig Show at the Jewish Museum, New York Bill Steig. His big heart and psychological insight became a steady at the New Yorker for more than 70 years—1600 cartoons, 120+ covers!—and he rolled out one marvelous children’s picture book after another, among them Shrek! Here is an exuberant exhibition that brings to life the full breadth of his oeuvre.
Three Reasons the Barack Obama Candidacy is MisunderestimatedBarack Obama’s campaign is still in the center of the ballgame. Take a moment before you throw your support and cash behind Hillary. Looming in the marginalia of public discourse on presumptive President are grave liabilities—of public posture, of Iowan augury, and of the unprecedented caucus jambalaya.
The FRRO and the RamaKrishna Puram Small MarketToday was my third trip into the happy circus of Indian bureaucracy called the FRRO – Foreigner Regional Registration Office which is set up much like Kung-Fu for original Nintendo. Instead of levels, there are long lines to negotiate. Instead of bosses, there are paper-pushers.
Doom + Decryption - DigitalRightsManagement = Serenitymuslix64 did the impossible: he decrypted HD-DVDs. He did it unthinkably quickly, left a riddle on an obscure website, and (whoosh!) he was gone. When others solved his clues, it crippled an industry and sparked a massive internet demonstration. This is his story.
Nana’s Pumpkin PieFall leaves, jack-o’-lanterns, pirates and sheeted ghosts, a cornucopia of gourds—time for pumpkin pie. A season full of tradition and well-wishing and what better well-wisher and resonant source than a universal Nana?
Catullus Alive: ReadingsIn the early 1970s, a New York radio station broadcast Carl Sesar reading his new translations of the Latin poet Catullus. Listener response was so extraordinary that the reading was re-broadcast within hours—unprecedented! Sesar’s pitch-perfect poems grab the characters & sentiments of ancient Rome and shoot them through our vernacular.
Enjoying the culinary and quaffing pleasures of rural northeastern Victoria, AustraliaPlan to stay some days for the local wines and food: the best smoked trout in this part of Australia, a restaurant that cantilevers over a billabong filled with bird life, a bewildering range of grape varieties, spiced mustards and pickled olives, soft and hard cheeses. And a huge stone jail converted into a luxury accommodation complex.
Here We Go AgainNot one but two third party movements are growing beneath the surface of the 2008 US presidential race. Many Americans, particularly among the literati and glitterati, are always unhappy with their choices from the grueling presidential winnowing. But a third force has never elected a president in nearly 150 years of trying.
The Party of a LifetimeEvery September, I receive a slew of invitations in the mail, from fashion parties to art openings to benefits; the courting ritual now symbolic of fall season in Manhattan. The stationery is thick and grainy; the lettering embossed or engraved. Disappointment often ensues. Since 2005, however, one invitation I eagerly await.
Slow TravelWe’re destination oriented. Speed is an intoxicant and enabler to a goal. Time is money, they say. But slowness has its place and import. When we first visited Indonesia, the long creep back and forth along switchbacks on a creaky conveyance inspired that ancient land with wonder.
Lovely Places to Lunch 5 Minutes’ Walk From London’s Victoria & AlbertSate your body as well! Options include: delicious salad plates in great variety; a goofy, Michelin man stained-glass venue for oysters or light lunch (“Nunc Bibendum”); and a spot for luscious open faced French sandwiches in great variety. The aesthetic of locale is as important as the caliber of comestibles.
untitledFrom a series exploring the limitations of painting. How far can the rules of the medium be violated and, yet, still create what is considered a painting. The restraint or bare minimum to create a painting is to use its essential materials—a stretcher, canvas and paint. It is the definition of painting in the most traditional sense, but interpreted as unconventionally as possible.
Summer MoneyIn the third quarter of 2007 Hillary Clinton raised more money ($22M) for her Democratic primary campaign than Barack Obama did for his ($19M). One of Mrs. Clinton’s donors, Norman Hsu, turned out to be a fugitive from the law.
Turning into everybody -- For Gordon # 2You said tomorrow I’ll know my mother’s secrets I’ll gamble with giants I’ll meet my poems, dark holes of fury and sweetness. I said you stopped wars you cleaned the earth you freed trapped miners. You were always pregnant I said....
Forgot to pack your cufflinks?No problem, a knotted cocktail straw imparts Pop-Art charm worthy of MOMA.
Mussel Roast on a Rocky SeacoastSome feasts are site-specific. This one cries for tide, wet kelp, and an inviting beach. One can buy in the mussels and firewood if necessary, though it’s more magical if that’s naturally at hand as well. The rough coasts off Washington or Oregon or Maine come to mind.
On the Communal Aspect of VideogamesIt is suggested that, in contrast to old childhood diversions, modern videogames beget solitary activity. Having a certain familiarity with the industry from a consumer standpoint, this assessment of misanthropy did not sit well with me. So I looked to sales figures for evidence.
Leaving New YorkI am moving from New York City (by which I mean Manhattan), where I have spent almost all of my life, to London. Indefinitely. And I am INCREDIBLY excited. However, there are some parts of New York that I will really miss.... I’m sure there will be more that I haven’t even realized yet.
Measuring Airport SecurityLacquered on the door to Gate B is a bright red declaration—an intensely awkward byproduct of signage. Is it a sign for sign’s sake? Is it an item on a standard airport checklist, irrelevant here, that needs to be present for the sake of uniformity?
Journeys of the FortuneIf you're fortunate these days it becomes easy to see / The Chrysler Building and its spire, the Humber Bridge, Niagara / And the beautiful Thames Barrier, easy for the fortunate, like me / But I dream of India, restlessly, and many lands beyond....
Fondly Recollected Toys and PastimesSome friends and I were reminiscing about what kids played with in our day: Lionel trains, wooden blocks, an erector set, a chemistry set, a bb gun, a bat and mitt for pick-up games, spud, Toni dolls, jacks, hopscotch…. But then, in came Tetris and Mario and this generation segued right into the computer age.
Photoshop in the GardenSo he said to me, how about putting a sea of Japanese maples in that hidden back meadow? Drench the area in red, and delicately cut foliage. Lovely, lacey patterns against the blue sky, light dappled shade underfoot. Enough plantings so that one feels enveloped, almost lost.
sambal goréng tempe kering from Sunda, West JavaWhen I was little and lived with my spoiling sundanese grandmother, I begged it to be prepared nearly every day. And now still, half a century and more later, I still love this sidedish that goes so well with simple javan food. Years ago I concocted an easy way to make it.
Grand CanyonThe trip cross-country was a spontaneous one. I had heard about the Canyonlands in Utah from many friends who had driven out west and hiked these red rocks on summer vacations. They would talk with reverence about the range, colors, and overall majestic qualities of these mountains.
EquilibresAn art book, particularly one without text, should demand more than just flapping through handsome pictures. It should slow the process, intrigue, engage the viewer, coax him or her to focus more deeply, and wonder. The hook of the marvelous, recent book on balance by Peter Fischli and David Weiss does just this.
Incentivize Private Support For Cultural Treasure Houses!American museums are the envy of the world in a certain regard. U.S. tax laws, which deem private support of cultural institutions essential to the public good, leverage donations to them in a powerful way. This very enticing tax incentive has fattened American museums with marvelous collections, and built up a contagious patron momentum.
Cropped SleevesFashion focuses on different parts of the body. For a season or two it was a bare midriff. Heaven help you if you didn’t have a taut virginal belly, either because you were still a sweet young thing, or you worked out like mad in a gym.. This fall it seems to be the forearm.
Ringer/Renegade CroquetIn the game of mallets there is a direct correlation between competition and fun: the more, the merrier. Croquet achieves suspense, glory, and depth as the number of players rises but à deux it can seem flat. Here is a solution to this dilemma—a true revitalization of match play.
Instructions for Capturing SunI can capture the sun in my hands / and encrust my two palms in its glow / so that each is a basket reversed.
Pan Seared ScallopsScallops present an elegant package: perfect flattened cylinder of sweet, succulent, white flesh. The trick is to not toughen or overwhelm it. One must begin with the freshest of fresh.... Everything depends on fresh. Here’s a quick method of cooking them stove top.
Do You Have A Second Life?A friend of mine told me about his cousin, who in first life is a rather boring forty-year-old, trapped in what seems to be a dull marriage, and a pretty unexciting life. In Second Life, this same cousin is a pimp. He arranges escorts for business people and satisfies any other virtual desires of Second Life residents. If I were his wife, I would probably be just a little worried....
A Renaissance ManI’m intrigued by the self-made character who allows an overriding interest to bloom and shape his life’s work: Paul Cartwright, a man in his 50s, has always been fascinated with physics—tensile strength, compression, the power of an arch, heat transfer, &c—the building blocks of how things work.
A Contrarian in the GardenThe manicured, very formal gardens featured on a country tour looked ridiculous. Pay your money, a willing crew, and anyone can recreate a taste of Vita Sackville-West’s Sissinghurst. But a visitor doesn’t remember it a minute later.
Red TapeA true incident from the seventies in India, from a time when the trains were steam, and one emerged from each trip bathed in sweat and coated with particular matter, erudite Indians would share sweets from their tiffin box and ask you the meaning of life or your opinion of Mr. Bertrand Russell’s mathematical treatise.
Boogie with Purse“At 9 she looks suspiciously wise (like many pre-teenagers) and one can imagine her as a magical guide to something or somewhere; I’m thinking of Robert Aickman’s ‘Bind Your Hair’ and those somber children escorting the woman visitor to the midnight animal transformation rites in that small town she visits.”
For Gordon, as orderedAlmost everything can be taken away. A man can be torn to pieces, disassembled and scattered like a puzzle. He can be deconstructed and left with only his breath and his pain and his goodness going out like ripples into the world.
A False Choice: The Middle Ground of Partial WithdrawalThere is a growing consensus in the media that the best course in Iraq lies in a reduction of US troop numbers, refocusing their mission on hunting Al-Queda and training the Iraqi army and a diplomatic offensive to engage Iraq’s neighbors in the reconciliation and reconstruction process…. It is hard to see how the fitful and uneven political progress that has been made by the Iraqi government would be accelerated by such an outcome.
Chemo Leave of Absence DirgeGnarled pudgy fingers, entangled in choked throat, stuffed with pink poisons— pin my veins on the clothesline— claw my eyes open so I can bear witness to morbid thoughts coming to mind.
The Tale of the Ascent of Mt. Potosi (Part I)The tale of my blindness begins with a pair of rucksacks in a little hut in the Andes. I crouched on the floor, rubbing my hands together for warmth, and assessed what I would need…. It was November, spring in Bolivia, but at 4,500m it froze in a hurry without sun.
Europe 23, America 1 (mottos say it all)Look at the difference between the respective mottos of the United States and the European Union.... Both speak of unification, but the paths to that end differ palpably. The US motto is synthetic; that of the EU discerns concordance from the heterogeneity of its member states.
Boxing Without Borders: HoustonFrom an ongoing series tracing the lives of fighters through photographs taken out of the limelight, in the ring, in bravura, in preparation, in their natural state. Here, a training session.
Top 10 Restaurants in PhiladelphiaPeak Philly cuisine: Asian fusion kitchen of unbelievably high quality, tapas creations that have never been seen before, the best BYOB in Philadelphia, the best location for people watching, one of the best and unique steakhouses, a delicious brunch spot on the weekend, the place for wine and cheese lovers, find yourself in a Cuban oasis, one of the best Italian restaurants in America, and freshly baked bread served in flower pots....
FractureA view of wood as the instrument of wind in these definitions of torque, brittleness, pliancy, and the evidentiary-surreal role of photography.
Ode to MuskTime is muscle, heart surgeons say. Ligaments torn to shreds, making love all night, pulled hamstrings plucked like harps at wakes. What pains we endure muscling ourselves through life....
NeighborhoodsThroughout America these last decades, rural or empty lands seem to change suddenly, starkly, from one year to the next.... The interior of large, still productive cities like New York, however, reinvent themselves a bit more slowly. Much of the land in Manhattan is already built up. Mass tear-downs and aggressive new building strike neighborhoods unevenly.
Boxing Without Borders: Rio de JaneiroBem vindo à Rio and the world of Brazilian boxing. Capturing the blur and gritty circumstance of the fighters, these photographs sketch the background of a fighter—notably Jean-Pierre, in blue trunks, who qualified for the Olympics.
Piggybacking on the InternetWhat's going on with some internet companies is as debased as it is intelligent. With such low barriers to entry, you see all sorts of kooky schemes cropping up on the web and trying to make a quick buck--usually via advertising. Depending on your point of view, the worst or the best are those that outsource all of their value.
Smoke!Smoking centers around tradition, and ever since man deduced a pleasing effect in burning the vegetable he has kept at it. Satiating desire with certainty (a priceless commodity) is vended at a pittance. The satisfaction of custom--rolling one's smokes, for example--is nothing if not art form or meditation.
Re: Do You Have a Second Life?It’s as if our modern urban senses have gradually narrowed to mind, eyes and finger tips. Forget about smell, or touch (unless you have a cat or a lover or small child), or the rhythm of natural sounds. Large muscle movement is mostly segregated to sport or diversion like dancing, or timeout (as in vacations.) Strange.
A glimpse into DJs and the dance culture in EgyptWe have all heard and read about DJs, parties and raves. Things have changed: dance music has inherited a very powerful position. It is capable of reaching people on a global level and in great numbers, sending messages, raising money, dancing to increase awareness to prevent HIV.
Confessions of a writer (at 2 am)Why is it so hard for us to accept the odd? I have seen people repress so much potential to be something more extraordinary than what they are, and instead conform to what seems to be the “norm”…. are we scared? Lost? Or just simply sticking to what we know—sticking to the safe side?
Top Ten Electro House Tracks For The SummerEnormous. This is what happens when a German one-hit wonder factory teams up with Fatman Scoop.... This track has been rocking every dancefloor in France.... Heard it first on NileFM.... New Daft Punk? Same manager, same underground hype....
Path -- Painted HillsOn this series of wide-angle skyscapes: “I have been photographing favorite landscapes for the last twenty years, usually with a moving-lens panoramic camera. It is an unwieldy and stubborn apparatus, yielding troublesome negatives... but when the pan cam works, it thrusts the viewer directly into the landscape in a way that no single-viewpoint shot ever could.”
So what delicacies does a bourgeoise like me bring from Gotham to augment country fare for a 4 month stay?Well, for one: basmati rice from India, not domestic, long grained and fragrant, my favorite staff of life until new potatoes emerge. And olives from Italy like the little black Gaeta. And sun dried tomatoes marinated in oil. And mustards. And more....
On the summit of Mt. Potosi, Bolivia (19,974ft)“Don’t forget about Maui,” they caution. Perched atop the world, overlooking the high plains of Bolivia and Peru, two travelers reveal the method and the madness of their climb. The snow-blinding ravine awaits below; the whistling wind sears them above. Yet they smile: youth.
Impressions of Richard Serra at the MoMAThere is currently an exhibit at the MoMA of Richard Serra’s sculptures, spread across three floors of the museum and four decades of the artist’s life. Let’s get the subpar one out of the way: SKIP the 6th floor. The installations on the second floor and in the garden are spectacular.
My First Political PrisonerAmr Sharqawi, a blogger from Mansoura province in Egypt. Imprisoned 3 days, beaten, kept without food and water, and thrown in a cell with violent criminals--I heard of him from another blogger, who'd previously been imprisoned, tortured and sodomized.
untitledFrom a series exploring the limitations of painting. How far can the rules of the medium be violated and, yet, still create what is considered a painting. The restraint or bare minimum to create a painting is to use its essential materials—a stretcher, canvas and paint. It is the definition of painting in the most traditional sense, but interpreted as unconventionally as possible.
A glance, and it is overThe Sopranos is about the equilibrium and ambiguity in our world of good and evil, of pleasure and pain, selflessness and ego, laughter and tragedy; our fundamental lack of certitude and security; the no-peak ordinariness of even extraordinarily unusual American life; above all, a palpable devolve into mediocrity, as self-interest overcomes all their better angels.
Favorite Cheeses in the New York MarketsCheese curdled with thistle... soft sheep... heavy cream, bound into a fat pyramid... triple cream rolled in marinated mustard seeds... nutty sheep from Pyrenees... Italian w/ truffles... Portuguese ewe’s milk... braided Armenian with black nigela seeds... Standouts offered in New York.
The Simplicity of Style SuperficialityWhy is it that people who are clearly confident and carry themselves in a certain way are admired for their sense of style? I find myself admiring people whose clothing I would never wear, simply because they are so clearly in their own element enclosed by the millimeters of clothing wrapped around their bodies.
Putting the Sopranos to RestThe world of The Sopranos eclipses like an Andy Kaufman prank: a scene steeped in portent, charged with the resolution of an odyssey, background ballad in mid-verse, abruptly cuts to black. No picture and no sound, for ten seconds. And we hear our hearts beat.
Vietnam and Iraq - How Apt an Analogy?Public discourse on the current war in Iraq is littered with analogies to the Vietnam War. Some are prescient; some are not. Reasoning by historical analogy is a highly fraught endeavor, and it is prudent to keep in mind that no two situations are exactly alike.
Denizens of a Bolivian RainforestThere are is an enormous marriage of rat, dog, and pig (something you can't even fathom unless you've seen the Princess Bride) and a creature one might imagine from Kafkaesque metamorphosis, if one were in a malaria-induced hallucination. And more.
Top Non-US-Born Athletes in New YorkNew York is a mecca for performers, and it boasts some of the most talented athletes in the world. Here are a dozen that share two traits: they come from another country and they play for a team in the City.
Nasturtium PathPast ochre flowers, beneath the fronds and the bright white sky, lies the secret garden....
Sara’s LambLambs lamb in early spring, and New York farmers’ markets already offer fresh local meat. Of course, one could just rub some chops with a cut garlic clove, lemon zest, oregano, and olive oil, and broil or grill a toothsome quickie. But for something quite special, consider this succulent leg of lamb.
The Exquisite Closeness of Old AgeWilliam Steig, beloved cartoonist of the New Yorker and creator of Shrek, captures the sweet candor of old age.
Massage in New YorkIn Bali, it’s often an ancient woman carrying a little sac of special powders who comes to knead. In Jakarta, an experienced practitioner, like a dear family retainer or psychiatrist, daily relieves woes and anxiety and tightness. But in New York City, what’s a person to do?
Global Warming - Literally a Slippery SlopeWhile most media suggest that glaciers are vanishing because rising temperatures are melting glacial ice, this is only half the story.
Superb Tools for the GardenThe garden arsenal. From poacher’s spade to pruners to saws, claws, and gloves, and the great Gorilla (“I cannot do without it... bushels of manure, stones, heavy water jugs, heaps of debris, flats of flowers...”)
Styling Documents in DemosThis is a brief primer on formatting documents using HTML tags. You can make words appear in a few special fonts and styles (like italics or bold) by inserting a pair of coded cues.
Trying to Find a BalanceThe historical evolution of energy regulation in the United States is a familiar story in our schizophrenic nation's struggle between its two distinct identities: at once it is a constitutional democracy and a free market.
Natural gas primerCompared with the significant sunken costs involved in building a new nuclear power plant or even a coal plant, constructing a new gas plant is inexpensive, simple, and fast: it takes approximately one year from sourcing gas to extracting it.
The BridgeThe problems of climate change will come to roost. They already have. The risk and uncertainty in sourcing new energy to meet growing demand will continue. There will be more war. But there will also be peace.
A Treasury of Children’s Books – Part IWhen a new babe hits the stage, I’m always there with a cluster of books rather than a nightie or silver spoon. What greater pleasure to pass on... as he or she turns and strokes (even gnaws) the pages
Children of Men: Art & Artifice (Audio)The dozen-odd-minute shot as Theo & Madonna run through a British Baghdad is breathtaking, but there are so many moments where the dynamism of the camera extols the scene, the set, and the dialogue.
Children of Men: Art & Artifice (Visual)What would happen to age-old belief systems, mores, bodies social, and order when the future excises progeny? Such is the question of Cuarón et alii, and they make no pretence about cribbing their assessment from all-too-real scenarios.
Maine Waters Witness Global WarmingMaine's Kennebec River was cut into blocks, blanketed with sawdust, and carried by ship through the Panama Canal to San Francisco and Calcutta.
Bodysnatching NowadaysThe violent emotions that pounded me in wave after ugly wave... Horror crossed with insult, dishonor, and despoilment comes close. It was tantamount to sheer identity theft.
Roof ClawPart of a selection of Americana stills from Berkeley photo-poet Robert Spertus.
Green LightIn Patagonia, the sun bleeds across the sky
Madrid & BarcelonaWhen Galactics and Blue-Reds square off, Iberian tremors shudder through fault lines around the world. Throngs cheer their demigods in a battle of kinetics, separatists, hundred-million-euro contracts, pride, and lore. Real and Bar‡a. (Article coming.)
Flowering Favorites for the WindowsillThe Night-blooming Cereus opens its grand petals before one's eyes, spilling forth lush perfume.
Quick Comforting FoodBaked Apples, part of an ongoing series of quick, satisfying foods.
The Clothes of the Angkor PeopleA frieze freeze frame from the temple complex near Siem Reap, depicting war wear from ancient Cambodians
BreathA stanza from a work on winter's frost.
Domaine St. DiegoAn overview of the Argentine vitivinicultural scene, rooted in this Andean estate at the outskirts of Mendoza (article coming).
Rotund Lady-ManSuperimposition of the largest order. Is this the masquerade of the 20th century superpower: a stern frontman glowering as the fat lady sings?
The Train Cemetery of Uyuni, BoliviaIn the deserted salt plains of southwest Bolivia, 13,000 feet above the sea, in the vicinity of flamingos and volcanos and geysers, there lie the rusting carcasses of aged transportation.
Alpaca fetusA good-luck talisman from the Quechua people of the high plains of Bolivia.