"Using Tumblr is a bit about showing your organization’s personality, and that’s not just feeding the beast to get people back to the website."
This is the cover of LUCKY PEACH 7: The Travel Issue.
It is on its way to your mailbox, your local bookstore, the Whole Foods, the prison library, wherever it is that you and the Peach usually meet up. (You can also buy it directly from us here.)
What is inside? SO MANY WORDS! Maybe our MOST WORDS EVER. Smart words about snake eating from Philip Gourevitch! Handwritten words about The Most Beautiful Taco Bell in the World from artist Jason Polan. A sidebar about the relationship of smuggled sausage and Jonathan Gold’s dirty laundry. Fiction from Jack Pendarvis, one of the geniuses who writes for Adventure Time, which may or may not be the only thing Anthony Bourdain watches on television any more. There are pictures and drawings, too!
"The great vice of journalism in the age of social media is not its recklessness but rather its headlong rush for respectability — its self-conscious desire to please an audience of peers rather than an audience of reader — and the first step towards respectability is regret."
Beeston was one of the first to volunteer to go to Baghdad to cover the first Gulf War, and had hoped to stay on but was pulled out by The Times for his own safety just before the American bombing began. He was denounced by Saddam for “negative information and falsehoods” and later found the secret files on himself in the burnt-out ruins of the Iraqi ministry of information.
Although blacklisted by Saddam, whose officials called him a “two-faced deceiver”, Beeston returned to Baghdad after the second Gulf War and continued to file vivid eyewitness reports as the situation deteriorated. Suicide bombings and random acts of terror often exposed him to considerable risk, but he was at pains to shield his staff from unnecessary danger.
"Talented writing tends to contain more information, sentence for sentence, clause for clause, than merely good writing. … It also employs rhetorical parallels and differences… . It pays attention to the sounds and rhythms of its sentences… . Much of the information it proffers is implied. … These are among the things that indicate talent."
(Source: , via markcoatney)
Filminism is a bi-weekly column dedicated to representations of women in cinema. It runs every other Friday.
Ugh, “Frances Ha.”
That’s not an “ugh” of derision or exasperation, but a sympathetic groan recalled from the corner of my memory where old friendships have gone to die. If there were a cutesy portmanteau for the deep platonic love between women — and thank God there isn’t — every review of “Frances Ha” would have it in the headline.
Although the plot of the movie is about Frances trying to figure out how not to be a screw-up, its backbone is the crushing break-up between Frances (co-writer Greta Gerwig) and her best friend Sophie (Mickey Sumner). One of the best scenes is their play-fighting in the park, something Frances tries to recreate later with another young woman to no avail. Their weird but awesome vibe is almost prepubescent in its intensity, or like house pets who cuddle and groom each other. But then Sophie commits the ultimate betrayal: She grows up. It’s like aliens replaced Frances’ best friend with some broad who’s dating a preppy financial dude and they start shopping at Pottery Barn or wherever it is that real adults buy plate-ware.
I don’t have to tell you that growing up can suck. Sometimes. I mean, driving is cool, and so is having whatever you want for dinner, but you’ve also got to do things like figure out why the toilet starts flushing itself in the middle of the night or how to find a stud in a wall. Frances has, in some ways, purposefully sabotaged herself from growing up. She’s sort of interested in becoming “a real person” but she can’t figure out how, and instead she keeps falling deeper and deeper into this rabbit hole of feeling like a loser. Honestly, you can’t fault Sophie for wanting things in her life like a good job and a serious boyfriend and a nice place to live. And yet, you can’t quite free yourself from the nagging desire to shake Frances by the shoulders.
I wrote this. “Frances Ha” gave me all sorts of heart-tugging, face-slapping, street-dancing emotions.
"I’ve been studying the diner burger lately, and there’s something so reassuring about the formula of burger, bun, garnishes, fries, and small cup of slaw—if you want to go wild, you can simply dump the slaw on the burger. This is food at its simplest and most elegant, food that doesn’t want to slap your face. This is food that is simply good, and defines a sort of normalcy in eating that no longer exists. Nowadays, every meal is a challenge and a problem. Have you eaten well enough? Have you eaten innovatively, locavorically, and seasonally enough?"
That’s the elegant level-headedness of Robert Sietsema, the longtime Village Voice food critic who was fired today, per a Gawker report. He’s the guy who writes about restaurants you’ve never heard of, because they don’t have publicists and they’re not listed on UrbanDaddy. Sietsema goes reviewing in parts of the city where yellow cabs don’t fill the streets, where subways aren’t always close by, in neighborhoods you didn’t know existed, and where English isn’t the first language of either the clientele, the waiters or the owners. He was, and still is, one of our most essential critics.
“His relationships with small restaurant owners not only led directly to the creation of the paper’s annual, sold-out “Choice Eats” event, but his written reviews literally changed the economic fortunes of several hundred small business owners throughout the five boroughs over the past two decades and left an indelible mark on the city’s food culture,” Hugh Merwin eloquently writes for New York Magazine’s Grub Street.
It’s important for us food writers and critics to cover the highly-touted new restaurants in Manhattan and cool parts of Brooklyn, because, well, that’s where people are spending their money, and it’s our job to follow and critique that money trail. Of course, every now and then, with re-reviews, we try to lead our readers off the trail by turning a spotlight on a more forgotton venue, or a venue that’s imporoved over the years.
And while Sietsema covered the big important new joints like the rest of us, his dedication to leading us WAY off the beaten path, outside of our Manhattan-Williamsburg-Carroll Gardens comfort zone, is why he’s so necessary. And with our city’s hospitality industry still getting back on its feet in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, it’s ever more vital that these small “Sietsema restaurants” (if I can call them that) be given their proper due.
I hope we find him writing again soon. New York City needs Sietsema.
Robert is a treasure, and his being fired by the craven New Times management not only underscores that fact, it puts it in 148-point boldfaced type. That company knows about what New York needs from its media outlets (“Can’t we just post cameraphone-sourced gifs from plays instead of paying the most well-respected theater critic in the city?”) about as well as it knows how to run a digital news operation.(via maura)