“Skeptical, Not Cynical” — Jelani Cobb

imgresHere is the complete audio from tonight’s talk at the New York Public Library, hosted by the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers and featuring New Yorker writer and Columbia prof Jelani Cobb.
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Writing As Resistance

20312-original-4698It is possible to write your heart and your mind, both, to the point where they meet each other. There, they will shake hands and say “hello”. They will make small talk and exchange pleasantries. They will ask about wives and children. They will laugh. And you will shake your head at their fine demeanor and grand talk. Because you will know them for what they are, for they are yours. More here.

Goodbye to All That

imagesBecause everything is ephemeral and nothing lasts forever and if you want to keep it around you’ve got to build it yourself, I’ve grabbed this piece I wrote for Gawker and just want to put it here. Today I read of the site’s demise and pending shutdown, all of which has sent the New York media society abuzz. So it goes. Happy as I was to publish this piece and peace that I made with my $300 payment for it, Gawker always struck me as a snide, snarky little site that took a bit too much pride in the misery of others and trafficked a bit too freely in a rather unbecoming strain of self-righteous gossip. So, goodbye to all that! I, for one, am looking forward to seeing what the kids come up with next…

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Centuries of Eloise

EloisePhoneChanneled the original Doyen of the Plaza for a new article-sized dose of time-traveling snacks and treats, curtesy of the New York Public Library‘s newly digitized selection of menus. Come swan around with me, nibbling patties of frog legs and sipping every last mint julep we can get our hands on. As my dear friend’s three year old daughter queried this past weekend, “What about raisins?!” Indeed, we’d kindly like a silver dish of those too please! Thank you!

Last Call

photoThrilled to have a new piece up on the freshly revamped yet ever-glorious Farmer General, edited by superstar Sarah Kanabay. The issue, titled “Don’t Call It a Comeback”, features stories of summer kitchens and pie and ghosts and the phrase “silvered fingers” to describe that particular discoloration that happens when you root around in the dusty nail bin at the hardware store for too long. How true! Mine is about addiction in its many forms and guises. Thank you, Sarah!!