New York City
December 24, 2008
In November, Barack Obama bewildered education reformers by tapping Linda Darling-Hammond, a Stanford professor who had advised his campaign, to oversee the transition's education policy team. Their verdict was swift and harsh. "Worst case scenario," wrote Mike Petrilli, vice president for national programs and policy at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, an education think tank, the day after The Wall Street Journal leaked the news. "This is a sign that the president-elect isn't a bona fide reformer," he later told me.
December 24, 2008
'Giorgio Morandi, 1890-1964' -- Metropolitan Museum of Art 'Joan Miró: Painting and Anti-Painting 1927-1937' -- Museum of Modern Art 'Mary Heilmann: To Be Someone' -- New Museum 'Live Forever: Elizabeth Peyton' -- New Museum 'Douglas Blau' -- Institute of Contemporary Art I. What will be the impact of the financial crisis on artists, galleries, and auction houses?
Greenland Dispatch: Europe's Last Colony And The Big Melt
November 14, 2008
Alexander Zaitchik is a freelance journalist based in New York City. He visited Greenland in August as part of an official press delegation sponsored by the island's home-rule government. It's become a cliché of Arctic reportage to begin stories by describing the calving of glaciers—that process by which enormous vertical slabs of ice, some as tall as skyscrapers, slice off the glacial shelf and collapse into the waiting sea. During a recent reporting trip to Greenland, I quickly understood the impulse to chronicle this phenomenon.
The Message Keeper
November 05, 2008
In 1992, a Chicago woman named Bettylu Saltzman met Barack Obama, who had graduated from Harvard Law School one year earlier and was now in her city leading a voter-registration drive called Project Vote. Saltzman, an heiress to a shopping-mall fortune who's long been active in Democratic politics, was volunteering for Bill Clinton's presidential bid when, one day, Obama dropped by the campaign's Chicago office to discuss Project Vote. Saltzman came away from the encounter very, very impressed.
Need A Stimulus? Go For The Grid
November 02, 2008
There's a broadening consensus that a hefty chunk of whatever Congress is planning to spend on an economic-stimulus package should go toward infrastructure. Ideally that would mean "green" projects like efficiency upgrades or transit, rather than just building more highways (though it's certainly worth fixing up existing roads and bridges). Obama's certainly thinking along these lines; as he explained to Rachel Maddow the other day, Congress should focus on updating the nation's electrical grid. But why would we want to do a thing like that?
July 02, 2008
Who’s interested in Zimbabwe, and why? How should Westerners understand the situation there? And could this all be Jimmy Carter’s fault? T.A. Frank and James Kirchick discussed the situation over IM. Why Zimbabwe? T.A. Frank: As people like to point out, there are a lot of rotten countries out there. So why this rotten country? Let’s talk about why you and I happen to care about Zimbabwe. James Kirchick: Well, personally, I've been there.
Stopped Making Sense
May 07, 2008
To build a building is hard; to criticize a building is, by comparison, easy. For a serious critic, the impulse to write uncomplimentary things should always provoke a bout of preliminary introspection. Does one write from the lofty principle that truth must be spoken to power, or at least to fashion? Will the reader come away from this exercise in scorching criticism of buildings and urban spaces with a heightened appreciation for the built environment and its importance to our daily lives?
February 13, 2008
Meet Enrique Miralles, the real Frank Gehry.
January 30, 2008
Shanghai, from which I have just returned after a first visit to China, has a specially built modern museum to house exhibits on the planning for the future Shanghai, and it includes an enormous model of Shanghai today. It is of a scale and detail that matches the huge model of New York City built for the 1964 World's Fair and now housed in the Queens Museum—which is itself located in a fragment of the 1939 World's Fair in New York City. But the contrasts are striking and reveal much that distinguishes China's largest city from our own largest city.
January 22, 2008
A hearty congratulations to our own Katherine Marsh, whose book The Night Tourist, was just named a finalist for an Edgar, the awards given out annually by the Mystery Writers of America. The Night Tourist, a modern take on the Orpheus and Eurydice myth, tells the fantastic story of Jack, a 14-year-old boy searching the underworld of New York City for the spirit of his dead mother. You can check it out--and buy it!--here. --Peter Scoblic