How Do Boston Fans Compare to Philly Fans?
October 30, 2009

On the homepage today, you will find Buzz Bissinger's terrific piece about Philadelphia sports fandom. Bissinger's article reminded me of this article, from our archives, by Peter Beinart. Beinart, a lifelong Celtics fan, weighs in on his team's relationship to Boston, and on race relations in the city more generally. Check it out. (This recommendation, I might add, is coming from someone who can hardly stand to watch five minutes of a Red Sox game).

O Brother
October 30, 2009

Something wonderful, or terrible, is taking place in Philadelphia. The city's sports fans, whose only consistent love has been for an inanimate object--the statue of Rocky--are becoming warm and fuzzy. Sort of. Kind of. Well, about as nice as they are ever going to get in Philly, where fans have made their national mark with nastiness, boos, and a perverse fondness for losing. But now the city is confronted with a success story greater than any since the signing of the Constitution (which wasn't so pretty, either). It's the Philadelphia Phillies, of course.

Economic Recovery? Not So Fast!
September 10, 2009

The Federal Reserve’s latest Beige Book, released yesterday, painted a cautiously optimistic portrait of the state of the nation’s economy. The New York Times, reporting on the Beige Book, heralded a “slow and still fragile recovery” that is “taking hold across the country.” But even if the data bear out this anecdotal assessment, don’t think that a robust recovery is going to appear in your metro area anytime soon. Here’s why: In many parts of the country there are few signs of recovery. Of the 12 Federal Reserve districts, only Dallas (covering Texas and parts of Louisiana and New Mexico) re

Are Journalilsts Like Strippers?
August 11, 2009

Michael Sokolove's lively article about the decline of Philadelphia's two newspapers was most surprising in its portrayal of Brian Tierney--the p.r. man turned newspaper publisher who, contrary to pretty much everything I'd previously read about him, actually seems to be a force for good. My favorite bit about Tierney from Sokolove's piece: He has taken his public relations mind-set to newspapering.

The New York Times On Cary Grant
August 03, 2009

On the front page of the Weekend Arts section on Friday, the Times published an above-the-fold celebration of the work of Cary Grant so backhanded and begrudging as to be genuinely mystifying. The occasion was a retrospective taking place at BAMcinematek, and the author was Mike Hall, who usually writes about television. Hall begins by noting To put on a Cary Grant series ... presents some special challenges.

The Philly Swimming Club: You Know What That's All About -- Or??
July 13, 2009

The Valley Swim Club case in Philadelphia is a useful demonstration of the role that racism plays in Obama’s America where we are supposedly “post-racial.” The Creative Steps Day Camp, with mostly black kids, had paid to be able swim at the club. When the kids jumped into the pool, according to what some of them say, certain white members came up with the likes of “What are all these black kids doing here?

Narrative Dissonance
July 01, 2009

What Obama's Cairo speech got wrong.

Empty Garden
April 15, 2009

On the basketball courts of New York City, there may be no truer measure of a player's stature than his nickname. If a player is considered good, then his moniker will be something straightforward: "Pee Wee" if he is short; "Lefty" if he shoots with that hand. But if a player is viewed as great, then his talent can actually inspire poetry. He will be called "Half-Man Half-Amazing" for his superhuman dunks or "Skip to My Lou" for the way he hopscotches down the court as he dribbles past hapless opponents.

Private Lives
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?

Defining Barack Down
December 03, 2008

The funny thing about elections is that their meaning undergoes a metamorphosis the very instant they occur. A couple weeks before the vote, a Republican member of Congress declared at a McCain rally, "This campaign in the next couple of weeks is about one thing. It's a referendum on socialism." If you said now that the election was a referendum on socialism, or even mere liberalism, you'd be taken for a left-wing maniac. Political scientists will tell you that a presidential "mandate" is just a social construct. But it's an important construct, in two ways.