Photo by James Ewing
September 19th, 2014 | 6:00am

Photo by James Ewing

A couple years ago, on the verge of the global collapse, structural engineer Guy Nordenson did an interview with me for a literary monthly, The Believer. The magazine’s title quote ran, “The tall building, as a type, is exhausted.” You could no longer put together a tall office building or a mixed-use tower in a new way, Nordenson felt. World Trade Center Tower One or maybe the CCTV Building in Beijing, depending on your architectural orientation, closed out the skyscraper play, at least in terms of engineering and architectural innovation.
 

September 18th, 2014 | 6:00am

Caroline Knox reads her poem, “They Had Had It In Mind,” from Issue 07.

Photo by author
September 17th, 2014 | 6:00am

Photo by author

East, west, and south, hardwood forests upholster hills named for their compass points, while to the north shines Cayuga, one of the Finger Lakes’ eleven glacial furrows. This is Ithaca, where, as it was when I grew up here forty years ago, the nearest Interstate is still thirty miles away. The aesthetic of those miles is rolling, agricultural, and often hardscrabble, with pro-fracking and “for sale” signs equally likely to appear on roadside barns. To drive to Ithaca is a commitment to the scenic route, metaphorically and visually, because there is neither a fast lane nor an unattractive one.
 

September 15th, 2014 | 6:00am

(Attention: Spoilers Ahead!)

In 
Fargo, an unpredictable and manipulative out-of-towner named Lorne Malvo (Billy Bob Thornton) incites a string of murders in small-town Minnesota. Though thematically, tonally, and aesthetically based on the critically acclaimed 1996 Coen brothers’ film of the same name – fear not, the series preserves the film’s beloved dark humor and “you betcha”s – the Emmy-nominated FX mini-series introduces entirely new characters and plot. Many of these characters are unexpectedly layered, defying tropes of the idiot detective and the ruthless killer, while some minor characters fit comfortably in well-known molds. It is a credit to the expert writing and acting that even these characters – including Glenn Howerton’s artificially bronzed and tragically naïve personal trainer – are vibrant.

Photo by Flickr Creative Commons user Stuart Seeger
September 11th, 2014 | 6:00am

Photo by Flickr Creative Commons user Stuart Seeger

In this month’s Ask A Local, Dagoberto Gilb offers us a glimpse of Austin, TX in the form of a micro-interview.