Photo by Hannah Gersen
October 17th, 2012 | 10:21am

Cold beer, slippery hands, cigarettes no one (everyone) wanted,

smoke from our burning lungs summoning the night sky,

not-tying the horizon closed until even toothpick jokes

stopped propping our eyelids open and we blinked,

hands slipped, smoke ceased, not-knots loosed the day--

roof, streets, people, trees, all dressed in the bruise of first light. 

reviewed by Kristen Evans
October 16th, 2012 | 3:09am

Between last year's overwrought art-house film by Lars von Trier, Melancholia, and the transformation of Suzanne Collins's dark YA trilogy, The Hunger Games, into a Hollywood goldmine, the end of the world seems to be on everyone's mind in the culture industry. Even novelists like Colson Whitehead and Tom Perrotta can't resist—Whitehead's Zone One examines New York City post-zombie infestation, and Perrotta's The Leftovers imagines how a rapture-like event alters everyday life in the suburbs. I suppose it shouldn't be surprising that apocalypse fantasies are bubbling to the surface more rapidly these days.

Photo from Moonrise Kingdom
October 15th, 2012 | 2:17pm

Click here to read more about “Annals of Mobility,” a monthly column here at The Common.


Of Wes Anderson and his latest film Moonrise Kingdom, Geoffrey O’Brien wrote in the New York Review of Books:

To make a world where everything looks newly made is part of the great adventurousness of his work […] It is perhaps the only setting in which Sam and Suzy could begin to articulate their goal:  ‘to go on adventures and not get stuck in one place.’ 

Photo by PlannedCity, from Flickr Creative Commons
October 12th, 2012 | 8:00am

I’d had grander plans for the day, of course, plans that involved walking through Bur Dubai, the old city, and the souks in Deira and visiting the beautiful Jumeirah Mosque, but the mosque tour was early, at 9:45, and nearly a 40 minute cab ride away…and then there was the heat. Even sitting in the shade in early morning, I was sweating.

No, we would not be setting foot on city sidewalks today. This was a blow to my touristic romanticism, my plan to experience the places where some semblance remained of the daily life that had characterized Dubai before the race to the top. Before the spectacular towers, malls, and hotels upon which superlatives are pinned.

Photo by Massimo Menichinelli, from Flickr Creative Commons
October 11th, 2012 | 8:00am

As the crow flies, Montereggio is perhaps a dozen kilometers from Castiglione del Terziere, my Italian home for a year.  But Lunigiana—this northern part of Tuscany, between the Emilian plain and the Mediterranean Sea—is so hilly that I never know how many dizzying switchbacks a road might boast, thus how long it’ll take to get from A to B.  (Or how many times en route our car will have to edge past another coming at it.  Sometimes both vehicles must fold in their side-mirrors like wings so as to squeeze by.)