In two sequential hurricane seasons, the Earth has mounted two solid runs at (re)producing the plot of Nathaniel Rich’s Odds Against Tomorrow. It’s good Rich’s second novel found print this spring. After Irene and Sandy, there’s this spooky feeling that it’s only a matter of time before greater disaster strikes.
On the Near-Future Novelist: Odds Against Tomorrow by Nathaniel Rich
In every family, traditional portraits are hung up or carried around: cousins arrayed before a monument, parents holding their grandchildren, long-gone ancestors smiling from a black and white beyond. Though we cherish their aura, the faces and places remain static.
I don’t think I understood the idea of a “love-hate relationship” until I moved to New York City. Over the years I have become one of those obnoxious people who talk constantly of leaving New York while at the same time shutting down all possible escape routes. Having grown up in a small town, I can tell you that this flavor of self-delusion is not unique to New York City, but perhaps it happens in greater numbers here, simply because New York is host to so many outsiders — outsiders who eventually become insiders.
Let’s just see if it fits, and your voice blurred, your hand brushing away mine, me laughing because seriously who says that? I flashed out of my body picturing you saying this to other girls, and laughed again.
It Can Feel Amazing to Be Targeted by a Narcissist
Around Times Square in New York City – images of the familiar cityscape where millions of people pass daily, taken at odd hours. This is an attempt to reveal a different state of that place, a place still permeated with blinking neon but devoid of its participants, left to itself. A surreal performance that continues without its audience.
The lav itself was tiny; its air felt warm and full. The walls of pale green tiles seemed to bend under a heavy film of water exhaled from my hot bath. Wet hair stuck to my face, which dripped with sweat. My cheeks burned. My eyelashes spilled water droplets so large I couldn’t see. I was sunk up to my neck in hot, sudsy bath water, soaking in my elixir of independence. I was taking my first bath on the first evening of my first day in my new home – the Y. My first day on my own. Ever.
The National Guard is on patrol
in combat boots and GI Joe camouflage,
M16’s slung down to their hips,
young as boys on Halloween,
ready for anything, and I want
to hand every one of them a bag of candy.
Saturday Afternoon on a New York Railroad Platform
Portrait of Charles-Désiré Norry (1796-1818), 1817
Signed, inscribed, and dated at lower left, Ingres à Mr. Norry / Pere. / rome / 1817
Purchased as the gift of Mr. and Mrs. Claus von Bülow, 1977
Photography by Graham Haber, 2011
From September 9 to November 27, 2011, The Morgan Library & Museum presents seventeen exquisite drawings and some letters by French master Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres. In this interview, editor Jennifer Acker talks with curator Esther Bell about these drawings and the artist’s refined sense of place.
New York City is too infinite to have a center, too hot-and-cold to locate its putative heart. But if one place can claim a measure of symbolism for the metropolis, it is City Hall and its adjoining park. Surrounded by Park Row, which once housed the legendary newspapers of James Gordon Bennett, Horace Greeley, Joseph Pulitzer, and William Randolph Hearst, and now plays host to more contemporary media via J&R’s Audio/Computer World, by that majestic cathedral skyscraper, the Woolworth Building, with its beige and taupe terra cotta cladding, by the muscular Municipal Building, a McKim, Mead and White wedding cake of Stalinist-architecture bulk, abutting the on-ramp to the Brooklyn Bridge, by the ghost of what was formerly Ellen’s Coffee Shop, run by an ex-Miss Subways, and by the masses of civil servants on lunch break, shoppers frequenting bargain discount outlets, and criminals paroled from a nearby jail, the Tombs, all strolling up Chambers Street—City Hall itself is both grace note and anomaly.
Oh to drape my flesh with the rippling silk of a turquoise sari, gold-flecked above a peek of bare midriff, my eyes kohl-rimmed, hair hennaed, feet sandaled now but also in winter because I carry the subcontinent within me, I shimmer its heat as I stroll down the block to the sounds of Punjabi pop from sidewalk speakers.