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The New Yorker

The New Yorker November 25, 2013

Founded in 1925, The New Yorker publishes the best writers of its time and has received more National Magazine Awards than any other magazine, for its groundbreaking reporting, authoritative analysis, and creative inspiration. The New Yorker takes readers beyond the weekly print magazine with the web, mobile, tablet, social media, and signature events. The New Yorker is at once a classic and at the leading edge.

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47 Issues

in this issue

2 min.

PATRICK RADDEN KEEFE (“ROCKET MAN,” P. 48) is a staff writer and a senior fellow at the Century Foundation. LAURA SECOR (COMMENT, P. 39), a freelance journalist, is working on a book about Iran, entitled “Fugitives from Paradise.” NATHAN HELLER (“NAKED LAUNCH,” P. 68) is a staff writer. MICHAEL CERA (shouts & murmurs, p. 62), an actor, works in film and television. His most recent movie is “This Is the End.” He lives in New York City. KIM TINGLEY (“THE BODY ELECTRIC,” P. 78), a contributing writer for the Times Magazine, received a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award in 2012. CIRCE MAIA (POEM, P. 84) is a Uruguayan writer of poetry and prose, and was awarded the inaugural Delmira Agustini Medal by President José Mujica in August. Her novel “A Trip to Salto” was published…

3 min.
the mail

THE FUTURE OF FARMING Michael Specter’s article on the Climate Corporation, an insurance and software service that uses National Weather Service data and historical yields to model climate impact on agriculture, was missing a few important points (“Climate by Numbers,” November 11th). First, modern industrial farmers convert fossil fuels into food calories, and the assumption that modern industrial agriculture will continue in its present form is retrograde. Without cheap diesel and gasoline, this type of farming will have to adapt. Second, the service’s analysis is based on monoculture farming, which depends mostly on large fields that even out small fluctuations within each field. But there can be differences in soil type, microbial levels, and available nutrients in even one hundred square feet of soil. Treating a thousand-acre field as monolithic is…

45 min.

AFTER A RUN ON LONDON’ West End, Dame Eileen Atkins and Sir Michael Gambon (pictured above) bring Samuel Beckett’s rarely performed 1957 radio play, “All That Fall,” to 59E59 Theatres. Atkins, seventy-nine, has seen many of her British hits transfer to Broadway, starting with “The Killing of Sister George,” in 1966; she was also a co-creator of the television show “Upstairs/Downstairs.” Gambon, seventy-three, once a member of Laurence Olivier’s National Theatre, at the Old Vic, gained new fans as the beloved Dumbledore in the “Harry Potter” series. He is also a Beckett veteran—in the last decade alone, Gambon has played the absurdist’s often bewildered characters in “Eh Joe,” “Endgame,” and “Krapp’s Last Tape.” NIGHT LIFE FOOD & DRINK | ART DANCE | MOVIES THE THEATRE CLASSICAL MUSIC ROCK AND POP Musicians and night-club…

2 min.
night life: world on a string

LOU REED’S RECENT DEATH has focussed attention on his spiritual and musical heirs. One of the most direct—which is not to say the most straightforward—is Jonathan Richman. Born in the Boston area in 1951, Richman developed an early obsession with the Velvet Underground, to the point where he came to New York as a teen-ager and slept on the couch of the band’s manager, Steve Sesnick. Eventually, Richman’s band, the Modern Lovers, recorded a set of demos produced by John Cale that strongly recalled Cale and Reed’s earlier group. With a firm belief in Bo Diddley-derived rhythm guitar and urban deadpan, they delivered an album that included such classics as “Roadrunner” and “Pablo Picasso.” Richman was hardly shy about his inspiration; in 1992, he even recorded a song called “Velvet…

2 min.
tables for two: skãl

37 Canal St. (212-777-7518) DINNER AT SKAL, which means “cheers” in several Nordic languages, can feel surreal. The owner, Oli Bjorn Stephensen, designed the place to evoke a baðstofa, the communal living-and-sleeping room in the grass-covered cottages of his native Iceland. Situated on a fairly desolate corner where Chinatown and the L.E.S. meet, the restaurant is cleaner and brighter than anything around it. Soft light emanates from floor-to-ceiling windows, and a stuffed raven, a bird prominent in Icelandic folklore, perches above the formidable black linoleum bar. The pale-green solid-wood tables are far too big and too many for the narrow room, a problem compounded by the bulky school-desk chairs, but there’s something charming about the miscalculation, as if you’ve fallen through the looking glass. In the kitchen, Ben Spiegel, who spent six…

1 min.
bar tab: amor y amargo

443 E. 6th St. (212-614-6818) This tiny East Village “bitters tasting room,” cozy as a Gypsy caravan, is mostly amor: on Halloween, three couples sat around its tiled bar, talking to the bearded bartender and admiring a parade of waisthigh karate masters and ballerinas who came in for lollipops. The amargo—bitter—seasons every drink, and it draws a devoted group of connoisseurs with a taste for complexity: the popular Sharpie Mustache (amaro, the apéritif Bonal, rye whiskey, gin, and Tiki bitters) has “notes of leather” and a hint of licorice. A “dealer’s choice” Old-Fashioned included habanero bitters and mescal. It tasted like smoke and intrigue—or, one drinker suggested, bacon and fried onions. The music switched from Sonny Rollins to the Specials, and a man in a checked shirt explained his elaborate…