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The New Yorker

The New Yorker October 7, 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

1 min.

KOFI AWOONOR (POEM, P. 62), a Ghanaian poet and a lecturer in English and African literature at the University of Ghana, was killed in the recent Westgate shopping-mall attack, in Kenya. A collection of his work, “Promises of Hope: New and Selected Poems,” is due out in February. ATUL GAWANDE {COMMENT, P. 25) is a surgeon and a staff writer. He is the author of, most recently, “The Checklist Manifesto.” CLAUDIA ROTH PIERPONT (“THE BOOK OF LAUGHTER,” P. 30) has been writing for The New Yorker since 1990. Her new book, “Roth Unbound: A Writer and His Books,” will be published in October. PETER HESSLER (“KEEPING THE FAITH,” P. 38) is a staff writer who lives in Cairo. “Strange Stones: Dispatches from East and West” is his most recent book KEN AULETTA (“FREEDOM OF…

3 min.
the mail

SAVING SYRIANS George Packer concludes his analysis of the Syrian crisis with a dilemma (Com­ment, September 16th). As we seek to formulate a policy that is ethically defen­sible and that also serves our interests, Packer, after reviewing many factors in play, suggests that there is no easy way to end the conflict He continues, “An easier case can be made for doing nothing—letting the war burn on for years,” a policy that “would have the virtue of being clear and consistent.” Such comments recall the Iran-Iraq War, during which several neighbors of the warring parties were content to sit by in the hope that both nations would be weakened by the fighting. Some may also see a possibility of fine-tuning this Syrian conflict by aiding the side we favor with weapons…

42 min.

ART, CHRIS BURDEN once said, is “a free spot in society, where you can do anything.” Early on, Burden’s work was performance, excruciatingly physical actions that came to a halt in 1974, when he spent forty-five hours straight lying under a sheet of plate glass. After that, the L.A. artist, now sixty-seven, turned to sculpture, often inspired by the mainstays of playrooms: toy soldiers, Erector sets, blocks. Beginning this week, the New Museum devotes its building to the artist’s career, including its façade, where “Ghost Ship,” a crewless, self-navigating yacht that sailed the North Sea in 2005, is now dangling. ART MUSEUMS SHORT LIST Metropolitan Museum Fifth Ave. at 82nd St. (212-535-7710)—“Balthus: Cats and Girls—Paintings and Provocations.” Through Jan. 12. MUSEUM OF MODERN ART 11 W. 53rd St. (212-708-9400)—“Magritte: The Mystery of the Ordinary, 1926-1938.” Through…

1 min.
bar tab: achilles heel

180 West St., Brooklyn (347-987-3666) When you’re a ten-minute walk from the G train, you might hope to pay a little less than nine dollars for a pilsner. But as irate Yelpers have discovered, that’s not the case at Achilles Heel, a remote spot by the water in Greenpoint—and a rare misstep from the creator of two of Brooklyn’s most effortlessly elegant destination restaurants (Diner and Marlow & Sons). The room has a by now familiar louche appeal (peeling paint, tin ceiling), but haphazardness is less charming from a bartender, even if this is meant to be a laid-back neighborhood joint. One drinker’s request for a not too sweet cocktail resulted in a garden-variety Aperol spritz, which was delivered without explanation or follow-up. The food is taken more seriously: pates…

2 min.
tables for two: uncle boons

7 Spring St. (646-370-6650) SO MANY THAI JOINTS ARE the same old mix-and-match variety—noodles or curry, chicken or beef—and function as delivery systems for a few variations on one basic, albeit delicious, theme. At Uncle Boons, a subterranean den of wood panelling and curated kitsch, the married chef-owners, Matt Danzer and Ann Redding, who met while cooking at Thomas Keller’s Per Se, diversify the repertoire. They decide what goes with what. Fried rice, for example, gets fresh crab—pillowy and sea-salty and comforting—and the deep-brown gravy of a massaman curry is made explicitly for tender beef cheeks. But on a menu full of earthy curiosities—like creamy chicken livers and pineapple cubes, served with sublime roti, and a smoked-catfish-and-pork spread that sounds horrible but tastes wonderful as a dip for market crudites—adventure is…

2 min.
under the influence

RAISING MONEY FOR HIS FIRST, improvised feature by going on a radio talk show, later putting his own money into his movies, filming family and friends at his home in dramas that erupt with a spontaneous vehemence, John Cassavetes set the practical and artistic paradigms for independent filmmaking. It’s no surprise that a complete retrospective of his films held last summer at BAM Cinematek—in Brooklyn, the epicenter of contemporary independent filmmaking—proved to be a big success; in response to evident demand (including sold-out screenings), BAM is bringing five of his best films back this week. Unlike the movies of many contemporary independents, Cassavetes’s work isn’t centered on the ambitions of youth. Cassavetes, who was bom in 1929, made films about his own generation and its conflicts: middle-aged people whose struggle for…