The New Yorker May 24, 2021

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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William Finnegan (“Blood on the Tracks,” p. 30) became a staff writer in 1987. His book “Barbarian Days” won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for biography. Jill Lepore (“It’s Just Too Much,” p. 26), a professor of history at Harvard, is the host of the podcast “The Last Archive.” Her fourteenth book, “If Then,” came out last year. Gürbüz Doğan Ekşioğlu (Cover) is a Turkish artist. Joan Acocella (Books, p. 60) has been a staff writer since 1995. Her most recent book is “Twenty-eight Artists and Two Saints.” Peter Kuper (Sketchbook, p. 21), the 2020-21 Jean Strouse Fellow at the New York Public Library’s Cullman Center, has been contributing to The New Yorker since 1993. Rachel Hadas (Poem, p. 56) will publish a new book of poems, “Love and Dread,” and an essay collection, “Piece by…

the mail

SCOOT! John Seabrook’s article on the arrival of electric scooters in New York City points out that many riders are shifting to scooters from public transit, not from cars (“Scooter City,” April 26th & May 3rd). This may be the case, but it doesn’t cast a negative light on the new e-vehicles. Scooters offer better doorstep-to-doorstep travel than bus and rail lines, and they are available at a moment’s notice, rather than on a specific schedule. Discouraging the use of scooters because they result in a “mode shift” away from mass transit would be the wrong approach. Instead, New York should take advantage of its late entry on the scooter scene by adopting best practices its peers have learned: require docking devices to avoid sidewalk clutter; remove at least one car-parking…

goings on about town: this week

ART Monika Baer Gestural, pastel-colored atmospherics and recurring motifs—notably matchsticks rendered with trompe-l’oeil precision—bring a unifying sense of order and constraint to the airy, eerily suspenseful works in Baer’s new show at Greene Naftali, titled “loose change.” The German painter, who divides her time between L.A. and Berlin, seems to resist both stylistic and narrative coherence—instead, the events in her paintings appear to have occurred by chance. Titles such as “Yet to be titled” underscore the expectant mood that attends this new series of spare works, each of which features a back-drop-like element: a tree trunk with ominously peeling bark, a low stone wall. But however much the scenes may read as empty stages, no character ever arrives. Unless, that is, you count the jarring blue-and-red teardrop affixed to the surface of…

tables for two: challahpalooza

In March of last year, Dolly Meckler, like so many others, decided to try her hand at sourdough. “And then I read a recipe,” she told me the other day, “and I saw this thing called starter, and I was, like, ‘Hell no.’ I was not about to grow something in a jar for two weeks.” Her thoughts turned to sweet, egg-rich, braided challah, which she hadn’t made since Jewish summer camp but remembered as being easier. Indeed, for challah, she didn’t need a starter, but she did need yeast, which was scarce across the country; Meckler had recently moved to Los Angeles, from her native Manhattan, to look for jobs in social-media marketing. An odyssey, on foot, through the grocery stores of West Hollywood, which she documented on Instagram, finally…

comment: cheneyism

Nobody should mistake Liz Cheney’s expulsion from the leadership of the Republican Conference in the House of Representatives for a sign that she is headed out of her party, to some unknown, possibly moderate political destination. Cheney grew up in a firmly conservative and politically partisan household, and never noticeably rebelled. She has been in the family business—government—since she was in her twenties, and she will run next year to keep the Wyoming seat that her father, Dick Cheney, held for years. The cause of her divorce from her House colleagues is not some incipient shift in her core identity; it is Donald Trump. Cheney has said that she voted for Trump in November, but it could not have been with enthusiasm. His florid, undisciplined style and utter lack of interest…

closeup dept.: food story

One recent Monday evening, Jessica B. Harris sat at the counter at Reverence, a tasting-menu restaurant on a leafy Harlem corner, gazing down at a small bowl. The restaurant is normally closed on Mondays, but for Dr. J., as Harris’s fans call her, the chef and owner, Russell Jackson, had opened. Harris is arguably America’s leading scholar of Black culinary history. She is a professor emerita at Queens College and a prolific author. Her twelfth book on food, “High on the Hog: A Culinary Journey from Africa to America” (2011), is the inspiration for a four-part series, which débuts on Netflix next week. “Did you say this was an oyster?” Harris asked Jackson, considering the bowl. “I can’t do shellfish, I’m so sorry.” Jackson, horrified, whisked the plate away and leaped…