The New Yorker November 29, 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 (“Finding a Way Up,” p. 46) has been a staff writer since 1987. His book “Barbarian Days” won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for biography. Rebecca Mead (“Pompeii’s Hidden Layer,” p. 38), a staff writer since 1997, is the author of “My Life in Middlemarch.” Her memoir “Home/Land” is forthcoming in 2022. Greg Jackson (Fiction, p. 72) has published the short-story collection “Prodigals.” His début novel, “The Dimensions of a Cave,” will be out in 2023. Megan Fernandes (Poem, p. 53) is the author of the poetry collection “Good Boys.” Carlos Lozada (Books, p. 86), a book critic at the Washington Post, received the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for criticism. His first book, “What Were We Thinking,” came out last year. Emily Flake (Sketchbook, p. 70), a New Yorker cartoonist, most recently published “That Was…

the mail

ABUSING TROUBLED TEENS Rachel Aviv’s disturbing dive into the cultlike affairs of the Christian teen-reform organization Teen Challenge reminded me of the notorious Magdalene Laundries, which existed in Ireland for more than a century (“Lost Youth,” October 18th). These institutions isolated and essentially imprisoned young mothers, harmed them psychologically, and separated them from their children—and Teen Challenge does the same. Readers should be angered that the Teen Challenge network continues to operate with the tacit acceptance of, and little oversight by, legal authorities. I hope that Aviv’s exposé will open the eyes of parents and bring an end to these hellish, un-Christlike facilities. Richard H. Allan IIICharlottesville, Va. GENERATIONAL DIVIDES As an associate professor of psychology and the author of the book “Generation Disaster,” about today’s emerging adults, I share much of Louis Menand’s…

goings on about town: this week

NOVEMBER 24 – 30, 2021 Ice-skating has been popular in New York City since at least the seventeenth century, when the Dutch laced up on the frozen ponds of New Amsterdam. And the father of modern figure skating, Jackson Haines, was a native New Yorker, born in 1840. There are plenty of ice rinks in the five boroughs, but only the seventeen-thousand-square-foot Rink at Bryant Park (pictured) is free. Whether you rent skates there or bring your own blades, masks are required, as are timed-entry tickets (available via MUSIC Dev/Null: “Microjunglizm” ELECTRONIC The Bostonian Pete Devnull, who produces electronic dance music as Dev/Null, is a self-described “rave archivist”; he posts many excellent mixes of nineties tracks on his site, Blog to the Old Skool. His new album, “Microjunglizm,” is a modernistic variation on…

goings on about town: celebrating the holidays

“Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes” The country’s leading precision dance troupe, the leggy Rockettes, strut their stuff once more at Radio City Music Hall. Several times per day, the theatre is engulfed in video projections and torrents of fake snow, and, in one sweet passage, the stage is transformed into a miniature skating rink. (Through Jan. 2.) Neapolitan Crèche A spruce tree graces the entrance to the Medieval Sculpture Hall at the Metropolitan Museum. Eighteenth-century terra-cotta angels in silk robes deck its boughs; at the tree’s base is an elaborate tableau of Baroque figurines, representing both the Nativity, in Bethlehem, and the bustle of daily life in the Italian port city of Naples. (Through Jan. 9.) Holiday Train Show Santa’s sleigh isn’t the only magical transportation this time of year. At the New…

goings on about town: television

Going to therapy always involves some level of transference between the analyst and the analyzed, but it does not often become as toxic, let alone as criminal, as it does in “The Shrink Next Door,” a new AppleTV+ black comedy that covers thirty years of a disastrous relationship between a slick con-man therapist and his gullible schlump of a client. Paul Rudd—going against his squeaky-clean type as a bad guy for once—plays Dr. Isaac (Ike) Herschkopf, a weaselly and wholly unprofessional psychologist who sees an easy mark in Marty Markowitz, a basket-case nebbish played by Will Ferrell. Across three decades, beginning in the eighties (among the show’s pleasures are its throwback big glasses, chunky knitwear, and cozy beards), Ike slowly takes over every aspect of Marty’s world, from joining his…

tables for two: soothr

There’s something at once jovial and jarring about Soothr, the rare restaurant born in the age of COVID that has not only survived but thrived, by adjusting to the erratic rhythms of pandemic dining. Securing a table begins on the pavement, where patrons line up to flash proof of vaccination. The maître d’ facilitates these exchanges from the window of a glass-box foyer; no one leaves without a pithy reminder of the restaurant’s ninety-minute table limit. “The clock starts at the time of the reservation,” someone called out one recent evening, prompting a flurry of phone tapping from aspiring diners, presumably relaying the message to less punctilious companions. Such militaristic timekeeping has undoubtedly become more necessary since Soothr’s acquisition of a Michelin Plate, in May, but the tempo contrasts sharply with…