January 18, 2021
Letter from Colorado
Trolling the Great Outdoors
As the wilderness gets overrun, the most hated man in the Rockies finds an audience of emulators and antagonists.
The Hard Crowd
Coming of age on the streets of San Francisco.
The Control of Nature
CRISPR and the Splice to Survive
New gene-editing technology could be used to save species from extinction—or to eliminate them.
How El Anatsui Broke the Seal on Contemporary Art
His runaway success began with castaway junk: a bag of bottle caps along the road. Now the Ghanaian sculptor is redefining Africa’s place in the global art scene.
Is It Really Too Late to Learn New Skills?
You missed your chance to be a prodigy, but there’s still growth left for grownups.
Briefly Noted Book Reviews
“Beethoven,” “The Light Ages,” “A Lie Someone Told You About Yourself,” “Butter Honey Pig Bread.”
Human History and the Hunger for Land
From Bronze Age farmers to New World colonialists, the stories of struggle to claim more ground have shaped where and how we live.
A Critic at Large
What’s Wrong with the Way We Work
Americans are told to give their all—time, labor, and passion—to their jobs. But do their jobs give enough back?
A Road Trip with David Hockney and Richard Wagner
Hockney has loved driving through the Santa Monica Mountains blaring a Wagner soundtrack. Recently, I retraced his routes.
The Restlessly Inventive Plays of Adrienne Kennedy
A festival of readings of the playwright’s later works, from Round House Theatre, reveals a development in Kennedy’s thinking since her earlier, most famous play, “Funnyhouse of a Negro.”
The Current Cinema
Performances of Unstinting Ardor Electrify “Pieces of a Woman”
In Kornél Mundruczó’s film about the aftermath of a home-birth calamity, Vanessa Kirby, Shia LaBeouf, and Ellen Burstyn create an unforgettable impression.
The Talk of the Town
David Remnick on Trump’s last days in office; evacuating the House; the Proud Boys of Palm Beach; the Capitol mob; Georgia decides; long surf, short day.
How surprising can Donald Trump’s recent provocation be when for years he has served as an inspiration to bigots everywhere?
On Capitol Hill
As Told To: The Pelosi Staffer Keith Stern on the Breach of the Capitol
“Ma’am, we’ve got to go.”
A Proud Boy Speaks
A Palm Beach Proud Boy at the Putsch
Bobby Pickles, a purveyor of far-right T-shirts, joined the horde of balding dudes in dad jeans at the Capitol, because Donald Trump, he says, is “like punk rock.”
Mob Rule in the Capitol
Five years after the Trump era began, a physical assault on America’s basic symbols of democracy feels both shocking and inevitable.
Georgia Voters Sigh in Relief as the Partisan Junk Mail Ends
With Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock headed to the Senate, Atlantans cheer the end of the runoffs, or, as one called it, the run-ons.
Surfing into the Montauk Sunset
To raise money for a local food bank, Jeremy Grosvenor stayed on his board for nine hours and nineteen minutes on the shortest day of 2020.
More Talk of the Town
“It was a wonderful party. It reënveloped him now. The best of his birthday parties, because, after all, he was ten, a big boy, two numbers to his name.”
“Would you like snow over you? / Or be in here together, by the hearth.”
“what the angels eat”
“i’m so free i make a river on both sides of my mouth.”
Goings On About Town
The Ambitious Asia Society Triennial
The inaugural exhibition, unfolding in two installments, features works by some forty artists and collectives from twenty-one countries, including a room-filling textile sculpture by the Malaysian artist Anne Samat.
Tables for Two
Chili Crisp and Exquisite Fast Food at Milu
The new pan-regional Chinese restaurant, near Madison Square Park, makes balletically composed bowls and family meals featuring crackly-skinned duck leg and chocolate-malt cookies.
More Goings On About Town
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