May 31, 2021
Annals of Espionage
Are U.S. Officials Under Silent Attack?
The Havana Syndrome first affected spies and diplomats in Cuba. Now it has spread to the White House.
Brave New World Dept.
What Robots Can—and Can’t—Do for the Old and Lonely
For elderly Americans, social isolation is especially perilous. Will machine companions fill the void?
Are We Entering a New Political Era?
The neoliberal order seems to be collapsing. A generation of young activists is trying to insure that it’s replaced by progressive populism, not by the fascist right.
A Reporter at Large
The Dark Side of Congo’s Cobalt Rush
Cell phones and electric cars rely on the mineral, causing a boom in demand. Locals are hunting for this buried treasure—but are getting almost none of the profit.
It’s Ryan Murphy’s World—“Halston” Is Just Living in It In the Netflix series, Murphy keeps such a tight rein on Halston’s world that the designer is unable to breathe as a subject.
A Critic at Large
From Guns to Gay Marriage, How Did Rights Take Over Politics?
The N.R.A., the Supreme Court, and the forces driving the country’s most intractable legal debates.
“Albert and the Whale,” “There’s No Such Thing as an Easy Job,” “Gold Diggers,” and “The Renunciations.”
What the Bolinas Poets Built
Along the coast of California, a vibrant literary community came together, but its many styles could not be defined together.
Why Did So Many Victorians Try to Speak with the Dead?
Many explanations have been offered for Spiritualism, but the movement was more than a fad.
The Talk of the Town
Steve Coll on the stakes of the crisis in Gaza; culture-war gladiators; Lucy Dacus kayaks; wrestling crowds return; a dumpling dash.
In Gaza, an Impasse Cannot Be Mistaken for Stability
Israel’s continued occupation of the West Bank and its harsh blockade of Gaza have undermined its constitutional ideals and worsened internal fault lines that threaten its future.
The Last Stand at Steve Bannon’s “Gladiator School”
The Academy for the Judeo-Christian West is trying to stave off eviction from Trisulti, an eight-hundred-year-old monastery outside Rome, where its founder hopes to offer courses like “Cultural Marxism, Radical Jihad, and the C.C.P.’s Global Information Warfare.”
The Musical Life
Floating on the Hudson with Lucy Dacus
The singer-songwriter, who founded boygenius with Phoebe Bridgers and Julien Baker, and whose LP “Home Video” comes out next month, takes a kayak trip off Manhattan.
Reopening New York with Frat Boy Farva and Masha Slamovich
Driven underground by pandemic restrictions, the professional wrestlers at a Staten Island strip mall can now freely entertain audiences with body slams, face-spitting, and head-bashing with metal trash cans.
Dept. of Automation
The Automat Returns, Pushing Dumplings Into American Stomachs
How the Brooklyn Dumpling Shop serves high-concept fare, favored by Daniel Boulud, Patti LaBelle, and Fat Joe, via an update on the old Horn & Hardart system.
More Talk of the Town
Shouts & Murmurs
A Letter to My Future Child
Your would-be sperm-provider and I don’t make the decision not to conceive you lightly: we’re living in a time of melting permafrost. Also, what if, as a teen-ager, you fill the bathroom with Axe body spray?
More Shouts & Murmurs
“We’re meant to be finding galaxies, but the man won’t stop bird-watching.”
“A, S, D, F”
“What I’m actually engaged in is a white-collar high-wire act without a safety net, where each typo means I have to start over.”
Puzzles & Games Dept.
The Crossword: Friday, May 21, 2021
A lightly challenging puzzle.
“Left Out of the Bible”
“What Adam said to Eve / As they lay in the dark.”
“In the Dream in Which I Am a Widow”
“I have carried a portion of your ashes overseas / to the Spanish statue of the falling angel.”
Goings On About Town
Above & Beyond
Little Island, on the Hudson
The new public park, with its lush gardens and amphitheatre overlooking the water, is now open for exploring.
Tables for Two
Mexican Cafés Without Meat
Xilonen, in Greenpoint, homes in on house-made masa, purple potatoes, and guajillo chilies; Guevara’s, in Clinton Hill, offers young-coconut “ceviche” and sturdy nachos with black lentils and cashew crema.
More Goings On About Town
Letters should be sent with the writer’s name, address, and daytime phone number via e-mail to
. Letters may be edited for length and clarity, and may be published in any medium. We regret that owing to the volume of correspondence we cannot reply to every letter.
Sections News & Politics Culture Business, Science & Tech Humor Cartoons Books & Fiction Magazine Photography Video Podcasts More Newsletters About Careers Contact FAQ Media Kit Press Accessibility Help
Do Not Sell My Personal Information.
© 2021 Condé Nast. All rights reserved. Use of and/or registration on any portion of this site constitutes acceptance of our
(updated as of 1/1/21) and
(updated as of 1/1/21).
Your California Privacy Rights
. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Condé Nast.
The New Yorker
may earn a portion of sales from products and services that are purchased through links on our site as part of our affiliate partnerships with retailers.
Ad Choices Our sites Allure Ars Technica Backchannel Bon Appétit Condé Nast Traveler Epicurious Glamour GQ GQ Style Pitchfork Self Style Teen Vogue The New Yorker The Scene Vanity Fair Vogue Wired