New York Magazine’s 40th Anniversary Issue is out this week, and in it I have a series of interviews with movers and shakers. Each weighed in on who they’d rank as the ten most important New Yorkers from the past 40 years. Judging from the names that cropped up again and again: Jackie Onassis, Michael Bloomberg, Martin Scorsese, Ed Koch, Jerry Seinfeld and Rudy Giuliani all are major players. Not that I need to tell you that.
Archive for September, 2008
So after an introspective look at where exactly we live in D.C. (Cluster 12, apparently), I got this email from my friend Bob the other day:
Connecticut. That’s your neighborhood’s name. See here.
Not “Connecticut Ave.” mind you. Connecticut.
Apparently, the City Paper defined my neighborhood earlier this summer, which I missed while I was out of town. Thanks to them (and Bob) for pointing this out. According to the CP, “Connecticut” is “home to a fair amount of ’50s-style houses, a slew of so-so restaurants, a miserable basement Giant grocery, and, typically, a long snarl of traffic.” Awesome, great news. That, and we’re down the road from the first strip mall in America. Sweet.
Thankfully, this dismal account is somewhat enhanced by the rest of the map, which includes the awesome province of Fannypackistan. Click on the map to see it in its full glory.
(Image via the City Paper)
I’m a sucker for old ads from the 40s, and this one just caught my eye. It was part of an exhibit from the National Archives called the Powers of Persuasion, which was on display back in 1994.
Take away the WWII subtext and the pettiness inferred in the notion that secretarial work will save the day (we’re so beyond that ladies), and the image and slogan are pretty much how I feel when I’m on deadline.
Which I’m feeling pretty much all the time these days…
It’s been a tough week, one in which both life and death has proved to be both painful and complicated. So it was amazing to wander down into the depths of the Smithsonian yesterday afternoon and visit “Jim Henson’s Fantastic World,” a tribute to the legacy of the man who created Bert and Ernie, Kermit and the Muppets. Maybe it’s because I grew up so addicted to Sesame Street that I had no idea that television existed for any other purpose but to air PBS, but hearing the familiar theme song, watching the footage of the Muppets, and seeing the sketches of all of his imaginings brought back some serious memories of my childhood.
One of the oddest of these was when I was ten and had just finished reading a biography of Henson (probably for a class book report) when I looked up to the television and learned that he had died that day. It was eerie, and one of the first instances where I felt personally connected to the death of a celebrity, and I was incredibly sad in a uniquely ten-year-old way, knowing that I’d outgrown so many of those ‘childish’ things, but was not quite ready to let the magic behind it die as well.
So 18 years later, it was lovely to revisit the oddity of his puppets, and revel in the imaginative world he created. This was one of my favorite photos from the whole collection, and alongside it was this quote which is part of The Rainbow Connection (though sadly, not often sung by Kermit in the Muppet movies):
“Life’s like a movie, write your own ending. Keep believing, keep pretending. We’ve done just what we set out to do. Thanks to the lovers, the dreamers and you.”
Right now I’m loving the Storyboard blog over at Wired. In a very meta attempt to put together a profile of Charlie Kaufman (screenwriter of Adaptation, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Being John Malkovich) they’ve decided to put the process of making a magazine article all out there, from the pitch and the interviews to the design and layout of the pages (and freakouts over photos). This alone could sub for the cost of a j-school course, and it’s fascinating to see it all come together.
Whether it’s worth seeing the sausage being made I can’t say, we’ll have to see…
I’ve often joked that I relocated from the Upper West Side of Manhattan to the Upper West Side of D.C. There are abundant similarities: A preponderance of yuppies, quiet streets, the proximity to a large urban park (Central vs. Rock Creek), and the prerequisite indy bookstore. (Thankfully, there are less strollers here. Many, many less.) But when I have to specify where exactly I live is when things start to go awry.
“I live along Connecticut Avenue, north of the zoo,” is what I tell people who don’t live in the D.C. (most of whom have no idea where the zoo is), or who live central enough in the city that they don’t ever venture up Connecticut. (This is very much like the people who never ventured above 14th Street in New York, and who look disdainfully upon you when you mentioned your digs on the UWS.) But then people ask me where and I always sound like an idiot trying to tell them.
I live near the Van Ness Metro station, but there is not actually a part of the city called Van Ness. The zip code for my neighborhood is 20008, which is technically Cleveland Park. But the actual neighborhood of Cleveland Park cuts off at Tilden Street, which is pretty far south from us. I learned today of the existence of North Cleveland Park, which is apparently reaches up from where regular Cleveland Park leaves off, but again, cuts a bit short of where I live, at Abelmarle Street. I live two blocks north, on Brandywine. Thwarted again.
Earlier this year, I was enthused at discovering a small plaque on the fence of the tennis courts across the street, which identified the park as in Forest Hills, D.C. Going onto Wikipedia, I discovered that it was a “quiet and bucolic residential neighborhood in the Northwest quadrant of Washington D.C.” Quiet? Bucolic? Yup, yup! I thought. But alas, that neighborhood apparently begins on the east side of Connecticut Ave., and we live on the west. It’s often “mistakenly” called Van Ness, wiki explains, making me feel a bit more like an idiot for having told people of my faux neighborhood in the past. Perhaps we live in Tenleytown? No that’s the area that’s confined to Tenley Circle, I discovered, and that’s a whole other metro stop away, so that doesn’t make much sense.
So I live in a black hole, a dead zone that’s not quite anywhere (and believe me, the restaurant choices are indicitive of this fact). It is, in fact, known as Cluster 12 according to the Washington D.C. website, and grouped together with Tenleytown, Cleveland Park, and Chevy Chase. We’re stuck in the middle of the three, and nothing more specific could be found anywhere. So yes, that big purple blob is my home.
So one of the many “projects” making up my title of Special Projects editor at Traveler was redesigning the Travel Talk pages of the magazine to incorporate more reader content. You can read a bit more about how it works here, but for now I’ll let you admire the design work of my good friend (and birthday boy) Stefan, here and after the jump.