92nd Street Y
Moderator Caryn James asked the question early on in the night, directing it at Weiner, “Tell us about Betty’s transformation, physical and internal. Why did you put on that weight for her?” Weiner responded matter-of-factly, “Well, it was a creative solution to a real-life problem, that January was pregnant—and everything worked out great, she has a baby [laughs]—and we had to start shooting, so I had the choice between doing the laundry basket thing or really trying to deal with it, not trying to hide it.” So, an accident of the filming process? Not quite.
Betsey Johnson spoke with Fern Mallis at the 92Y about a life in fashion, her favorite ex-husband, a new reality show, and how to kick ass.
The Associated Press, and its award-winning series on an NYPD surveillance program?
Always happy in the spotlight, or on a dais, or with a microphone pinned to his lapel, Rushdie is now in the odd position of promoting a book about a time when he could do precisely none of these things, when he was living in hiding after Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa calling for the author's death. And Rushdie is indeed promoting the book, titled Joseph Anton: A Memoir, with great energy. His appearance Thursday night came amidst a busy calendar of events, including recent appearances in Washington, D.C., and Boston, on "The Daily Show," and at The New Yorker Festival.
As I waited around outside, two other older ladies, each with small, rectangular pieces of cardboard proclaiming that they, too, were looking for tickets, got into a bickering argument when a gentleman in an overcoat decided to give one of the women his spare ticket; the other woman exhibited the injured manner of one whose cab has been stolen. “Can you believe that?” the ticketless woman said repeatedly, to anyone who would listen, shaking her head in disgust.
But Poehler, sans the marketshare of such A-listers, has a following based on something more personal and finely honed. Of course, she's spectacularly funny (she was especially so Friday night, constantly riffing for the hour-plus that she was onstage), but it's also Poehler's message of female empowerment, her apparent accessibility, and her brand of humor—pop culturally literate, a little folksy, oscillating between raunch and a cultivated naïveté—that create this sense of connection.(6)
There was a telling moment last night when Neil Young and filmmaker Jonathan Demme spoke to preview their latest concert film, Journeys. The theater projected a clip with Young playing "Ohio", footage that was intercut with footage of the Kent State shootings and photos of the four slain college students that inspired the song. Lopate watched the small monitor feed set in front for all three and Demme turned around in his seat to see the large projection the audience saw. Young looked down or in his hands – anywhere but at the footage.
When he was five years old, he helped his mother with her wedding dress. It had lots of bows. “I think it’s really busy,” he recalled telling his mom. So they took the bows off and the dress, at least, was a success, even if the marriage wasn't. “My mom ended up getting divorced from Bill Kors, but I think the dress was pretty timeless,” he said.
On a frank and, sometimes, heated conversation about race, between Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Ilan Stevens
This tension between biological identity and socially-constructed identity became the night's theme, and Gates didn’t restrict his analysis to others. He noted that his DNA test revealed that he’s 56 percent white. In fact, it was his own family’s racial mixture that catalyzed his passion for genealogy. "My grandfather was so white, we used to call him Casper behind his back," he said. "How has your standing in the African American community changed?" Stavans asked about Gates' DNA discovery. "I got a raise at Harvard," Gates said.(2)
"This whole thing in order to cook, you have to be a chef has got things all backwards. The vast minority of people who cook wind up being chefs. No where else in the world, except for the West right now, would anyone ever think that cooking and being a chef was synonymous. There is that tendency around television. Books are a small part, television is really - if ‘blame’ is to be cast television is to blame for that.”
“Well that’s true,” Reich said. “It makes people think that chefs are cooks, which in fact they are C.E.O.’s who run assembly lines, essentially,” Reichl said.
Bittman emphatically agreed.
“For some reason people don’t watch - what’s it called - NASCAR and think they can’t drive a car unless they drive it 180 miles an hour. That’s true right? And they don’t watch tennis, they’d never play tennis unless they can play like – you, know, what’s his name - Djokovic. People don’t think that stuff, but then they think they can’t cook like Bobby Flay, then what’s the point?”
It's been more than 30 years since women began to vote in greater numbers than men in presidential elections, and four since Hillary Clinton almost became the Democratic nominee for president.
But of course Hillary didn't make it, and it's going to be at least another four years before a woman is nominated by either of the major parties.
Foer has just edited The New American Haggadah, translated from the Hebrew by fellow author Nathan Englander, and the two shared the stage, though their personalities were hardly a match. Foer was there to slowly and clearly tell the story of how their joint project evolved; Englander to frenetically dive into the ideas inside and engage their abstruse mysticism.
It was perhaps unsurprisingly an older crowd, with a smattering of hip and literate looking people in their 20s with possible inclinations toward Gershom Sholem or Walter Benjamin or others conversant as academics in the old Schocken Books canon.
As Gladwell and Gopnik contemplate a link between food and politics, a food scientist suggests we embrace bitterness
When Gopnik wondered aloud whether the sugar-salt food culture of the U.S. could be redirected, Stuckey went on a riff about how Starbucks had, arguably, done just that.
“So that’s where you have companies that come in building businesses using bitter coffee and dark chocolates, and so that starts at the entrepreneurial level, and moves kind of to the center; and we start seeing the preferences for chocolate and for coffee moving ever so slightly to the more bitter, arguably more complex range,” Stuckey said.
But they haven't gone all the way: Starbucks customers load their coffee with whipped cream, sugar and caramel on top.
Seeing Allen at the 92nd St. Y is the closest thing Manhattan has to seeing the Pope give a blessing in St. Peter's Square. And his followers come out in droves for the pilgrimage. The event, billed as a discussion about Allen's autobiographical 1987 film Radio Days, had been sold out for weeks, but there were still a large share of people standing outside hoping to score spare tickets. Of course, as can be the case at the 92Y, the actuality didn’t quite live up to the billing, and what transpired was a pleasant, if not quite razor-sharp discussion on the topic of nostalgia.(1)