But Some of My Best Friends …

Someone, 20 years ago, suggested a discreet tattoo the site [sic, or pun] of which would alert the prospective partner to the danger of proceeding as had been planned. But the author of the idea was treated as though he had been schooled in Buchenwald, and the idea was not widely considered, but maybe it is up now for reconsideration. -- from "Killers at Large: AIDS Carriers and Their Victims" by William F. Buckley Jr., National Review Online, Feb. 19, 2005 … [Read more...]

Save the Deli

Many traditional foodways are at risk, and this sharp site focuses on an important one: Save the Deli. Scroll down and check out Alan Richman's 2nd Avenue Deli blog review for GQ: he nails it (which means we agree). … [Read more...]

Why Pastrami Is Always More Than Pastrami

The old sign A Tale of Meat If you're not interested in a New York story, you can stop now. It may be annoying even if you are, because I'll be talking about a lifelong relationship with something a number of readers may never get to know -- which usually sounds like a brag. No one ever said the 2nd Avenue Deli had the best pastrami. Most mavens pit Katz's on Houston Street ("Send a salami to your boy in the Army" -- the history-heavy sign dangles from the ceiling) against Langer's Delicatessen on South Alvarado in L.A. My own feeling is that, … [Read more...]

Make Me a Superartcritic

The two host-judges (foreground) and initial contestants on Make Me a Supermodel Sincere congratulations, media scribblers, on a righteous strike. During your absence, TV critics sneered at the temporary dominance of reality shows. But I had never understood their genre distinction, aware that those purportedly callow shadow-plays are scripted with the best of them. OK, semi-scripted. OK, employing a form of method acting, one without method. I have praised the primitive, addictive, and unexpectedly sweet Project Runway in print before and, as … [Read more...]

Just Friends

"Up-and-coming studs" Bob, left, and Jasper, far right, just before their breakup in 1961 (from "The Art of Code") A piece of canvas covers its surface like a blanket except for portions at the bottom, where Tennyson's name appears in murky stenciled letters, and the top is vertically bisected, suggesting two pillows. Mr. Rondeau sees the work as a response to "Bed," which Mr. Johns's close friend at the time, Robert Rauschenberg, painted three years earlier on the quilt and sheets of his actual single bed. -- Roberta Smith, in a New York Times … [Read more...]