Ever since there have been puddles of water, human beings have gazed at their reflections.
Our need to primp and preen, whether we lived in the Bronze Age or the Space Age, can be seen in a new exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York called Metropolitan Vanities: The History of the Dressing Table.
Curator Jane Adlin offers a show that reminds us that while our vanity may ultimately be in vain, the instinct goes back a long way.
Kevin Roose is a New York Magazine writer. His new book, Young Money, comes out next month.
With the Grammy Awards just two days away, the Academy Awards on the horizon and the results of the SAG and Golden Globe awards already in, we're smack in the middle of awards season.
I don't watch the Oscars. I don't even see many movies, unless you count what's on Netflix. But Jess Walter's very funny novel, Beautiful Ruins, made me want to quit my job, move to L.A. and see the Hollywood train wreck up close.
There's no shortage of books about how parents affect their children's lives, but what about vice versa? That's what New York Magazine contributing editor and mother Jennifer Senior sets out to investigate in All Joy and No Fun, a book about parental well-being.
Super Bowl suspense is building â€” for the game and the commercials. With an audience of over 100 million people, advertisers covet this space, but at a reported $4 million a spot, only the mightiest corporations can afford Super Bowl exposure. This year, though, there's an exception. One lucky little business will get one of those primo slots â€” free.
Moms-to-be are often reminded that they're eating for two. It's tempting to take this as an excuse to go for that extra scoop of the ice cream. (Believe me, I've been there.)
But a solid body of research suggests that expectant mothers should be walking away with the opposite message: Pregnancy should be a time to double-down on healthful eating if you want to avoid setting up your unborn child for a lifetime of wrestling with obesity.
The Oscar nominations are so strangely timed (for us) that we didn't get to them last week, so this is the week we take a look at what didn't make the cut that we wish had gotten through. Nothing will cast light on this discussion more than Mark Harris' terrific piece at Grantland about the effect of the expanded Best Picture field on all the other categories, which hasn't been as ...
This is FRESH AIR. "Gloria" is a new film from Chile that centers on a late-middle-aged divorced woman whose life is full of uncertainties. She's played by Paulina Garcia, who won the top acting prize - the Silver Bear - at the 2013 Berlin Film Festival, where the movie was a surprise hit. It opens this week in New York and Los Angeles, and wider next month. Film critic David Edelstein has this review.
Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 11:37 am
As New Year's resolutions go, cutting back on food and drink are right at the top of the list. And while those resolved to change their eating habits may cut the carbohydrates or say a sweet goodbye to sugar, for regular drinkers, the tradition may involve what's known as a dry January: giving up booze for a month.
But could such a short-term breakup with alcohol really impart any measurable health benefits?
The face is the same, but the personality is different. It's a sobering, unfair truth that Vanetia (Maxine Peake) must confront about her husband. Again and again, in fact, once he's returned home from the hospital, after months in a coma and recovery in the wake of a rare kind of stroke.
Each year's Grammy Awards offer their own questions and controversies based on how the nominations pan out, but there are a few points of contention that come up year after year. There's the difference between Song Of The Year and Record Of The Year. How a song can be eligible for nomination this year when the album it came from was nominated last year (or vice versa). The precise eligibility requirements for Best New Artist, a category that can be (and has been) won by performers several albums into their careers.
Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 10:28 am
Derek Walcott, who won the Nobel Prize in 1992, is one of the biggest living figures on the world literary scene. He is a celebrated playwright and a painter, but a new selection of his work focuses on the achievement for which he is best-known: his poetry.
Walcott's home, and the gravitational center of his writing, is the Caribbean Island of St. Lucia, which was tossed restlessly between French and English colonial overlords for hundreds of years until it finally achieved independence in 1979.
Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 5:49 pm
The lake in Alain Guiraudie's Stranger by the Lake is gorgeous â€” aquamarine, pristine, surrounded by pebbly beaches and dense woods. Families cluster on the far side of it, but on the side we see, there are only men. It's a gay cruising spot, frequented by mostly nude sunbathers and swimmers, many of whom come here often enough to know each other by sight if not by name.
Jenny Offill's novel Dept. of Speculation, which weighs in at 192 pages soaking wet and includes a fair amount of white space, is extremely short for a novel. It's an unusual book not only in terms of its size, but also its form. Make no mistake, this is an experimental novel. By which I mean that the narrative isn't a series of flowing scenes that keep you reassuringly grounded in plot, but a collection of vignettes, observations and quirky details that are sometimes pulled from real life.
Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 1:38 pm
The Chilean matron at the heart of the wonderfully unsettling comedy Gloria looks like any ordinary woman confronting the familiar dilemmas of late middle age. For other reasons, though, you may feel as though you've met her before.
Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 1:47 pm
There are five named female characters in Joe Swanberg's 24 Exposures, and all of them spend significant portions of the movie ... well, exposed.
Actually, most of the unnamed female characters wind up in various states of undress as well, a fact that's part of a point Swanberg seems to be trying to make about objectification of women in art. In 24 Exposures, though, he straddles the line between criticizing that objectification and engaging in it himself.
A new study from Consumer Reports finds varying levels of a chemical compound classified as a possible human carcinogen in many popular brands of soda.
The findings have prompted the Food and Drug Administration to take a new look at the compound, 4-methylimidazole â€” or 4-MEI for short. It is found in the caramel color that soda makers use to dye the drinks brown.
For many people, paprikash means winter. After all, it's a dish fit for cold, gray days: A belly-warming mix of meat and spices, it's the perfect cure for the doldrums of late January.
For Merelyn Chalmers, though, the classic Hungarian casserole recalls someone far dearer: her mother, Yolanda. A survivor of Auschwitz, Yolanda had rebuilt her life in Perth, Australia, after the war. "My mum was Hungarian," Chalmers explains. "We ate paprikash probably five nights a week. This was something that she just threw together when I wasn't feeling well."
The title essay of Ann Patchett's latest book, This Is The Story Of A Happy Marriage, isn't exactly what it sounds like. It's actually the story of an unhappy marriage that ends quickly in divorce and results in a strongly defended refusal to marry that lasts many years. But eventually, it does lead to the happy marriage.
Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 1:41 pm
Portland, Maine, native Hollis McLaughlin's recollection of his mother's fish cookery produces a wistful expression as he takes a bite of the fish cakes given to him as part of the regular Wednesday night meal he is served free of charge at the Parkside Neighborhood Center.