allaboutgeorge + essay   19

“Why’s this so good?” No. 3: André Aciman on the geography of longing – Nieman Storyboard - A project of the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard
Every time I reread “Shadow Cities” I bring to it my own memories, and something new in the piece stands out. This time it is this sentence, which comes after Aciman has chronicled all the places he’s reminded of when he sits in Straus Park. He’s talking about Rome and Paris and Amsterdam, and then he writes: “This, I think, is when I started to love, if love is the word for it, New York.”

We see the words “I love New York” a lot, but it’s a bumper-sticker sentence. It’s for tourists, for export. I love how Aciman’s sentence unfolds conditionally – how “love” is questioned, how it and New York are separated. It feels honest to love New York the way Aciman does, to call the defunct fountain in Straus Park a “septic sandbox” but sit by it day after day just the same and mourn it when you think it’s gone.
nyc  newyork  memory  reading  travel  essay  september11  story  writing  beauty  cities  language 
july 2011 by allaboutgeorge
What the Beatles Reveal About Fame - Newsweek
If Malcolm Gladwell is right, it was the 1,200 live gigs at strip clubs in Hamburg, Germany, that made the Beatles great. But as Doggett proves, it was the particularly corrosive nature of fame that not only broke them up, but made it impossible for them to be in the same room. They never seriously considered getting the band back together, despite offers that hovered at about $1 billion.
music  beatles  design  essay  history  1960s  business  celebrity  happiness 
june 2010 by allaboutgeorge
Final edition: Twilight of the American newspaper—By Richard Rodriguez (Harper's Magazine)
[...] In the nineteenth-century newspaper, the relationship between observer and observed was reciprocal: the newspaper described the city; the newspaper, in turn, was sustained by readers who were curious about the strangers that circumstance had placed proximate to them. So, I suppose, it is incomplete to notice that the San Francisco Chronicle has become remiss in its obituary department. Of four friends of mine who died recently in San Francisco, not one wanted a published obituary or any other public notice taken of his absence. This seems to me a serious abrogation of the responsibility of living in a city and as good an explanation as any of why newspapers are dying. All four of my friends requested cremation; three wanted their ashes consigned to the obscurity of Nature. Perhaps the cemetery is as doomed in America as the newspaper, and for the same reason: we do not imagine death as a city.

We no longer imagine the newspaper as a city or the city as a newspaper. [...]
media  journalism  newspapers  writing  news  death  obituaries  cities  california  essay  history  sanfrancisco  culture 
december 2009 by allaboutgeorge
Nerve.com Hires New CEO, And New Plans To Downplay Nudity - BusinessWeek
Nerve is an unusual Web content business in that it has four revenue streams. They are: personal ads, premium subscriptions, licensing (mostly books) and advertising. The personals, which Griscom says remains a growing business even after new ways to connect online with MySpace and Facebook arose, literally saved the business during the online ad drought earlier this decade.

The new Nerve will have no subscriber- and member-only areas—though the untitled new site for nerve’s photo archives will charge a subscription fee--which means it will tack somewhat against some current sentiment. Many newspapers, facing severe revenue droughts, are openly discussing a willingness to try new subscription models for online content.
business  sex  online  web  media  video  writing  essay  marketing  myspace  facebook  social  photography 
april 2009 by allaboutgeorge
In an early essay, Harold Pinter describes what drove his work | Culture | The Guardian
In Dusseldorf about two years ago I took, as is the continental custom, a bow with a German cast of The Caretaker at the end of the play on the first night. I was at once booed violently by what must have been the finest collection of booers in the world. I thought they were using megaphones, but it was pure mouth. The cast was as dogged as the audience, however, and we took 34 curtain calls, all to boos. By the 34th there were only two people left in the house, still booing. I was strangely warmed by all this, and now, whenever I sense a tremor of the old apprehension or expectation, I remember Dusseldorf, and am cured.
playwriting  creativity  theater  art  writing  acting  germany  uk  essay 
december 2008 by allaboutgeorge
New Haven Independent: Oh, Rude-y!
Those of you who are still employed may wonder what it’s like to be unemployed. A snarky answer might be “You’ll probably find out for yourself soon enough.” Here’s what it’s really like: [...]
work  jobs  essay 
december 2008 by allaboutgeorge
Op-Ed Contributor - Margare Atwood - A Matter of Life and Debt - NYTimes.com
We are social creatures who must interact for mutual benefit, and — the negative version — who harbor grudges when we feel we’ve been treated unfairly. Without a sense of fairness and also a level of trust, without a system of reciprocal altruism and tit-for-tat — one good turn deserves another, and so does one bad turn — no one would ever lend anything, as there would be no expectation of being paid back. And people would lie, cheat and steal with abandon, as there would be no punishments for such behavior.
money  work  ethics  writing  essay  aesthetics  relationships  psychology  altruism  happiness  crime  behavior  culture  history  economics  literature  sociology  finance  rhetoric 
october 2008 by allaboutgeorge
Powells.com From the Author - Kathleen Norris
"[...] I suspect that one of the reasons we keep ourselves so busy is to avoid caring about the true condition of our lives and our world. As our 24-hour news media bombard us with more 'information' than we can absorb, we grow less able to distinguish between what is important for us to care about and what is not. We're mired in acedia's world without knowing its name. And as any reader of fairy tales can tell you, that's a bad predicament to be in. [...]"
psychology  religion  spirituality  attention  media  news  information  story  work  books  essay 
october 2008 by allaboutgeorge
SCIFI.COM / Tribute
Science fiction writers' responses to the September 11 attacks
september11  911  sciencefiction  essay  writing 
september 2008 by allaboutgeorge
David Foster Wallace's "Roger Federer as Religious Experience" - Tennis - New York Times
"[...] Of course, in men’s sports no one ever talks about beauty or grace or the body. Men may profess their “love” of sports, but that love must always be cast and enacted in the symbology of war: elimination vs. advance, hierarchy of rank and standing, obsessive statistics, technical analysis, tribal and/or nationalist fervor, uniforms, mass noise, banners, chest-thumping, face-painting, etc. For reasons that are not well understood, war’s codes are safer for most of us than love’s. [...]"
sports  writing  essay  nonfiction  beauty  men  war  love  toread 
september 2008 by allaboutgeorge
Pitchfork Feature: Column: Resonant Frequency #58
"[T]here are two other reasons why covers are the lifeblood of the indie rock blogsphere. There's the desire to hear something familiar, and the dearth of really good songs. They're hard to write. Better to sing a good song that you haven't written than a
culture  essay  music  pitchfork  rock  songwriting  creativity  art 
june 2008 by allaboutgeorge
Smithsonian Magazine | Travel | You got a problem with that?
"When New Yorkers see a stranger, they don't think, 'I don't know you.' They think, 'I know you. I know your problems—they're the same as mine—and furthermore we have the same handbag.' So that's how they treat you."
culture  essay  newyork  nyc  psychology  reading  sociology  travel  geography  urban  cities  social  public 
may 2008 by allaboutgeorge
On being unmarried for forty years, by Lisa Gabriele - Nerve.com
"That's why most relationships crack under pressure, I think — they're not built to fix us. We're supposed to fix them."
relationships  marriage  love  identity  friendship  alcohol  drinking  sex  religion  essay 
april 2008 by allaboutgeorge
If It Weren’t for Designers I’d Be One: Voice: AIGA Journal of Design: Writing: AIGA
"[A] working curiosity about the meaning of things is no mystery. It is the designer’s stock in trade. Designers, like King Lear, take upon themselves the mystery of things. How interesting is that?"
design  aesthetics  creativity  beauty  marketing  essay  identity 
april 2008 by allaboutgeorge
Powell's Books - PowellsBooks.BLOG - Now You See Him: An Original Essay by Eli Gottlieb
"He didn't want to leave. He hung on as long as he could. Five years passed and he'd felt he'd just nicked the surface. When he did leave, he was terribly sorry to go, and he's never stopped thinking about it since."
rome  italy  travel  identity  writing  essay  europe  usa 
april 2008 by allaboutgeorge
cityofsound: The street as platform
"Freeze the frame, and scrub the film backwards and forwards a little, observing the physical activity on the street. But what can’t we see?"
academia  cities  computers  data  design  futurism  information  infrastructure  location  media  mobile  music  politics  presence  privacy  public  radio  research  scifi  social  sociology  society  software  story  technology  urban  web  wifi  writing  essay  film  sciencefiction 
april 2008 by allaboutgeorge
NYT: It's Not You, It's Your Books
“I think sometimes it’s better if books are just books. It’s part of the romantic tragedy of our age that our partners must be seen as compatible on every level.”
books  essay  literature  nytimes  reading  relationships  fiction  nonfiction  love  aesthetics  identity 
march 2008 by allaboutgeorge
$5 Chocolate Bar (Ftrain.com)
“We're just saying hello. Sometimes that's all you need to have your faith renewed, just someone nice noticing that you bothered to get dressed.”
writing  story  memory  brooklyn  essay 
november 2007 by allaboutgeorge
George Saunders: When I am dead | Weekend | Guardian Unlimited
"I am thinking of something kind a now-dead friend once said to me. My still-beating heart is filling with quiet pride, and a commitment to do better, to do good. How did he do that, when he's dead? Funny."
death  essay  happiness  writing  relationships  friendship 
march 2007 by allaboutgeorge

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