Jacques Le Corre
Jacques Le Corre

My Week in New York: Home Entertainment

Email sent: Sep 11, 2021 8:31am
A week in review, from the people who make New York Magazine. This week, New York’s Choire Sicha.
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September 11, 2021:
Lots of books to read, or argue about; some movies to look forward to; and remember restaurants?

The Wonder Wheel at Coney Island, as seen from a subway car over Labor Day weekend.    Photo: Alexi J. Rosenfeld/Getty Images
 

Choire Sicha is a writer for New York Magazine who looks forward to being entirely disembodied so that he may be an online construct.

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With the return of the city’s perfect weather season — if climate change messes with autumn in New York, so help me lord, I’ll be quietly angry about it and then eventually die — I will soon go outside and see some paintings and some clothes. Art is coming back. The great museum that is the commerce of New York City is in full swing right now. The clothing stores of Madison and Fifth Avenues and Soho are open for your prying; the art galleries of Chelsea and uptown will happily ignore you as you gawk; the bookstores and flower shops and sneakerhead boutiques can’t tell if you’re the richest person in town or absolutely penniless. New York City is the best city to practice panache and entitlement, even if you’re literally hungry. Madonna did it, why can’t you?

For now, I spent almost the entire week indoors, with one very notable exception (we’ll get to that later). But around town, everything exciting is happening outside; the arguments about the city’s future are playing out in the parks.

I always like it when people insert ideas in the culture by means of a book, a nifty thing to consume at home. I’m not a Maggie Nelson reader (not enough spaceships for me), but her On Freedom just dropped and Andrea Long Chu dug into it on our behalf: “Why should we listen to yet another emissary of Generation X complain about ‘a world drunk on scapegoating, virtue signaling, and public humiliation?’” she wrote. Well? We have opinions too, you know. But our opinions are just … very uniformly Gen X–y.

Also, we love mess; Gen X is always most comfortable in an emergency in a sick way. I’m even looking forward to President Trump’s upcoming second term; the campaign will either begin soon or has never stopped. I wish I could wait this out in suspended animation; the incredibly slow suspense is harming me.

Because of the arguments about artists and harms in the Maggie Nelson book — she addresses emerging ideas regarding art about violence being a reenactment of violence — I was remembering how, in 1993, Sue Williams’s paintings came to the San Francisco Art Institute. I stumbled in randomly one day on an adventure and she changed my life with very angry, beautiful paintings about gender and mistreatment; these paintings let people “process trauma” (oh golly) by rambunctiously, humorously reaching out and pinging it. “Sue Williams swears she doesn’t hate men,” said the New York Times at the time. Phew, thank goodness, who would want that?

It Happened This Week

Yes, I did in fact go outside one time. Recently, our friend Laura said she’d met a new person. “A new person?” we all asked. “What were they … like?” “Very smart and intriguing,” Laura said. They were two new people, in fact: a couple. Two new people!

Then the two new people came to a dinner and we met them and asked them questions. New people, full of new experiences, new workplaces to us, new kinds of advice, new places that they were from, new ways of making and appreciating jokes. It was as if we’d gone on a refreshing journey.

At this dinner too there were many kinds of food: brisket, pasta, vegetables, soup, ice cream — and all at once. A real luxury. Not just one food for each meal, like I usually have. This made me recall the concept of “the restaurant.” Here are 15 places I want to eat at now beyond my home (on a list of 21 places, as I must admit that six of these sound very unappealing to me).

On My Radar

There are many things to enjoy inside this season.

• “Unfortunately, you’re never predicting the future when it comes to police brutality. You’re just waiting for the next high-profile incident.” — A new Colson Whitehead arrives this week! But also, even more up my alley? Check out adrienne maree brown’s Grievers.

• Finally, it seems like, at last, new games: A Fortnite season finale is coming tomorrow, then the really intriguing Deathloop is finally arriving (it’s about loops! And death!) — and then comes the director’s cut of Death Stranding. Also about death! Rock me, Norman Reedus!

• It seems weird that cultural releases are the stepping stones stretching ahead of me in the stream of time. For young people, those will be weddings or Tinder dates. For me, it’s just video games and movies. Matrix Resurrections? Guess I’ll try to live until Christmas. Obviously I’ve already bought my October 1 tickets to Venom: Let There Be Carnage, the sequel to the truly exceptional film (wait for it) Venom. Tom Hardy plays two characters who talk to each other constantly! What a dream! It’s just like how me and me talk to myselves at home.

Next Week in New York

Next week’s newsletter will be helmed by Intelligencer’s Sarah Jones, who most recently interviewed Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh and wrote about the true goals of anti-abortion activists.

 
 

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