“Mr. Watson—come here—I want to see you.”
They’re some of the most famous words of the late 19th century, the first phrases Alexander Graham Bell spoke to his lab assistant, Thomas A. Watson, via his new telephone and some 20 feet of cable. Watson himself, however, interviewed for a Bell Labs film 55 years later, remembered them a bit differently. In Watson’s version, Bell’s words ended with “I want you,” a distinction—as the former assistant argues in The (Curious Case of the) Watson Intelligence, which opened Monday night at Playwrights Horizons—that indicates a world of difference. The standard version, from Bell’s lab notebook, is the command of a boss to his assistant; Watson’s version, he says in the play, is the request of a colleague to a friend.
Miami has more than once been called an ungovernable city, and, true to form, its museum scene is balkanized and unruly. Private museums run by deep-pocketed contemporary art collectors like the Rubells and the de la Cruzes have dominated the scene in recent years, largely buying work with an eye on the market. The hometown Miami Art Museum, which receives public financing, is just 30 years old and only began acquiring work in 1996. Meanwhile, there are reports that, following the recent failure of a bond referendum for an expansion, North Miami’s Museum of Contemporary Art may leave its current home and merge with South Beach’s Bass Museum of Art, a scattershot museum founded by private collectors 50 years ago. MOCA denies this.
As I write this, I’m about to board a boat with “Lindsay Lohan’s thug,” a.k.a. Ray LeMoine, a guy whose recent press mentions range from face puncher to humanitarian to bar owner. Indeed, over the past few days, Mr. LeMoine has become a tabloid anti-celeb, and we’re on the run.
MONDAY, DECEMBER 9
Drinking and Dancing: Dirty Looks at Bowery Electric
It’s a Monday here in New York City. It’s cold, and it’s rainy. It’s a pretty nice day to have some drinks and do some dancing, in other words. And here’s some fine news: you can do it while supporting the great Dirty Read More
W. C. Fields, who died on Christmas Day 1946 a humbugger to the end, would find what John Bolton does eight times per week at Madison Square Garden absolute torture.
Not only does Mr. Bolton have to work with kids and animals, it’s a whole posse of kids—one of whom craves a retina-wrecking BB gun for Christmas and another who, on a triple-dog-dare, gets his tongue stuck to a frozen flagpole. Then, there are the mangy bloodhounds that make off with the Christmas turkey. Yes, it’s that time of the year.
So Jay-Z and Beyoncé have embarked upon a 22-day challenge to go completely vegan as part of a “spiritual and physical cleanse” and/or to support their friend’s energy bar business. As a longtime herbivore myself, I couldn’t help but respond to this news in the deepest, most animalistic part of my brain, the part I’ve trained not to care about steak but which will never stop caring about what Queen Bey says and does. Yay, celebrities!
Romain Pianet, the Senior Brand Director for Piper-Heidsieck & Charles Heidsieck Champagne has some tips on how to insure that you’re getting a good year, a good value, and an item that’s sure to impress your guests. (Our favorite tip? For a very merry holiday, try a Blanc de Blancs).
Many brands claim they’re selling champagne, so make sure the brand you’re buying comes from the Champagne region. If it’s not from that region, it’s not champagne. It’s perhaps prosecco, or cava, or sparkling wine, or possibly ginger ale. Read More
Rudolf Bing, general manager of the Met from 1950 to 1972, once observed that his opera house was “similar to a museum. My function is to present old masterpieces in modern frames.”
Mr. Bing’s curatorial approach was, if not exactly avant-garde in the 1950s, a step forward from the haphazard way opera had been produced before him, at the Met and elsewhere. His style of “framing” featured real theater directors and designers, serious musical preparation and stable casting across a season’s run of a given opera.
Brothers Josh and Benny Safdie try to watch every Knicks game together.
“We have weird superstitions, like we never watch games with the producer of Lenny Cooke,” Josh said of Adam Shopkorn last Sunday evening at the Stout, a bar around the corner from Madison Square Garden. “He likes when the Knicks lose because he hates James Dolan so much.”
Talk about bad timing. In the wake of the disturbing news about the death of actor Paul Walker in a flaming Porsche (shades of James Dean!), along comes the posthumous release of his best, most mature film yet. Set against the turbulence and tragedy of Hurricane Katrina, Hours is about a courageous father (Mr. Walker, as Nolan) trapped in a New Orleans hospital after everyone has been evacuated, doing whatever he can to keep his baby alive.