At Marian and Barbara Apple’s house in Rhinebeck, N.Y., it’s time to eat again.
As the lights come up, dimly at first, the women are setting the table—laying silverware, carrying out drinks—and soon enough, the men join them. Marian’s ex-husband is dying of cancer, and she has taken him in, caring for him in another room of the house. There has been a parade of visitors, friends saying their final good-byes, but now it’s late, and just the family remains: the schoolteachers Marian (Laila Robins) and Barbara (Maryann Plunkett); the third sister, Jane (Sally Murphy), a writer, who with her boyfriend, Tim (Stephen Kunken), an actor, has recently moved up to Rhinebeck from the city; their brother, Richard (Jay O. Sanders), now a high-level government lawyer in Albany; and Uncle Benjamin (Jon DeVries), once an actor of some renown, now afflicted with dementia and living at least part of the week at a nursing home. Gathered together, the Apple family, that marvelous creation of the playwright Richard Nelson, will do what it does best: talk—about family, about politics, about, tonight, life and death.
Once upon a time (i.e., last year), I was writing a weekly live music column that involved finding hyper-local shows that not a lot of other outlets were covering. I used Big Snow Buffalo Lodge as one of several primary sources, because it was a scrappy new venue that often booked whole bills of young bands I’d never heard of. (Also, it was near my house and I’m lazy.) They had some bigger bookings, but my desire to be a first responder led me to Google every random act that played there in the hopes of falling in love. I wanted to ease the pain I still felt over the demise of early aughts greats like Ponytail, These Are Powers and Parts and Labor. Not the Next Big Thing exactly, but … The Next Bizarre Thing? The Next Beloved-By-A-Statistically-Insignificant-Group-Of-Dorks Thing? Something like that. Read More
Susan Morrison was the second editor-in-chief of The New York Observer, succeeding Graydon Carter. In 1992, she assigned a writer named Peter Kaplan to cover TV for the Observer. He wrote three “TV Diary” installments for the paper and then a few months later became the Observer’s editor. These stories have never before been published online. Read More
I. Pregame Warm-Up
What a morning! On Meet the Press, the mad caricaturist’s match-up between the strangely feline James Carville, an R. Crumb creation out of Fritz the Cat, and, from the Bush camp, a gumdrop-eyed man named Charles Black who evoked Dondi as a 45-year-old. Between them was beaming Tim Russert, watching as Mr. Carville pistol-whipped Mr. Black, who just kept blinking. Next door on Face the Nation, we had a made-for-TV movie in which Bush spokeswoman and Carville girlfriend Mary Matalin mud-wrestled Clinton spin-mistress Mandy Grunwald, who kept smiling and calling the Bush campaign “sad.” This was a fairer fight, due partly to Ms. Matalin’s wildcat passion and her determination to leave no eye unthumbed. By the time, back on NBC, that Mr. Russert asked Mr. Carville to say something nice about Mr. Bush (an invitation that the hypnotic Mr. Black took to be sincere), Mr. Carville sloe-eyed across the channels to CBS and said, “anyone who Mary Matalin likes that much, there must be something good there.”
“Week one: The honeymoon is over. Week two: The administration is over.” — Sam Donaldson on This Week With David Brinkley, Jan. 31
Yup, it’ s been a pretty bad two weeks for Bill Clinton on TV, but that’s show business and, anyhow, Mr. Clinton’s earned it. It’s a bloody game and, yes, the media is a bunch of jackals, but this new Administration has declared itself ready to fight on its own terms. They’re the ones who’ve decided to try and sail right over the press into the TV cameras, to body-mike the President and let him Reaganize directly to his constituency.
“I remember in the old days, five, six years ago, we used to go out into the fine jungle of live television. It was an exquisite sensation—a little like making love, a little like being in the electric chair—to know that one million people were listening to you at that instant … Now it’s more Read More
Art Basel Miami Beach 2013
Part One: Getting Started
1. Do you want to know how to sell art?
2. Do you have one foot in the past?
3. Do you have your other foot in the future?
4. Do you consider yourself someone with a point of view and something to say?
If you answered yes to these questions, Read More
The week of Miami Basel is here. The fair opens to invited guests on Wednesday, Dec. 4, with public viewings Thursday through Sunday, Dec. 5–8. The Observer will have coverage throughout the week. For now, there are previews. In this edition: works by John Finneran, Erika Verzutti, Helmut Newton, Kenneth Noland, Dorothea Tanning (with an absolutely great 1943 portrait) and 20 more artists.
Art Basel Miami Beach 2013
Peter W. Kaplan, the former editor of the New York Observer, passed away after a battle with cancer Friday. He was 59. As The Observer’s editor-in-chief from 1994 to 2009, Kaplan took a paper with a small circulation and revolutionized the field of journalism, whether people knew it at the time or not. He crafted a voice among his writers that was in turns sophisticated, sarcastic, erudite and honest, a legacy that can be seen nearly everywhere in media today. The writers and editors who came of age under Kaplan represent a veritable checklist of journalistic success stories, including the gossip columnist Frank DiGiacomo; the New York Times editor Alexandra Jacobs; the New Yorker staff writer Nick Paumgarten; Choire Sicha, the founder of The Awl; Candace Bushnell—whose column Sex and the City, which Kaplan named himself, became a pop culture sensation even as the paper that printed it remained relatively obscure; and scores of others. There are few publications in New York City—either extant or extinct—that do not bear at least some of his influence.
The 2013 edition of Art Basel Miami Beach is only moments away. The fair runs this year from Thursday, Dec. 5, through Sunday, Dec. 8, with a preview day on Wednesday, Dec. 4. We’ll be filing from the fair throughout that stretch. Until then, there are previews. This slide show has new works from David Read More