Of Libraries and Luxury Condos
Ever the contrarian, Malcolm Gladwell is once again championing an argument that goes against popular opinion. While a lot of New Yorkers are worried that Norman Foster’s redesign will ruin the beloved New York Public Library on Fifth Avenue, Malcolm Gladwell could care less about preserving the “massive money sink of a mausoleum” and thinks we should tear the thing down and build condos, according to the Huffington Post.
“Every time I turn around, there’s some new extravagant renovation going on in the main building. Why? In my mind, the New York Public Library should be focused on keeping small libraries open, on its branches all over the city,” Mr. Gladwell said at a BookExpo America in New York forum.
Not content to let the attack go at that, he added: “luxury condos would look wonderful there. Go back into the business of reaching people who do not have access to books. And that is not on the corner of 42nd and Fifth.”
Around the turn of page 266 of The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America, when I was about to be late for my day job, I had an unusually vivid daydream. I was at some literary event significant enough to draw A-list bylines outside the known skirt-chasing demographic, flailing past the hour mark Read More
The Eight-Day Week
The New Yorker writer on trends in neuroscience who didn’t get in trouble this year continues to rake in the speaking engagements: Malcolm Gladwell drops by the Tropfest Roughcut Symposium today, a daylong event at which various notables discuss the art of film. Speakers joining Mr. Gladwell include Sofia Coppola’s film editor Sarah Flack and movie star Liev Schreiber (to either or both of whom Mr. Gladwell should talk about adapting some of his well-crafted anecdotes into a movie), as well as film criticism icon Lisa Schwarzbaum …
So is the Upright Citizens Brigade. And they made a video about it. Because the only thing more terrifying than a stack of unread New Yorkers is getting a phone call from Malcolm Gladwell reminding you that you are 14 issues behind and will never catch up.
Who’s the character behind the latest bit of Conde Nast roman a clef? What does Barry Diller think of his newly-owned print magazine? What constitutes superficial beauty in a place as fundamentally ugly as D.C.? Did Malcolm Gladwell cause the recession? Does he wish he did? Who is producing the most powerful journalism of the day? And will Robert take K-Stew back? Today’s Power Lunch is brought to you by the Four-Cosmo Circa 2007 Michael’s Expense Account Lunch and Towncar Combo, and offers no real answers to any of those questions. These are your afternoon media briefs:
Most ink-stained wretches in New York make their homes in cramped quarters, but Malcolm Gladwell is an outlier when it comes to journalistic abodes: he now owns not one, but two apartments in his West Village co-op.
Mr. Gladwell, who has lived in the trendy neighborhood for quite some time, has purchased the third-floor of 23 Bank Street, an 1850s townhouse, for $999,000, according to city records. And unless the avid trend-spotter is already jumping on board with Mayor Bloomberg’s small apartment push, we assume the guru of clever catch phrases is expanding out from his fourth-floor pad in the same building.
Today Grantland began selling Grantland Quarterly, a print anthology of the best reads from the sports and culture site so far. It is edited by Bill Simmons and Dan Fierman.
ESPN and Grantland have contracted McSweeney’s to handle the production and distribution (which, in retrospect, explains why Dave Eggers is a Grantland contributing editor).
“Pro sports teams are a lot like works of art,” New Yorker scribe Malcolm Gladwell writes in an article on the NBA lockout, published on ESPN’s tony new Grantland.com site.
beer and loafing
On July 5, the New York Yankees were up 6-0 in the bottom of the sixth inning in an away game against the Cleveland Indians. Orlando Cabrera snapped the quiet with a sharp grounder between second and third that looked to be an easy base hit for the home team. The 37-year-old Derek Jeter, in his second game back after more than two weeks on the D.L., grabbed the ball as he spun in one fluid motion, like shine off a diamond, thunder-bolting a cross-field throw to Jorge Posada at first.
Mr. Cabrera was out by an inch.
The Tipping Point (Just For A Second)
Nicholson Baker is best known for his imaginatively erotic novels, like The Fermata, in which the hero stops time to undress and admire women, and Vox, the phone-sex love story that Monica Lewinsky supposedly gave to Bill Clinton as a gift. His latest, House of Holes, due out Aug. 9 from Simon & Schuster (a Read More