In my first year as editor of the Observer, one of the things I’ve been happiest with is the range of deeply excellent work we’ve been able to publish. Not too many publications can say they’ve put out stories about the Mueller investigation and the true deep state conspiracy we all should be terrified of: Subway pumping out fake bread smell to brainwash you into buying a five-dollar footlong. And of course we’ve covered scandals galore, fashion gone wrong, power players from the politics, business, tech, real estate, PR, art, and restaurant worlds, super-influencers who are everyone’s best friend online but feel far too alone off it, and the man Anthony Bourdain.
And so this is that most navel-gazey of stories: the one about our own stories from 2018, that we really, really liked. ‘Tis the season of giving—yourself healthy dose of credit, I suppose. But get in there.
If Goop and The Wing had a tiny Nordic baby, it might look like SuperShe Island off the coast of Finland, where women seek Namaste for $5K per week—and happiness is served one bowl of bone broth at a time.
There are simple answers to the question of what draws people into the murderino craze—trying to figure out how serial killers think, wanting to feel safer after being armed with the right knowledge, living in Jeffrey Dahmer’s childhood home—but the complex ones are far, far more interesting.
A wide-ranging look at the boom of the often suspect business of Big Sleep, and how the classic American value of literally working so hard you collapse is somehow what birthed it.
With 1.1 million Instagram followers, a ludicrously successful partnership with Nordstrom for her line Something Navy and a beautiful family, Arielle Charnas’ life is perfect…right? And the one you want too? Well, yes and no.
Saltz is the world’s most visible art critic, and few question that he’s very good at it. But should his pervasive solipsism and personal views on things other than art have been taken more into consideration before being awarded a Pulitzer?
One could easily call George Gurley the most essential writer in Observer history. After some time away doing cool George Gurley stuff, he’s back in action with a gripping Sacha Gervasi interview that involves no less than one knife pulled by Fantasy Island‘s Villechaize, on the final night of his life.
One of the biggest things we all learned (andhopefully never forget) amidst #MeToo is that few things are often as they seem—which certainly turned out to be the case in the twisted saga of George Takei.
Everyone wrote lots of words about Bourdain, but Film Crit Hulk’s still shimmer hauntingly in my head to this day.
A terrifying look at how a Sith-seeming fringe of Star Wars fans began brutally hating on far more than just Jar-Jar.
Something of a companion piece to the above story, done in inimitably Hulk-y fashion.
It’s almost impossible to single out a best from John Schindler, who has covered a ton of ground in 2018, but he was as early as anyone on what the White House did and didn’t know about murdered Saudi agitator and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.
This story of a joke gone wrong set off a chain of events that ended with a beauty queen turning in her sash.
Public service at its finest (and most necessary).
Glenn Greenwald has opinions. Not everyone likes them! We got them all.
You’ve presumably heard “Christmas Wrapping” at least 15 times in the last month (which is a positive thing—it’s a fantastic song!). Now hear about the guy who wrote it, then years later, bought Jeffrey Dahmer’s childhood home—on purpose.
Ever year we spend monstrous amounts of time figuring out who deserves to land on our Power Lists—including artists, restaurateurs, and commercial real estate titans—but the PR Power 50 is our longest-running of the bunch.
Remember when you cared deeply about #PlaneBae? She didn’t want you to.
In case you’re putting together a guest list…
Turns out it is easy being sleazy—if you’re Cara Delevigne and not Justin Bieber.
You’re certain it’s going to be Olive Garden, until you remember Cheesecake Factory exists…
Why are artworks painted by John Wayne Gacy and Charles Manson selling for top dollar? Who’s collecting them? And is any of this the least bit healthy?
The Brett Kavanaugh hearing sparked an unexpected reconnection, not for the happiest of reasons.
All the history you need to talk yourself into heading to Ravello this year.
Fancy people, funeral pyres, cryptozoologists, government testing facilities, Gawker—this one’s got everything, other than clear final answers to the questions “where did it end up?” and “what the hell was that disgusting thing anyway?”
In which our reporter tries to buy a tiger on the Internet, and discovers a disturbing world of animal mistreatment driven by cheap thrills and a few bucks.
What’s the place of humans in tomorrow’s fashion landscape? Will AI gone wild decide we should all start wearing frocks?? Zac Posen gets into it all.
Robert Gottlieb, our dance critic of two decades, on the dearly departed Taylor: “He was his own man, and that man was American—part optimistic Mark Twain boy on a raft, part tragic Melville man on a crazed, doomed mission. And always the radiant and suffering Whitman—celebrating and lamenting in his jaundiced way what it is to be human; utterly aware of who and what we humans are.”
We’re a long way from Woodstock. Or hell, even Woodstock ’99.
It might be! But damn is that poolside yellowtail crudo delicious.
A beautiful piece of loop-closing, by Patricia Bosworth.