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News 02.06.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

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News 02.06.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
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News 02.06.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
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News 02.06.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
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Whose Facade Is It, Anyway?

My boyfriend’s mother, T, lived in one of three dreamy, 1892 eggshell-white Carpenter Italianate houses on Savannah, Georgia’s Rainbow Row. Their shutters were painted powder blue, pink, and seafoam green, respectively, their tiny porches wrapped in Lady Banks rose vines, the tabby sidewalks before them glistening with fragments of oyster shells.

In a routine that defined 2017, T spent a bright, warm May morning at a chemotherapy treatment at the Lewis Cancer and Research Pavilion, then came home to recuperate on the couch next to her living room windows. Outside, a woman was bouncing around on the sidewalk in front of the colorful trio of homes. Laughing and shouting art direction to her photographer across the street, she was an arm’s length from T’s seafoam green shutters and thin window glass. When we came by for dinner that evening, T told us about the photoshoot, the commotion, and how, eventually, she’d pulled herself up and peered out the front door to give this girl and her friend “a look,” which seemed to scare them off. The three of us giggled over it.

Read the rest of this article at: Curbed

News 02.06.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

A Suspense Novelist’s Trail Of Deceptions

News 02.06.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

Dan Mallory, a book editor turned novelist, is tall, good-looking, and clever. His novel, “The Woman in the Window,” which was published under a lightly worn pseudonym, A. J. Finn, was the hit psychological thriller of the past year. Like “Gone Girl,” by Gillian Flynn (2012), and “The Girl on the Train,” by Paula Hawkins (2015), each of which has sold millions of copies, Mallory’s novel, published in January, 2018, features an unreliable first-person female narrator, an apparent murder, and a possible psychopath.

Mallory sold the novel in a two-book, two-million-dollar deal. He dedicated it to a man he has described as an ex-boyfriend, and secured a blurb from Stephen King: “One of those rare books that really is unputdownable.” Mallory was profiled in the Times, and the novel was reviewed in this magazine. A Washington Post critic contended that Mallory’s prose “caresses us.” The novel entered the Times best-seller list at No. 1—the first time in twelve years that a début novel had done so. A film adaptation, starring Amy Adams and Gary Oldman, was shot in New York last year. Mallory has said that his second novel is likely to appear in early 2020—coinciding, he hopes, with the Oscar ceremony at which the film of “The Woman in the Window” will be honored. Translation rights have been acquired in more than forty foreign markets.

Mallory can be delightful company. Jonathan Karp, the publisher of Simon & Schuster, recently recalled that Mallory, as a junior colleague in the New York book world, had been “charming, brilliant,” and a “terrific writer of e-mail.” Tess Gerritsen, the crime writer, met Mallory more than a decade ago, when he was an editorial assistant; she remembers him as “a charming young man” who wrote deft jacket copy. Craig Raine, the British poet and academic, told me that Mallory had been a “charming and talented” graduate student at Oxford; there, Mallory had focussed his studies on Patricia Highsmith’s Tom Ripley novels, which are about a charming, brilliant impostor.

Read the rest of this article at: The New Yorker

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Super-Tall, Super-Skinny, Super-Expensive: The ‘Pencil Towers’ Of New York’s Super-Rich

It is rare in the history of architecture for a new type of building to emerge. The Romans’ discovery of concrete birthed the great domes and fortifications of its empire. The Victorians’ development of steel led to an era of majestic bridges and vaulted train sheds. The American invention of the elevator created the first skyscrapers in Chicago. Now, we are seeing a new type of structure that perfectly embodies the 21st-century age of technical ingenuity and extreme inequality. A heady confluence of engineering prowess, zoning loopholes and an unparalleled concentration of personal wealth have together spawned a new species of super-tall, super-skinny, super-expensive spire.

Any visitor to New York over the past few years will have witnessed this curious new breed of pencil-thin tower. Poking up above the Manhattan skyline like etiolated beanpoles, they seem to defy the laws of both gravity and commercial sense. They stand like naked elevator shafts awaiting their floors, raw extrusions of capital piled up until it hits the clouds.

Read the rest of this article at: The Guardian

News 02.06.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

Can Stoicism Make Us Happy?

News 02.06.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

Can Stoicism teach us how to live? A lot of people seem to think so. They identify as “modern Stoics,” a movement that has gained traction over the past two decades, with thousands of members now congregating online and off to practice a self-help version of the philosophical life. They include athletes, military officers, CEOs, Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, and writers like The New Yorker’s Elif Batuman, who described in a 2016 feature for the magazine how the Stoic philosopher Epictetus helped her cope with a long-distance relationship and sneaky taxi drivers in Turkey.

Though modern Stoicism has its roots in the culture of self-improvement, it also has more serious philosophical champions. One of these is Massimo Pigliucci, whose recent How to Be a Stoic: Using Ancient Philosophy to Live a Modern Life proposes to bring Stoicism from “second-century Rome” to “twenty-first-century New York.” A professor of philosophy at the City College of New York, Pigliucci is best known for his work in the philosophy of science. In his latest book, he discusses his Catholic upbringing in Rome and his rejection of religion as a teenager. To find meaning in his life and, as he grew older, to prepare for death, Pigliucci tried out different systems of belief. Buddhism was “too mystical,” secular humanism “too dependent on science,” but Stoicism hit the spot. It was “a rational, science-friendly philosophy” that offered him an answer to the “most fundamental question: How ought we to live?”

In How to Be a Stoic, Pigliucci aims to demonstrate how we can use this philosophy to develop a moral character and attain peace of mind in three ways: by taking charge of our desires, by acting virtuously in the world, and by responding appropriately to events we can’t fully control. To update Stoicism for our 21st-century needs, he replaces its theology and cosmology with contemporary scientific views and applies it to the challenges we are likely to encounter in the modern world. Yet I question whether the core tenets of Stoicism can survive this reinvention—and even if they did, I remain doubtful that they provide the right moral and political framework for our time.

Read the rest of this article at: The Nation

The Perfect Rent-Controlled Apartment

News 02.06.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

It was 1955 when Albert S. Bennett moved into the building on Morton Street.

“I came around the corner and saw all these trees and the Morton Street Pier. There was a Norwegian American liner docked there,” Mr. Bennett said. “The apartment was this tiny space downstairs. It was absolutely perfect.”

Sixty-three years and six landlords later, he still thinks so.

Over the decades, many things have changed, of course: His rent, which was $90 a month when he moved in, is now nearly $900; the Morton Street Pier and Norwegian America line no longer exist; and he has lived on the second floor since the early 1960s.

But his affection for his building, an 1854 townhouse, has never waned. And in the 1980s, after he inherited some money from the estate of his mother, he offered to pay significantly more than the $200 a month the landlord was charging for his rent-controlled apartment.

“Hardly anyone had taken any automatic rent increases, and I felt bad paying so little,” said Mr. Bennett, now 93. “I had this beautiful apartment. She was a good landlord and never asked for automatic increases. And I liked the house so much. So I made a generous offer.”

Does he regret it?

“Oh yes! I’ve said many times that was the worst decision of my life,” Mr. Bennett said. “I got what looked like a huge amount of money to me in 1984, but it turned out it wasn’t.”

Read the rest of this article at: The New York Times

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