The Smarts I applaud Andrew Kopkind’s insightful article about Mario Cuomo (“Too Smart to Be President?” June). Governor Cuomo looks as tired as he feels—and clearly longs for the days of youth, energy, and appearance he once had and that someone like Senator Gore enjoys.
HERE IS WHAT I REMEMBER about trying on the first spiffy outfit I ever had: I am eleven. I am standing before a three-way mirror in the Jack Parrish men’s and boys’ shop in Philadelphia. Mostly I’m trying to avoid making eye contact with the multiple reflections of myself. I am, in a word, discomfited.
Red beans and rice is to New Orleans roughly as chili is to Texas: a local poor folks’ dish that everybody loves. Like chili, it can provoke bitter arguments among cooks. Some believe in soaking the beans overnight before cooking, others don’t.
The cummerbund? I had always thought of it as Latin in origin, something that came to the tuxedo via matadors and flamenco dancers—“a touch of the hidalgo,” as Bertie Wooster puts it in The Inimitable Jeeves. If you recall your P. G. Wodehouse, Wooster is the frivolous English gentleman whose butler, Jeeves, is forever devising complicated schemes to get him out of trouble.
Lauren Hutton's trying to get her beauty sleep upstairs. Sting’s carrying on like a rogue locomotive downstairs. And just outside the Edison Hotel in the South Miami Beach Deco District, Manic Preservationist Gerry Sanchez and Antic Impresario Arthur Barron are circling each other like scorpions.
Even though Miami suburbanites have finally discovered it, the Deco District is usually much less crowded than it is during special events like Art Deco Weekend. During the week you will have the wide, clean, and well-patrolled beach mostly to yourself, especially in winter, when only out-of-towners swim.
Think of it as Fiesta ware for the 1990s. Colorways dinnerware is populist and popularly priced, playful and polychrome. Its shapes are familiar and functional— no tricks here—but its colors are brightly eclectic: salmon and yellow and pink and turquoise.
A girl singer is not merely a fe-person who sings. Ella Fitzgerald used to be a girl singer, but now she isn’t; Rosemary Clooney, who’s only ten years younger than Ella, never used to be a girl singer but now she is. No matter how the feminist language posse may resist it, the term (which faded with the passing of the big bands) is coming back into vogue.
<p>A WOMAN WITH A SON in high school wrote me a letter. She said that her son was studying the history of popular culture, and that the current class discussion was about the song “Louie Louie.” Her son had come home and told her that there had been an animated conversation in the class about the lyrics of “Louie Louie.”</p>
<p>THERE CAME THE NEWS from Europe that Chris Evert had withdrawn from the Italian Open because of a foot injury, that she was flying back to Florida, taking a couple of weeks off before the French Open. There was talk again that this might be her last year as a professional tennis player, her last summer at the big ones.</p>
<p>A FIERCE ACEIE just below my breastbone awakened me at 2:38 in the morning. Someone seemed to have driven a nail in there. This was not the sort of pain that lets you turn and stretch and go back to sleep; this was like the terrapin that, as they say in my lovely Julia’s part of the South, chomps on you and won’t let go until it thunders.</p>
Written records of borrowing and lending money have been kept since the time of the Sumerians, but it wasn’t until the Middle Ages that the contractual obligations called bonds came into existence. My indispensable New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics indicates that medieval deadbeats unable to meet loan obligations were actually bound over to the abused lender—with his or her goods placed in a “bonded” warehouse—until payments were satisfied.
Airport security is one of those topics that you never want to hear about, because when you do, it usually means something’s gone wrong. Quite a lot of people have, unfortunately, heard quite a lot about airport security these past couple of years.
I have two disability policies from the Guardian insurance company. The older one paid a dividend of about 30 percent this year, but the newer one pays nothing. For my wife’s term-life insurance, Equitable bills her a total annual premium then mails her back a dividend as a refund.
Ha! Wow. I was running down the Thruway in my underwear, and one of those diesel trucks with the humongous bonnet was looming up to crush me and eat me, and the hood ornament was the head of Moroni, vice-president of planning, and it was screaming, screaming, a lust for my destruction in its malevolent little eyes.
<p>IF THEY STILL MADE MOVIES about scientists the way they made the old black-and-white ones, about Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison, Madame Curie, they might make one about Carver Mead. He is not exactly a household word, but as the author George Gilder has written, “No single individual has exerted a more profound influence on modern human productivity than [this] visionary physicist.”</p>
In the soul of every true artist is the desire, the need, to give people a new pair of eyes with which to look at the world. That impulse has driven John Guare for the last two decades, from his first play, Muzeeka, which won an Obie in 1968, to House of Blue Leaves and Two Gentlemen of Verona to the screenplay for Atlantic City to the spectacular revival of Blue Leaves in 1986.
Of course Dukakis was likely to succeed. By the time he got to college, he was a fully grown-up little guy
More than a million words have been written to explain how this “son of Greek immigrants,” as Michael Dukakis likes to refer to himself, came to be the Democratic party’s candidate for President of the United States of America. We have been told about his supportive parents—Euterpe, the schoolteacher, and Panos, the Harvard Medical School—educated doctor; his role models, Senator Joseph McCarthy (negative) and John Fitzgerald Kennedy (positive); and his painful loss and moving rebirth as governor of Massachusetts.
<p>In the years before he became federal prisoner #03602-016, Buzz Farbar enjoyed the kind of exciting and frenetic life that is possible on the ample fringes of the New York literary world. He edited, he wrote, he acted—a little bit of everything.</p>
America has a vast and ugly gulag. Most of its inhabitants are victims of social oppression rather than political oppression, but they are victims nonetheless. The prison system of the nation, state and federal, now contains a population exceeding 550,000.
THE SUPERINTENDENT OF SEWERS for the city of Baltimore had a simple goal: to supplement his income by quenching the considerable thirst of the blue-collar workers who lived in the South Baltimore neighborhood called Brooklyn. To that end, when Andrew E. Gunning opened a hole-in-the-wall stag bar on South Hanover Street on June 19, 1969, he offered no food, no music, no nonsense; just plenty of beer to back the shots of rye whiskey favored by his patrons.
The year is 1979, or thereabouts. A weekday night at, say, 3:00 in the morning. I am on location as an extra in the major motion picture Hero at Large. It’s cold, and there’s no place for us to sit, we the nameless, dressed, weirdly, in rented formais.
There is more here than meets the eye, and that’s saying a lot. Granted, it may not be the look you want in the bedroom you’re doing over for when your mother-in-law comes to stay a couple of months. But in the supple vision and limitless energy of artist-designer Alex Locadia, this room manifests an exhilarating encounter of technology and nature, with due regard for the integrity of both.
You can always spot the New Yorker on a Manhattan Street corner: he's the one who crosses against the light. Knowing the rules and knowing when to break them—that's rule number one of the New York Look. Once upon a time, you could look around you at an airport and peg the travelers from New York.
<p>“What say we go for a little walk?” Sitting on a porch swing on a warm afternoon in late spring, with background music from a rushing creek barely visible through the dogwoods, is clearly not Jeff Bridges’s idea of relaxation. Time to move. On cue, a young deer steps gingerly out of the trees, tests the air, and begins nibbling on tender shoots of grass about fifty yards away, only to bolt back to cover as we stand.</p>
Ever wonder what really happens on a Japanese tour bus? What do they see? What do they say? Here, one intrepid reporter joins twelve happy couples as they visit the land of the photo op
<p>What does Mr. Iida find most surprising about the United States? That he is the only person on the tour who is not a honeymooner. It was a mistake. This happened, somehow. Twenty-four young Japanese honeymooners, and Mr. Iida. For two days he said nothing.</p>
How a modest cultural hero turned the spotlight on his mom and me. Gently
ROY BLOUNT JR.
<p>IF YOU KEEP UP with the uncategorizable-movie scene at all, you probably know that Jonathan Demme is the director of a heartwarming comedy (Citizens Band) that leads us to believe, for several delicious moments, that the hero has unwittingly been eating his dog; and another comedy about ordinary life (Melvin and Howard) in which two men called the Bait Brothers sing and dance in a single suit of clothes; and so on.</p>
If Kennedy wouldn’t get back Cuba, then someone in the CIA would. In the spring of ’63, the agents gathered in Texas to construct the perfect conspiracy
<p>NICHOLAS BRANCH SITS in the book-filled room, the room of documents, the room of theories and dreams. He is in the fifteenth year of his labor and sometimes wonders if he is becoming bodiless. He knows he is getting old. There are times when he can’t concentrate on the facts at hand and has to come back again and again to the page, the line, the fine-grained detail of a particular afternoon.</p>
On the cover: Lamb’s wool and cashmere suit ($790) by Polo by Ralph Lauren. At Polo/Ralph Lauren Shop, New York. For information contact: Polo/Ralph Lauren, 40 West Fifty-fifth Street, New York, New York 10019. For Chelsey Imports ascot ($26) information contact: Chelsey Imports, 392 Fifth Avenue, New York, New York 10018.
FROM THE COAST COMES THIS BULLETIN: a California company is marketing what it calls “the first fundamentally new way of publishing literary works since Gutenberg invented movable type.” That is, selected novels may now be received and scanned right off your trusty home computer.