Arts

6:01am

Sun October 27, 2013
Code Switch

N.Y. Chinatown Family Finds Roots In Early Chinese Cinema

Harold Lee's son Henry, perched on the roof of a camera truck, helped produce and import Chinese-language films from Hong Kong and China in the late 1940s.
Courtesy of the Lee Family

Douglas Lee thought he knew just about everything about the family business.

Since the late 1930s, the Lee family has sold insurance at 31 Pell Street in New York City's Chinatown. Their entrepreneurial roots in the Chinese-American community stretch back to 1888, when the Lees opened a grocery store at the same location.

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5:56am

Sun October 27, 2013
The Salt

A Sweet And Sour History Of Our Obsession With Candy

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 10:47 am

Trick-or-treaters demand it. Dentists despise it. Pop musicians have sung odes to it.

Love it or hate it, candy is a cultural fixation — and it isn't going anywhere.

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5:48am

Sun October 27, 2013
Books News & Features

Energetic, Intimate 'Letters' Reveal Private Leonard Bernstein

Originally published on Sun October 27, 2013 2:10 pm

Composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein, shown here conducting the New York Philharmonic orchestra in 1963, was a legend in American music. Letters to and from Bernstein have been compiled into The Leonard Bernstein Letters, a new book edited by Nigel Simeone.
Express Newspapers Getty Images

Leonard Bernstein was a singular American genius. One of the great orchestra conductors of the 20th Century, he was also a composer of hit musicals like West Side Story, as well as symphonies and ballets. He was a teacher and television personality — his Young People's Concerts introduced generations of children to classical music.

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5:19pm

Sat October 26, 2013
Author Interviews

Drawing Rock 'N' Roll And Sympathy Into Frankenstein's World

Originally published on Sat October 26, 2013 8:01 pm

Mary Shelley's 1818 novel Frankenstein has been adapted countless times over the years — into films, television shows and even musicals.

In his new graphic novel adaptation of Shelley's story, illustrator Gris Grimly says he set out to make the original text more accessible.

"The first time I tried to read Frankenstein, I didn't get through it," Grimly tells NPR's Arun Rath. "Frankenstein is not the easiest read when you're young."

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5:12pm

Sat October 26, 2013
Code Switch

Photographing Puerto Rican New York, With A 'Sympathetic Eye'

Originally published on Sat October 26, 2013 9:31 pm

Miguel Piñero of the Nuyorican literary movement and poet Sandra Maria Esteves on the train in New York City in 1977.
Bolivar Arellano

In the raging 1970s, New York City was dangerous, broke and at times on fire.

Latinos in the city were taking to the streets, running for office and carving out artistic spaces. "Latino" at the time in New York meant "Puerto Rican."

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3:38pm

Sat October 26, 2013
The Two-Way

Marcia Wallace, Longtime 'Simpsons' Cast Member, Dies At 70

Originally published on Sat October 26, 2013 8:46 pm

Actress Marcia Wallace has died at age 70. She was a fixture on American television for decades, thanks to long-running roles on The Bob Newhart Show and The Simpsons.
Angela Weiss Getty Images

The woman behind Edna Krabappel and Carol Kester has died. Actress Marcia Wallace, who is known to generations of TV fans for distinctly different roles on The Bob Newhart Show and The Simpsons, was 70 years old.

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8:07am

Sat October 26, 2013
Author Interviews

Divide By D'oh! The 'Mathematical Secrets' Of The Simpsons

Originally published on Sat October 26, 2013 11:19 am

Most people watch The Simpsons to laugh. And, perhaps, feel a little superior to the animated family who are Springfield's best known, if often most dysfunctional citizens.

But Simon Singh, the Cambridge-trained physicist and best-selling author, watches the show not just for laughs, but also for the ... math? In his new book, The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets, he argues that the writers and producers have woven a lot of math into The Simpsons — and into a highly honored show from the same team, Futurama.

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8:07am

Sat October 26, 2013
The Salt

How A Portland Cook Became A 'Proud Copycat' Of Thai Food

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 10:48 am

Ricker's grilled eggplant salad with egg and dried shrimp.
Austin Bush

Andy Ricker is passionate about changing how Americans think about Thai food. So passionate that he was willing to go deep into debt for it.

Ricker spent the better part of a decade eating in roadside restaurants, noodle stands and home kitchens across Thailand before opening his first restaurant, Pok Pok, in Portland, Ore. Eight years later, Ricker has seven restaurants in Portland and New York City, and he's just written his first cookbook.

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5:25am

Sat October 26, 2013
The Salt

Fish Sauce: An Ancient Roman Condiment Rises Again

Originally published on Sat October 26, 2013 11:19 am

Ava Gene's, a Roman-inspired restaurant in Portland, Ore., incorporates colatura, a modern descendant of ancient Roman fish sauce, into several of its dishes.
Deena Prichep NPR

Fish sauce — that funky, flavor-enhancing fermented condiment — is part of what gives Southeast Asian cooking its distinctive taste. But it turns out, this cornerstone of Eastern cooking actually has a long history on another continent: Europe. And it goes all the way back to the Roman Empire.

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5:07am

Sat October 26, 2013
Book Reviews

Norman Mailer, Warts And All, In 'A Double Life'

Originally published on Sat October 26, 2013 9:59 pm

When Norman Mailer spoke, you paid attention. Whether he was standing on a stage and speaking for an hour — without notes — on writing, or art, or politics, or in a manic monologue around a dinner table, or in a chance encounter on the sidewalks of New York or in an airport, you listened. Especially if you grew up idolizing him, as many of us did.

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