Arts

12:39pm

Tue March 26, 2013
The Salt

An Oral History Of New York Food: Dining Out Wasn't Always 'In'

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 11:42 am

A pushcart fruit vendor at the Fulton fish market in New York City in 1943
Gordon Parks Library of Congress

As Marcel Proust so famously documented, it's often the simplest of foods that can carry us back to remembrances of things past.

And so perhaps it's not so surprising that, when freelance food writer Anne Noyes Saini began asking New York's elderly residents about their memories of the foods of the city during the early- to mid-20th century, it was humble meals like baked beans and the fruits sold by old-timey wagons that most often came to mind.

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12:37pm

Tue March 26, 2013
Monkey See

Tweaks, Retooling, And When To Give Up: A Tale Of Two Singing Shows

Adam Levine, Shakira, Usher, and Blake Shelton make up the adjusted judging panel on NBC's The Voice.
Adam Taylor NBC

As The Voice returns to NBC this week for its fourth season, viewers are seeing two new, if quite familiar, faces as Shakira and Usher occupy the coaches' seats vacated by Christina Aguilera and Cee Lo Green. Its talent-show rival over on Fox, The X Factor, will also see two new judges when (if? no, "when," surely) it comes back in the fall.

So why does The Voice seem so healthy and The X Factor so wobbly?

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7:13am

Tue March 26, 2013
The Two-Way

Book News: Wis. Governor Takes Heat Over His Choice Of Ghostwriter

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker speaks during the Republican National Convention on Aug. 28, 2012.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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7:03am

Tue March 26, 2013
First Reads

Exclusive First Read: Meg Wolitzer's 'The Interestings'

Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 10:20 am

  • Listen to the Excerpt

Meg Wolitzer returns with The Interestings, a big and deliciously complicated novel that follows a group of summer-camp friends through the decades. Jules, Ash, Ethan and Jonah first dubbed themselves "the Interestings" as teenagers in the sweltering confines of Boys Teepee 3 at the artsy camp Spirit-in-the-Woods. All of them are bright, talented kids — artists, musicians, actors — but what happens to close friendship and early promise when you grow up? For the Interestings, that question will have very different answers.

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7:03am

Tue March 26, 2013
Book Reviews

Can This Hypercomplex 'Leopard' Change Its Spots?

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 7:39 pm

What's a reader to believe, especially when confronted with an unreliable narrator? Which of the many versions spun by the self-confessed liar and aspiring writer in Kristopher Jansma's far-flung, deliberately far-fetched, hyper-inventive first novel, The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards, should we buy? Does the seductive actress he pines for marry a) an Indian geologist on the edge of the Grand Canyon; b) a Japanese royal; or c) a Luxembourg prince?

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3:26am

Tue March 26, 2013
Around the Nation

'American Winter' Families Struggle To Survive Fall From Middle Class

Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 9:57 am

Pam Thatcher and her family ultimately moved into her mother's two-bedroom apartment because they couldn't make rent.
Courtesy Devon Terrilll Viewfilm productions/HBO

It's a visual no parent wants to picture: a child describing what it's like to live in a house with no power for lights, heat or cooking. For many middle-class American parents, it's hard to imagine their family ever facing a situation like that. But a new HBO documentary suggests that many seemingly prosperous parents are only a few misfortunes away from dark houses and empty refrigerators.

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3:23am

Tue March 26, 2013
All Tech Considered

Why Are TV Remotes So Terrible?

Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 10:25 am

The buttons, symbols and signs on many modern TV remotes make for one confusing user interface.
iStockphoto.com

Let's call it the baby sitter's dilemma.

If you go to someone's house and pick up the TV remote, chances are, you won't know how it works. You know the situation's bad when even a tech writer who also majored in physics at an Ivy League school is confused by her own TV remote.

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5:29pm

Mon March 25, 2013
Same-Sex Marriage And The Supreme Court

How Ellen DeGeneres Helped Change The Conversation About Gays

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 5:59 pm

Ellen DeGeneres during a taping of The Ellen DeGeneres Show in 2011 in Burbank, Calif.
Michael Rozman/Warner Bros. AP

In 2008, during the brief window when it was legal for same-sex couples to get married in California, perhaps no couple drew more attention than Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi.

After their wedding, photos of the couple were everywhere; DeGeneres, beaming, in a white suit and holding hands with de Rossi, the very picture of the princess bride so many young girls dream of being one day. It was a cultural touchstone, and Dietram Scheufele, a communications professor at the University of Wisconsin, says it was neither the first nor the last time DeGeneres has played that role.

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5:00pm

Mon March 25, 2013
The Salt

Forget Fish Fridays: In Louisiana, Gator Is On The Lenten Menu

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 5:59 pm

Tastes like chicken, but it's OK for Lent: Fried alligator, as served at New Orleans' Cochon restaurant.
Chris Granger Courtesy of Cochon

Is it OK to eat alligator on Fridays during Lent? That question isn't just rhetorical in Louisiana, which has large populations of both Catholics and gators.

"Alligator's such a natural for New Orleans," says Jay Nix, owner of Parkway Bakery, which serves a mean alligator sausage po boy sandwich. "Alligator gumbo, jambalaya. I mean, it's a wonder that alligator isn't our mascot, you know?"

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3:30pm

Mon March 25, 2013
Author Interviews

In A World That's Always On, We Are Trapped In The 'Present'

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 5:59 pm

Erikona iStockphoto.com

By now, you've probably heard people call themselves "slaves" to their phones or their computers. We all know what that means — but why are we allowing ourselves to be slaves to the very instruments of technology we've created?

Douglas Rushkoff, who spends his days thinking, writing and teaching about media culture, says it's time for people to stop chasing every ping and start using technology in a way that makes us feel more free. Rushkoff's latest work is called Present Shock: When Everything Happens Now. He joined NPR's Audie Cornish to talk about the book.

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