Monthly Archives: February 2003

Journalism Update

As longtime fans of the New York Press, we’ve been watching its two month evolution under new ownership with an eyebrow cocked. Biggest change so far: new fonts. But the current issue is worth picking up for the letter from new editor Jeff Koyen, which is as over the top, we’d wager, as any editor’s letter, ever. Alas, it’s not posted on So, a few brief excerpts:

I never did fuck that 17-year-old woman. I’d call her a girl–”that 17-year-old-girl“–but in the Czech Republic, the age of consent is 15…

I think of the Australian who said to me, “just relax,” as she worked her index finger into my ass… The pinkie was fine, I told her… Being an ambitious type, she wanted to upgrade to a larger finger…

And so I borrow from her as I address the readers of this, the third issue that bears my name and that of Alexander Zaitchik, my former co-editor at the Prague Pill: Just relax. And trust me. I’m going to tear things down a bit — mostly because I’m bored — but I promise to build them back up. I promise you’ll get off.

(Additional commentary superfluous.)
· New York Press []
· A Prague Perspective for a New York Newsroom [nytimes via gawker]

Literature Update

A brief excerpt from William Gibson‘s Pattern Recognition (p. 40):

But Donny was also very beautiful, and sometimes very funny, though not always intentionally, and Cayce had gone through a period of finding herself, though she never really planned to, under Donny, and Donny’s big grin, in the none-too-fresh bed in his apartment on Clinton Street, between Rivington and Delancey.

Ah, Gibson. Ahead of the curve enough to know that Clinton between Rivington and Delancey is just ever so slightly cooler than Clinton between Houston and Stanton or Stanton and Rivington. (Side note regarding Gibson’s cited block: anyone know what that building going up is slated to become? Alert correspondent Jennifer L., among others, wants to know.)
· <a href="
Pattern Recognition

Architecture Update

Okay, so they gave it to Libeskind. Letting the architect speak for himself from the pages of yesterday’s Times: “From now on, architecture will be as interesting for people to talk about as the taste of wine.” Hmmm. As we see it (channelling Sarah as best we know how), the Libeskind proposal is… a little too grapey.
· Libeskind Design Chosen for Rebuilding at Ground Zero []
· Finalists for Ground Zero Designs Pull Out All The Stops [] great read

Hotel Update

The Observer acts like they’re breaking the news on the Surface hotel in this week’s issue. Lots of stuff we’ve heard before, plus this gem:

The idea is for the lobby to become a showcase for ultrahip design that will bleed over into the magazine’s editorial content, and for different parts of the hotel to be used to help market the magazine. Other potential synergies exist as well. If the magazine industry remains in the toilet, for instance, Surface’s editorial staff could always supplement their incomes by cleaning the hotel’s latrines.

Our own trip up the tower has been postponed until next week. Fear not: This will be fun.
· Beneath the Surface [ ... scroll down]

Who Could You Take In a Fight?

The results are in!
Ken (lawyer): “I could take all ‘Friends with Web Presences’ listed on”
Josh (author): “Lil’ Frankie.”
Leigh (auteur): “Most unskilled people 120 pounds or less.”
Alexis (HBS grad): “Ken.”
Salma (editor): “Binky Urban, Sarah, Andre Balazs, your Eastern European waitress, the White Stripes chick.”
Marshall (activist for unmarriage): “I believe in non-violence.”
Michael (Hollywood type): “The rat from the Lotus Club toaster.”
Lock (your host): “Leigh.”
· Anger Management []
· Who Could You Take in a Fight? []

Under the Radar

Props to Gawker for uncovering this item from a recent Observer story on the White Stripes:

Even Mr. Eggers is interested. Mr. White was also scheduled to be interviewed by the McSweeney’s founder for a magazine that Mr. Eggers is launching called The Balloonist—a sort of younger, hipper Harper’s for the winsome set.
Mr. White, however, didn’t seem to know who Mr. Eggers was.
“Dave Eggers … ?”
“The guy who wrote A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius,” his publicist told him.
“Oh, O.K.,” he said. He still didn’t know.

What’s wrong with this picture? Near as I can tell (and please, do tell if I’ve missed the Romenesko item), this throw-away blurb — buried as a cheap punchline in a music story, no less — is the first public announcement of a new Eggers media project. Googling eggers balloonist turns up only three results, none about a magazine. The McSweeney’s website is quiet on the matter. So we ponder in a vacuum the concept of a “younger, hipper Harpers”… and our mind turns to Maer Roshan’s Radar magazine. One project, massively overhyped. The other, flying under the radar, so to speak. Okay, the concepts aren’t quite the same. But undeniably they feel the same. Place your bets on Eggers’ approach, in sync (per usual) with how not just buzz but good buzz spreads in this day and age. Hell, he’s probably interviewing Mike Skinner as I type these very words. (Standard disclaimer: unless, of course, the whole Balloonist thing is a put-on.)
· Elephant in the Room: White Stripes Hit New York []
· Dave Eggers Who? []
· Eggers v. the Establishment [ via kottke] no balloons here
· Maer Roshan Looks to Shake the Whole Tina Thing [medialife]
· The Thorny Art of Naming Magazines [medialife] Whither ‘The Balloonist’?