In Praise of Getting Back Together with the Dude Who Dumped You

Is the second time around just shoving your hand in a blender?

Wearing the Pants: An Interview with Amber Doyle

Black Velvet 3
High-end tailoring is, by nature, a refined enterprise. It’s bound to “good taste” and sophistication by way of historical precedent; the English tailoring tradition dates back to the 17th century and has continually extended its global reach.

Currently, the oldest member of the Savile Row Bespoke Association—a selective group whose members adhere to an “exacting time-honored set of rules”—is London’s Gieves & Hawkes, established in 1771. When I refer to “high-end tailoring” I mean both custom made and bespoke suiting. Custom-made is a made-to-measure suit that starts with a client choosing a pre-made style off the rack, and then having it custom fitted; bespoke suiting means a unique pattern is drafted specifically from the client’s body and each element of the suit’s construction is done by hand.

A Poem by Robin Beth Schaer

Fathom

The dogs understand your heart
and know something of the taste
of salt. We live off incense and coins,
herding coveys of waves, wrenching
down the blues. I begged and pouted
all this cotton, but what use
is stooping to nothing. The sea
refused twenty corroded decades
before ours. Sometimes, the nets
raise a god in a flash of minnows.
Sometimes, matted ferns claim you,
their breath a weapon paused at the eye.
Always, we are capsized by the impossible
child in a thicket of empty books.

The Property Manager Who Knows Every Tenant

ko41 Welcome to Surreal Estate, a new column in which we will explore listings from the tumultuous New York City real estate market.

41 Kosciuszko Street, #320
$1850/month
Studio
Nearest subway: G train at Bedford-Nostrand Avenues

Nathan Rosenberg, a property manager in Bed-Stuy, knows everyone in his buildings. On Tuesday, when I went to visit a studio apartment at 41 Kosciuszko Street—the Craigslist post described the location as Bed-Stuy/East Williamsburg—he addressed all of the tenants we ran into by name, flirting with a mother and her infant child, asking how a struggling musician’s band was doing, and confirming with someone that a leak had been fixed. Rosenberg manages three buildings in the immediate area, and another on Jefferson Street that used to be a stable house. “Everything in the building is shoe horses,” Rosenberg said. “The chandeliers are shoe horses.”

Now a ninety-eight-unit residential behemoth, 41 Kosciuszko Street—or, as it is currently being styled, The Aviary—used to be a linen factory. Best-Metropolitan Towel & Linen Supply Co., Inc. sold the building to Kosciusko Rehab LLC for $9.7 million in 2008, according to Department of Finance records. Nearly a year later, Kosciusko Rehab passed the deed to New Kosciusko, another LLC located at the same address. In 2012, New Kosciusko passed the deed to Kosciusko Plaza. “It’s a rehab. We only do rehabs,” Rosenberg told me.

wooood

Before being rehabilitated, the building was an eyesore and a blight upon the neighborhood, Rosenberg said. “Drugs. Prostitution. It was bad.” The developers did their part to integrate the new, rehabilitated building with the old neighborhood, however: Construction took place during Hurricane Sandy, and a tree on the block that fell has been chopped up into hundreds, or maybe thousands, of circular discs that are glued to the walls of the hallway. Now, the old linen factory has a bike room, a gym, a yoga studio, and a movie theater. When Rosenberg opened the door to the theater, I started laughing. “You don’t wanna do a write-up,” he said. “You wanna move here!”

Anyone that has ever owned a cat knows full well Hitler would have won had he only recognised that cats are the superior race.#

How a Teen Who Works on His Dad's Farm Does Money

farm My cousin, Nic Harnois, is a 17-year-old who works for his dad on their poultry farm in Michigan. Nic and I share similar backgrounds: Our parents both moved to a rural area to escape the crime, cramped living situations, and depleted job market of Detroit. Like Nic, I raised livestock to show at the county fair, but after I graduated high school, I was tired of the monotony of country living. But Nic has been happy to stay. I decided to pick his brain about how he does money as a teenage farmer, and how this has influenced his future plans.

What are you up to now in terms of farming? Are you helping to sell poultry and eggs at the farmer’s market? If you are selling products, do you get some of the money, or does it just go to your parents?

We are starting to bring the newer birds in and the older ones out. We are running between 2,000 and 3,000 birds. Dad is taking care of market and sales, and I take care of the farm while he’s at market. From his sales, he pays me and my friend to work for him. I used to help with the market a lot. I personally don’t like it, because I don’t like being around a lot of people, so that’s why I like staying at the farm more.

What types of animals do you have right now?

We have chickens, ducks, geese, two pigs, and our cat. Every year, I take my two pigs, and auction them off.

How much do you earn?

I get about eight hundred to a thousand bucks a pair.

Do you initially buy the piglets from someone?

Yeah, my dad’s friend. They cost $50 each, and I raise them from when they are two weeks old.

Wow, that’s small! When do you take them to auction?

When they are around four, or five months.

How much money do you spend on them?

Their food costs $700. I get a $200 profit at the auction.

The Near Future of Word Torture

Here is a line of thought that will be paralyzing for anyone who puts text into boxes for fun or profit! Imagine someone watching you type:

In November, Somers, a developer for Genius, released an app called Draftback.1 It’s a fascinating experiment that treats writing like data. After years of trying to build a program, Somers realized that Google Docs was already saving every keystroke we enter. So he hacked Google Docs to play documents back to their authors, materializing on the screen with every stutter-step inherent to the writing process. In its latest form, Draftback is a Google Chrome extension that can reach deep into the archives of any Google Doc you have editing rights to, make sense of all that writing and rewriting you innocuously poured into it, and beam it right back to you, backspaces and all. It doesn’t matter if your document was created before or after you installed Draftback — the keystrokes have been buried the whole time. Draftback can unearth any fossil.

Draftback as it exists now is about reconstruction. It gives you insight into your own “process,” if you’re comfortable referring to such a thing, but aspires to go further:

Somers wants to use Draftback to peek over somebody’s shoulder — ideally somebody really good. His personal goal is to get A.O. Scott, the Pulitzer Prize-winning film critic for The New York Times, to write a review or essay in Draftback. “He’s a beautiful prose stylist (diction, cadence, etc.), his writing is accessible and unpretentious but world-class, and he seems to always put his finger on the essence of whatever it is he’s talking about.” Somers is curious about whether all that comes naturally to Scott.

The concept eventually extends to the “ability to annotate decisions”— that is, to provide written justification or context for moments in the editing replay. This starts to sound fairly silly before you even get that far, but if you’re feeling generous you can follow along: Anyone who uses a computer or phone on a regular basis lives somewhere on the spectrum of text voyeurism, right? Messages have read receipts, posts have timestamps. People tweet as they write and write as they tweet, and it all mingles together if not seamlessly at least noticeably. Sure!

Tanlines, "Slipping Away"


Want to make everything okay for a few minutes? Press play on this track and close your eyes. Close ‘em hard. Keep ‘em closed. Imagine, for a second, that you are somewhere warm. Warm enough that you have put the top down on your convertible. (I probably should have told you you had a convertible to start with.) Anyway, the weather’s nice, the top is down, this song is bouncing around in the background and you are driving along with friends on a day where you don’t have a lot to do and you’re not in any rush to get there and it doesn’t matter either way because the sun is never going to stop shining. Sounds good, right? Well just don’t open your eyes again ever and you won’t have to be reminded of just how terrible it all actually is right now. Anyway, enjoy.

Ah, the strange erotic power of the New York taxi.#

New York City, March 3, 2015

weather review sky 030315★ The early morning sunlight and the memory of the past day’s thaw raised brief and false hopes. The day-old slush was still in the side street, but the the dampness only made the cold colder. The chill hurt the nose inside and out. A woman passed wearing a furry coat so ratty one had to hope no real animals had died for it. In midafternoon little flakes came down, followed soon by bigger and more numerous ones, pulses of snow crossing against the pinholes of the sunshades. By twilight little ice pellets were falling, bouncing with dry clicks off the parka or dropping straight down into the pockets. Someone in the warm-lit interior of a store looked out and made eye contact, with a smile of pity or sympathy. People tottered along on the ice crust. One winced; one laughed. Uptown ice was becoming something wetter, and a mist was forming on the air. Little lumps of slush broke free from high up on the bright glass of the Apple Store and plopped to the sidewalk.

My Father, the Philosopher

2139509450_d55b0b0691_zIf the bed was here, if I touched it, lay down in it, walked away and came back, then it existed.

If it existed, then when I left for school and came back, it would still be there. If it was there today, then it would be there tomorrow. Right, Dad?

I touched the objects in the house. The bed and the Mickey Mouse light switch and the crumbling flower wallpaper. The Garbage Pail stickers. What about the office up in the attic? The porch? The sidewalk? I dashed over the slats, avoided the cracks.

My father smiled, pleased. “Well how can you know for sure? It’s just like Descartes’s bad dream. What proves we’re not all living in a dream?”

Descartes’s bad dream. What a lie. I bet Descartes loved his dream.

“Think about your first premise.”

“My first what?”

“Your first premise. Does it follow? If x, then p. Does touching something mean it exists? Are the conditions necessary and sufficient?”