Tuesday, May 20th, 2014
13

The Life and Times of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

When Caroline Eisenmann, a young assistant at a New York literary agency, decided to rename her OkCupid profile, she wanted something that would make her stand out—a name that wouldn’t get lost amongst the omnipresent references to indie bands and cute animals, something that was “flippant” but with “a bit of a melancholic undertone” that would attract a suitably urbane mate, Eisenmann told me. Fingers poised over the keyboard, she wrote:

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

OkCupid rejected it. That it wouldn't accept the lopsided, grinning face with upturned palms is almost strange: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ is, and was, part of the language of the internet, and it has been popping up more than [...]

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1

Scenes from the New York Tombstone Trade

If you take a train out to the Broadway Junction station, turn onto Conway Street, go up the hill, and keep walking until the patchy Brooklyn sprawl dissolves into a field of gravestones, you’ll find yourself deep in the Cemetery of the Evergreens, one of the vast commercial graveyards established in the outer boroughs following the 1847 Rural Cemetery Act. The bodies of over half a million dead New Yorkers rest beneath the hunks of granite and marble which seem stuck in the ground at random, like a handful pebbles tossed into the grass.

Not a few of the monuments have been supplied by Carbone Memorials, a small, family-owned [...]

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