Thursday, December 20th, 2012
2

Inspirational Drake: Because Getting A Forehead Tattoo Is Too Much

A series on the stuff that delighted us on the Internet this year.

This year everyone one was saying (again!) that the Internet is a nice place to hang out. Listen, I grew up as the Internet grew up, and between the mystery AIM screen names we used to bully each other, the group Xangas where we trashed our friends, and the real life Gossip Girl clones and college slut-shaming sites that popped up as I grew up, I know that the Internet can never be a nice place. Also, I'm not sure what Internet everyone else has been using, but my Internet in 2012 was filled with [...]

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12

Bon Iver, Brooklyn, Last Night

The moon over Prospect Park last night was exceptionally nice. Justin Vernon, the lead singer of Bon Iver, took careful notice of this. “Take a look at the moon, it’s really awesome," he told a crowd. Everyone erupted in cheers for the moon because Justin said so.

Bon Iver fans are a unique group of people. There was the girl switching off taking hits of a joint and covering up her coughing with bites of carrot and humus. There was the group of “bro” friends who are clearly only friends during the summer months. They spoke about the definition of “rompers” and placed bets on how many people in [...]

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16

A Miracle Fruit Party and Its Attendant Trend Story

"Nothing is certain but death and taxes" and, since 2007, "trend pieces about miracle fruit parties." Oh yes: "The miracle fruit party" is the trend piece that just won't die, despite that there have likely been more feature stories about miracle fruit parties than there have been actual miracle fruit parties.

The Wall Street Journal went big in 2007 with an A1 story that explained that the berries are "a slightly tart West African berry with a strange property: For about an hour after you eat it, everything sour tastes sweet." Then NPR couldn't wait to tell all of their listeners about it. The New York [...]

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16

The "Food Porn" Party

Food porn is one of the Internet's veritable viral cornerstones. Pictures of wacky cupcakes, fusion fried chicken or an incredible, competitive array of deviled eggs get reblogged viciously by legions of salivating fans. In an attempt to tap into the zeitgeist and assess what's to be the next "hot thing all the young, hip and/or upwardly mobile people are doing," I filmed my first amateur food porn.

The food porn party creates two works of art at once: the edibles, and the documentation of that which is eaten. The dishes are chosen for their potential attractiveness. The food, after it is created, must be styled—and then it must be [...]

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38

Murray Hill: Frat City?

New Yorkers with self-respect try to avoid the Murray Hill scene at all costs. It's been universally branded as a Manhattan's frattiest neighborhood, a place where the newly graduated roam free in backwards hats and do keg stands and attempt to avoid being Iced. But is this really the case? Are the residents up on Murray Hill really the frattiest of the fratty, or is it all just an exaggeration borne out of the casual disdain with which more established citizens view the kids today?

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10

Are Broadway Theater Seats Too Small?

Every New Yorker has a series of cherished myths and hard-earned wisdom that he or she considers the Gospel truth about how to get by in this city. But are the stories we tell ourselves in order to live really on the level? We turn to the experts to help us figure it out.

There's the moment in every New Yorker's life (tourists, you get to play this round too!) where they experience the terrible feeling of a leg cramp during a Broadway show. Do you scream? Do you shuffle out of your aisle noisily and try your best not to faceplant? Why are those seats so small in [...]

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9

A Visit to the Wall Street Duane Reade

At yesterday's opening of Duane Reade's new store at 40 Wall Street, three men in suits sat under a rolling stock ticker and had what seemed to be the first ever power lunch held in a drug store. I gravitated towards the someone who I thought was the manager of the store: I wanted to understand why this Duane Reade was so lush.

She sent me to talk to one of the power lunchers, Joe Magnacca, the—wait for it—President for Daily Living Products & Solutions at Walgreens Duane Reade Inc. With a little soulpatch and nice pinstripe suit, he is clearly the most baller Walgreens exec.

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14

The 'Village Voice' Prepares for Strike While Ashton Kutcher Rages

Tonight at midnight, the three-year contract at the Village Voice expires, so Voice workers held a strike benefit at Williamsburg's Public Assembly last night. The bands were really loud and the crowd drank a lot.

The crowd was heavy with, yes, Village Voice staffers and their friends, as well as a handful of former-Voice employees there to show their support. Ex-employees in attendance included: Zach Baron (who left The Voice for The Daily back in March), Foster Kamer (of the New York Observer), and Tom Robbins (the influential writer who left the paper after the departure of long time columnist Wayne Barrett). Robbins' appearance was perhaps the biggest [...]

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IRL
4

Here to Make Friends: The New York City Reddit Meetup

The internet hive mind is scary. Geeks operating together as one Voltron-like force of good or evil is an intimidating kind of deal—and leaving the house, for some Internet people, is equally scary. But getting drunk and hanging out with members of the hive mind isn't actually that bad! Saturday was World Reddit Meetup day, and, to observe, members of the Internet forum Reddit—a wholly owned subsidiary of Condé Nast Digital!—met up at 160 or so locations around the world, including d.b.a. in the East Village.

As cover, I went with my friend Nicole—she's an actual Redditor. We were met by the event's organizer, a burly New Jersey [...]

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8

La Toya Jackson's Book Party

On the roofdeck at 230 Fifth Avenue last night, a man was taking pictures of La Toya Jackson with an iPad. "I saw Spike Lee take Obama's pic with that thing!" said a photographer. Apart from press, the crowd tended towards rejected Real Housewives. (One partygoer named Cheri aspired toward both a singing career and a gay sidekick.)

"Is this the closest you've ever been to a Jackson?" someone asked.

"Well, my brother was in a hot tub with Michael in 1983, so that's got to count for something," someone else said.

La Toya entered her book party—she is the author, as of today, of Starting Over, a memoir [...]

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7

Duane Reade's Progressively More Scary Obama Birthday Cards

Duane Reade—a subsidiary of Walgreens!—carries fine American mass-market cards for every occasion, from "I'm sorry I don't love you enough" to "You should probably get checked out at the clinic" to "happy graduation, foster son of my lesbian partner."

They also carry a diverse line of Barack Obama birthday cards, which range from adulatory to scare-mongering. Here's pics of the front of the card and their inside panel.

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23

New Yorkers Predict: What Will Be This Summer's 'Ground Zero Mosque'?

Last summer's "Ground Zero Mosque" brouhaha was the most annoying summer controversy of all time. With any luck, New Yorkers won't have to deal with another nation-wide xenophobic freakout again this summer, but anything is possible! We spoke to a bunch of New Yorkers—both well-known and known to only a few—to try to predict what this summer's big baloney story would be. Aliens! Scrotums! And more aliens!

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12

When Not To Order The Fish

Every New Yorker has a series of cherished myths and hard-earned wisdom that he or she considers the Gospel truth about how to get by in this city. But are the stories we tell ourselves in order to live really on the level? We turn to the experts to help us figure it out.

Living so close to bodies of water best known for the number of corpses retrieved from within, you can understand why New Yorkers are a bit cautious about the bounty of the sea. A longstanding rule of thumb holds that ordering fish from a restaurant on Mondays is never a good thing. But is [...]

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12

17 Cold Things to Order for Dinner from SeamlessWeb

Cold cucumbers with scallion sauce from Grand Sichuan

Scottish cheddar & Branston Pickle sandwich from Tea and Sympathy

Cold cereal with milk from Carnegie Deli

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4

Experts Agree: Everything is Just Great in the Media Now!

Today's panel at NYU, "The Future of Media: 2011"—did you somehow miss it?—wasn't about the Times versus the big aggregating websites, or how the newspaper is dying—that's old news. The panel was more like a celebration of a year of successes and acquisitions. Everyone expressed that they were very happy. And actually, each participant was someone who was involved in a (at least mostly) successful, or at least intriguing, part of the world of publishing words.

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