"I go to auctions now and feel like a witness—I watch, shake my head, and go home." —"Hedge-fund managers, who play a vital but disruptive role in the broader financial markets, are increasingly throwing their weight around the art market: They are paying record sums to drive up values for their favorite artists, dumping artists who don't pay off and offsetting their heavy wagers on untested contemporary art by buying the reliable antiquity or two. Aggressive, efficient and armed with up-to-the-minute market intelligence supplied by well-paid art advisers, these collectors are s[...]
The other day I was listening to NPR and they were talking about the plight of the refugees from the Syrian civil war, many of whom live in cramped conditions that only exacerbate the stress caused by the horror of being forced to leave their homes and the uncertainty of whether or not they will ever be able to return. They were interviewing one of the women who was trying to keep her family together in that awful environment and when they asked her what the worst part was, she immediately—I mean, without even waiting for the translator—replied, "Oh, for sure it's when they pronounce my name wrong." I [...]
"I’m in a mid-rise co-op complex with three balconied buildings that face a common courtyard. Rather than using them to appreciate the view, most people seem to use their balconies as repositories for junk. It’s such an eyesore. What can I do?"
"It’s the inevitable, if unsightly, convergence of the Internet, tea party, the post-Citizens United campaign-finance era and the presence of a Democrat in the White House who is despised by many conservatives. Political operatives can create a PAC and corresponding website on the cheap, drop some cash to rent an email list and, voilà— in come the small-dollar contributions from grass-roots Republicans eager to support any effort aiming to turn out President Barack Obama or reelect the fiery West. Except those chunks of $25 and $50 don’t often find their way to any serious campaigns to beat Obama or boost West."
"Apple's new iOS 7 software is apparently making some people seasick on solid ground. Experts on motion sickness say the sharpness of the screen and the motion of the icons may be partly to blame. Users who have upgraded to iOS 7 are reporting nausea, headaches and vertigo in a message thread that started Sept. 18 on Apple's support website."
"It was only when I suggested that a mere fraction of the world’s Big Law firms would survive another decade or two that I grasped the bone-fatiguing chore of running such a business. Theiss wouldn’t endorse the premise, but he didn’t exactly refute it, either. Demand had stopped growing, he told me. There was “substantial overcapacity.” Billable hours were way down industry-wide. “I don’t think anybody who follows the profession would suggest that this is only a temporary situation,” he said. The longer Theiss spoke, the bleaker the picture became."
"Conservatives and Republicans feel a bit under siege these days because their views are not officially in style."
"All talls quickly learn that all things cost more, so earning more money is a must. Car size cannot be too small. Airlines always charge more for the extra room. Clothing must be custom-made or -sewn." —It is so hard being a tall! Also, they call themselves "talls."
"If I see one more shiny new gambrel roof, shingled house I’ll scream. It’s become a hopeless cliché, [...]
"McDonald’s delivery trucks are driving Tribeca residents nuts — and maybe even making it tough to sell a $5.4 million penthouse next door, neighbors say."
"Trillions of dollars worth of stock certificates and other paper securities that were stored in a vault in lower Manhattan may have suffered water damage from Superstorm Sandy. The Depository Trust & Clearing Corp., an industry-run clearing house for Wall Street, said the contents of its vault 'are likely damaged.'" —And here you are worried about people having food and water and electricity.
"For members of Congress, the thrill is gone. They don’t make national policy anymore. They can’t earmark money for communities back home. The public hates them. And perks little and big, from private jet travel to a little free nosh now and then, have been locked down by ethics rules. As they head for the exits this year, many leaving Congress say the prestigious job of being a congressman sucks now, and that’s why lawmakers young and old are trading in their member pins for a new life in the private sector."