A few months ago, at the stroke of midnight, I found myself—quivering, and naked but for sturdy running shoes—in the hallway of my college library. I was surrounded by two of my best friends and twenty or so acquaintances; we held bags of candy and bags of our clothes, waiting for the signal. Our leader raised her hand.
"T-B-I!" she cried out. "Y…T…B!" we answered in unison1. And then, loudly, we were off, down six flights of stairs to confront the inevitable spectators.
College campuses, as places, as settings, are these arrested works of beauty, where faces, festivals, and feelings change, but, fundamentally, the state of things remains the same. [...]
One of the most obscene things I learned as a barista was how eager people are to be liked. NYU sophomores, the ones with Jansport backpacks in full makeup at 9 a.m., stuttered their orders and shyly complimented me on my nose ring. I semi-patiently listened to innumerable Wikipedia-style monologues about the music I was playing from men in their twenties trying to render their business attire invisible with cultural know-how. I was given zines, mixtape-party fliers, home-recorded chillwave demos.
I said things like "How’s the app going?" and "Welcome to the neighborhood." I answered questions for new Greenpoint residents—of which there were more each year—about the best place [...]
It had been six months since I quit, but I still managed to bring up the blog within 15 minutes of meeting Lauren.
We were at my go-to first date spot, a subterranean bar with shuffleboard and ping-pong in case the conversation flagged. When she asked what I did for a living, I dispatched with my day job in a few sentences before admitting, with false embarrassment, that I was also an aspiring writer.
The required follow-up question—"What kind of stuff do you write?"—was barely out of her mouth before I slipped into my spiel: "It’s a little embarrassing, but I used to be a dating blogger for Glamour[...]
"Next year, there will be a scripted drama called 'WILL.' It’s the story of Shakespeare as a Millennial, which is either the best idea on earth or the worst; either way, the concept has a brassy, shoot-the-moon quality and, presumably, a refreshing lack of criminal anti-heroes…. Pivot will air documentaries on youth-oriented topics, along with a nightly live interactive news show called 'TakePart Live'…. Meghan McCain has already been picked on by the right and the left alike, so it’s tempting to write some sort of contrarian defense of her new show, 'Raising McCain.' But, honestly, there’s only so much upspeak one critic can take. 'This is not your mama’s [...]
"They tend to travel in groups, eat late in the evening and can lend restaurants a cool cachet, attracting more patrons of all ages…. Restaurants say these diners not only are very demanding about the food, they want to know the story behind what's on a plate and are lured by rarefied experiences. Often they want something seemingly elusive to brag about on Twitter and Instagram…. These consumers grew up immersed in restaurant TV shows and celebrity-chef culture. Attention to organic food and labeling that promotes where food comes from became mainstream during their childhoods." —You know what I haven't seen yet about millennials? A story on how they [...]
"Apparently the avenues by which lusty millennials come to grope and perchance know one another are brusque, confused and rife with deception, and probably aren’t reliable precursors to unions of enduring bliss. Which is to say: they’re as imperfect as they’ve always been. While we Homo sapiens have paired off in diverse methods across disparate epochs, we’ve seldom done it with ample information or any particular finesse. There was no saner, better yesteryear: just a different set of customs, a different brand of clumsiness." —The Times'Frank Bruni talks sense in the wake of the Manti Te'o scandal and that other recent example of our semi-annual bout [...]
In The Noonday Demon, Andrew Solomon makes the point that depression sufferers see the world, their own circumstances and failings, more accurately than healthy people—positing thus that perhaps optimism is the defining characteristic of the human condition.
I think of this often with regards to my relationship with television. Television is like depression. Without it, I can think America isn’t so bad. With it, I sometimes want to kill myself.
Honda's "Pretty Great" ad, made by Santa Monica-based Rubin Postaer and Associates, appears on its surface to be a simple, direct pander to millennials—a typical commoditization of hipness and dissent. Yet its very attempt to mask with cloying optimism [...]
A tall man with a boy’s face stood outside Philz, a $$-on-Yelp coffee shop with a branch in the Tenderloin. He approached the sleek pre-yuppies going in and out and said, “Excuse me?”
He was white and young and fairly clean—nothing like the bums they’d ignored all day—so many stopped. When he then asked for change, they would duck and weave into the AC’d haven of $4 coffee with fresh mint sprigs. (The nice ones stumbled over an apology.) He moved on.
This Philz (a Bay Area chain) is on Van Ness and Turk, a block from Polk Street and its famous gay and transgender prostitutes. It backs up to [...]
• "It’s about control, especially for millennials. They want the ability to customize and control what’s happening to the food that’s being prepared. They want it the way they want it."
• "It’s about flavor distribution. If you order a deli tossed salad you put dressing on it and the dressing distributes over 50 percent of it, and you end up stabbing a cherry tomato."
• "It’s nice because it’s something you can’t do at home. You’d have to buy so many ingredients it’s just not possible.” —"The ceaseless chop of the curved two-handled blade known as a mezzaluna provides the background music for lunch in Manhattan these days." [...]
"I plan to spend time in high school and college classrooms in the next few weeks to explore whether millennials can reverse a generation-long decline in U.S. politics. Will they rejuvenate comity, compromise and a viable political center? Will they pull together, or will they become Generation X-treme? Most important: Will the best and brightest of the largest generation even bother with politics or government?" —Hey millennials, I know you're busy trying to find a job and a way to move out of Mom and Dad's, but we also need you to save the democracy that has failed you so badly. And you'd better do it, or else [...]
"What is it like to be a not-quite-adult today, and how does that compare to previous generations? A conversation about what it's like (or what it was like) to be at the time of life when you finally have to start making adult decisions about careers, marriage, family and friends. How are timelines shifting? Is being young harder today than it used to be?" So many questions! Awl pals Anna Holmes and Emily Gould—and a bunch of other people—have answers! Probably. You can safely skip ahead to around the seven-minute mark to get started here. Enjoy!
If you’re anything like me—a neon-blooded selfie-taking party slug with an APPetite for Disruption and Media Diets—you’re probably flailing in an ever-spinning maelstrom of opening and closing tabs, like, all the goddamn time. (While also struggling to maintain the appearance of being human!) One oft-encountered problem we NetLords run into as the tabs careen into our fat faces with a squawking, Hitchcockian fury, is whether or not we fall into the wide chasm of the term “millennial.” It’s a classification as broad as fellow alien Metta World Peace’s shoulders—Certified Journalists have calculated the birth year of millennials to fall anywhere between 1980 and 2000. So where on this fabricated, [...]
The first time someone called me a twink, it was 2003 and I was standing at the urinal in the basement of a laser-and-smoke-filled club in Toronto. I was 19, rail-thin and still in my excitable stage of post-coming out euphoria, which, in my case, meant wearing cut-off jeans and raising my hands above my head when I danced. That night, I had gone to the club with two new friends of mine, one of whom, an aspiring actor, kept telling me about this amazing drug, "poppers," he had just tried. Like most of our Friday evenings, we spent the night flailing our gangly limbs on the dance floor to [...]
Hey, young ladies! Do you regularly exhibit your nipples and/or pudenda on the streets? Young millennial fellas: are you a balls-out kinda guy in general? Good news! While some uptight fools will tell you not to dress like a slanch for your internship, we believe you are more likely to Find Your Unique Path and also to Make It In New York City in general if you just "be yourself." An office is an extension of your lifestyle, after all, and if your lifestyle is nipple-centric or "neo-burlesque" or "embodying James Deen gifs," that is fine, and don't let anyone tell you different. You're only young and pretty once!