Major Problems with Micro-Living

There’s a tight market for living small in New York City. A development of 55 micro apartments called Carmel Place is opening this year and the rush to apply for the 300-sq-foot shoeboxes is eye-popping. Some 60,000 people are begging to pay too much for a postage stamp—well, a postage stamp with really cool design … Continued

Culture

Why I’m Grateful for the NYPD this Thanksgiving

At 10:35 a.m. I made the switch from the 1 train to the B at Columbus Circle. At 10:38 a.m. a pickpocket stuck their hand into my handbag and nicked my wallet. By 10:50, I despaired at the key card entrance to my office and cursed Mayor de Blasio’s New York while the thief had … Continued

Culture

Do We Have a Stripper Problem?

Summer may be ending, but that isn’t stopping some women in New York from shedding their clothes in the streets. As almost everyone has heard by now, Times Square has a problem on its hands—a naked lady problem. They’re known as desnudas (Spanish for “naked”), and they’re to be found all over the heavily trafficked … Continued

Culture

The Enduring Appeal of ‘Metropolitan’

Twenty-five years ago this month, a former agent for cartoonists named Whit Stillman made his debut as a filmmaker with an absurdly low-budget production that helped define a new golden age of independent cinema that had begun just a year earlier. Stillman’s Metropolitan, following in the footsteps of Steven Soderbergh’s Sex, Lies and Videotape, earned … Continued

Entertainment, Movies

Upper East Side Primates and Princesses

Just when you thought white trash reality television would set cultural norms forever, New York City’s swanky Upper East Side rears its expensively highlighted head. Good-bye to incest, duck calls, and jail bait dads; hello to family cooks with aprons saying “Shiitake Happens”, Architectural Digest, and hedge fund wives. This wasn’t supposed to happen. Weren’t … Continued

Culture

Toys “R” Us Owes Us a Better Explanation

News outlets reported earlier this month that FAO Schwarz would be closing shop at its Fifth Avenue location in July, leaving the iconic brand without a retail outlet—indefinitely. Toys “R” Us, the brand’s operating company since 2009, pointed to rising rent in midtown New York real estate as justification for the change in strategy. A … Continued

Culture

How “Violent” Was My Year?

The significant amount of positive buzz surrounding the new period drama A Most Violent Year compelled me to the theater last week, and I return with tidings of mixed joy (which shall be for all the people). Walk, don’t run, to see this interesting film. Directed by J.C. Chandor (All Is Lost, Margin Call) and … Continued

Entertainment, Movies

Grief in the Digital Age

At the beginning of July, Acculturated contributor Katrina Trinko expressed her frustration with those who complain about our cultural addiction to smartphones.  While I would not classify myself as a “cell phone hater,” there are some places where banning cell phones would create community where it is most lacking and most needed.  The 9/11 Memorial … Continued

Culture

Where the Happy People Are

There’s an old Talmudic saying meshane makom meshane mazal, meaning a change of place changes your luck. Perhaps those living in New York City, which new research shows is the unhappiest city in America, will want to heed this adage and move. To begin with the researchers—Harvard professor Edward Glaeser, Vancouver School of Economics professor Joshua Gottlieb, and … Continued

Culture

Is Anthony Weiner a Psychopath?

Using the alias Carlos Danger, Anthony Weiner is at it again. Having got caught two years ago sending an explicit picture of himself to a woman via Twitter, this last week Weiner again became embroiled in a scandal amidst a fledgling New York City mayoral campaign. This time Weiner admitted having engaged in online, sexual … Continued

Culture