1. For our 14th annual “Reasons to Love New York” issue, we asked a wide range of New Yorkers (and some frequent visitors) to share their very favorite places across the boroughs — with even more spots featured online (December 10–23). Grace Segers gushed, “Oh man, I love everything about this piece and so many of the places listed in it. That weird curvy street near 191st! The David H. Koch Theater! Lee’s Tavern!” And @AbbyMCarney tweeted, “Always down for a love song to NYC. This place stole my heart when I was but a tween … It’s still so magical to me, and I think it always will be.” Journalist Tim Murphy wrote, “Everything here is great. Zephyr Teachout’s entry [Veselka] is very on-brand.” Kate Gustafson recommended adding “Valentino Pier on the waterfront in Red Hook — for its windy and spectacular views.” And Robert Samuels wanted more Bronx locations: “This … shirks the best borough. My favorite place in NYC remains the corner of 233rd and White Plains Rd., where all you need to learn about storytelling and class mobility is overheard waiting for a dollar van. No Bronx? No thonx.” Still, the list made others wistful, with Dublin-based Lyndsay McGregor writing, “I rarely miss living in New York, but this list makes my heart ache just a little bit.”
2. Eric Konigsberg investigated the state of Mario Batali’s brand and found that while the disgraced chef has distanced himself from his restaurants, he’s still profiting off them (“Mario Batali’s Empire in the Wake of Mario Batali,” December 10–23). @PoetAndPriest tweeted, “Great article — copious, well-written, timely, fair … really well done.” But the resounding response from readers was frustration, especially with Batali’s continued profits. @JoannaFantozzi tweeted, “This should provoke every reader’s ire.” Others were frustrated because they felt Konigsberg let Batali’s partner Joe Bastianich off the hook. Eater’s Stefanie Tuder wrote that the story “completely ignores [Bastianich’s] — very well-documented — role in creating a culture where sexual misconduct was allowed, and that’s misleading and dangerous.” Kelsey Keith, the editor-in-chief of Curbed, a sister site of Eater, protested: “The passive voice enabled the writer to avoid crediting the outlet that originally broke Batali’s sexual-misconduct story — that would be Eater. I love and respect New York magazine, but in my opinion, you owe Eater full credit.” Marcella Veneziale, author of Croatian Women Chefs on the Rise, wrote, “After reading this article, I couldn’t help but think of how the female chefs with whom I spoke had little leeway for error in advancing their careers. One former Batali employee summarizes the distinction: ‘I tried to give him the benefit of the doubt.’ I hope the fracas around Batali, and other men in the restaurant industry accused of indecent behavior, forces us to reckon with whom we so easily offer the benefit of the doubt. As Batali states, he is indeed a ‘lucky man.’ If only more women were so lucky.”
3. Two decades after his last attack, the Unabomber may have faded from the public’s consciousness, but John H. Richardson discovered that to a growing number of acolytes he’s more relevant than ever (“Children of Ted,” December 10–23). Christopher Ryan, co-author of Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality, described the piece as a “strangely touching essay about young people growing up in an age of unprecedented despair.” BuzzFeed’s Mat Honan added, “I’m surprised more people haven’t been talking about this story. It’s good.” And the New York Times’s Ross Douthat quipped, “This is your reminder that Fight Club is still the most important political movie about the post–Cold War world.” In this vein, commenter vesselinvain took issue with Ted Kaczynski and his devotees: “I understand why characters like Kaczynski, Cabrera, and Jacobi make for exciting reading, but their critique seems a selfish one, focused on revenge and their own personal quests for validation and meaning. As astute as Kaczynski’s ideas may have been, in addition to being a murderer, he is also a hateful misogynist … The mission of groups like DGR and ITS, like Kaczynski’s before them, is one of personal grievance and ego fulfillment. It presents as nothing more than adolescent Fight Club bullshit.” And ksk3 wrote, “Kaczynski, no matter how prescient in terms of what technology would do (and has done) to society, will always be indefensible because of his gross disregard for the meaning and value of human life. I am much more interested in those in the ‘zoo’ who go to work every day in sometimes mind-numbing, sometimes intensely frustrating jobs to try and make the world a better place, even by a centimeter, rather than dropping out and fleeing to some fake paradise where skinning a rat makes them feel alive.”
*This article appears in the December 24, 2018, issue of New York Magazine. Subscribe Now!