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Comments: May 26, 2008

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1. The second issue of Look, our semi-annual magazine devoted to dissecting the fashion shows and the world around them, hit the newsstands last month and received quite a warm reception from the blogosphere. The chatter went like this:

➽ “Fabulous”
➽ “The cover is a bit freaky.”
➽ “You must read Chris Rovzar’s article on ‘I Wear Size Zero.’ ”
➽ “A good read if you’re looking to understand the dynamics (and somewhat pleasantly vile underbelly) of Fashion Week.”
➽ “Enjoyed its insider perspective, [especially] Janet Ozzard’s interview with Cathy Horyn on the end of the runway show in an ‘online only’ fashion world.”
➽ “Awesome! I was going to scan some pictures to put on the blog, but I was lazy. Anyway, I don’t have to because New York has launched a Look Website! Check it out! Especially amazing is the photo feature on Karl Lagerfeld in the bowels of Chanel.”

If you can’t find Look at your local newsstand, it can be ordered from nymag.com/look.


2. The two residences from last week’s interiors issue (Hyper Design,” May 19) that elicited the most enthusiasm were those farthest apart on the taste spectrum—the majestic pile in Yonkers (How to Save a Castle”) and the super-sleek midtown apartment (Eleven TVs. A White Lacquered Ceiling. No Bookshelves.). Most commenters were admiring, but not all. One reader who identified himself as the project manager of the latter even commented that the best thing about the design was underplayed—“It’s all in the vistas, not the furnishings. It’s like skiing down a mountain; it’s what is in front of you, not what is behind you.”

3. A flame war erupted last week on nymag.com, in the comments attached to a Daily Intel post about—appropriately enough—New Yorkers’ rudeness. The fight was less about the article, though, than it was about Scott Rose, the man who is, far and away, nymag.com’s most frequent commenter. (He’s posted 736 times since February 12 and manages to attach something to nearly every story we publish.) His initial post on the rudeness story, which begins “I was breakfasting this morning with Mr. Armen Petrossian and his lovely wife Cecile in the Petrossian Cafe” and ends “I might even prescribe a flute of Champagne, with a fresh raspberry in it. Smile. Life, and New York City, are beautiful” drew cascading sheets of ire, such as this: “Reading the above comments has proved so liberating; I’d always bottled up my irritation at scottrose’s inane blithering, thinking that perhaps my feelings were uncharitable and not shared by others.” Another poster was more succinct: “I frequently want to eviscerate scottrose.” Others came to his defense: “I have no idea who scottrose is, but many of his posts are delightful. Give the guy a break.”


We didn’t know who he was either, so we called him. Turns out he is an Upper West Sider who writes for luxury-goods magazines like Yacht Vacations & Charters and Pampered Puppy. “My regular job is not a nine-to-five thing,” he says, explaining how he can spend a pretty alarming amount of time reading our site. “Whether I’m finishing articles at 1 a.m. or 5 a.m. or whatever, it’s an eccentric lifestyle.” He claims no particular agenda. “I have a very active intellect. What I would say is true of my posts, and of all writing I do, is that it can vary between well-thought-out positions expressed in all seriousness, and bubbly irreverence.” That, and a weakness for puns. Rose has also published a novel called Death in Hawaii. “It’s about a writer who gave up all hope of hitting the big time in New York,” he says, “and so moved to Honolulu and started a 12-step program called Writers Anonymous. I think this could be significant.”

4. Food critics tend to complain about their enviable jobs more than the average coal miner. A lot more. But that is more understandable when you consider all the amateur food critics out there who obsessively second-guess the professionals. To illustrate this point, we’ve compiled a sample of recent counterpoints to Adam Platt’s restaurant reviews, edited to preserve a modicum of politeness:

Commerce, two stars, April 27:
“I have to disagree with the review. Commerce disappoints both in food and service. Probably the worst opening lately.”
Eighty One, two stars, March 30:
“It is, seemingly, a professional requirement for restaurant reviewers that every time a very good restaurant opens on the Upper West Side, they must say that at long last, a very good restaurant has opened on the Upper West Side.”
Momofuku Ko, four stars, April 8:
“I generally agree with Adam but I wasn’t expecting any review nearly this favorable. After reading his detailed descriptions of the food, I remember making stuff like that in my halcyon days after smoking a few joints. I never expected anyone would ever want to pay for it.”
Adour Alain Ducasse, three stars, March 16:
“What is your problem with fine French service? Does everything have to be casual?”


An item on nymag.com’s Vulture blog about Robert Downey Jr.’s speech at the Time 100 gala included a little tidbit about Downey’s father identifying himself as a Hillary Clinton supporter. Downey Sr. himself e-mailed us to correct the record: “Somebody mis-listened. I’m an Obama guy.”

Please send e-mails to: comments@nymag.com


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