July 19, 1999 Issue
"You would think I wake up in the morning thinking about who I am going to kill. I wake up looking to do some good! We are selling books. We aren't selling weapons of mass destruction."
-- Leonard Riggio, from "One for the Books"
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One for the Books
BY DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK
Life before the Internet was pretty sweet for Len Riggio, the Bensonhurst native who turned Barnes & Noble into a retailing colossus. Okay, a few publishers fumed that he was a bully, and independent booksellers groused that he was out to get them. Then came Amazon.com -- styling itself the new-media David to his bricks-and-mortar Goliath -- and the battle turned into an all-out war. Can a guy who's a liberal Democrat and patron of the arts, a self-made intellectual who hangs out with both truck drivers and writers like Gay Talese, ever convince the literary world he's on its side?
Sure, e-mail is convenient, fast, and informal. It's also intrusive, annoying, and addictive as crack cocaine, as we compulsively field messages in the office, during meetings, while we're on the phone, in bed, and while we're supposed to be on vacation. A meditation on the perils of being connected all the time
Leaving the Academy
During his 32-year tenure, Harvey Lichtenstein transformed the Brooklyn Academy of Music from a provincial relic into an international mecca for the avant-garde lively arts, from Mark Morris's dances to Robert Wilson's epics. On Lichtenstein's parting day, he has a few words for would-be impresarios. And then he's off to work the same magic on the surrounding neighborhood.
Crimes and Punishments
It's been more than two decades since Frank Penna kidnapped and raped two teenage girls, and it's been seven years since he got out of prison. Now, thanks to Megan's Law, everyone in his hometown of Linden, New Jersey, suddenly knows what he did. Some neighbors insist he's a changed man. Others shoot at his house. Will he ever be allowed to get on with his life?
The next Adam Sandler, sex object; is Donald Trump broke?
GOTHAM STYLE Bustles are big; Playboy fashion; extreme concierging
Hillary scouts out the battlefields
Doppelgänger blues: Michael Wolff, media critic, breakfasts with Michael Wolf, media booster
The Underground Gourmet
Two hot-weather havens
Prada golf gloves; a global clock for modern families
Remembrance of things past: where to buy vintage movie posters, rare books, etc.
Sales & Bargains
Advantage, customer: the mid-season deal on tennis racquets, shoes, and whites; a beach-bag bonanza in Sag Harbor
BY PETER RAINER
Eric Rohmer, control freak; Arlington Road, controlled freak
Naomi Wallace's precious poetics; a Shakespeare (gag) fest
MOMA snaps a not-too-pretty picture of America's obsession with celebrity