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Table of Contents


December 17, 2001 Issue

"Although I'm not a genius, unfortunately, I'm ambitious and I think I can do better."
-- Ron Howard, "Almost Famous"

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FEATURES
The Osama Prophet
BY ROBERT KOLKER
John O'Neill, a charter member of the Elaine's crime-fighting posse, was widely regarded as the FBI's foremost authority on Osama bin Laden. When he resigned in August, his ambitions thwarted, he thought he was off the terrorism front line. The job he took? World Trade Center security chief. When he died in the attack, he left behind a wife, a girlfriend, two sets of kids who called him dad, and a giant question: Why weren't his warnings heeded?

Hollywood at Home
ALMOST FAMOUS Director Ron Howard has been well-known since the age of 6, so it's surprising no one seems to know he's a New Yorker. But his new movie, A Beautiful Mind, about a troubled Princeton genius, will strike absolutely no one as a typical Hollywood project. MY DINNER WITH BOB Robert Altman (next up: the star-studded Gosford Park) says the streets and salons of this city inform every film he's made. He says it over a six-hour dinner. At Elaine's. IN THE RING Deciding to fund and shoot all three segments of The Lord of the Rings in one mammoth, $270 million chunk, seems, well, a little risky. But New Line's longtime partners, Bob Shaye and Michael Lynne, see it as "prudent aggression": the only way to fulfill their epic quest. THE FULL NELSON I Am Sam was a three-hanky project about a retarded father's battle to keep his child. But New York-theater-bred Jessie Nelson saw a chance to make a "left of center" film. A NOVEL IDEA Swedish director Lasse Hallström settled happily in Westchester after a painful detour in Hollywood. But his films, including the much-anticipated Shipping News, are still fascinated with the rootless, the outcasts, the lost.
Also: The Best of the Rest

GOTHAM

DEPARTMENTS
Intelligencer
BY MARC S. MALKIN

The City Politic
BY MICHAEL TOMASKY
Nita Lowey was careful not to interfere with Hillary's plans -- but now she wants to mess with George Bush's

MARKETPLACE
Best Bets
BY RIMA SUQI
Retro chip 'n' dips, funky Scandinavian ornaments, and faux trees from the fifties
Plus: Best Bets Daily

Sales & Bargains
A sampling of seasonal sales to help with your holiday shopping
Plus: Daily Sales Update

THE CRITICS
Movies
BY PETER RAINER
The Royal Tenenbaums is loopy but not lovable; Cameron Crowe gets creepy in Vanilla Sky

Architecture
BY JOSEPH GIOVANNINI
Two new spaces -- at Baruch and Scholastic Inc. -- mesh innovative design with first-rate functionality

Television
BY JOHN LEONARD
Three documentaries explore the history and politics that created the troubled Middle East we're mired in

Classical Music
BY PETER G. DAVIS
Stylized singing undermines the beauty of Arabella; Andreas Scholl's ravishing countertenor is just right for Weill Hall

Books
BY DANIEL MENDELSOHN
Kanan Makiya weaves a magical story of the beauty of Creation

Pop Music
BY ROBERT LEVINE
Mick Jagger makes the case for a promising (solo) future career; Paul McCartney reconnects with his rock roots

Restaurants
BY HAL RUBENSTEIN
Commissary captures the spirit (and culinary artistry) of a bygone New York era

CUE
Movies
Music & Nightlife
Theater
Art
Kids
Classical & Dance
The Mix

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