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Table of Contents

March 23, 2009 Issue

Cover Story

The Power of Michelle Obama

Where will our suddenly iconic First Lady come to fit in the pantheon of powerful women? Joseph O’Neill, Edwidge Danticat, Jennifer Senior, Caitlin Flanagan, Thomas Mallon, and others on the meaning of a new American symbol.
On the Cover: Illustration by Gluekit for New York Magazine

Features

Sam Waksal Was Right All Along (Just Ask Him)

The biotech entrepreneur, friend of Martha Stewart, and “Page Six” regular spent five years in jail on insider-trading charges. Did prison change him? Not really. Does he feel vindicated? Absolutely.

When You’re a Shark You’re a Shark All the Way

In the fifties, with West Side Story and Gypsy, Arthur Laurents made theatrical history. Later he became famous for his lacerating tongue. At 91, both he and it are having a comeback.

Intelligencer

Blue Chip Blues

As their once firm prices dip, is the notion of blue chips defunct?

St. Anywhere

It’s impossible to legislate weirdness, which is a sad thing for the city’s architectural heritage.

This Old Sperm

Science comes down on the side of the cougar.

The Neighborhood News

Our roundup of news from all five boroughs.

Why Us?

New Yorkers’ excess of recession depression.

Encounter

When a Brooklyn woman went into labor in the back of a cab, firefighter Severino Genovese got the call.

58 Minutes With Valentino and Giammetti

The designer and his near-constant companion on 47 years of partnership.

Prep School Revolt Update

“Jeffrey Robbins” strikes again.

Nature Trail

The Friends of the High Line are determined we don’t lose interest in it.

Back and Forth

Jason Segel and Paul Rudd on male-bonding and body stockings.

She's Got Mail

Liz Smith is ready to leave the dinosaur media behind her.

Promoting the Guerrilla Gig

Joe Ahearn thinks most New York concerts are overproduced and exclusive.

Columns

The Hurt That Hasn’t Healed

The Mets are in for it this year. If they don’t win big, the team’s essential fallacy will really be exposed.

Strategist

Best Bets

An electric bike, neon fashion, and more.

The Look Book

“My hair grows fast, so I grow it out when I’m off duty. I’ve been doing it this way for five years.”

The Restaurant Review

Braeburn is a simple restaurant for simple times.

In Season

Unstintingly nutritious, not to mention cheap and delicious—what’s not to love about beans?

The Better Brown Bag

Saving money by bringing lunch does not have to feel like a punishment.

Restaurant Openings

Week of March 23, 2009: Kesté Pizza & Vino, Sora Lella, and Num Pang.

Honk If You Don’t Mind Sharing

The fiscal argument for ditching your vehicle has never been stronger.

Culture

Enter the Queen

Susan Sarandon returns to Broadway for a challenge—and isn’t disappointed.

Bleak House

Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston makes desperation riveting.

Little Boots Call

The latest British MySpace phenom is proving that pop and personality are not antithetical.

The Movie Review

Paul Rudd and Jason Segel redeem the bro-comedy in the hilariously inverted I Love You, Man.

Long Story Short

How Steve McQueen (the British one) jumped from the art world to Hunger.

The Classical Music Review

Jessye Norman’s tribute to African-American music.

The Art Review

Some art-boom heroes (Lisa Yuskavage) feel suddenly dated. Others (Rudolf Stingel) are perfectly present.

The Book Review

Wells Tower’s beautiful stories about gut-wrenching violence.

The Homeless Life and Times of Cadillac Man

Northern Queens’s most famous homeless person was making his commute between his two homes.

Agenda

Beer Here

Ed Raven gives imported beers a proper retail showcase at Brouwerij Lane.

Departments

Comments: Week of March 23, 2009

Readers sound off on "Best of New York," Vikram Pandit, and more.

The Approval Matrix: Week of March 23, 2009

Our deliberately oversimplified guide to who falls where on our taste hierarchies.

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Letters may be edited for space and clarity. Please include a daytime phone number.

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