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Table of Contents

December 7, 2009 Issue

Cover Story

Obama Lost, Obama Found

The president’s cool and his advisers’ skill at building his serene image have created a power vacuum in Washington. The next hundred days will be a crucial test: Can he shed his brand, alienate the public, and by doing so become a great president? By John Heilemann
On the Cover: Urethane shadow portrait by Michael Murphy.


The Cinemascope Spectacular of Books

A volume big and obsessive enough to contain Stanley Kubrick’s never-made masterpiece, Napoleon.

The Abortion Distortion

Just how pro-choice is America, really?

Tim Keller Wants to Save Your Yuppie Soul

The evangelical Christian preacher says the secular holy trinity of money, ambition, and achievement is the root of all evil. So why are so many New Yorkers flocking to him?


Nickel and Dimed

The potential effects of the United Homeless Organization scandal.

The State We’re In

When even Louisiana is better run than New York State, what’s next? California, here we come.

The Keep

America’s medieval new U.N. mission.

The Neighborhood News

Our roundup of news from around the city.

From Africa to Margaritaville

Introducing Ilo.

110 Minutes With James Rosenquist

The artist painted the town—from Times Square to the Whitney. But the town he painted is gone.

Michael Kenneth Williams’s High-Wire Act

Williams is best known as Omar, the gay stickup man he played on The Wire.


No Holding Back This Holliday Season

As in Matt Holliday, the free-agent slugger—the Yankees ought to renounce sentimentality and break out the bills for him.


Best Bets

Sparkly party décor, nongeneric wrapping paper, and more.

The Look Book

“I love putting accessories on the outside of my body to look good, but I practice yoga for the inside.”

The Underground Gourmet Review

Two wrestling-themed taquerias enter the Manhattan arena.

In Season

With Christmas and Hanukkah looming, you could probably use a drink.

Restaurant Openings

Week of December 7, 2009: The Loading Dock and The Norry at Kampuchea.

The Borne Identity

A change of imported-chocolate regimes at a Park Avenue boutique, just in time for the holidays.

Chef on the Grill: Todd English

The celebrated chef goes from out of the tabloid fire and back to selling frying pans (and opening restaurants).

Hubs Within Hubs

Three gift-rich neighborhoods where checking off the list doesn’t even require a MetroCard.


A Very Dylan Christmas

Going electric was one thing. But going Andy Williams?

Next Stop, Main Street

Ha Jin’s new stories go where the new immigrants do: Flushing’s Chinatown.

The Movie Review

Every star of Jim Sheridan’s Brothers outdoes expectations.

Overachiever: Donald Glover

At just 26, Donald Glover is a YouTube sensation and has a role on NBC’s Community.

Being in the Room

Harry Benson got shots you just don’t see anymore.

The Theater Review

Fela! can get even a staid Broadway audience shaking its hips. Plus: Kenneth Lonergan’s midlife crisis.

The Next Great Leap

Judith Jamison on her twentieth (and last) year as the empress of Alvin Ailey.


Grand (Re)opening

Birdbath’s Maury Rubin is putting the finishing touches on the third branch of his “green bakery.”


Comments: Week of December 7, 2009

Readers sound off on AIG bonuses and more.

The Approval Matrix: Week of December 7, 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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