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Table of Contents

February 6, 2012 Issue

Cover Story

The Celebrity Economy

The most successful stars in the world aren’t necessarily the best or even the most famous. They’re the ones who’ve maximized their profit potential, monetizing their celebrity into a string of paid club appearances, presold baby photos, and endless freebies. A cost-benefit analysis of the new celebrity economy. By Mark Harris
On the Cover: Photo-illustration by Darrow.


Who in God’s Name Is Mitt Romney?

The Republican candidate has been running for president for half a decade, but familiarity has done nothing to dispel his mystery. And it’ll stay that way as long as he refuses to discuss his driving passion—his faith. By Frank Rich

The Sibling Superstars of Park Slope

Omar Calhoun is the best 18-year-old basketball player in the city. His sister, 15-year-old Sierra, might be even better. And through all the hype, they’ve stayed grounded, a rare thing in a high-school hoops culture that gave the world Stephon Marbury.
By Chris Smith

A Park to Remember a Plague

Across the street from shuttered St. Vincent’s Hospital, a tiny park could become the city’s first major AIDS memorial. And after reviewing 475 entries, the organizers of the project have chosen a winning design—unveiled here for the first time.
By Justin Davidson


The Wall Street Diet

Sometimes even $400 zillion trillion in taxpayer bailouts isn’t enough to keep your industry out of the ditch.

Meandering to the Top

Coughlin: adequate, brilliant.

Greens Get Mean-Ish

Enviros play rough, nicely.

The Neighborhood News

Our roundup of news from around the city.

Just One Not-Angry Man

Jury strategizing for fat cats.

134 Minutes With Sara Ziff

Loading up on carbs and discussing Alinsky with the soon-to-be Norma Rae of the runway.


Newt’s Base

The press loves drama and hates a front-runner. So guess who they are rooting for.


The Best Bet

Crane’s compact heater, a down scarf, and more.

The Look Book

“I have to use a very strong gel. And then I spend like twenty minutes with the drying machine, mix in more gel, then put on some spray to make it look straight.”

The Urbanist’s Mexico City

Less grime and crime means more greenery and revelry.

Another Kind of Work Boot

Lace-ups made for wearing to the office, the market, the bar, or the park.

The Restaurant Review

At La Promenade des Anglais and Mas (la grillade), a pair of high-end chefs go down-market in an attempt to suit the times.

In Season

In the midst of winter-citrus season, this cocktailian take on the screwdriver dusts off the old relic by employing bitters and an Italian citrus liqueur.

Chefs in Training

After twelve hours in the kitchen, all they want is a good workout.


Born to Try

Lana Del Rey overreaches, charmingly, on her debut album.

Out of Thin Air

Eleven stars are born (or reborn) at Sundance.

The Abridged Del Rey

The details of her origin story.

The Movie Review

In this chilly gray season, four new films that don’t do uplift.

The Book Review

Writing guru Ben Marcus has finally learned an important lesson. His own.

The Classical Music Review

On trying to like Philip Glass, again and again and again.


Comments: Week of February 6, 2012

Readers sound off on Americans Elect, the Oscars, and more.

The Approval Matrix: Week of February 6, 2012

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

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