1 For last issue’s cover story, Allison P. Davis spoke with Mariah Carey about the pop star’s three-decade-long career (“Mariah After Midnight,” August 31–September 13). The cover image, shot by Dana Scruggs, proved divisive with readers. Eddie Major wrote, “This Mariah Carey cover photo is … a choice, I guess?” And @theerkj tweeted, “This not even mama’s angle!! I’m so surprised she let them run this.” @ohsoacquiescent pushed back with, “Some people call it awkward and unflattering but if we’re being honest that was probably the look they were going for — she isn’t the glamorous out-of-touch diva she’s always been painted to be; she’s still very vulnerable.” On Instagram, John Duff wrote, “The photo is stunning! Refreshing to see her out of glam … I hope people are able to see her as a human and not compare her natural beauty to her drag.” @ashfinny tweeted, “This cover is gorgeous!! She’s giving us Mariah Unplugged the remix here.” Novelist Brit Bennett joked, “Cannot believe that in another life I could have been in Mariah’s COVID-pod, baking her shortbread.” Many praised Carey’s candor. Britni Danielle said, “I love that she’s diving into issues of race, colorism, her family, etc. I’m here for Mimi being comfortable discussing her full self.” @CokeNDGrenadine wrote, “This is probably the most unfiltered interview I’ve ever seen with Mariah.” And @kplumhoff tweeted, “absolutely loved this as a masterclass in contextualizing celebrity & profiling during COVID.”
2 Bridget Read documented how two Brooklyn landlords kicked their tenants out in the middle of an eviction moratorium (“The Eco-Yogi Slumlords of Brooklyn,” August 31–September 13). The New York Times’ Mara Gay called it “maybe the most Brooklyn story ever,” and the Intercept’s Mara Hvistendahl said it was “prime pandemic reading.” Some readers felt the story encapsulated the way the coronavirus has exacerbated the housing crisis:@ljgong called it “an illustration of so much that is broken.” Douglas Smith Land wrote that Read “surfaces so many of the insidious practices that compromise the NY real estate market. It’s also a perfect illustration of how discriminatory lending can benefit wildly inept white people.” Of the revelation that the landlords aren’t taking the pandemic seriously, writer Zoe Whittall commented, “Of course these wellness capitalist slumlords become COVID deniers in the end.” Editor Cale Guthrie Weissman wrote, “nymag’s ability to write the best, most in-depth stories about viral skirmishes most people forgot about is unmatched.”
3 In “The Lost Season,” Cathy Horyn spoke with 13 of the world’s leading designers (August 31–September 13). @senzatempostyle wrote that the story “really underscores how the business model that dominates fashion today is the root of so many issues.” Fashion blogger Bryanboy said of Horyn’s conversation with Prada’s Raf Simons: “I wish she took a deep dive and asked why Raf, one of the influential designers of our time, did not diversify his show castings since Day One and why it took a seismic cultural shift for him to do so.” Readers were also delighted by the conversation with Miuccia Prada, who said, “It’s not that designers can change the economic system.”@ndakogboya tweeted, “FINALLY! I cannot stress how much I longed to hear the words she utters here.”
4 In an excerpt from his new book, One Billion Americans, Vox’s senior correspondent Matthew Yglesias argued for the desirability of a more populated United States (“America Times Three,” August 31–September 13). Many readers expressed concerns about what a population explosion would mean for the environment and the economy. Ric Steinberger wrote that “the slightest unbiased assessment by any competent ecologist … would quickly lead one to conclude that the idea of a billion people living within the borders of the current U.S. is complete insanity.” Kathleene Parker added, “We have so many millions unemployed due to the COVID-19 shutdown that most of us have lost count. We’re $26 trillion—whoops, make that $27 trillion—in debt, soYglesias’ answer is what, the more the merrier?” Others found the proposal inspired. @moultano tweeted, “Other people are an asset, not a liability.” @AllanThoen wrote, “The problems in America have almost never come from fresh, energetic new immigrants, but from people born here who feel entitled and don’t want anything to change. You could think of anti-immigrant sentiment as nimby-ism on a national scale.”
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