Comments: Week of April 25, 2022


“When Kyiv Arrived on 7th Street,” April 11–24

Illustration: Reverse painting on cellulose acetate. Rights and reproduction © Nik Mills. Courtesy of the Ukrainian Museum. Courtesy of the Surmach Family.

For New York’s annual “Yesteryear” ­issue, the magazine revisited more than a century of life in Little Ukraine. Eddy Portnoy called ­Christopher Bonanos’s history of the neighborhood a “­fantastic and, really, long overdue article
on Little Ukraine, one of NYC’s largely ­unknown ethnic neighborhoods.” @Matt­V­Tyler said, “Always love reading on how ­immigration patterns have impacted the neighborhoods/cultural fabric of American cities. This is good stuff.” David Swatling praised Jason Diamond’s recollection of eating his way through the neighborhood in his 20s (“A Journey Down the Borscht River”), saying, “My tastebuds are tingling with all the memories. The borscht I make today is a blending of all those delicious 2nd Avenue bowls.” @Tschades called it a “tender and charming memoir of Eastern European Jewish delights.” The issue’s first-­person accounts of growing up in the neighborhood and archival photographs led many readers to share their own doses of nostalgia. Politico’s Oriana Pawlyk tweeted a photo of her wedding inside a Little Ukraine church, and reporter Lydia Kulbida said, “Remembering my first communion in the old St. George’s; was a bridesmaid for the first time in the new St. George’s; on TV news for the first time ­interviewed after the fire at the Ukrainian National Home where my Ukrainian theater group rehearsed; countless meals at @veselkanyc.”


“Nicholas Kristof’s Botched ­Rescue Mission,” April 11–24

Olivia Nuzzi went to Oregon to visit the ex–New York Times columnist following his short-lived run for governor. Writer S. E. Smith said, “This profile of Kristof is an absolute delight, that man is utterly vile and the little details seeded throughout are just a joy.” Kristof’s farm produces wine and hard ­cider, and many readers criticized his comment that alcoholism is “driven really by working-class Americans.” Editor Matt Schiavenza noted, “Thinking about the number of ­people I’ve met in recovery whose lives were derailed by expensive wine. Alcoholism doesn’t make class distinctions,” and Portland lawyer ­Candice Aiston added, “This guy was never ­going to be governor of ­Oregon, even if he had qualified. I don’t know many Oregonians who would take too kindly to this sort of ­elitist mentality.” Carl Johnson joked, “It’s only alcoholism if you’re poor or working class; otherwise it’s spark­ling delusion.” @Dshai88 called it a “good article but highlights exactly why Kristof would not have been good for ­Oregon. One reason being that he thought the rules didn’t apply to him. I am sure that he will return to the east coast soon. Good riddance.” And climate activist David Turnbull wrote that Nuzzi’s ­column “kinda makes the whole Kristof ­running for governor affair worth it.”


“Margo’s Way,” April 11–24

Jasmine Sanders profiled the culture ­writer and academic Margo Jefferson ahead of the release of her newest memoir. The Times’ Kurt Soller called it “the Margo Jefferson profile I’ve been waiting to read,” and poet José Olivarez complimented Sanders for writing “beautiful sentences.” Writer Brent Staples tweeted, “Oracle of the Negro ­upper classes: rare profile of the incomparable Margo Jefferson — whose new memoir is not to be missed,” and journalist Clara Bingham wrote, “If her new book is half as good as Negroland, Jefferson’s new memoir will be perfection.” Vanderbilt Law’s Gautam Hans noted that Jefferson “is the best kind of ­genius — she’s just as fun to be around as she is smart. I love this profile and I can’t wait for the world to read her newest brilliant book.” And Pantheon publisher Lisa Lucas tweeted, “Since we all already know about her absolutely searing intellect, can I just say that this is the cutest photo of all time?”


“Make Hollywood Horny Again,” April 11–24

“What I’m missing is the feeling that the sex is not just an act but a manifestation of something we aren’t supposed to acknowledge about the ways pleasure ­intersects with pain and power,” wrote ­Allison P. Davis about the decline of the erotic thriller. Writer and director Steven Canals tweeted, “WOW … perfect. And as a fan of several (Fatal Attraction & Unfaithful) I’m actually inspired to consider writing/directing a queer erotic thriller,” and columnist Darren Mooney called it “a really good piece from @AllisonPDavis talking about what we talk about when we talk about the erotic thriller.” Writer Ben Dreyfuss observed that the essay “focuses almost entirely on the ‘erotic’ part. The truth is Hollywood also just doesn’t make a lot of thrillers anymore, ­erotic or otherwise.”

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Comments: Week of April 25, 2022