Comments: Week of November 7, 2022


“Plywood Gourmet,” October 24–­November 6

Photo: New York Magazine

In New York’s latest cover story, ­Simon van Zuylen-Wood mapped how pandemic-era restaurant sheds have reshaped the city’s streets. “As someone who enjoys reading about the built landscape, and someone who loves witty writing, this is a terrific piece,” @SaraSewsIdols tweeted. The cover depicted two rats, Taro and Mishi, posing at a miniature two-top. “I hate how adorable this is because it’s
so nefarious,” wrote Law360’s Ben Jay. “There’s no evidence that outdoor dining has had any effect on the rat population.”
@ZizekTheEchidna joked, “I don’t care about the outdoor dining debate. I’m a ­single-issue voter and that issue is believing we should have tiny restaurants for rats.” The Daily Beast’s Matt Fuller added, “The rat sheds—as I think they should be called—represent one of the few libertarian solutions of the pandemic. They may have been necessary for a time. Now they’re private grabs of public land with disgusting ­consequences.” Spencer Berg wrote, “What’s missing from this lengthy article … is the fact that outdoor dining is overwhelmingly popular and almost single-handedly saved the city’s economy.” Software engineer Robert Grimm said, “Over the last 20 years, NYC saw two amazing improvements: Janette Sadik-Khan gave streets back to pedestrians and bicyclists. Bill de Blasio gave us the dining shed,” and he implored the current mayor to “ignore the nimbys, grow pedestrian zones and bike paths, make dining sheds permanent, and realize congestion pricing.”

Photo: New York Magazine


“Bad Reputation,” October 24–November 6

Five years after a list of “Shitty Media Men” circulated online, Lila Shapiro reported on how one of the accused, ­Stephen Elliott, is trying to clear his name in court. Pipette magazine’s Rachel Signer called story “a fascinating, wild ride of a read through the morass of the New York literary world.” Writer Kat Rosenfield said, “This piece really highlights this odd cognitive dissonance whereby rape accusations are meant to be received with the utmost seriousness, but also, if you’re falsely accused of rape, that’s no big deal and you should just roll with it.” Alizah Salario ­tweeted, “This is a well-reported and nuanced piece. I wrote for the Rumpus, and knew Stephen to be a charismatic leader who lacked boundaries. I believe two things are true: he made me and many other women uncomfortable, and he has been falsely accused of rape.” Journalist Michelle Dean responded, “I briefly had a gig at the Rumpus and can say definitively that Isaac Fitzgerald ran that place. For ­Stephen Elliott to say Isaac would be ‘homeless’ without him is both cruel and inaccurate. It tells you a lot about Stephen that he would even say something so mean about a man who ran that website for him while he was too busy being a man-about-town (or, more often, writing confessional emails in limp prose).”


“1776’s Sara Porkalob Has Some Notes,” October 24–November 6

In “1776’s Sara Porkalob Has Some Notes,” the Broadway actress shared her bracing views on the show with ­Jason P. Frank. “You don’t ever see anything this candid, folks,” said theater journalist David S. Gordon. Actor Tyce Green tweeted that it was “an incredible, unfiltered, brutally honest sharing of opinions from an actor in a way I’ve never before seen. Conversations of this nature always happen behind the scenes, but the fear of retaliation almost always protects them from the public.” Porkalob pointedly criticized the directors, Diane Paulus and Jeffrey L. Page, and in a since-deleted Facebook post, Page ­responded, “I think that you are the very example of the thing that you claim to be most interested in dismantling. You are fake-woke, rotten to the core, and stuck in the matrix; I hope that you get that ­increased IG following that you so desperately thirst.” Another Broadway actor, Ashley Blanchet, wrote, “Theater is a team effort. True leaders advocate without throwing their team under the bus.” And celebrity blogger Perez Hilton said that while he loved Porkalob’s “honesty in this article,” he was “repulsed by her snobbery and infuriated at her contempt of the Broadway community.” The interview was covered by outlets from Playbill (“Find Out Why Everyone Was Talking About Broadway’s 1776 This Weekend”) to the Seattle Times (“Seattle’s Sara Porkalob started a firestorm on Broadway. And she was right”) to the New York Times (“For Broadway’s ‘1776’ Revival, the Drama Is Offstage”). Porkalob responded to the controversy on Twitter: “I shared these details not for self gain but to illuminate and name the industry culture that needs to change. I get how y’all read the article & see me as an ego-driven diva. I’m a very confident person, yes. But! I hope you also read the nuanced and frank, very real critique of our industry culture. I hope you all can hold those many things in the same hand … One article doesn’t represent all that I am/how I show up in the room as an artist, activist, and person. and I’m proud of my voice in the Vulture article & I stand by what I said.”

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Comments: Week of November 7, 2022