Jim Holt

  1. debates
    Will Intellectual Combat Ever Top Buckley-Vidal?As the superbly entertaining Best of Enemies shows, they don’t make ’em like those two anymore.
  2. HumorTiming was everything.
  3. 56. Because New York Has Become a World Capital of PhilosophyPhilosophy would seem little suited to New York. It promises to yield only enlightenment, which can’t be traded on Wall Street or Twittered from […]
  4. Read and Approved: Eclectic Beach FareStill looking for a summer book that isn’t 100 percent trashy? Perhaps even one that’s 100 percent non-trashy (say, on Spinoza)? Here are five n […]
  5. Semisweetened VictoryDemocratic Party leaders absorbed the important lesson that, in a political campaign, money trumps salsa.
  6. Royal MessesThankfully the week provided a few nonpartisan, non-apocalyptic distractions, at least for those New Yorkers not fretting about their star ratin […]
  7. Tears and LeaksDespite a peculiar—but pleasant—“maple syrup” smell that enveloped lower Manhattan, the city’s attention remained fixated on leaks, reversals, a […]
  8. Grandmother CourageIn a relatively uneventful autumn week, there were subtle yet disquieting signs of New York’s continuing suburbanization.
  9. Verbal DownpourIn a gray, sodden week, one that pushed New York toward a new record for October rainfall, the city echoed with strange linguistic innovations.
  10. Hopes and FearsReflections on righteousness occupied the thoughts of many New Yorkers, Jew and gentile alike, as they strove to sort out complicated feelings a […]
  11. Hello, DalaiFreddy Ferrer told churchgoers that “God is on my side,” an endorsement that, added to those of David Dinkins and Dennis Rivera, made for a powe […]
  12. Judgment DaysThe city seemed to enter a judgmental mood, meting out chastisement to some while showing surprising leniency toward others.
  13. World WearyA confluence of major events made for a slightly hectic week, as players from three ordinarily nonintersecting domains crowded the city’s stage.
  14. Municipal AidMeanwhile, keeping an empathetic eye on the Gulf Coast (and a skeptical eye on the White House), New Yorkers reacquainted themselves with the du […]
  15. SweatwearThe devastation that Hurricane Katrina wreaked upon New Orleans concentrated the minds of New Yorkers, who also weighed the possible consequence […]
  16. Forgive and ReceiveIt was a week of mercy and forgiveness, when hundreds of Hamptons houseguests were doing their best to forgive their hosts’ décor, as the precio […]
  17. Robust AugustIt was a New York week replete with events, affairs, controversies, milestones, and even a happening or two.
  18. Eye Wide OpenOur sweltering sidewalks were positively pulllulating with tourists, and for some out-of-towners, the city’s ways took a little getting used to.
  19. Intemperate ZoneAs the city sank into estival torpor, Con Ed reported that electricity consumption had hit an all-time peak. People sought relief however they could.
  20. Rumble, Rumblehe week after the London bombings, it Twas borne in upon slightly anxious New Yorkers that the MTA had spent a mere $30 million of the $600 mill […]
  21. Urban GritAny disappointment by New York over its failed Olympic bid had to be reckoned as trivial compared with what the winning city went through.
  22. Meltdown!The day after the summer solstice, there was a full moon over New York. Yet this seemingly auspicious sign was preceded by a series of small dis […]
  23. Let the Games ContinueWith a pardonable sense of exasperation, New Yorkers did their best to follow a stadium–cum–Olympic-bid drama that had more false endings than a […]
  24. Hot and HumidThe week’s unseasonable warmth made the air heavy with scents and odors that seemed to call forth primal emotions across the city.
  25. Secrets and SighsThe disclosure of Deep Throat’s identity transfixed the city, and New Yorkers grappled with other revelations of a more local character.
  26. Oh, WowIf the week had a moral, it might well have been that the best way of making a good impression is to maintain a demure silence.
  27. I Love Nueva YorkIn a week that finally saw the city’s trees fully enrobed in leafy verdure, New Yorkers heard Mayor Bloomberg declare, in an odd accent that str […]
  28. From High to Quite LowIt was a week crowded with culture, some of it elevated, some not. At the City Ballet, retiring principal Jock Soto danced his farewell in a new […]
  29. Pique TimePerhaps because of an unexpected chill in the spring air, New Yorkers showed their peevish side, vexing over grievances both real and imagined. […]
  30. Show and TellOwing perhaps to the scent of blossoms in the air, it was a week that found the city in an unusually revealing mood.
  31. Say What?In a week of memorable words—“Habemus papam,” intoned an old man in red; “One final one, and then I stop,” vowed a six-time Tour de France cha […]
  32. Urban RenewalAs abundant sunshine coaxed into bloom the Bradford-pear trees lining the city’s sidewalks, change and renewal seemed to be in the air.
  33. When in New York. . .As these three world-historical figures ascended to the Great Perhaps, life in the city carried on in its usual sublunary style.
  34. Wet SpellAlthough spring had just begun, some New Yorkers were already visibly sweating. Investment bankers had their steely nerves tested by a wave of a […]
  35. Hello and Good-bye“April is the cruelest month, / A smile will make it better. / But if you frown and act depressed, / You’ll only make it wetter.”
  36. Fame and Fortunes It was a week of mixed fortunes in New York. Fate was unkind to Bernie Ebbers, who, with his wife sobbing by his side, was jeered by former Wor […]
  37. Spring Nearly SprungAs the city entered the drab late-winter run-up to St. Patrick’s Day, life seemed to be elsewhere. A few film-industry types straggled home to T […]
  38. Passing ColorsAlthough outwardly uneventful, it was a week in which New York was tested in ways both subtle and obvious, trivial and serious.
  39. Booster ShotsMore smiles were seen on the streets of New York than at any time since before November 2. But why? The Gates might have had something to do w […]
  40. Clothes and SkinIt was a week of high frivolity, as the city gave itself over to ogling frocks (and the preternaturally beautiful models who wore them), erectin […]
  41. Filled With RegretsBy week’s end, New Yorkers were more than willing to heed the sage’s advice to those consumed by regret: Do all you can to mitigate the harm cau […]
  42. Fire and IceAlthough the iniquitous were mostly out of town New York was hit by blows of fire and ice that felt like divine retribution.
  43. When Worlds CollideEpic suffering elsewhere in the world made the misfortunes of New Yorkers seem merely farcical by contrast, but they were real enough to those w […]
  44. Ready to RumbleWhile the rest of the nation gave itself over to other preoccupations, the city insouciantly carried on with the ordinary business of life.
  45. The Big ChillWith Christmas and Hanukkah but a distant memory, the seven days of Kwanzaa finally over, the last Nutcracker performed, and the revelry of New […]
  46. Seasonal MigrationsHaving somehow endured another Christmas, New York entered the cheerful but slightly crapulous run-up to New Year’s Eve determined not to let th […]
  47. It Happened This Year: IntroductionNew York spent much of 2004 imagining that it was becoming more like the rest of the United States, only to realize late in the year that it was […]
  48. Fat CityAs the holiday season officially commenced, New York noticed with some consternation that it had already gained five pounds.
  49. Home Over the HolidaysThe city’s nerve endings were a-tingle as it entered the mad whirl of gaiety that commences with Thanksgiving and ends in the wee hours of New Y […]
  50. Bated BreathA TV celebrity was married, a great museum reopened, and a giant electronic snowflake was installed over midtown.
More Articles