Comments: April 7, 2008

1. What with the stock market’s wild gyrations, any argument about its direction is sure to stir up trouble. And so it was that James J. Cramer’s column The Bear Stearns Bull (“The Bottom Line,” March 31), in which he argued that the Bear Stearns bailout definitively marked the bottom of the market, drew heated replies on “Your track record is abysmal,” wrote one detractor. “You seem to be of the belief that the louder you are, the more sheep will follow you to slaughter.” Another had a subtler critique: “Being a technical trader I saw and was praying for a bottom. Now with you publishing Cramer’s point of view, we sadly know for sure it was not a bottom.” Lest it seem that Cramer was all alone out there in bull town, we also heard from this reader: “Solid article. I’m not a fundamental guy, but I like that everyone is panicking. Remember, it’s rarely, rarely, rarely paid to bet on disaster.” Meanwhile, the cover story by Duff McDonald on JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon (“The Heist”) failed, in the estimation of one reader, to give the full story behind Dimon’s falling out with his former mentor Sandy Weill, who “hired his own daughter into the organization and began to promote her very quickly through the corporate ranks. Dimon was the only [one] who openly opposed this level of nepotism. This began the rift between the two friends.”

2. Like the stock market, the art market is also rife with hotly contested opinions, some of which were aired in response to James Panero’s story about the embattled art dealer Larry Salander (An Old Master in Ruins,” March 31). The views on Salander himself were, shall we say, divided between this minority view—“Finally someone got it right. This is a man with the heart and soul of an artist. The only part of this that is missing is his love of family, humanity, and excessive generosity to those in need”—and a slew of personal attacks, including one that called him a “thug” and another that deemed him “from the ‘do as I say not as I do’ school of Spitzer.”

3. Sam Anderson’s review of Richard Price’s novel Lush Life (Books: Stalking the Gramno,” March 10–17) received high praise on—“If I could make out with this review, I would,” one admirer remarked—and even provoked the attention of Price himself: “Thanks for the funny flattering take-off,” he wrote. “But I don’t hate hipsters. I am a hipster. My grandfather was a hipster. My kids are hipsters, my kids’ kids [when they have them] will be hipsters.”

4. And now, feel free to turn the page while we toot our own horn: New York Magazine received nine nominations for National Magazine Awards, including General Excellence in our circulation class, Feature Writing (Everybody Sucks: Gawker and the Rage of the Creative Underclass,” by Vanessa Grigoriadis, October 22, 2007), Columns and Commentary (Kurt Andersen), Criticism (film critic David Edelstein), and Leisure Interests (Cartography: The Complete Road Map to New York City Street Food,” by Robin Raisfeld, Robert Patronite, Michael Idov, and Emma Rosenblum). “Cartography” was also nominated for a best-food-writing award from the James Beard Foundation, as was Manny Howard’s My Empire of Dirt (September 17, 2007), about his efforts to grow all his own food for a month in Brooklyn. The Grub Street blog was nominated both for a National Magazine Award and for a James Beard Award. Finally, design director Chris Dixon and photo director Jody Quon, whose work was also nominated for National Magazine Awards, were named Design Team of the Year by Adweek, which put the magazine on its Hot List. If you’re still reading, you must work here. Get back to your job!

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Comments: April 7, 2008