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Table of Contents

November 23, 2009 Issue

Cover Story

The Gift List ’09

Our annual anxiety-relieving guide to matching perfect gift with delighted giftee, including 100 gifts under $100 that outperform their price tag; three ways to donate (time, stuff, or money); cakes that end the feast unforgettably; a shoppers’ exit poll; and more.
On the Cover: Photograph by Andrew Eccles for New York Magazine. Set dresser: Angela Kyriacou. Puppet rigger and groomer: Andy Gent. Animator: Brad Schiff.


I Dream of Diane

What do you do with the grief and guilt when your wife drives the wrong way on the Taconic State Parkway with a van full of kids and a body full of alcohol, and ends up in a crash that kills eight? You put her in a shrine.

Blood Brothers

Robert Sanchez and Felix Aponte had a lot in common, including Sing Sing and bad luck. So when Robert needed a kidney, it seemed like a chance to save both their lives. Until bad luck struck again.

The Obama Diaspora

When Barack Obama’s half-brother George releases his autobiography early next year, he may transition from Kenyan bad boy to best-selling author. How are the fellow members of the far-flung First Family adjusting to their sudden associative celebrity?


Three’s Company

A history of the threesome on TV, in movies, and in life.

Hedgies Unhinged

Hedge funders, the Ayn Randian rock stars of the financial boom, fall to Earth. Hard.

Art Moralists

Give the New Museum a break.

The Neighborhood News

Our roundup of news from around the city.

60 Minutes With Yoko Ono and Sean Lennon

At the kitchen table in the Dakota with the world’s most famous mother-son music collaborators.

Stranded With Olivia Wilde

The ridiculously sexy 25-year-old actress is, believe it or not, a reader.

Scrappy Scrambler

Eight-year-old Ashima Shiraishi loves to rock climb.


There Is Crying in Basketball

Yes, it’s shaping up to be a tragic season at Madison Square Garden. But true Knicks fans will endure.


The Best Bet

Gift ideas for everyone on your list.

The Restaurant Review

Oceana morphs from a cozy townhouse restaurant into a cavernous expense-account joint.

In Season

Crabapple mostarda from i Trulli chef Patti Jackson.


The Spotted Pig’s Annie Myers might be the city’s only official restaurant forager.


The Book Review

Nabokov never wanted us to read his unfinished last novel. Unless, thrillingly, he did.

The Kindness of Strangers

Liv Ullmann and Cate Blanchett reinvent Blanche Dubois.

The Movie Review

You thought you were depressed—and then you saw The Road.

Top Bunny: Ian McCulloch

The Echo & the Bunnymen front man is famous for his eviscerating wit.

Twilight, Take Me Away!

Teenage vampires and the mothers who love them.

The Art Review

And Performa 09 lifts the curtain on its creative delirium.

The Classical Music Review

City Opera comes home, looking reassuringly like its old self.

The Music Review

The astonishingly diverse jazz legend gets the boxed set he deserves.


Bake It or Fake It

Blue Smoke offers oven-ready Thanksgiving pies.


Comments: Week of November 23, 2009

Readers sound off on Andrew Ross Sorkin, Nicolas Cage, and more.

The Approval Matrix: Week of November 23, 2009

Our deliberately oversimplified guide to who falls where on our taste hierarchies.

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