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Table of Contents

November 21, 2011 Issue

Cover Story

Holiday Gift Guide 2011

Our annual guide to triumphing over gift anxiety with perfect presents for the happy-go-lucky and the hard-to-impress, with help from Secret Santa buddies Kermit, Miss Piggy, Jason Segel, Amy Adams, and the rest of The Muppets cast, and also including: the Sixteen Commandments of giving; double-ended makeup brushes, a scrimshaw penknife, and other stocking stuffers; treasures from 50 new stores; wallets for the cash-strapped and the loaded; the perfect cookbooks for gourmets, cocktail geeks, and meatball lovers; and nonmaterialistic offerings for nine high-minded types.
On the Cover: Miss Piggy from The Muppets. Photograph: John E. Barrett/© 2011 Disney.


What Would Gabby Do?

After the shooting, Gabby Giffords needed help to be herself—and her astronaut husband led the team. By Steve Fishman

A Saint With Sharp Elbows

In her race for Ted Kennedy’s old Senate seat, is Elizabeth Warren running against Scott Brown and Obama? By Jason Zengerle


Read His Lips

The roots of Grover Norquist’s ideas and style.

Bloomberg U.’s Bad Timing

Could a missing ingredient hobble the mayor’s bold science-campus plan?

Communal Cheese

Bonding over cut-rate ads.

The Neighborhood News

Our roundup of news from around the city.

Good Enough

Penn State’s anachronistic fans.

35 Minutes With Tomas Maier

Taking a tour with the perfectionist designer of his new cabinet-of-curiosities boutique.


The Force Isn’t With Him

Ray Kelly has had a remarkable run as NYPD commissioner—but now the problems are piling up.


The Restaurant Review

A ceviche bar from the “Jean-Georges of Peru.”

In Season

Nantucket Bay scallops are prized for their tender, velvety texture and refined flavor.

Homes for the 99%

There are still plenty of ways to buy on the cheap—if you qualify.



How a black- and-white silent French film, set in Hollywood in 1927, became the talk of the town.

The Art Review

Sherrie Levine’s retrospective turns a very cold eye on the gender dynamics of the art world.

Happy Days Are Here Again

Champagne and chicken potpie with Ellen Barkin—actress, mother, and indie-film producer.

The Movie Review

The guy who paved paradise and put up a parking lot? It’s George Clooney, in The Descendants.

The Classical Music Review

“Keep sweet,” sing the five wives of Nico Muhly’s opera Dark Sisters. If only I could.

Getting Over Samantha

At the Algonquin, talking Noël Coward with Kim Cattrall.

Is Godspell Worthy?

The show is, at its core, an exercise in youthful exuberance.

Venus in Fur Is All Pleasure, No Pain

Nina Arianda once again lives up to her growing and richly deserved legend.


What to Eat (and Drink) at Corkbuzz Wine Studio

As long as there is wine, there will be attempts to demystify it.


Comments: Week of November 21, 2011

Readers sound off on Ashkenazi Jews, Elisabeth Murdoch, and more.

The Approval Matrix: Week of November 21, 2011

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

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