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Table of Contents

December 16, 2013 Issue

Cover Story

The Year in Culture 2013

A look back at the year that was—with a focus on four people who found great success in it. After Seinfeld, Julia Louis-Dreyfus could have retired, but then we wouldn’t have had her transformational turn as the flummoxed, scheming, darkly comic vice-president in Veep. By Jonathan Van Meter. 12 Years a Slave has been hailed as one of the most powerful films to come out in a long time, a searingly American movie by British director Steve McQueen, who says it’s about far more than slavery. By Dan P. Lee. Rachel Kushner is a motorcycle-savvy, political-radical-sympathizing child of academic hippies who feels more at home among artists in ski cabins than at literary-awards parties (even when she is an honoree). By Boris Kachka. In the early aughts, there was hardly a radio single that didn’t bear some trademark of producer Timbaland’s sound. Now, after a long time in the wilderness, he’s back at the mixing desk. By Jessica Pressler
Plus: Our critics select the best in movies, pop, books, art, theater, TV, and classical music.
On the Cover: Collage by Gluekit. Christopher Anderson/Magnum Photos/New York Magazine (Timbaland, Louis-Dreyfus); Graeme Mitchell for New York Magazine (Kushner); Patrick McMullan (Johansson); Alo Ceballos/FilmMagic/Getty Images (West); Bella Lieberberg (Haim); Frank Ockenfels 3/Courtesy of AMC (Breaking Bad); Eric McCandless/Courtesy of ABC (Scandal); Courtesy of Netflix (Orange Is the New Black); Alex John Beck (Vampire Weekend); Courtesy of Warner Bros. (Her); Simon Annand (Rylance); Michael J. Lutch (Quinto); Daniel Daza/Courtesy of Roadside Attractions (Redford); Jaap Buitendijk (E); Merie W. Wallace/Courtesy of Paramount Pictures (Dern); Courtesy of Studio Ghibli (The Wind Rises); Richard Termine (The Marriage of Figaro); Francois Duhamel/Courtesy of Sony Pictures (American Hustle); Craig Blankenhorn/Courtesy of FX (Russell); Gomillion & Leupold/Courtesy of RCA Records (Fantasia).


Amazon's Charmware Offensive

Drone deliveries are more than a good publicity stunt.

Been Caught Stealing

In the five minutes it takes to read this, 2,500 items worth $125,000 will disappear from U.S. retailers’ shelves.

52 Minutes With Ray Kelly

Taking in the vantage from central command with New York’s longest-serving police commissioner.

The Neighborhood News

Our roundup of news from around the city.

Liquid Cow and Black Mayo

For 220 years, man filled Newtown Creek with so much industrial ick that the EPA declared it a Superfund site in 2010. Here’s what crews can expect to find in those samples.


Trade Carmelo

Fewer than twenty games have been played, and the Knicks’ season is already lost. Now the job is making sure they don’t lose the whole decade.


Best Bets

A metallic sack, seven holiday pop-ups, and more new stuff in stores.

The Look Book

“I call it ‘#beardface.’ I moved here a few months ago from L.A., and it’s kind of become an extra scarf.”

The Restaurant Review

Chef John Daley's omakase joint, Sushi Ko, isn't short on style, substance, or uni.

In Season

Fettunta is the traditional way for Tuscan olive growers to show off the quality of their new-harvest olive oil.

Blazing a Lumpia Trail

Filipino cuisine finds a foothold in New York.

Easy Streets

Knock two off your list at once—a mom and a kid, a dad and a secret Santa, a boss and a teen—along these gift-glutted main drags.

For the Person Throwing the Dang Holiday Party

Eliminate the guesswork with these face-saving gifts—picked by veteran entertainers—for every type of host or hostess.


The fisherman's sweater is having a comeback.


To Do: December 11–18, 2013

25 things to see, hear, watch, and read.

Comments: Week of December 16, 2013

Readers sound off on A-Rod, Joe Jonas, and more.

The Approval Matrix: Week of December 16, 2013

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

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