UK Libraries Were Already Endangered. Then Came COVID

Last year, official figures revealed that almost 800 libraries had closed since the implementation of austerity in 2010. “We do think these current announcements could be the ‘canary in the coalmine’ for a fresh wave of austerity cuts to local services,” warned Nick Poole, chief executive of the librarians’ association Cilip… [Read More...]

How Elegant Vienna Became An Explosion Of Modernism

A much-romanticised era for the city, these years are commonly celebrated as a period of explosive artistic, literary, intellectual and especially musical modernisation in which resolutely iconoclastic geniuses such as Schoenberg, Sigmund Freud, Gustav Klimt and Alfred Schnitzler broke with the past in order to lay the groundwork for… [Read More...]

Dance Critic Sally Banes, 70

Banes was the first dance critic to write about the exciting new urban form known as break dancing. Her article “To the Beat Y’All: Breaking is Hard to Do,” in the Village Voice in April 1981, introduced break dancing to readers before there was even a name for hip-hop… [Read More...]

The Objectionable Flannery O’Connor

O’Connor is now as canonical as Faulkner and Welty. More than a great writer, she’s a cultural figure: a funny lady in a straw hat, puttering among peacocks, on crutches she likened to “flying buttresses.” The arc is not complete, however. Those letters and postcards she sent home from… [Read More...]

NY Philharmonic Cancels Fall Season

The decision not to resume performances before Jan. 6, 2021, at the earliest came the week after the Metropolitan Opera said it would not reopen before the end of December. Like the Philharmonic, the Met has been closed since March, and has furloughed its orchestra, chorus and stagehands and some administrative staff… [Read More...]

How Might We Rethink Public Spaces After COVID?

In recent years, designers and city-builders have largely come to reject defensive strategies and the exclusionary policies from which they stemmed. Great public spaces are now built with flexibility and approachability in mind, offering ample amenities and public resources. Yet, even in the best of times, the creation and… [Read More...]

No Tonys This Year? How About The Charlies?

Instead of choosing the best from an incomplete list, I decided to play a different game. Looking back at the last 10 years of Tony winners, I came up with my own nominations and winners for the Charlie Awards, representing the crème de la crème of Broadway from 2010 through 2019. – Los… [Read More...]

Leading Thinkers Envision The Post-Pandemic World

“They describe a society that is clear-eyed about the disparities that have made this pandemic so much worse for some communities than for others. They call on us to sustain each other through mutual aid, understanding that our lives are all woven together in ways that may not… [Read More...]