CULTURE

Finding a Home in Music

“Every week, New Yorkers transform their homes into pop-up concert halls. Accomplished performers gather for small, but avid audiences whose pay-for-play attendance supports any number of worthy not-for-profit causes. This is music at its local and most intimate best—beautiful sound with a powerful purpose.”

Read More »

Wonderful Obsessions

What makes a person amass so many unusual objects and how does a real collection begin? It may start as a whim or a passion that, over time, begins to build. Orhan Pamuk, author of The Museum of Innocence, says, “Getting attached to objects is a common thing. We get attached to a movie ticket, or a picture of a beloved, or a little doll..because we project symbolic value to them, while they trigger some of our memories. In our attachments we almost behave like dogs who keep their bones in a corner.”

Read More »

Cairene Dust

There is much sweeping of the outdoor dust in Cairo, leaving patterns from the long-stranded brooms on the city’s narrow streets and sidewalks. These sporadic attempts at neatness stand side by side with embedded rubbish and odd bits of garbage ground year after year into the broken pavement. Outside the city, at the step pyramid at Saqqara, I once watched a young man pointlessly sweeping the sand before the tomb of the vizier Mereruka with this same kind of long broom, diligently getting rid of the cigarette butts.

Read More »

Living Color vs. Minimalism

A report in The Lancet shows that during a quarantine, boredom and isolation bring on psychological distress, especially among teens and young adults. Yet you can turn that around by teaching them what everyone knew a generation or two before the internet: Solitude is the best breeding ground for creativity, and boredom is the mother of invention. Encourage your offspring to dance, play their favorite music, draw, or listen to audio books—or even repair something around the house.

Read More »

At Home with the Coronavirus

A report in The Lancet shows that during a quarantine, boredom and isolation bring on psychological distress, especially among teens and young adults. Yet you can turn that around by teaching them what everyone knew a generation or two before the internet: Solitude is the best breeding ground for creativity, and boredom is the mother of invention. Encourage your offspring to dance, play their favorite music, draw, or listen to audio books—or even repair something around the house.

Read More »

Literary Homes in Paris

Feminist writer Anna de Noialles set the trend for the ultra-quiet writer’s den. Marcel Proust, followed suit, writing his novels in a sound-proof room.

Some writers do their best work when they withdraw from society, working in a kind of fevered isolation.

Read More »

This is Your Brain in Winter

December is the time of year for partying and decorating, for gift-giving and for holiday travel. Yet it’s also a time of stress and over-indulgence, shopping madness, traffic jams and holiday blues. How do we manage to enjoy the season and keep our spirits bright? The best winter prescription is to simply hunker down at home.

Read More »

Found in Translation

How does an artist adapt to a new country? Sara Evans explores Gustave Baumann’s move to New Mexico and his woodcuts from the 1930s in a lavish new book from Rizzoli.

Read More »