The New York Times Book Review – March 12, 2023


The New York Times Book Review – March 12, 2023:

Big Money, Big Houses and Big Problems in Brooklyn Heights

This is an illustration — done in white, yellow and shades of blue — of a gaggle of fancily dressed people in a well appointed living room. Their faces aren't visible but their jewelry and hair accessories are.

In Jenny Jackson’s debut novel, “Pineapple Street,” readers get a tour of a world they might learn not to envy by the end of the book.

22 Works of Fiction to Read This Spring

Watch for reality-bending explorations of time and space, a Western horror novel from Victor LaValle and new fiction from Han Kang. Plus: Tom Hanks (yes, that Tom Hanks) releases his debut novel.

The Marquis de Sade’s Filthy, Pricey 40-Foot Scroll of Depravity

A new book by Joel Warner traces the fate of the parchment on which the infamous author wrote “120 Days of Sodom,” a trail involving scholars, aristocrats and thieves — and lots of money.

Medieval Village Walks: Casperia In Lazio, Italy (4K)

Casperia is a fortified medieval village in the Sabine Hills, province of Rieti. That’s north Lazio and just a short hop to the regional border with Umbria.

Built on top of a rocky hill and surrounded by mountains and deep valleys, the village commands a wonderful view of the Appenines.

Africa Views: Tassili n’Ajjer National Park In Algeria

Six days deep into the heart of the Sahara (in October-November 2022), into one of the most picturesque parts of the desert: Tassili n’Ajjer National Park of Algeria, near the borders with Libya and Niger.

Video timeline: Day 1 0:00 Day 2 1:22 Day 3 9:06 Day 4 15:12 Day 5 26:21 Day 6 34:52

Located in a strange lunar landscape of great geological interest, this site has one of the most important groupings of prehistoric cave art in the world. More than 15,000 drawings and engravings record the climatic changes, the animal migrations and the evolution of human life on the edge of the Sahara from 6000 BC to the first centuries of the present era. The geological formations are of outstanding scenic interest, with eroded sandstones forming ‘forests of rock’.

Filmed and edited by:

Amazing Places on Our Planet

New Travel Trailers: 2024 Lightship L1 All-Electric

March 9, 2023: The Lightship L1 was tightly engineered for zero emissions, for comfort, and built to last. We started with aero principles to create a near-zero range loss for EVs and lower costs at the gas pump. From the battery and solar roof down to appliances, every decision was about ease of use.

And of course, relaxing just outside nature’s door. Kick back with plenty of room to gather and stow it all away in smart storage solutions. Add the bonus of powering your home or charging your EV, and this is unlike any travel trailer you’ve ever had.

Architecture Tour: Family Heritage House In Sydney

The Local Project (March 10, 2023) – Perched over Sydney harbour, the architects and designers of Family Heritage, Luigi Rosselli Architects and Alwill Interiors, inject a renewed modern character into the residence.

Video timeline: 00:00 – Introduction to the Elegant Family Home 00:40 – The Award-Winning Architects 01:00 – Behind the Name ‘Family Heritage’ 01:30 – The Clients Brief 02:03 – A Walkthrough of the Family Home 04:59 – The Award-Winning Interior Designers 05:17 – Fresh and Modern Interiors 05:50 – The Materials Used Throughout 06:20 – Favourite Aspects 07:00 – Difficult Aspects 08:07 – Working with Heritage Listed Homes

Originally built at the turn of the century, the renovated home rejects the idea of historical structures being restricted, dark or difficult for modern families. Defeating these misconceptions, the architects and designers have used soft curves, calming colours and material palettes, and welcome a wealth of natural light inside. From the front veranda, guests enter into the front atrium, which has been turned from a dark entrance into light-filled foyer.

Featuring a newly opened staircase, the interior architecture of the atrium tells a story of gentle curves to soften the arrival, before passing into the arched hallway. As the hallway leads to the family room and study, the choice has been made to keep it dark with hues of blue, navy and greys for concentration, study, reading and reflection. Leading from this is the arrival to the main living space, a light-drenched space with wide doors that open to the garden to expand the living space outdoors for entertainment and family use.

Additionally, on the opposite end of the main living space is the fireplace, which has been designed uncentered to allow for the addition of artwork. Moving upwards, the curved staircase leads to a viewing room in which the skyline of Sydney can be viewed. The first-floor landing then also holds the original doors of the home, which the architects and designers have reused for the linen cupboards. The house tour next leads to the private living spaces, including the children’s rooms, guest room and main bedroom.

The main bedroom offers a vastness that is similar to that of a hotel room, with a precise arrangement and thoughtful detailing. Additionally, the room is fitted with a large window looking over the backyard and dancing shutters that open and shut in synchrony. Showing the character of each child, the architects and designers have allowed the children’s bedrooms to share the front veranda to provide them with additional connections to the front gardens. Evident through their long-standing work relationship, the collaboration between the architects and designers makes it seem as if the home has been designed by one set of hands.

Using a calm, white base, the home builds character with tobacco, pink and blue tones through each living space. Accommodating for a busy family, the architects and designers carefully asses the function of spaces and imbue rooms with durable materials to handle daily wear and tear. Evoking different emotions throughout the home, the interior material choices have purposely been selected by the architects and designers to showcase the home’s unique character and charm.

Culture: New York Times Magazine – March 12, 2023


The New York Times Magazine – March 12, 2023:

The Daring Ruse That Exposed China’s Campaign to Steal American Secrets

How the downfall of one intelligence agent revealed the astonishing depth of Chinese industrial espionage.

Inside the ‘Blood Sport’ of Oscars Campaigns

Oscar campaigns are often run by professional strategists, essentially a specialized breed of publicist. Their job begins as early as a year before the awards, sometimes before a film is even shot. They advise on which festival a film should premiere at, shape a campaign platform and hope that the film gains enough momentum to propel it into awards season. 

The Quest to Restore Notre Dame’s Glorious Sound

Much of the cathedral’s restoration, projected to be completed in 2024, will address these large holes. They affect not just the structure of the building, but also something that cannot be seen: the acoustics. “Notre Dame has lost about 20 percent of its acoustics,” says Mylène Pardoen, who is the co-director of the acoustics team working on Notre Dame — under the aegis of the French Ministry of Culture and the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (C.N.R.S.), a research organization from whose ranks specialists have been drawn for the restoration. The holes caused a measurable decline in the glorious resonances that gave the building its unique sound.

1952 Mid-Century Modern: Tour Of ‘Snyder House’ In Shelter Island, New York

Sotheby’s International Realty (March 10, 2023) – ‘The Snyder House’ is something of a legend in the long history of Shelter Island. Built in 1952 and designed by architect Bertrand Goldberg for John Snyder, the CEO of the Pressed Steel Car Company, 2 Charlie’s Lane was recognized as a mid-century marvel, both in design and waterfront location, offering magnificent panoramic water views of West Neck Harbor and Long Island Sound (Source: Official Bertrand Goldberg website).

Considered a ‘must see,’ onlookers would come from the Island and beyond, many transported by amphibious airplanes from New York City to experience the so-called ‘demonstration house.’ In 2002, the current owners undertook rebuilding the home on its original sprawling footprint, maintaining the elements of its mid-century modernist design while sparing no expense to bring this 20th-century masterpiece up to 21st-century living standards of ultimate comfort and high-end quality.

Reviews: ‘The Week In Art’

March 10, 2023: Is the Old Masters market struggling? As Tefaf opens its fair in Maastricht, we look at this major moment in the market calendar and what it tells us about the strength or otherwise of the market for historic art.

The Art Newspaper’s Acting Art Market editor, Anny Shaw, joins us from the fair. The Institut du Monde Arabe, or Arab World Institute, in Paris has just received a major gift of more than 1,600 modern and contemporary works from the French-Lebanese dealer and collector Claude Lemand and his wife, France—a collection that will transform the displays in the institute’s museum. We talk to the director of the museum,

Nathalie Bondil, about her future plans and the €6m project to transform the institute. And this episode’s Work of the Week is a self-portrait in red chalk by the Venetian Rococo artist Rosalba Carriera. Dagmar Kornbacher, the director of the Kupferstichkabinett in Berlin, tells me about the drawing, which is a key work in Muse or Maestra?, the museum’s new exhibition of work by historic Italian women artists.Tefaf Maastricht, until 19 March.Muse or Maestra?: Women in the Italian Art World, 1400-1800, Kupferstichkabinett, Berlin, until 4 June. 

News: UK-France Summit In Paris, Vatican To Return Parthenon Sculptures

March 10, 2023: Can Rishi Sunak and Emmanuel Macron mend Anglo-French relations at their summit in Paris? Plus: the Vatican returns three Parthenon sculpture fragments, the latest aviation news and the final episode of our series lifting the lid on the world of espionage.

Front Page: The New York Times – March 10, 2023


Biden’s $6.8 Trillion Budget Proposes New Social Programs and Higher Taxes

The president requested trillions in new spending that has no chance of passing a Republican House, even as he sought to reduce deficits by raising taxes on businesses and the rich.

Biden Moves to Recapture the Centrist Identity That Has Long Defined Him

In his latest budget proposal, President Biden is paying new attention to the nation’s fiscal health.

After two years championing progressive priorities, the president is speaking more to the concerns of the political middle as he prepares to announce a campaign for a second term.

Prosecutors Signal Criminal Charges for Trump Are Likely

The former president was told that he could appear before a Manhattan grand jury next week if he wishes to testify, a strong indication that an indictment could soon follow.

Weeks After Ohio Train Derailment, Health Concerns Mount

In a tight-knit town already skeptical of the government, the lack of concrete information, and the open-ended nature of the crisis, undergird anxiety.