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In the News 05.30.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets


In the News 05.30.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
In the News 05.30.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
In the News 05.30.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

How Anna Delvey Tricked New York

It started with money, as it so often does in New York. A crisp $100 bill slipped across the smooth surface of the mid-century-inspired concierge desk at 11 Howard, the sleek new boutique hotel in Soho. Looking up, Neffatari Davis, the 25-year-old concierge, who goes by “Neff,” was surprised to see the cash had come from a young woman who seemed to be around her age. She had a heart-shaped face and pouty lips surrounded by a wild tangle of red hair, her eyes framed by incongruously chunky black glasses that Neff, an aspiring cinematographer with an eye for detail, identified as Céline. She was looking, she said in an accent that sounded European, for “the best food in Soho.”

“What’s your name?” Neff asked, after the girl waved off her suggestions of Carbone and the Mercer Kitchen and settled on the Butcher’s Daughter.

“Anna Delvey,” said the young woman. She’d be staying at the hotel for a month, she went on, which Neff also found surprising: Usually it was only celebrities who came for such long stretches. But Neff checked the system, and there it was. Delvey was booked into a Howard Deluxe, one of the hotel’s midrange options, about $400 a night, with ceramic sculptures on the walls and oversize windows looking onto the bustling streets of Soho. It was February 18, 2017.

Read the rest of this article at: The Cut

The Last Days of Bruce Lee

The morning of July 20, 1973, Bruce typed a letter to his American attorney, Adrian Marshall, about several big deals on the table including the multi-picture offer from Warner Bros. and a proposal from Hanna-Barbera to create an animated series based on his life. There were also offers for books, clothing, and endorsements. Bruce Lee was building an empire.

After finishing his letter and posting it, Bruce left his mansion in Kowloon Tong and drove to Golden Harvest’s studios. He met with George Lazenby, the Australian James Bond, to further discuss his participation in Game of Death. As the only native English speaker at the studio, Andre Morgan joined them. Since Bruce had already shot much of the ending of the film, the goal was to come up with ways to work Lazenby into the story. “We sat around shooting the shit,” Morgan recalls.

After the meeting, Bruce swung by Raymond Chow’s office to say that he wanted Lazenby in Game of Death. Chow suggested they all go out to dinner to formalize the deal. Bruce returned to Morgan’s office. He pulled out his bag of hash and offered some to Andre. They both had a nibble. Bruce and Andre were supposed to take George out to lunch, but Bruce had other plans and canceled. He wanted to visit Betty Ting Pei’s apartment for a “nooner.” The studio’s driver took Lazenby back to his hotel. Bruce promised to be back at the studio in the afternoon to settle how much money they were going to offer Lazenby.

Bruce jumped into his Mercedes and drove away. He arrived at Betty Ting Pei’s second-floor apartment at 67 Beacon Hill Road around 1 p.m. It was a one-bedroom with parquet flooring, wooden walls, and thick blue curtains. They spent the next several hours alone together. “I was his girlfriend,” Betty says. There was some sex and some hash, but no alcohol or harder drugs. Mostly Bruce was hyped about his meeting with George Lazenby and what it meant for his movie. He offered Betty the role of the love interest. Betty claims she resisted the idea, because she didn’t feel comfortable playing his girlfriend on-screen while being his mistress in real life. “I never wanted to make the movie,” she says. “I would feel kind of embarrassed to face someone I love.”

Read the rest of this article at: The Ringer

Tuscany Tote in Midnight

Shop the Tuscany Tote in Midnight
at Belgrave Crescent &

Your Next Glass Of Wine Might Be A Fake—And You’ll Love It

Ari Walker had been working in the wine business for a few months when the dreams started. He didn’t know much about wine; he’d left college and taken a job at a distributor because his wife was pregnant and they needed money. But the more he tasted and read, the more entranced he became. Soon she was shaking him in his sleep, telling him he was mumbling about food pairings. “You mentioned Nebbiolo,” she’d say, referencing an Italian grape variety. “And blood sausage.”

In 2001, after a few more jobs in the industry, Walker started an import and distribution company with a partner: Kevin Hicks, an entrepreneur who’d made a fortune with an online rating system for doctors and hospitals. By the time we met, at a wine event in Boulder a few years later, he had amassed an impressive portfolio and was living an enviable lifestyle. But his business was going broke.

Walker was spending much of his time tracking down unusual wines from viticultural regions around Italy. They had singular flavors and compelling stories. But the vast majority of American wine drinkers, he’d come to understand, have little interest in those stories. They want wine that tastes good and doesn’t cost much. So Walker and Hicks created a cheap brand that could be sold at volume to subsidize the imports, but that didn’t work, either. There were too many in the market already, all trying to solve the same problem with a mediocre product. “The question we tried to answer was, how do we make these generic wines better?” Walker says. “We looked at all sorts of stuff but had a hard time moving the needle.”

Read the rest of this article at: Wired


Woody Harrelson, Rogue Number One

Woody Harrelson is 56 now, turning in mature, nuanced performances in lauded films including “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” and “LBJ,” the kinds of roles one might associate with Tommy Lee Jones or the late Sam Shepard. And, of course, he stopped smoking pot.

That was the news last year, anyway, when Mr. Harrelson, a cannabis evangelist on the level of Snoop Dogg, told reporters that he had broken off a long-term marriage with his intoxicant of choice. “It was keeping me from being emotionally available,” he told New York magazine.
So it was a somber new Woody I expected when I dropped in on his Maui home last month to discuss his role in “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” Ron Howard’s splashy new film, which opened on Friday.
That was not the Woody I got.

It was an overcast Thursday morning, and I was seated at the kitchen table of one of Mr. Harrelson’s two houses on Maui. The glassy dwelling is perched several thousand feet up the slopes of the Haleakala volcano, with sweeping views of Maui’s northeast coastline in the distance.

The plan was to hike the densely wooded property. As I waited for Mr. Harrelson to descend from upstairs, his wife, Laura Louie, wearing a blue fleece vest, was in the kitchen preparing a late-morning snack of fresh fruit smeared with spirulina and almond butter. Ten minutes later, the sound of footsteps.

“Dude!” Mr. Harrelson said, in that familiar bad-boy drawl. He was wearing white beach pants, his yoga-toned torso draped in a well-worn “Free Willie” T-shirt with an old mug shot of Willie Nelson.

It was not just his attire that made him look like a 1990s slacker. He moves with the lackadaisical ease of a man half his age. He ambles more than he strides, loose limbed and carefree, like a restless teenager looking for mischief.

As he slumped into a wooden chair and planted his elbows on the table, we traded war stories from the afternoon before, when Mr. Harrelson lured me into a pickup soccer game. It was a serious game. I lasted 20 minutes and mangled my knee in the process. He went the distance.

Read the rest of this article at: The New York Times

A Scrappy Makeover For A Tweedy Literary Fixture


LONDON — When Stig Abell was named the editor of the venerable Times Literary Supplement, or TLS, two years ago, the baffled reaction among book people was nearly audible. Stig who?

That his previous employer had been The Sun, the right-of-center London tabloid that until 2015 printed a jumbo-size photograph of a topless young woman each day on its “Page 3,” only added to the bemusement.

“It was definitely the talk of the town for a while,” said Mitzi Angel, the publisher of London’s Faber & Faber. (In September, she will become the publisher of the American publishing house Farrar, Straus & Giroux.) “The idea that someone would go from a Red Top, as we call them, directly to the TLS seemed sort of nuts.”

A fixture in England and on the Western world’s literary landscape, the TLS is a weekly book review journal with a reputation for being a bit dowdy — less progressive than The London Review of Books, a biweekly, and less agile than the books section of The Guardian, to name two of its competitors.

Yet the TLS, founded in 1902, occupies a stalwart position in the book world. It puts serious reviewers on scholarly books other publications rarely touch. It has published important criticism by everyone from Virginia Woolf and T.S. Eliot to Mary Beard and Clive James, as well as major poetry from figures like Philip Larkin and Seamus Heaney.

Martin Amis was a TLS staffer when young. Many other well-known figures have passed through its ranks. Its top editors have tended to be tweedy, clubbable figures who slip between academia and the upper reaches of journalism.

It is hard to imagine Abell, 38, in tweeds. On a recent overcast morning, he greeted a visitor to the TLS offices — they are in The News Building, the gleaming London headquarters of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire — wearing what is essentially his uniform: a gray T-shirt, jeans, running sneakers and a scruffily unshaven mien.

He had an endearing bit of bed-head (Abell arrives at the office very early, to work on his own writing before his staff arrives), but his brown eyes were bright.

He was brought to the TLS to usher it into a new era. “We want to keep our core audience,” he said. “But there are many others out there — they do all sorts of things professionally — who remember a time, perhaps in college, when they fed their minds and stretched themselves. They want that feeling again. We want those readers, too.”

To find them, Abell persuaded News UK, the British subsidiary of News Corp., to grant him eight extra pages per issue. He has kept his review section intact while adding essays, political commentary and other features.

Some of those features have felt right in the TLS’s wheelhouse — for example, a 1918 Edith Wharton lecture about World War I, delivered in France, that the paper had translated and published in English for the first time.

Read the rest of this article at: The New York Times

P.S. previous articles & more by P.F.M.

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