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News 10.30.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

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News 10.30.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
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News 10.30.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
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News 10.30.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
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The revolving doors still revolve, the greeters still greet, but the mood at Barneys is glum. The department store — where Andy Warhol and Carrie Bradshaw both shopped — is in bankruptcy; its future is uncertain. It has been actively seeking buyers, and on Thursday evening, after a week of speculation about competing bids, a potential winner emerged: Authentic Brands Group, a licensing company that controls Juicy Couture and Nautica, among others, which announced it would acquire the intellectual property of Barneys New York, pending the approval of a U.S. bankruptcy court, and license it to Saks Fifth Avenue, once Barneys’ competitor. But this may or may not be the final word. Would-be bidders, including a group of investors led by the trade-show owner Sam Ben-Avraham, have until the court hearing on October 31 to try again.

How did we get here? Once upon a time, Barneys was shorthand for a kind of sophistication that didn’t take itself too seriously, a place where New Yorkers would have gone for decades to seek solace or celebration in spending, to buy Alaïa or Dries (though if you needed more than a single name for either, you were probably in the wrong place). At the moment, it is a cautionary tale, a New York treasure mismanaged and overextended, flattened and floated on hedge-fund dollars. Days before bids were to be placed to determine the company’s ownership, the Madison Avenue location was not empty, but the shoppers milling, the tourists and the artists and the idle rich — look, there’s the Met-bound countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo browsing sunglasses with his mother! — milled under a cloud. “What will happen?” some were overheard to say. And, a little more shrewdly, “If Barneys is going under, is anything on sale?”

Read the rest of this article at: The Cut

News 10.30.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

News 10.30.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

Before Robert Boback got into the field of cybersecurity, he was a practicing chiropractor in the town of Sewickley, Pennsylvania, twelve miles northwest of Pittsburgh. He was also selling used cars on eBay and flipping houses purchased at police auctions. The decision to branch out into computers came in 2003, after he watched a “60 Minutes” report by Lesley Stahl about pirated movies. For years, while digital piracy was devastating the music industry, Hollywood had largely been spared; limitations on bandwidth curtailed the online trade in movies. But this was changing, Stahl noted: “The people running America’s movie studios know that if they don’t do something, fast, they could be in the same boat as the record companies.”

Boback was thirty-two years old, with a Norman Rockwell haircut and a quick, smooth, entrepreneurial manner. Growing up amid the collapsing steel industry, he had dreamed of making it big, hanging posters of high-priced cars—a Lamborghini, a Porsche—on his bedroom wall and telling himself that they would one day be his. After high school, he trained to be a commercial pilot, imagining a secure, even glamorous, life style—but then the airline industry began laying off pilots, and he switched to chiropractic, inspired by a well-off practitioner his family knew.

Watching “60 Minutes,” Boback saw a remarkable new business angle. Here was a multibillion-dollar industry with a near-existential problem and no clear solution. He did not know it then, but, as he turned the opportunity over in his mind, he was setting in motion a sequence of events that would earn him millions of dollars, friendships with business élites, prime-time media attention, and respect in Congress. It would also place him at the center of one of the strangest stories in the brief history of cybersecurity; he would be mired in lawsuits, countersuits, and counter-countersuits, which would gather into a vortex of litigation so ominous that one friend compared it to the Bermuda Triangle. He would be accused of fraud, of extortion, and of manipulating the federal government into harming companies that did not do business with him. Congress would investigate him. So would the F.B.I.

Read the rest of this article at: The New Yorker

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Edward J. Logue (1921-2000) was a city administrator who led major urban-renewal projects on the East Coast from the 1950s into the 1980s, combining Robert Moses-like ambition with a deep commitment to progressive New Deal values. He oversaw the postwar redevelopment of New Haven’s ailing downtown and then moved on to Boston, where he built Government Center in what had been Scollay Square, and conceived the restoration of Fanueil Hall-Quincy Market.

From 1968 to 1975, Logue led the New York State Urban Development Corporation, which was endowed with strong powers such as the ability to override local zoning. The development of New York City’s Roosevelt Island was the most significant project of Logue’s UDC. But it also tried, and failed, to integrate the suburbs with affordable housing.

Read the rest of this article at: City Lab

News 10.30.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

News 10.30.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

Pete Wells, the restaurant critic of the Times, who writes a review every week—and who occasionally writes one that creates a national hubbub about class, money, and soup—was waiting for a table not long ago at Momofuku Nishi, a modish new restaurant in Chelsea. Wells is fifty-three and soft-spoken. His balance of Apollonian and Dionysian traits is suggested by a taste for drawing delicate sketches of tiki cocktails. Since starting the job, in 2012, he has eaten out five times a week. His primary disguise strategy is “to be the least interesting person in the room,” he had told me, adding, “Which I was, for many years. It’s not a stretch.” But he does vary his appearance. At times, he’ll be unshaven, in frayed jeans; in Chelsea, he looked like a European poet—a gray wool suit over a zip-up sweater, a flat cap pulled low, nonprescription glasses. He was carrying a memoir, written by a friend, titled “Bullies.”

Wells had encouraged me to arrive just ahead of him, and to ask for the reservation for two, at nine-forty-five, under the randomly chosen name of Michael Patcher. There was half a chance that I’d be allowed to sit before he showed up. If so, then at least one aspect of the evening would have what Wells calls a “civilian” texture, even if he was recognized. (As he put it, “If we’re very lucky, we might get a bad table.”) But when Wells arrived I was still waiting to sit down. So we stood near the door, at an awkward, congested spot from which we could have reached out and taken a clam from someone’s plate of Asian-Italian noodles.

The front of the room was bare and bright, and filled with thirty-year-olds on backless stools at communal pale-wood tables—a picnic held in a cell-phone store. The noise level reminded me of Wells’s review of a Tex-Mex restaurant: “It always sounds as if somebody were telling a woman at the far end of the table that he had just found $1,000 under the menu, and the woman were shouting back that Ryan Gosling had just texted and he’s coming to the restaurant in, like, five minutes!” Wells is not peevish about discomfort. His columns make a subtle study of what counts as fun in middle age—loyalties divided between abandon and an early night. His expressions of enthusiasm often take the form of wariness swept away: Wells found joy in a conga line at Señor Frog’s, in Times Square. But after dining at Momofuku Nishi he returned to his home, in Brooklyn, and wrote in his notes about “a hurricane of noise.”

Read the rest of this article at: The New Yorker

News 10.30.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

From the hunger strike to the edible projectile, history offers abundant examples of food being used for political ends. Even so, the crowd of vegans who gathered in central London earlier this year are unlikely to forget the moment when Gatis Lagzdins skinned and ate a raw squirrel.

Along with his co-conspirator Deonisy Khlebnikov, Lagzdins performed his stunt at the weekly Soho Vegan Market on Rupert Street. He would subsequently demonstrate at VegFest in Brighton (although this time his snack of choice was a raw pig’s head) as part of a self-proclaimed “carnivore tour” intended to highlight the evils of a plant-based diet. At the London event, he wore a black vest emblazoned with the slogan: “Veganism = Malnutrition.”

The war on vegans started small. There were flashpoints, some outrageous enough to receive press coverage. There was the episode in which William Sitwell, then editor of Waitrose magazine, resigned after a freelance writer leaked an email exchange in which he joked about “killing vegans one by one”. (Sitwell has since apologised.) There was the PR nightmare faced by Natwest bank when a customer calling to apply for a loan was told by an employee that “all vegans should be punched in the face”. When animal rights protesters stormed into a Brighton Pizza Express in September this year, one diner did exactly that.

A charge commonly laid against vegans is that they relish their status as victims, but research suggests they have earned it. In 2015, a study conducted by Cara C MacInnis and Gordon Hodson and published in the journal Group Processes & Intergroup Relations observed that vegetarians and vegans in western society – and vegans in particular – experience discrimination and bias on a par with other minorities.

Read the rest of this article at: The Guardian

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