Elevate Difference

Reviews tagged New York City

Bloomberg’s New York: Class and Governance in the Luxury City

Julian Brash’s Bloomberg’s New York is an anthropological study of Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his administration’s implementation of a particular type of neoliberal urban governance (the “Bloomberg Way”) since taking office in 2002, “branding and marketing the city as a luxury good,” an agenda aimed not only at “advancing the economic elite’s class interests” but in shaping the culture and geography of the city of New York by prioritizing this

Rape New York

Rape New York: Jana Leo’s title seems to defiantly ask its readers to ‘rape’ New York. It also simultaneously turns ‘rape’ into an adjective with which to describe New York City. Fascinated with this title, I pondered the difference a comma could have made. Rape, New York would then turn ‘rape’ into a borough of the city. This wordplay is not insignificant in Leo’s ultimate argument.

Zinester's Guide to New York City

I love Ayun Halliday's writing voice. It balances a small, healthy dose of making fun of oneself with a snarky and sassy perspective of the world. Her world is New York City, which she describes so well in her adventures with her husband and kids in her zine, The East Village Inky. So I knew I was in for a treat when I saw that Ms.

The Young Lords: A Reader

Before reading The Young Lords: A Reader, I had never heard of the Young Lords Party. The original Young Lords were a loosely organized group that emerged from a street gang fighting the gentrification of Puerto Rican neighborhoods in Chicago.

My Normal

When artists use the word 'normal' to title their work, they usually mean to imply that they’re going to show us something arguably abnormal. In the case of My Normal, the fringe behavior in question is BDSM: bondage and discipline, dominance and submission, sadism and masochism.

The Singer’s Gun

Emily St. John Mandel’s book The Singer’s Gun sounds like a paperback thriller, but in a pleasant surprise, delights the reader with a still and quiet prose and a keen eye for the details that uncover the interconnectedness of all our lives. Beautiful images of ancient trees and Mediterranean utopias find a home with New York’s summer heat and the sticky lives of its characters.

Tea & Justice

If your political leanings are more in line with musical acts like NWA or MDC, then Ermena Vinluan’s fifty-five-minute exploration of race and gender issues in the context of the New York Police Department may seem...

Max's Kansas City: Art, Glamour, Rock and Roll

The iconic New York club Max’s Kansas City was the art world equivalent of the equally iconic CBGB; it was where all of the beautiful freaks and geeks; aspiring, wannabe, and legitimate artists congregated to see and be seen. Editor Steven Kash has done a magnificent job of compiling photographs that features all of the glitz and grime, genius and depravity that was the New York art scene of the 1970s.

The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance

Beginning at a Halloween-themed singles dance for Mormon adults in the tristate area (the party referenced in the title of her novel) a Queen-Bee-costumed Elna Baker sets the scene for the spiritually-infused existential struggles that are soon to come. Although the attendees are adults, the event aches of prepubescent awkwardness and is plagued by the same maladies that afflict these preteen school functions: forced sobriety, abysmal music, sex-segregated clustering, embarrassing encounters with couples dancing, and sanctified social hierarchy.

Critical Intersections: Reproductive and Economic Justice Conference (9/22/2010)

On an unseasonably hot and humid day in September, I took the train from Brooklyn to 116th Street to attend the Critical Intersections: Reproductive and Economic Justice conference, which was held at Barnard College's new Diana Center. Having suffered a massive allergy attack due to the weird weather, I shuffled quickly across the Barnard campus and entered just as the conference's feature film and lunch break were finishing up.

New York Craft Beer Week: Freaktoberfest (9/24/2010)

I do not know many women who like beer, I am certainty not one of them. Knowing this about myself, I took the task of reviewing Freaktoberfest as a challenge. In the anthropological spirit that imbues every writer, to a certain extent, I decided I would engage in some participant observation. As a sort of Sherpa, I brought Sam, an acquaintance from the circle of drinking friends everyone develops with age.

Literary Readings: Margaret Atwood (9/20/2010)

Have you ever overheard such a riveting, witty conversation that you simply had to eavesdrop? Listening to Margaret Atwood and Valerie Martin quibble over every possible tangent to Atwood’s latest paperback The Year of the Flood felt much like playing the part of an enchanted voyeur.

Jack Goes Boating

I had no idea that Phillip Seymour Hoffman had such a devoted fan base. Yeah, he won Oscars for his work in Capote and Doubt and he did liven up overrated stinkers like The Talented Mr. Ripley and Magnolia. Still, I was shocked by how many people streamed into the theatre to see his directorial debut, Jack Goes Boating. Nearly all the chairs in the 600-seat space were filled.

Entre Nos

Mariana and her children, Gabriel and Andrea, are stranded in New York City. Two weeks after her husband Antonio asked them to leave their native Colombia and join him in Queens after a lengthy separation, he left $50 in an envelope, headed for Miami, and stopped answering his phone. A family friend tells Mariana that he isn’t coming home. Undocumented and completely broke, Mariana tries to sell homemade empanadas on the streets while also accepting random jobs as they come.

Prophecy (6/6/2010)

Forty years ago, Edwin Starr’s “War” was a Billboard Top 100 hit, an explicit denunciation of armed conflict. “War, what is it good for? Absolutely nothing,” he trilled. Karen Malpede’s Prophecy takes this sentiment as her starting point. Her latest play, an ambitious, layered look at the damage wrought by centuries of strife on the battlefield—and in the personal relationships that ensue once military action is over—is bold and dramatic. It’s also shrill. Numerous stories unfold simultaneously.


Sometimes you stumble upon really small, obscure films that leave such an impact that you just want as many people to see it as possible. Desigirls by Ishita Srivastava is one such film. Filmed as a graduate thesis project at New York University, this twenty-minute documentary explores a refreshingly new topic—the South Asian lesbian community in New York City. I had the opportunity to watch the film and speak to the director afterward.

Holy Rollers

Holy Rollers is a story of sex, drugs, and Orthodox Judaism. In the late 1990s, a group of drug dealers used young Orthodox kids from Brooklyn as mules to carry ecstasy back from Amsterdam to New York City. On the surface, this fictionalized account of these real events seems so simple: the sinful preying on the innocent.

A Decade of Negative Thinking: Essays on Arts, Politics, and Daily Life

A Decade of Negative Thinking is a collection of essays on feminism, paintings, and feminist art history. As a teacher of graduate students, Schor’s experience provides us with practical and theoretical background to an artist’s commitment to contemporary art. The main theme of the study encompasses the ideas and images from Schor’s earlier life that were significant in influencing her artistic direction.

My Name is Khan Soundtrack

My Name is Khan is a Bollywood movie that captures the post-9/11 journey of a Muslim immigrant who has been diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome.

American Moderns: Bohemian New York and the Creation of a New Century

Occasionally, in 'getting to know you' circles, the question of what period you would have most liked to have lived in is brought to the table. Granted, for many, these are not quite as appealing as banally declaring mint chocolate chip is the finest of the flavors, in your humble opinion, but I think the prior question may be more telling about a person. Christine Stansell’s newly revised American Moderns has changed my response to this telling question.

City Island

The film City Island is no more about City Island of the Bronx than Chinatown is about the Chinatown of Los Angeles. Let me be clear.


Ghosts is a gripping, ten song, posthumous love letter from Brooklyn’s Nakatomi Plaza. Aptly named for a record released after the band’s break up, the album comes with a booklet of liner notes filled with blurry black and white photos and reflections from each of the members about their time in the band.


The dark psyche of greed gone wild is at the heart of Uptown. In this energetic and sexy page turner of a story about the high stakes world of Manhattan real estate, winners take all—but the price turns out to be far more than they negotiated for...


Christine is desperately seeking employment. She doesn’t want to leave New York City and return to Michigan to teach, and doesn’t feel confident that her writing will bring in sufficient income. Although Christine’s story is happening in 1983, the same story could be told as a result of today’s recession. What do you do when you can’t find a job in your field? Well, you branch out and find the first job available. It turns out that the first available job is as a ticket holder in a box office at an adult theater in Times Square.

When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women from 1960 to the Present

Oh, Gail Collins, you had me at New York Times columnist. Maybe it’s because I’ve lived away from New York for so long now and have to read it online most of the year, but holding printed and bound words from a witty Times writer in a book that I can dip into for a few minutes, or a hour, whenever I like is brainy self-indulgence that I can say yes to. My mother grew up in the ‘50s and ‘60s, and I’ve always had a thing for vintage and retro pop culture. If this is you, too, you’ll quickly find yourself on board as well, Times fetish or no.

The Jazz Baroness

It is not difficult to be unconventional in the eyes of the world when your unconventionality is but the convention of your set. - William Somerset Maugham The preceding quote could very well be used to describe the Baroness Pannonica ("Nica") Rothschild de Koenigswarter’s attitude toward her decidedly eccentric lifestyle. The Baroness is the subject of The Jazz Baroness, which premieres tonight at 8 p.m. ET/PT on HBO2.

The Madonnas Of President Street

There are several formulas in life for crazy-making: having all of the responsibility, but none of the power; placing one’s fate in others’ untrustworthy hands, reacting instead of acting. These states may sound especially familiar to women raised in the 1950s, ‘60s, and ‘70s.

Schmatta: From Rags to Riches to Rags

It has become cliche to tell the story of an American going from rags to riches based on their own impassioned journey using a unique and personal form of ingenuity and hard work, but we may be on the path toward establishing a new and unfortunate conventional wisdom that says it is just as common to go from rags to riches and then back to rags once again. It is this new economic reality that Schmatta: From Rags to Riches to Rags explores in ways that are both haunting and saddening.

Crossing Washington Square

Some novels are quite naturalistic, but toy with magic realism. This book is the reverse: a charming, modern fairytale that just happens to have been liberally sprinkled with astute observations about life in the English Literature department of a large university. Crossing Washington Square is a neatly crafted and satisfying story of two literature professors who approach their places within academia from different angles.