The Daily

Posts Tagged ‘Summer’

It Stinks

August 4, 2016 | by

The corpse flower’s indifferent, cosmic energy.

CorpseFlower

A still from the New York Botanical Garden’s live stream of the corpse flower in bloom.

As I strolled through the midmorning dumpster efflorescence of the west Bronx, I thought to myself, Summertime in the city is a contact high. It has less to do with sun and heat; it’s the sweet-sour reek of parboiling garbage that signals the height of the season is here. I breathed in summer as I skipped past wide, still puddles left by Friday’s A.M. showers.

North of Fordham’s campus, I joined a long line of people buying tickets at the entrance to the New York Botanical Garden. I’d been waiting for days, watching the YouTube live stream, assiduously refreshing the NYBG Twitter feed when, finally, it happened—on Thursday night, the Garden’s nine-year-old corpse flower, its Amorphophallus titanum, started blooming. It was the first specimen of this famously gorgeous-yet-also-rank-as-hell flower to bloom in the Garden since July 7, 1939. That day, in a “tribute to the salubrious climate of the Bronx,” the Amorphophallus titanum was proclaimed official borough flower, a distinction it held until 2000. Read More »

Summer on the Stones

August 1, 2016 | by

Chekhov, Thomas Mann, and the longueurs of vacationing.

After a proposal from a rich but ridiculous suitor, Tony Buddenbrook, the high-society heroine of Thomas Mann’s first novel, leaves the German city of Lübeck for Travemünde, a resort town where the Trave River meets the Baltic Sea. “I won’t pay any attention to the social whirl at the spa,” she tells her brother Tom. “I know all that quite well enough already.” Tony stays instead in the modest home of her father’s friend the harbor pilot, whose son, a medical student named Morten Schwarzkopf, is also on vacation. On her first day, he accompanies Tony to the spa, and she invites him to meet the friends she had pledged to avoid. “I don’t think I’d fit in very well,” Morten says. “I’ll just go sit back there on those stones.”

By the end of the summer, Tony and Morten have fallen in love, and “on the stones” is a “fixed phrase” in their relationship, Mann writes, meaning “to be lonely and bored.” I visited Travemünde recently and after a few hours felt rather on the stones myself. The Baltic Sea was impotent at raising waves, and an incontinent gray sky drizzled on the city. The riverside homes along the Front Row, where the harbor pilot lived, are now tourist shops and restaurants filled with old German couples not talking to each other. The other nineteenth-century landmarks of Tony and Morten’s romance haven’t aged much better. The Sea Temple, a waterfront gazebo where they sit so close their hands nearly touch, fell into the Baltic in 1872, drowning with it the records of young lovers who scratched their initials on the walls. Read More »

Summer with a Thousand Julys

July 28, 2016 | by

I have it on the highest authority that summer will never end. It might get cooler, intermittently, but it will never stop being summer. Which is of course wonderful, because summer is a bubble during which life’s ordinary rules are suspended. Summer is when we don’t have to get up in the morning, or even the afternoon. Summer is when we insist on ice-cold beer to chill our body cavity, especially the spleen. Summer is when we go see particularly stupid movies because it would be unseasonal to have to think. Summer is when we get into fights with the neighbors over noise or property lines or because we should live next door as well as at our house. Summer is when nobody ever has to make eye contact. Summer is when nothing ever happened before this moment right now. Summer is when we trash the joint because whatever. Summer is when we fire guns into the air and the bullet never comes down. Read More »

Triptych for the End of a Season

July 14, 2016 | by

Tim Duncan has announced his retirement.

Once upon a time, not too long ago, we knew what the routine was when it came to the end of an NBA season: the playoffs would come, a champion would be crowned, and—in the scoreboard–über alles style embraced more by basketball than any other sport—the losers would be banished to oblivion. The typical NBA fan can tell you how many championships Kobe Bryant won and yet pauses when asked to name the opponents he faced. No league is dragged along by its front-runner like the NBA is. If the league is, at its best, majestic, it’s also, at its worst, pharaonic.

The end of the season was once an estival balm. Summer would arrive to wash the past season clean. The break was essential. The players need a breather, but so do we, if only to dream a little. In the nineties, I, like most New Yorkers, used to think year after year that the Knicks had a chance against the Bulls. We know now which teams were the dynasties, but in the heat of competition, the outcomes never felt inevitable. Plenty of teams were quite good, and as they licked their wounds in the summer haze, they could reasonably think to themselves: Next year, why not us? Read More »

#ReadEverywhere, Even in the Ring

July 11, 2016 | by

Rocky’s LRB subscription led him down the path to pacifism.

For the third consecutive summer, The Paris Review is delighted to offer a joint subscription deal with the London Review of Books: you’ll get a year of both magazines for the low price of $70 U.S. That’s the best in imaginative writing and the best in essays and commentary: two Reviews in one fell swoop. Already a Paris Review subscriber? Not a problem: we’ll extend your subscription to The Paris Review for another year, and your LRB subscription will still begin immediately.

We’re also in the thick of the third edition of our popular #ReadEverywhere contest. From now through August 31, post a photo or video of yourself reading The Paris Review or the London Review of Books on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest and use the #ReadEverywhere hashtag and one of our magazines’ handles. (Even fictional celebrities, as you can see above, have found this deal so irresistible as to revise scenes that were believed to be unalterable. It’s that good. Plus, the winner stands to gain a lot: the grand prize is a wide selection of Aesop products.)

If you’re feeling uninspired, take a look at last year’s winners, or you can look at what this year’s competition has already cooked up.

Get yourself a joint subscription and hashtag your way to victory. Don’t let Rocky Balboa win. Our lawyers would never sort it out anyway.

#ReadEverywhere Redux

July 5, 2016 | by

The Paris Review’s softball team takes to the dugout to read after a hard-fought victory.

Let it never be said that we’re unreliable. For the third consecutive summer, The Paris Review is delighted to offer a joint subscription deal with the London Review of Books: you’ll get a year of both magazines for the low price of $70 U.S. That’s the best in imaginative writing and the best in essays and commentary: two Reviews in one fell swoop.

We’re also launching the third edition of our popular #ReadEverywhere contest—consider 2016 the Die Hard: With a Vengeance or Blade: Trinity of the venerable #ReadEverywhere franchise. From now through August 31, post a photo or video of yourself reading The Paris Review or the London Review of Books on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest and use the #ReadEverywhere hashtag and one of our magazines’ handles. Apply Snapchat lenses with reckless abandon. Venture to far and distant lands for the sole purpose of reading our magazines in public. After all, you stand to gain a lot: the grand prize is a wide selection of Aesop products. Read More »