arts 09.9.16

Fall Preview
Part 2

You can't blame people for feeling wistful, although it's not a characteristic New York emotion. Restaurants, so central to our social lives, are closing at an alarming clip, as Andrea Strong details in her article Why Are So Many Great NYC Restaurants Closing? It's Not Just the Rent. And the recent loss of the Four Seasons hit us viscerally—lights out on a singular, beautiful icon of International Style.

In a much quieter way, Danny Meyer's Union Square Cafe was itself a kind of Ur text for the way we eat now. The happy news is its return this fall in a new location at Park Avenue South and 19th Street… And there's a welcome rebirth of an old New York landmark, Chumley's, which reopens this month in its original location. First opened in 1928, it has always had the unmarked door of the speakeasy that it was, a watering hole that celebrated writers, artists, poets and playwrights on its scruffy, hallowed walls. One thing it didn't celebrate was good food. Chef Victoria Blamey intends to rectify that. [Pictured above: The American Go Association met at Chumley's every Monday. Ed: where's the beer?!]

In the nonfiction category, Another Day in the Death of America: A Chronicle of Ten Short Lives by Gary Younge is a grim reminder that no matter how familiar we are with gun violence statistics, behind each death was a life and a family, a story and the unending pain of the aftermath. Out October 4.

We're eagerly anticipating Michael Chabon's new novel, Moonglow, out November 22, based on recollections by the author's dying grandfather. Tuesdays with Michael? We highly doubt that. Chabon is too good a writer for sentimentality.

For sheer scale (100 stores when fully occupied), nothing this fall can top the opening last month of Westfield World Trade Center. Set within Calatrava's Oculus, about which writers are legally obligated to describe as "soaring," (and we really do love Calatrava), it's likely to be as busy as Century 21 in the old days, just on a large scale. The poison pill is that we're talking about a mall, the default epithet New Yorkers use to describe Not New York. Malls R Us?

Justin Vernon, better known as the indie folk band Bon Iver, has an ambitious, highly textured new recording, 22, A Million, out September 30. No tour dates yet in NY, but we'll let you know. You can listen to a cut here. [Photo: By kweez mcG from London, UK - bon iver, CC BY 2.0]

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