Reading Round-up Of All Brows: What To Check Out In The Magazines

by Ross Kenneth Urken · November 29, 2010

From The New Yorker's exegesis on The Spotted Pig's burger-maker to New York's chronicle of a new use for Michael Jackson's Neverland ranch, these are the magazine pieces you should be reading:

1)"Burger Queen: April Bloomfield's gastropub revolution":

In this New Yorker piece, Lauren Collins chronicles the finicky Spotted Pig chef, April Bloomfield, and her forays into serving the city's elite like Jay-Z and Beyoncé. Here's a highlight from the piece in which the chef discusses the perils of cooking chicken:

"These poussins, oh, my goodness," [Bloomfield] said. "They're actually really hard to fuck up. They're unfuckable. You can't fuck them up."

"What's the most fuckable?" I asked.

"The simple stuff."

Of note, apparently Lou Reed is the only person allowed to have onions on his burger in the restaurant because of a precedent in which a star-struck waiter mistakenly allowed him the no-no transgression.

[via The New Yorker]

2) "The murder of Leo Tolstoy: A forensic investigation"

In this Harper's piece from February 2009--reposted last week at the 100th anniversary of Count Leo Tolstoy's death--Elif Batuman investigates the possibility that the famed Russian author of Anna Karenina and War and Peace was murdered. She explores the shady crew that flooded Tolstoy's Yasna Polanya estate, including,

"a morphine addict who had written a mathematical proof of Christianity; a barefoot Swedish septuagenarian who preached sartorial "simplicity" and who eventually had to be drive away 'because he was beginning to be indecent'; and a blind Old Believer who pursued the sound of Tolstoy's footsteps, shouting, 'Liar! Hypocrite!'"

The plot thickens in this epic romp through a Sherlock Holmes-esque investigation into this theory about Tolstoy.

[via Harper's, image via SitkaBookandArt]

3) "Monetizing the Celebrity Meltdown"

Benjamin Wallace chronicles for New York how billionaire Tom Barrack bought Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch and this summer created a $500 million media-and-entertainment investment fund with his buddy Rob Lowe, who is a partner in the fund. Barrack's private-equity firm, Colony Capital, acquired Neverland in November 2008, and Barrak has been targeting celebrities and entertainment properties he feels are undervalued with the incentive of getting a return on equity as assets rise in value.

[via New York]

4. "Take the Data Out of Dating"

In honor of Chiara Atik, our erstwhile managing editor who has moved to a job at "How About We," we decided Alexis Madrigal's online dating piece from The Atlantic might be worth a look-see. Madrigal speaks with Sam Yagan, a co-founder of OKCupid, to discuss the potential for more accurate algorithms for predicting and optimizing online courting behavior--an end-goal that the writer views with caution.

[via The Atlantic]