Vegas Seven

The National Newsroom

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    The Yogi Bulls

    By Ben Widdicombe, The New York Observer

    Billionaires and celebrities are blissing out as meditation charges back into the mainstream.

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    Let Them Eat Kale

    By Richard Kirshenbaum | The New York Observer

    A noted hostess bewailed the current state of culinary affairs in the drawing room of her regal Park Avenue duplex, in one of the grandest of grand co-op buildings. It was ever so expansive yet artfully understated, with parquet de Versailles floors dutifully waxed into the kind of dull patina old money truly understands.

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    Zen and the Art of Social Climbing

    By Ben Widdicombe | The New York Observer

    The stupidest question I ever asked was at a dinner party at a rambling summerhouse in East Hampton. We were seated at a long, white-washed barnwood table with matching Louis XV salon chairs—an expensive take on “shabby chic” that was underscored by the jacketed household staff who could be glimpsed through the kitchen door. Surrounding […]

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    Motion to Dismiss

    By By Kat Macfarlane | The New York Observer

    While Wendy Davis’ 10-hour filibuster was a marvel of political assertion, the best moment from the nail-biter of a Texas Senate session came minutes before midnight, when Democratic Senator Leticia Van De Putte petitioned Senator Robert Duncan for permission to speak. She had been crisscrossing the Senate floor, failing to get Duncan’s attention, as broader-shouldered men blocked her at every turn.

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    Stare Thee Well

    By Diana Spechler | The New York Observer

    “This is not a romantic experience,” Christina Berkley says, looking around the circle at the 23 of us who signed up for her eye-gazing party. We sit on folding chairs in a private yoga studio on West 49th Street. The curtains are drawn against the glitter of Times Square, and soft lighting filters through paper ceiling lanterns.

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    Game of Drones

    By By Jordan Valinsky | The New York Observer

    In late 2011, a slender Brooklyn resident named Tim Pool roamed downtown Manhattan, seemingly recording every minute of the Occupy Wall Street protests. Pool, an independent journalist, would use his smartphone to live-stream the demonstrations, sometimes for as long as 19 continuous hours, earning himself the nickname “The Media Messenger of Zuccotti Park” in Time. As the protests escalated, it became increasingly difficult for Pool to capture the civil disobedience from eye level. He yearned for an unhindered view—a higher vantage point, like from the sky.

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    Space, Man

    By Kelly Faircloth | The New York Observer

    Every week, weather permitting, a crew of starstruck earthlings sets up camp on that agora of Bloomberg New York, the High Line, parking their telescopes just south of the Chelsea Market. “People like looking up,” said David Kauffman, one of the event’s organizers, sporting a blue windbreaker from a Long Island astronomical society at a recent gathering. “I think that’s a natural human thing.” Even passersby slowed down to investigate.

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    Bring Back the Generation Gap!

    By Peter Hyman | The New York Observer

    The onset of middle age used to mean that one could ease into becoming a bland old fusspot, free from the burden of remaining attuned to the microscopic upticks of the cultural barometer. You’d have bought a reliable European sedan, started making bad jokes to waitresses and receiving all your news from Time. Blissful irrelevance was the calling card.

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    Amusement Perks

    By Kim Velsey | The New York Observer

    Last winter, BuzzFeed got a pony. Well, technically it was a miniature horse named Mystic, and she came by for a visit one morning—a surprise treat for hitting a Web-traffic goal. Sure, a cash bonus might have been more practical, but a little pony with pink ribbons in her mane and a tiny gold party hat that stuck up like a unicorn’s horn? So much cooler. And judging by the photos that employees quickly posted on Facebook and Twitter, Mystic’s visit was basically the best day ever. At least until the time Grumpy Cat—the famous cranky-looking feline—stopped by.

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    Investing in the End of the World

    By Drew Grant | The New York Observer

    Aviva Drescher’s first child was just 1 month old when the planes hit the Twin Towers on September 11. The Real Housewives of New York City star—a lifetime New Yorker—watched the events unfold with horror. “I just wanted to protect my young,” she told The Observer, adding that her anxieties soon expanded. What about biological warfare? If terrorists could kill thousands of people with a couple of box cutters, what would happen if the Ebola virus were dropped in Central Park? She began preparing for the worst.

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    No Divorce Is the New Divorce

    By Rose Surnow, The New York Observer

    It only took filmmaker Jim Strouse three months in New York City to fall in love. He moved here from Indiana straight out of college, and for years after, he and his girlfriend had the perfect arty bohemian relationship. They made films together, they made kids together—it was all happening.

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    Fear of a Black Pundit

    By Jordan Michael Smith, The New York Observer

    Before Ta-Nehisi Coates was a superstar at The Atlantic, he was fired from three consecutive writing jobs. Well, not quite fired. “I’m still not exactly sure what happened,” he said, sipping a single espresso at a Morningside Heights bakery near his Harlem apartment, where he lives with his wife, Kenyatta, and their young son. What is understood is that over a seven-year span beginning in 2000, Philadelphia Weekly, The Village Voice and Time consecutively hired Coates and then promptly released him. Nobody is going to fire him anymore.

  • Gimme Shelter

    By Kara Bloomgarden-Smoke, The New York Observer

    Until December, Melissa Lafsky Wall was the editor of Newsweek's iPad edition, a job she landed on the strength of bylines in The New York Times, Salon, Wired and The Christian Science Monitor, as well as editing stints at the Huffington Post and the Freakonomics blog. But as Newsweek was laying off staffers leading up to the death of its print edition, Lafsky Wall decided to go in an altogether new direction: Since January, she has been the director of content at HowAboutWe, a startup dating site with a blog about courting, relationships and romance.

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    Can’t Handle the Truth?

    By Dan Duray, The New York Observer

    Lawrence Wright’s new book, Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood & the Prison of Disbelief (Knopf, $29), was spun out of his 2011 story for The New Yorker about director Paul Haggis’ break with the church. Two magazine fact-checkers worked on the story full time for four to six months of its yearlong inception, and close to publication they were joined by three more. Their first message to the church, verifying facts about its practices, the life of L. Ron Hubbard and the church’s current leader, David Miscavige, contained 971 questions.

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    The Luxury Rental Girlfriend

    By Lisa Taddeo, The New York Observer

    Jack is in his 30s. He’s good-looking, makes money and has a nice apartment, and in New York City, what all that gets you is almost everything. He meets me on Greenwich Street one morning for black coffee. Two girls he knows come walking by. He smiles, and his blue eyes are warm, but on one girl’s face you can see that whole wringing week she waited for a call.