It’s a minor detail in COVID-19’s grand scheme of suffering, but I’ll miss the “stoop scoop.” If you live in a place like a Brooklyn, you probably own a few things that came from someone else’s stoop: a book, vase, pair of serving spoons, or CD in a box labeled “free.” It’s amazing, people are so challenged for space in NYC apartments, they would rather give stuff away just to free up a little space than go through the trouble of having a stoop sale or trying to sell online.

Well, that’s another piece of the city that’s gone now…


There’s no greater true crime story in music than the Stone Roses’ Second Coming. I listen to it way more than the note-perfect debut Stone Roses because I can’t understand it — where it came from, what it means, why the songwriting partnership between John Squire and Ian Brown broke down so completely. I can’t understand if it’s good or bad. So I forge through its dense underbrush, looking for clues, changing my mind with every excursion.

My older sister brought back a lot of music from college. She went to Bates, about a 20 minute drive from our house…


My first boss in New York City was a guy named Jason. Jason was probably in his early thirties, I was a kid in my early twenties. We’d talk about music at least much as we’d talk about work. He was a big Paul Weller fan. Always trying to sell me on Paul Weller. I knew a little of The Jam but not much of his solo stuff. He burned me a copy a of Wild Wood. I gave it a spin or two but it wasn’t really my thing. I burned him a copy of this album Withershins that…


We’re in what I call the “extracurricular” part of the tennis season: small tournaments overseas, Davis Cup, and now Laver Cup.

Laver Cup is in its second year, a pivotal moment for the tournament to see if it can still draw interest after first-year novelties like the “Fedal” doubles team that charmed the pants off of the sporting world.

So far so good. For a tournament with nothing really at stake, it’s oddly compelling. It’s a tennis party, a celebration of sport’s formats and breeding grounds, yet it’s more compelling than Davis Cup.

For one, Laver Cup is a carefully…


“I have a daughter and I stand for what’s right for her.” -Serena Williams

I wrote after the Wimbledon final that Serena was clearly feeling some pressure. Chasing down #24 was one thing, assuming the role of hero to all moms imposed an even heavier burden.

Serena’s return comes with a full-throated marketing campaign insistent that, whatever she achieves next, will be all the more remarkable because she’s a mother now. Her new identity might even enhance her instincts as a warrior.

At least that appears to be the message in the Chase Bank ad where Serena glowers, “Momma’s gonna…


With his quarterfinal match still ahead of him, Dominic Thiem sat just off the practice courts with ESPN’s Chris McKendry. The topic: how on earth did he plan to beat Rafael Nadal?

Thiem is one of the best clay court players in the world, but success has eluded him on other surfaces. Going into the match with Nadal, he’d never been past the quarters at a major besides Roland Garros.

And just months prior, Nadal had beaten him soundly in the French Open final. …


“The origin of sport as we know it and the origin of film are pretty much contemporaneous. Edison’s kinetoscope originally showed films of boxers boxing. The history of film is really the history of sports film.” — Julien Faraut

In Julien Faraut’s John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection the confines of a tennis court are just that: confines that form a kind of prison. The players and the ball move in relation to a grid whose arbitrary lines almost mockingly define success and failure, agony and glory.

In 1984, McEnroe enjoyed far more success than failure. His win percentage…


I took a video workshop a few weeks back, something I’ve been meaning to do for years.

I consider myself “a film guy.” I’ve had a number of marketing roles where basic proficiency in video production would have been helpful. Why didn’t I learn earlier? All the usual reasons: inertia, a short attention span, intimidation at the hands of the thing I was trying to learn (in this case, a camera).

Getting older, and with it, more restless, has a way of gradually sanding down these mental hurdles, so I finally worked up the gumption to get on with it.


Damon Gough aka Badly Drawn Boy
Damon Gough aka “Badly Drawn Boy”

Badly Drawn Boy’s Discography

  1. The Hour of Bewilderbeast (2000)
  2. About a Boy: Music from the Motion Picture Soundtrack (2002)
  3. Have You Fed the Fish? (2002)
  4. One Plus One is One (2004)
  5. Born in the UK (2006)
  6. Is This There Nothing We Could Do? (2009)
  7. It’s What I’m Thinking Part One: Photographing Snowflakes (2010)
  8. Being Flynn: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (2012)

Lately, there’s been renewed interest in Badly Drawn Boy. The Hour of Bewilderbeast turns 20 next year, and to my ears, it sounds like connective tissue between the contemporary era of personal politics and dilettantism in music, and the full-on nostalgia for anything lightly…


Even before it shipped to a single user, Light was one of the most compelling riddles in tech.

The slender phone that only takes and receives calls has attracted a slew of attention and descriptors in the last year that simultaneously seemed to nail and slightly misunderstand its raison d’être.

It’s been called everything from the “anti-smartphone” to a “pro-human” phone, to just plain weird.

Its slight appearance and even more enigmatic function has challenged users in a way that the current tech vanguard isn’t exactly known for: Surfacing important philosophical questions, not just inventing a way for urbanites to…

Brandon Carter

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