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Novelist Paula Fox, who died last week at age 93, was a Brooklyn writer long before it was fashionable. She lived in the same house in Cobble Hill for decades with her third husband Martin Greenberg, who was an editor at Commentary. Would-be bourgeois life in run-down Brooklyn is the topic of Fox’s best novel, Desperate Characters (1970), which runs a short 156 pages of carved prose so exact that it shames more garrulous...
Montero’s Bar and Grill 73 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn Heights Do new bars have a smell? Something like that of new cars? I think they do; many of the newer bars in Brooklyn smell like white paint and credit card receipts. They smell like nothing. Like less than nothing. This causes a specifically alarming type of cognitive dissonance because New York is a city that smells. It’s ripe. It stinks in a way that signals to all...
The magnificent painted bunting that showed up on November 29 in Prospect Park is the first of what was a never-before-seen public character: the celebrity bird. But now, Brooklyn's beloved rainbow-coated creature has experienced the dark side of celebrity: death threats. Only these come in the form of a cat. Since Sunday, at least, a black and white predatory feline was spotted being a real creeper around the celebrity bunting. Rather than displaying healthy adoration, the cat typified the kind of obsessive interest that can...
  So many great books come out in the fall, a literary Oscars season for the titles publishers hope will make it onto year-end Best Of lists and into wrapping paper. It’s a wonderfully crowded field these next few months with new books coming out from Denis Johnson, Colm McCann, Sloane Crosley, Mindy Kaling, Marilynne Robinson, Edward St. Aubyn, and Joyce Carol Oates (though at her rate of productivity her name should just be assumed). Here are the 14 books by...

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