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When John McCormick opened his first restaurant, Café Moto, back in 2002, he was a pioneer in the Williamsburg scene. Since then, he has designed neighborhood favorites like Maison Premiere, Five Leaves, St. Mazie, and now Witlof. Here, he dishes on the design process and what Brooklyn style means to him. You recently finished Witlof in Williamsburg. What was the process like, in terms of the design concept and the build process? The concept was a...
New York Times best-selling novelist Jami Attenberg sent me a Google Maps pin to a Park Row police barricade that sat in front of the empty lot where Mazie Phillips’s movie theater—the Venice—used to be. A few days later we met there. Attenberg had gone to a book party in her celebration the night before and was, immediately following our interview, going to read at the Urban Libraries Unite 24-Hour Read-In at City Hall, where...
Illustration by Sarah Lutkenhaus Romance is a funny thing, isn’t it? The word itself rarely gets spoken in earnest by anyone under the age of 40, and using it feels as archaic as, I don’t know, saying the word “lover.” Of course, maybe this is because we don’t want to think too hard about romance or how we manipulate it in pursuit of something else. Romance is something we just want to exist. Romance is...
Despite making claims to the contrary, there are some foods we don’t consider as having overtly aphrodisiacal properties (asparagus, garlic), and others that are undisputedly sexy, like chocolate, bananas, and red wine. But of all the comestibles thought to get the libido going, there’s little that’s as in-your-face erotic as oysters, and not just because they look disconcertingly like vaginas. Besides all the shucking and slurping involved, the mollusk’s quivering, saline bodies are simply brimming...

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