A New Project… That Actually Exists


After years of neglecting this blog intended for a readership of precisely none, I’ve decided to embark on a more outwardly-facing experiment called Excursus Verses.

The new site will focus on select topics to which I bring some expertise: culture, education, nonprofits, policy, and technology. Hope to see you there.
— Benjamin


All the Rage: French Shorts

J'Attendrai le suivantShorts are in season, so I thought it was time to share my favorite. This Oscar-nominated French short may not be of the caparison variety but it nonetheless deserves your full attention.

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Confirmed: Chelsea Trader Joe’s to Beat UWS Location

Trader Joe'sAs a inveterate resident of the greatest neighborhood in the world’s greatest city—something claimed by virtually every New Yorker, from one tip of the island to the other (and that’s not even counting the other four boroughs)—it pains me to write this but, it’s official: the Upper West Side Trader Joe’s at the corner of 72nd Street and Broadway will be the third in Manhattan, just behind the Chelsea store. (That said, all hope is not lost: see the end of this post for an explanation as to why the UWS site will almost certainly be unveiled earlier than anticipated.) For the past few months, blogs and news outlets have speculated about which location would open first, and Racked posted a convincing report last week explaining the reasons Chelsea will beat the UWS to the punch. (Spoiler: the Chelsea TJ’s is taking over a former Barnes and Noble store, while 72nd and Broadway is pure raw space, resulting in a longer development period.) However, that is not the main reason I am convinced this will indeed be the case.

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Thou Art a Very Ragged Wart!

ShakespearePardon my English. What I meant to say was: “Thou frothy ill-nurtured foot-licker!” Oops, there I go again, thanks to one of my new favorite sites, the Shakespearean Insulter (courtesy of Chris Seidel). It does exactly what you think and is the perfect place to spend some quality time feeding your masochistic tendencies.

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Pawcasso at the Met

Limbourg LionThe Picasso exhibition that recently opened at the Met has been receiving a great deal of attention from critics and local art-lovers alike, but anyone familiar with the museum’s impressive collection of modern art—neglected by many due to the MoMA’s incontestable dominance in this area—will likely find few surprises among the paintings on display. The small special exhibit is of course well worth a visit (or three or four) but, for enthusiasts of medieval art, the true must-see temporary show is a collection of 14th-century illuminated manuscripts by brothers Herman, Jean and Paul de Limbourg, which they created while under the patronage of Jean de Berry. I personally like to refer to this quartet by the little-known moniker given them by devotees of their work: “Pawcasso.”

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