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The Time for Peace Is Now

In 1998, David Byrne founded the Luaka Bop label to “turn friends on to stuff I liked.” Deeply eclectic, it produces everything from compilation albums to works by new artists, from Brazilian pop to Swedish techno. The tracks on the recently released The Time for Peace Is Now, compiled by Greg Belson, were found in attics and crates across the American South on 45s pressed by small and now defunct labels. Speaking to a long-forgotten era of 70s gospel, in which the genre pivoted toward soul, these unknown artists—some work now as ministers and mechanics across the states—relied on rhythmic beats and full bands, and sang not of Jesus but of justice and peace. Major gospel labels wouldn’t sign them. But Luaka Bop has restored their legacy and sent up their message in this glorious mix. ($10,


The Apartment

’Tis the season to argue over what to watch after dinner, a holiday tradition that can get tiresome rather quickly. We thought we’d choose something for you: Billy Wilder’s The Apartment. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this film about a love triangle of sorts, it stars Jack Lemmon as C. C. Baxter, an insurance clerk who, in the hopes of moving up the corporate ladder, lends his apartment to company higher-ups, including his boss, Mr. Sheldrake (Fred MacMurray), as a safe space for carrying on extramarital affairs. Baxter’s got a serious thing for Sheldrake’s mistress, Fran (Shirley MacLaine), the office’s elevator girl, but Fran, who doesn’t know about Baxter’s feelings, thinks Sheldrake may leave his wife for her. Everything comes to a head on Christmas Eve. The plot may sound sappy, but this rom-com includes a suicide attempt, so even your emo cousin will love it. (

Carry On

The Essential Duffel

We first learned about the Patagonia Black Hole Duffel 55L from a foreign-correspondent friend who swore by it, saying its waterproof, lightweight, multi-compartment design allowed him to effortlessly carry five days’ worth of clothes, as well as his laptop and other essential work gear, thus eliminating the need for two (or even three) bags. The best part is that it fits snugly and comfortably on your shoulders—which not only keeps your hands free for other tasks but also allows you to keep moving when the road turns to bumpy cobblestone (something that a wheelie bag can’t handle). It’s basically the Range Rover of luggage, the bag where function meets form. It can take you off the trail, and it also looks properly badass in the lobby of the Plaza Athénée. ($140,


Wittiest Instagram

There aren’t many opportunities (especially of late) to laugh with the royal family. Fortunately, there’s Gary Janetti’s Instagram account, which has earned an enormous following for portraying six-year-old Prince George as a sarcastic, cynical, scheming, and coldly manipulative child-man who lives to mock Meghan, Kate Middleton’s mother, or anyone else. He also likes to order everyone around—in one especially great post, George steps out of a car, holding a nanny’s hand, with the caption: “Move my 12 o’clock. Call Joanna. I need a facial.” It’s no surprise the voice is so smart-ass, as Janetti was a writer on Family Guy and also an executive producer of Will & Grace. (@garyjanetti)


Zagat 2020

Apps have made a wealth of dining reviews available in an instant, but sometimes all that’s needed to assure a restaurant’s quality is a small Zagat’s square affixed to its window. The burgundy guide is back in the pockets of New Yorkers after a three-year hiatus from print. The 40th-anniversary edition includes the familiar pithy-quote-filled reviews indexed by location, occasion, and cuisine, as well as a new foreword by restaurateur Danny Meyer, examining the evolution of New York restaurants over Zagat’s tenure as the city’s vade mecum for eaters of all stripes. At the top of 2020’s list are reliable favorite (and ours!) Le Bernardin; newcomer Bouley at Home, from stalwart chef David Bouley; and—contrary to Pete Wells and The New York TimesPeter Luger. ($18,


Electric Seaplane

Electric cars have made city streets somewhat quieter and cleaner over the past decade. Now we may be a bit closer to quieter and cleaner skies too. Harbour Air, a Canadian airline, along with MagniX, an Australian company, recently tested a modified de Havilland seaplane that is completely powered by batteries. There’s still a long way to go—in terms of certification, as well as flight time—but the builders are optimistic that short-haul, all-electric flights will be here sooner than we thought. (

Issue No. 24
December 28, 2019
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Issue No. 24
December 28, 2019