Tag Archives: history

Saturday 07/8 2017
Inside A Hermosa House, A History Of Latin American Art

“A massive Hector Duarte painting greets you right as you walk in the front door, depicting an avian heart encircled by gnashing border guard dogs. It symbolizes the pieces of their spirit immigrants must leave behind. Directly next to it is an early Marcos Raya, a portrait of the artist in a bar, the countertop now a butcher’s block, a gun and bottle before him and the leering demons of his alcoholism floating just above. Together they depict the complicated reality of immigrant life, a life Salgado knows personally.”

Read the rest of my story about the Coleccion Salgado in Creators

Monday 12/12 2016
Power in Pestilence

“In a time where it is no longer considered a death sentence per se, Plague reestablishes HIV as a ruthless pestilence which is an affront to humanity, deserving eradication. The virus penetrates and hijacks our immune system’s cells, hewing our DNA and inserting its own genetic code in a disgusting suturing which causes rapid mutation. Weakened from within, it torturously holds us open for any number of opportunistic infections; tumors grow, fungi sprout, lungs fill, people die.”

Read the rest of my review of David France’s How To Survive A Plague: The Inside Story of How Citizens and Science Tamed AIDS, in Paste Magazine

Wednesday 10/5 2016
A Sociological History of Haunted America

“Ghost stories are how we attempt to codify the uncanny and the uncomfortable, the painful and the personal, the romantic and the irredeemably horrible. After all, are not people haunted by lovers and places haunted by tragedies?

By hewing to the facts and using a historian’s loupe, author Colin Dickey seeks to illuminate ghosts’ cultural presence. Ghostland, Dickey’s new book chronicling the sociological history of America’s most haunted places, finds its power not in the numerous phantoms lurking in the country’s shadows, but in the buildings, battlefields, slave prisons and Native American lands that birthed them.”

Read my interview with Colin Dickey in Paste Magazine

Monday 08/22 2016
Our Secret History

Society is drowning in an ocean of data … This is perhaps the most important ocean ever, and the battle to control it has been the silent engine driving much of Western ingenuity. State and criminal elements find themselves plying the same waters as private companies and individuals, as this world of espionage, surveillance and hacking becomes our own …Thrust as we are into the world of digital espionage, Cyberspies’ history is immediate; it is our own.

You are now information; shouldn’t you be informed?

Read the rest of the book review in Paste Magazine

Saturday 04/9 2016
A Conversation With the Mastr

“It is an effort to combat the lasting, damaging impacts of underrepresentation. “You pick up art history books and they are always talking about those people, and it’s the same people from book to book to book,” Marshall explains. “At a certain point, it induces this notion that you are not one of those people that do great things.” Marshall’s technical proficiency is at once a wink at the sacred Western canon and the creation of his own—in essence, the redefinition of art history.”

Read the rest of my interview with Kerry James Marshall at The Creators Project

Thursday 03/3 2016
God Bless Baseball

“There is, of course, a diamond, minimal almost to the point of abstraction, just baselines and bases and a batters box on a dark surface, somewhere between scratches on a mirror and ad hoc blacktop fields. The audience is in the outfield, the subtitles in the stadium seats, and looming over the entire thing—right over the batter’s box—is a sculpture. It looks like a TIE fighter cockpit covered in milk; actually, it looks exactly like a B-29 Superfortress nosecone, like the Enola Gay nosecone … and out there under the nosecone, to an organ melody of the “Charge!” song and the Mickey Mouse Club theme (“M-i-c …”) come two women with baseball mitts dangling from their hands, alien attachments at the end of their limbs that they fiddle and move with the grace of deep-sea submersible graspers.”

Read the rest of my story about Japanese playwright Toshiki Okada’s baseball-based play on Japan/Korean and American relations at The Classical

Friday 02/19 2016
There is a Stair Case in Lyon

“A staircase in Lyon, France, is the kind of place that can make those moments. Massive in scale, its 25 steps rise from a tessellation of small bricks into a frightening edifice. No handrails scar its face. At the top, a vast expanse of the slippery, square bricks unfurls in a run-up just long enough to reach the speed required to clear the cement waterfall of a staircase.

In 2002, pro Swedish skater Ali Boulala ended his section in Flip’s seminal skate videoSorry by crashing down the Lyon 25. The scene was thrilling, quixotic, and perfectly Boulala. It was a beautiful failing, an ollie down an obstacle so large that the attemptnot the make—became legendary. Since then, the staircase has remained one of skateboarding’s holy grails, silent, imposing, and unmolested.

Sorry was the first skate video Aaron “Jaws” Homoki ever owned or watched. Jaws, now 26 and a pro skater, never imagined throwing himself into the abyss like Ali did. But Jaws became a student of the drop. Seemingly having shock absorbers for legs, he would send his lean frame down precipitous falls. These spleen-rending drops (he ruptured his spleen making the 2011 film A Happy Medium) generated rumblings on message boards, in skate shops, and at street spots that Jaws would attempt the 25.”

Read the rest of skateboarding history right from the source at VICE Sports

Monday 01/25 2016
Edge of History: Women’s Professional Hockey in Buffalo

“Five of the Beauts, for example, share a home in Hockey Haven, a beautiful manse built in 1920 near the southern edge of Delaware Park. It has hardwood floors, three floors of living space, and beautiful chandeliers. It also has a prominently marked security camera at its intersection, and the occasional sharp rapport of gun shots at night.”

Read the rest at VICE Sports


Saturday 01/9 2016
Dark Episodes

“A list of insurance claims taken out on pets drowned with the Titanic. A legend detailing the various forms of Chinese castrati. A detailed description—by the oh-so-fittingly named Sir Hamon L’Estrange—of a dodo a mere quarter century before the bird’s extinction. These moments are the winking epigraphs of grinning Death, gleaned from Giles Milton’s history of the bizarre, the obfuscated and the macabre.”

Read the rest of my review of Giles Milton’s When Hitler Took Cocaine and Lenin Lost His Brain in Paste Magazine

Tuesday 10/13 2015
Strange Fishing Off Newport

“In the beginning, Havemeyer looked to have a fight on his hands, his rod bent double as the prize rapidly took out the line. An experienced and effective angler is a patient one, however, and Havemeyer, a few minutes into the contest, pulled taut and began to to regain line. By about six minutes into the struggle, the Sugar Baron was making slow but steady progress, the reeling in of his prize moving with measured certainty, his rod finally lifting its head from its bowed position, forced genuflection replaced with arched effort.

He pulled against the considerable weight at the end of the line, before finally, after ten minutes of epic contest, his foe emerged from the sea sans fins and gills, its flippers replaced by strikingly pale limbs ending in strangely ineffective paddles, all crowned by a curious and handsome head of hair, a man, a man on the end of the line, on the bottom of the boat, at the Sugar Baron’s feet!

The man was none other than Oliver Hazard Perry Belmont, scion of the Belmont banking family, as in the Stakes, who kept his horse’s stables on the ground floor of his mansion Belcourt, bedding them on white linen embroidered with the family crest. An American playboy—handsome New World Royalty—landed off the coast of Bailey’s Beach like a marlin!”

Read the rest of my article about Gilded Age sports excess at VICE Sports