Tag Archives: New York Times

The Arts: Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol recognized the commercialization of the culture in the 60s, and helped create the Pop Art movement in response. This painting by Vladimir Gorsky imitates Warhol’s style. Uploaded by loganfinearts.com.

I don’t think Andy Warhol would like being remembered as “The Campbell’s Soup Can Guy.” Or the guy who said that everyone would have 15 minutes of fame. He was involved in so many things – painter, avant-garde filmmaker, record producer, author. But more than anything, Andy Warhol was one of the first people to realize the power of celebrity.

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He was a leader in the pop art movement that sprang up in the 1960s as a reaction to the increased commercialization of the culture. Warhol saw it first-hand as a successful commercial illustrator. His iconic image of the soup can is memorable, as are the portraits of celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe.

Warhol moved from painting to silkscreen process for creating his art in the mid- 60s, and his work polarized the public. Even now, the New York Times says, “Depending on your point of view, Andy Warhol is the greatest American artist of the second half of the 20th century or a corrupter of art who destroyed painting and took us down the slippery slope of postmodernism.”

I think he was a brilliant man who bought into his own hype. But the marketplace may disagree. Warhol’s painting “Eight Elvises” sold for $100 million. I think that would have struck Andy Warhol as just hilarious.

Americana: The Wall Street Journal

Want the most comprehensive coverage of business and financial issues? Time to subscribe to the Wall Street Journal. Uploaded by daveibsen.typepad.com.

Since 1889, Americans have turned to the Wall Street Journal for its comprehensive coverage of financial markets. Published by Dow Jones, and now owned by News Corporation, the Journal is the daily bible of American business.

Perhaps no American paper is as visually distinctive and iconic as the Journal. It’s known for its strict columns, the ink dot drawings, the “What’s News” digest. The front page says, You’re going to find serious information in this paper.

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The Journal has an outstanding reputation for journalistic excellence, demonstrated by its 33 Pulitzer Prizes earned since 1947. And it’s the editorial home of one of my favorite commentators on American life and politics, Peggy Noonan.

You may not know it, but the WSJ is America’s largest daily newspaper by size of circulation. It has more subscribers than number two (USA Today), and more than twice as many subscribers as number three (The New York Times).

Americana: The Sunday Paper

As a kid, I wanted the comics first. As a young man, I went for the sports section. Today, I read business first. I'm not sure that's progress. Uploaded by geardiary.com.

Everyone says the Internet will eventually run newspapers out of business. And there’s no disputing the facts – according to Yahoo! Finance, 24 of the 25 largest newspapers are experiencing record decline in circulation. And while I completely buy that, there’s simply nothing the Internet can do that compares to a hefty Sunday newspaper.

I don’t really read the newspaper for, well, news. Or even sports. I read those online, and get to enjoy the writing and commentary of people from lots of newspapers, not just one. But I love the local news. I like seeing who got new jobs, who got married, what’s happening on the local arts scene, what new businesses are coming to town. I even hold my nose and read the local editors’ views of the world.

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Other sections of the paper have their place as well. My wife and step-daughter go straight for the advertising circulars and coupons. I hope that kids still look forward to the Sunday comics as I used to. And the Sunday crossword is a challenge I rise to when Sundays are leisurely.

Of course, the best Sunday paper is the New York Times. There I find the Book Review section, an extensive Travel section, a Style section that frequently causes me to shake my head (“Those crazy New Yorkers!”) and the NYT Sunday Magazine.

I hope the newspaper industry can right itself, because it’s definitely got an important niche that no other media, not even the Internet, can fill. But Monday through Saturday I’ll leave to others, just let me enjoy the Sunday paper.

Holiday: New Year’s Eve in Times Square

Times Square on New Year's Eve. Here's a good one - drinking isn't permitted at this event. Right. Uploaded by timessquarenyc.org.

Some one million people squeeze into New York’s Times Square each New Year’s Eve to watch the ball drop, signifying the start of a new year. It’s a scene watched by millions more on live television, and it’s now in its 106th year.

When the New York Times moved to the square in 1904, it convinced the city to name the triangular intersection after the paper. To celebrate, a huge event was held in the new “Times Square” on New Year’s Eve that drew about 200,000 people and started a tradition.

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The ball came three years later, lowered from a flagpole atop One Times Square. Over the years, it’s gone from being constructed of iron and wood to pure iron, to aluminum, and is now composed of 2,688 Waterford crystals. For 2009, the ball is twice the size as 2008, and has three times more LED fixtures. They even had to rebuild the flagpole to accommodate this thing. It’s now capable of putting on a fabulous light show all by itself, and will remain lit in Times Square all year long.

For many years, Guy Lombardo’s orchestra was synonymous with New Year’s Eve, and would play Auld Lang Syne from the ballroom of the Waldorf-Astoria hotel while images of Times Square were broadcast on CBS. More recently, New Year’s Rockin’ Eve has been the broadcast standard, hosted for many years by the venerable Dick Clark, and now by the Dick Clark of a new generation, Ryan Seacrest.