Revisiting a New York That Doesn’t Currently Exist


Welcome. I spent too much time this morning looking around the internet for a Jay McInerney short story that I thought was called “Cigarettes.” (It’s actually called “Smoke,” and you can buy a digital copy if you like, or find it in “How It Ended,” his 2009 collection of stories.) I was interested in revisiting it because of how the story describes a New York that no longer exists, of smart people living and working at the nexus of creativity and finance, always out in restaurants or throwing dinner parties where people stay too late, where in the morning there are Marlboro butts in the wine glasses in the sink, where there are no children and married people cheat.

It felt like sociological escapism, to read such a tale, like Thackeray for a tl;dr moment, and I thrilled at the picture of the bygone era. You might feel similarly watching “Molly’s Game.” But I wanted the experience of the printed word, the ability to cast the scenes and style the apartments myself, in my head.

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That’s what life’s like at home sometimes, months into this strange and tumultuous time. We seek escape, diversion, a way of feeling about the world that doesn’t hinge on the news from the latest press conference or weather event. Maybe we’ll find it in the kitchen, baking a cake, or staring at a monitor, imagining a new life in Stonington, Conn., or staring at the phone, scrolling through great art accounts on Instagram. (For sure we’ll find it in the filmed version of “Hamilton,” which comes online this weekend.)

At Home provides all that serendipity and more. It’s a catalog of our best and most wide-ranging ideas for how to live a full and cultured life during a difficult time, a way of finding joy and deliciousness in a world that sometimes doesn’t have a lot of it to show. We publish stories about that every day. Please visit us At Home to discover them.

You can always find much more to read, watch and do every day on At Home. And you can email us: [email protected].

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