Mix Tape: Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been

Maggie Smith
February 16, 2012
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The theme park Dickens World “promised to be an ‘authentic’ re-creation of the London of Charles Dickens’s novels, complete with soot, pickpockets, cobblestones, gas lamps, animatronic Dickens characters and strategically placed chemical ‘smell pots’ that would, when heated, emit odors of offal and rotting cabbage.” All that, plus a Pizza Hut. Still, “the park doesn’t fail because it’s too commercial—it fails because it’s too reverent, and reverent about the wrong things.”

Check out 25 pieces of literary-leaning graffiti art.  What author’s image would you like to have stenciled in your city?

Are modern secular art museums really the new churches? And if so, should they change the way they present their collections? “Would it ruin a Rothko to highlight for an audience the function that Rothko himself declared that he hoped his art would have: that of allowing the viewer a moment of communion around an echo of the suffering of our species?

“A location scout came through my parents’ neighborhood last month and slid a letter printed on blue paper into each house’s screen door. The letter had HBO’s (fuzzily reproduced and definitely not hi-res) logo at the top and announced in all capital letters that a production team had descended on Mount Vernon, N.Y., in hopes of finding a ‘HOUSE WITH AN ATTACHED GARAGE.’” But, no, The Corrections isn’t being filmed at their house.

A new study of Caldecott winners from the sixties to the present has found a steady decline in the number of children’s books that depict the natural environment.

Check out Poet’s House’s new site—especially the Inspiration Station area for kids.

New York Diaries, edited by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Teresa Carpenter, tells the story of the city in handwritten diary entries, datebook notes, and official records from the past 400 years.

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