The ArtsMary Poppins was always a cultural oddity. Created by P. L. Travers in a series of books begun during the Depression, she was enchanting to generations of children for her magic powers--she could fly and talk to animals--and a little frightening because she was awfully strict and not the least bit sentimental.
This week, the 200-year-old neoclassical Baltimore Basilica will reopen its weighty oak doors after a two-year, $32 million face-lift. The restoration of America's first Roman Catholic cathedral is a triumph for preservationists, both for its history and design: it's considered the masterpiece of architect Benjamin Latrobe, best known for his work on the U.S. Capitol.
Forget about Norma Shearer. Kirsten Dunst is Marie Antoinette. She spoke with Nicki Gostin.I had to believe that because I was playing her. I couldn't judge her; I had to understand her.At first it's completely daunting and intimidating, and then it becomes part of your universe.
Do you remember the name Rachel Corrie? Maybe not. She was a 23-year-old American peace activist killed by an Israeli Army bulldozer as she tried to block the destruction of a Palestinian's house in Gaza in March 2003.
The fabled architectural sketch on a cocktail napkin has made a comeback. But in the case of the new Denver Art Museum, it was a boarding pass--Daniel Libeskind says he grabbed it as he flew over the city: "I copied the shapes I saw out of my airplane window--the craggy cliffs of the Rockies." Libeskind is the Great Communicator when it comes to explaining his edgy abstract designs to the public--a talent that got a workout when he won his highest-profile commission, to plan the World Trade...
Heat by Bill Buford Former New Yorker fiction editor Buford got to do what every serious amateur chef dreams of: he apprenticed at Babbo, the flagship restaurant of superstar Mario Batali. "Heat" teems with hilariously humiliating tales of chopped carrots, skinned lambs' tongues and self-immolation.
The memoir genre has taken a beating lately, which is just one reason to celebrate Donald Antrim's stunning new book, "The Afterlife." Antrim, the author of three praised novels, writes principally about his mother here, a terrifying alcoholic who, even when she finally got sober, was hostile, unhinged and convinced she was an artistic visionary.
When the Museum of Modern Art in New York opened "On-Site: New Architecture in Spain" earlier this year, it showcased Spain as the hotbed of cool design. But besides the cutting-edge projects on display by the usual suspects--Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid, Herzog & de Meuron, Jean Nouvel--the exhibition carried a subtle subtext.
If you've read "The Da Vinci Code," you know author Dan Brown loved planting anagrams as clues in his best-selling thriller. But when he named a scholarly British character Sir Leigh Teabing, little did he know an anagram could bite back. "Leigh Teabing" is a play on the names of Richard Leigh and Michael Baigent, the two authors now suing Brown's British publisher, Random House U.K., for copyright infringement.
She was a housewife and freelance writer in 1963 when she published "The Feminine Mystique," the manifesto of modern feminism. What sounds obvious today was revolutionary when she articulated it then: "A woman has got to be able to say, and not feel guilty, 'Who am I, and what do I want out of life?' She mustn't feel selfish and neurotic if she wants goals of her own, outside of husband and children." A founder of the National Organization for Women, she was often at odds with her fellow...
The old Getty villa in Malibu always had a wacky Hollywood vibe. A replica of a grand Roman house that was buried when Mount Vesuvius blew in A.D. 79, it looked so fabulously fake in the southern California sunshine that you half-expected some B-movie actor to stroll out in a toga and start orating.
It's easy to forget that the elegant Italian architect Renzo Piano's first big commission was totally outrageous. Thirty-five years ago, he and British colleague Richard Rogers teamed up to build the Pompidou Center--both unknown, they beat out 681 architects for the job--and their brash factory for culture, with its pop-colored industrial tubes, ducts and pipes, landed in a sedate Paris neighborhood like an alien spaceship. "We were young, quite impolite bad boys," Piano recalled with a smile...
As you sit in the crisp white living room of the model apartment at 50 Gramercy Park North in New York City, check out the subtle details of the exorbitant minimalist decor: the sleek fireplace of buttery travertine, the Italian cherry kitchen cabinets, the floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the leafy private park to which each owner will be given a key.
The Bette Davis CollectionIn this five-film set, you can see Davis go from mesmerizing to monstrous--often in the same scene. The 10-time Oscar nominee (and two-time winner) is luminous when she's good ("Now, Voyager," the end of the weeper "Dark Victory"), but nothing beats Bette when she's bad (the lying wife in "The Letter").