Contributing Writer, New York Times Magazine. Book-in-progress: Two Wheels Good: A Bicycle History of the World (2017-ish).

The Bangladeshi Traffic Jam That Never Ends — Of all the dysfunctions that plague the world's megacities, none may be more pernicious than bad (really, really bad) traffic. Sitting still in Dhaka, where bad design takes on epic proportions. I WAS IN DHAKA, which is to say I was stuck in traffic.

Review: Young Thug's 'Jeffery' May Be Rapper's Strongest in Years — The records of Young Thug, a.k.a. Jeffery Williams, continue to command the rap zeitgeist, in part because there's so many of them. ( Jeffery is his third full-length release this year.)

The Mysteries of Pittsburgh — If you're looking for an ideal vantage point from which to contemplate the oddity that is 21st-century Pittsburgh, head for a patch of waterfront in Lawrenceville, a picturesquely postindustrial neighborhood northeast of downtown. Locals call this place Concrete Beach. It is easily reached, provided you have a sturdy pair of shoes and some aptitude for bushwhacking.

Album Reviews: Florida Georgia Line, the Cadillac Three, Jake Owen — Whither the bro? After a half-decade of radio dominance, country music's party-hearty dudes are loosening their grip on Nashville. Blame (or thank) the rise of tough, smart female stars like Miranda Lambert, Brandy Clark and Maren Morris. Or call it a cyclical thing: Eventually, every rager stalls out in a puddle of stale backwash.

A Rolling Shout-Out to Hip-Hop History — The success of Hush Tours is a sign that hip-hop has become part of New York's official cultural heritage -- for younger visitors especially, a tourist magnet right up there with the Brooklyn Bridge or the Statue of Liberty.

A Pal to Stars, Mobsters and Other Crumb Bums — One day in 1997, when Kristi Jacobson was working in the documentary division of ABC News, she glanced over a co-worker's shoulder and noticed Toots Shor's name in the New York Times crossword puzzle. Ms. Jacobson casually mentioned that Mr. Shor, the fabled New York saloonkeeper, was her grandfather.

Paul Simon on New Album 'Stranger to Stranger,' Donald Trump and America's Anger Addiction — Paul Simon has a bit of a cold, and he knows where he caught it: on a plane a couple of days back. "I stepped off that flight, and I said, 'Uh-oh.' " Simon is in the midst of a two-month-long tour in support of his 12th studio album, Stranger to Stranger, and he needs to keep his singing voice stage-ready.

How ‘Everything’ Became the Highest Form of Praise — Boiled down, Barnum's message was: My show contains all the wonder and sensation in the world; my show is everything. That same idea is endlessly reiterated by advertising. "It slices, it dices"; "Who could ask for anything more?"; "I'd like to buy the world a Coke."

Jennifer Nettles on New Album, Country's Gender Imbalance and Hillary Clinton — Jennifer Nettles has one of those singing voices that cuts through speakers. So it makes sense that when the country star talks about her craft, the metaphors quickly turn, well, sharp. "I love being able to work with a fine ­dentist's tool as a singer in terms of nuance.

Mister Softee’s Greatest Hit — We are just one-third of the way through 2016, and we have already been so overwhelmed by the loss of musical heroes that it feels impossible to make room for more grief. But Les Waas, who died on April 19 at age 94, deserves a page in our Book of Lamentations.
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Sep 24, 2016

@UssamaMakdisi Pollution, inequality, inadequate infrastructure, corruption & more--all detailed passim. Read the whole piece, then tweet?

Sep 22, 2016

My brilliant wife Lauren Redniss has won a MacArthur Fellowship. Couldn't be prouder. 

Sep 21, 2016

Just bulk-deleted a zillion tweets. Feels good. Running light.

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