Vital Moments

Late-Winter Dreams

Venturing out this week: Julia Black, Mitch Moxley, David Gauvey Herbert, Mallika Rao, Alex Pritz, Sam Sussman, Stuart Reid, Jill Filipovic, Kara Mavros, Michelle Legro, John Kilbane, Megan Greenwell, Claire Carusillo, Seyward Darby, Colin Dickey, Angela Serratore, Kate Daloz, and more…

We reported an entire social column last week before getting caught in the whirlwind of the story we published on Monday. So, this week we have a slightly retrospective look at how the stuff of life made it around New York’s media community.


On Saturday, February 4, at Any Thing Bar in Prospect Lefferts Gardens, Insider correspondent Julia Black celebrated her birthday with a party that started at 9 p.m. and stretched past where The Fine Print’s memory ends. Black, who’d also marked the occasion the night before with a meal of Peking Duck, couldn’t immediately think of a birthday resolution. But who could think ahead when it had been such an exciting week? Days earlier, Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy had dropped his appeal in the lawsuit against Black and others at Insider for publishing investigations on his alleged sexual misconduct, which a federal judge originally dismissed last November. The night’s centerpiece was a playlist Black had carefully curated to ensure that everybody got out under the disco ball and danced. The two songs that made it into this reporter’s notes app were Sean Paul’s “Temperature” (2005) and Fred Again’s “Marea (We’ve Lost Dancing)” (2021) — times change, but some vibes stay the same. Black later texted her resolution: “The goal is to keep my work as weird and fascinating as possible and to keep my personal life one million miles away from it!”

On Tuesday, February 7, Penta magazine senior editor Mitch Moxley and Businessweek contributor David Gauvey Herbert hosted the fifth edition of their reading and interview series, The Night Editor, while recovering from the depredations of Dry January. The series was back at Down & Out bar in the East Village, which has officially opened since the series last appeared in this column and now features a waiter carrying plates of oysters, scuttling in front of the stage. The Night Editor has grown since then, taking on an intern, bringing in a photographer, and attracting spectators who’d never previously met the hosts. As Mallika Rao, the first presenter, took the stage to talk about her Believer story on a death in Texas and about making the jump to podcasting with HiberNation, the photographer’s flash caught on her silver socks. She said later they were just something she’d picked up at H&M. She was followed by documentarian Alex Pritz, husband of previous Night Editor presenter and former New York Times video journalist Leslye Davis. Pritz talked about The Territory, his documentary on the battle for the Amazon. Off stage, Pritz told The Fine Print that he’d just returned from a vacation to the Gulf of Mexico, much of which he’d spent in a hammock reading books by Atlantic staff writer Ed Yong and the late neurologist Oliver Sacks. Rao, in turn, said she’d been reading Ann Patchett interviews.

As usual, guests mingled and chatted before and after the show. Among them were Harper’s contributor and earnest softball player Sam Sussman, too-many-affiliations to list Sid Mahanta, Foreign Affairs executive editor Stuart Reid, and a UN employee who recommended the diplomat bar as the best thing about the complex. “Great for sourcing,” he said. CNN columnist Jill Filipovic had moved upstate, near Hudson, New York, about six months earlier but had second thoughts on the drive into the city. “I did that whole loop around the BQE when the whole city skyline comes up. I had that moment that was like, ‘Fuck, I miss it so much here, and I’m so happy to be back in Brooklyn,’” she said. Upstate was charming, but you couldn’t have everything. “I grew up in Seattle. I don’t give a shit about the West Coast, but if I could be between New York and Paris…” Filipovic said before adding, “totally doable on the salary of a feminist freelancer.”

“I need to be bi-coastal,” said Gensler executive communications manager and former Architectural Recordassociate editor Kara Mavros who attended with her husband, Rolling Stone correspondent Jack Crosbie. Easy access to Paris had once been on Mavros’s horizon. “Part of my pitch when we started dating was ‘I’m a British citizen as well, so if we need to live in the EU at any point, maybe we could just go live together in Paris. And then a year into us dating Brexit happened and I was like, well, that one’s out,” he said. “Useless,” Mavros noted. Crosbie conceded: “So if you want to live in London with my 29-year-old cousin …”

“I have a theory that people that love New York do not tend to love London and vice versa. But I feel like people who love New York love Paris. For whatever reason, they seem to have the same fanbase,” said Filipovic. “London is close enough to New York that it just makes you really conscious of how much worse it is the entire time you’re there, at least in my experience,” offered Crosbie. “London is a bunch of villages for people without chins, but the buses are cute,” Filipovic rolled on. “What is there for you that’s not selling umbrellas to chimney sweeps? And why do pubs close early?” “The drinking culture is very, very strange. It’s like either you go around to the pub, and you’re there from 4 p.m. until 10 and you leave just obliterated, or you do what my cousins were doing the last time I lived there for a long period of time and you drink six pints of Magners Cider in your apartment and then you go to a club at 1 a.m. until you can’t see,” said Crosbie. “Neither of those are really my vibe.”

On Thursday evening, Wired deputy features editor Michelle Legro and her husband, photographer John Kilbane, celebrated their birthdays — both on February 16 — at Dirty Precious in Gowanus with a throng of media friends, including former Deadspin editor-in-chief Megan Greenwell, who is working on a book about the impact of private equity, former Gawker features writer Claire Carusillo, Atavist editor-in-chief Seyward Darby, The Unidentified: Mythical Monsters, Alien Encounters, and Our Obsession With the Unexplained author Colin Dickey, freelance writer and former Lapham’s Quarterly web editor Angela Serratore with her husband, Matthew Ealer, and We Are As Gods: Back to the Land in the 1970s and the Quest for a New America author Kate Daloz. Legro was quick with her birthday resolution: “Be more chill.”


7 p.m. Poet Camonghne Felix will discuss her new book Dyscalculia with New York magazine senior writer Tirhakah Love at McNally Jackson Seaport.
7 p.m. The nephew of longtime Interview Magazine cover artist Richard Bernstein will discussBernstein’s life and legacy at The National Arts Club in Gramercy Park.

7 p.m. Writers Jai Chakrabarti, Gunnhild Øyehaug, and Hernan Diaz will discuss the art of the short story with Harper’s senior editor Joanna Biggs at The Center for Fiction in Fort Greene.

6 p.m. On the eve of the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Time reporter Simon Shuster, La Stampa war correspondent Francesco Semprini, and Consul General from the Republic of Poland Adrian Kubicki will discuss the war’s first year at the auditorium at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Midtown.
8 p.m. New Yorker staff writer Michael Schulman will discuss his new book Oscar Wars with fellow New Yorker staff writer Naomi Fry at McNally Jackson Seaport.


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