Ariel Kaminer's story about Jennifer Westfeldt's films in the latest issue of the New York Times Magazine explains that, whereas Westfeldt's last two movies were set "in a storied version of New York, where people shop at Zabar's and bump into one another's psychotherapists and are yelled at by lovably grouchy white taxi drivers," her new film has moved on to more vital territory:
Each Friday, NYT.com General Manager Vivian Schiller and 'Times' deputy managing editor Jonathan Landman write an in-house email on the subject of The Future and The Internet and The Newsroom. This week, we hear about the quietly-revamped movie pages: "Web sites need to be reference sources. So every actor, director, cinematographer, gaffer — and every film — has its own reference page, with encyclopedic and reliable data supplied by our terrific colleagues at Baseline Studio Systems. Thanks to Baseline, Our movie database now has over 900,000 people and 200,000 movie titles. Like IMDB, except that it's true. Want to know who mixed the sound for Titanic? No problem. Did Bosley Crowther like the 1962 version of Billy Budd? Easy to find out. Do you like trailers? You could lose yourself here for days. 'All in all,' says Ariel Kaminer, 'I really do think it stands as the best movie site in America — and that's a title with a LOT of competition.' Anybody want to argue?"
Say you want to have one of those low-stress, non-Bridezilla weddings. You know: Your high school pal serves as the rabbi, your fave gay whips up a nice chuppah, and everybody just shows up and has a ball. If you're Times deputy editor for online journalism Ariel Kaminer, you even hire a pal to do the catering—his very first wedding job! Except your caterer, one Montgomery Knott, the hipster-genius behind MonkeyTown in Williamsburg and member of Stars Like Fleas, went and got arrested on Friday, the day before the wedding. It was for a "bench warrant that shouldn't have been a bench warrant" said Mr. Knott this afternoon by phone, somewhat cryptically. "Apparently Brooklyn arrests more people than any other bureau." (Um, GOOD.) So he did his 20 hours—which plunged the wedding into the sort of chaos that forced Times restaurant critic Frank Bruni to bartend, with Times chief art critic Michael Kimmelman as his bar back. Still the "candied bacon balls" were sorta tasty, guests said. They were like gobstoppers... made of bacon?
Ariel Kaminer is skipping out as the editor of the New York Times Arts & Leisure section—you know, that section you turn to first while curled on your cream-colored couch while your fit lawyer-husband reads Sports nearby. She'll now take a newly-created position—deputy editor for online journalism—while still working in the culture department.
Two weeks ago the Times — both in print and in a video walking tour — directed its readers to the wonders of Menahata, the crazy second-floor Bulgarian bar at Broadway and Canal. Just days later, word came that the bar would be temporarily shut down while the building housing it was under construction. But now there's worse news, as reported by the blog Slavs of New York:
Perhaps it's the within-the-city, streaming-video version of the Sports Illustrated cover curse: In Friday's Times, and in an accompanying video tour on the Times site, Ariel Kaminer sang the praises of that weird Bulgarian Bar — it's called Mehanata — on the corner of Canal and Broadway. The next day, the blog Slavs of New York received this email:
We weren't going to pay much attention to the "36 Hours: Lower Manhattan" feature in today's Times Escapes section, mostly because we never pay any attention to the Escapes section and especially because there's something a little bit ridiculous and galling about the Gray Lady of 43rd Street attempting to telling us about the cool things to do below Canal Street. But then someone sent us a link to the accompanying video, narrated by Ariel Kaminer, which we found surprisingly delightful to watch. It drags a bit in places, but hang on till the 5:46 mark, when you'll have the rare pleasure of watching a Bulgarian Bar waitress berate a Times arts editor.
Just over a week since Arts & Leisure princess Jodi Kantor announced her move to the magazine's The Way We Live Now roster as a reporter, the Times has placed the crown upon the sternly coiffed head of one Ariel Kaminer, who formerly whipped the section around as deputy editor. All subscribers are asked to put forth a sacrificial lamb to appease the new queen.