Found in The New Yorker, Talk of the Town (March 12, 2012)

Three great opening sentences (What, you expected more from self this morning?  Excuuuse me!  It is Saturday morning and there are ga-zillions of farmers markets, all over the place! And as you can see from the date of the issue about to be quoted from, self is extremely extremely backed up with her reading!)

Without further ado:

  • Opening Sentence # 1:  “Broadway, like New York City, is a place where petty comforts are fought for but rarely won.” (from a piece by Michael Shulman about the installation of ergonomic seats in Broadway theaters)
  • Opening Sentence # 2:  “On one of those indecisive early winter afternoons —  warm in the sun, nippy out of it —  Chucker Branch” (What a great name, by the way:  self must use in a story!) “and Christine Lehner, his partner, were on the roof of the Whitney Museum, winterizing their bees.”  (from a piece by Calvin Tomkins)
  • Opening Sentence # 3:  “Given that the area surrounding City Hall has the highest birth rate of any neighborhood in Manhattan, adding a kids’ store to the strip of Park Row occupied by J & R Music and Computer World would seem to be a no-brainer, like wearable speakers for expectant mothers.” (from a piece by Robert Sullivan about the opening of J & R Jr.)

Best Writing, Economist Business Section, June 2 – 8

Okay, okay, self knows:  Today is July 27, and she still hasn’t caught up with her reading of The Economist.  She is almost two months behind.

But, really, who cares?  Self only reads The Economist to trawl for examples of good writing, not to glean any actual news.  Come on, people!  For news, there’s the web!

The Business section has mention of the following:

“Why American firms cannot do deals without being sued.” — The article begins with a quote from Kurt Vonnegut.  Oh, how very erudite are these Economist business writers!   Here’s the quote:  “Kurt Vonnegut wrote that, “in every big transaction, there is a magic moment during which the man who is due to receive it has not yet done so.  An alert lawyer will make the moment his own, possessing the treasure for a magic microsecond, taking a little of it, passing it on.”  Like so many novelists (quoth The Economist), he was “talking bosh.  No alert lawyer takes only ‘a little.’ ”

“The sound of discord at HP” —  Few people, if any, can sing two songs in different keys at the same time.  Yet the boss of a troubled company often has to belt out an upbeat number about how brilliant the firm is while simultaneously wailing a lament about how hard it will be to knock into shape.  Thorstein Heins (Self’s immediate thought:  What kind of parents name their kid “Thorstein”???), the newish boss of Research in Motion, has been getting plenty of practice:  on May 30th the enfeebled maker of Blackberrys told investors to expect a quarterly loss.  And Meg Whitman has been singing both major and minor since September, when she became Hewlett-Packard’s third chief in less than 14 months.

“What the world’s biggest luxury group will do next” —  France’s tradition of making exquisite luxuries dates back at least to the court of Louis XIV.  The sun king financed ébénistes (cabinet-makers), tapisseurs (upholsterers), menuisiers (carpenters) and other artisans who made beautiful and largely useless things for the court of Versailles.  Bernard Arnault might be his heir.  Mr. Arnault is the chairman, chief executive and controlling shareholder of Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH), the world’s largest luxury group.  Over the past quarter-century he has transformed a small, nearly defunct clothing manufacturer into a conglomerate that controls more than 60 luxury brands.

“Western nightclubs eye Asia, and clever technology.” — Few businesses are as local as nightclubs (Well, that is just a fabulous sentence, dear blog readers.  And, since it is so fabulous, self doesn’t think the rest of the article lives up to its promise)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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