Earlier this week, we asked our readers for any information about Chipotle’s “Cultivating Thought” campaign—namely, how much dough the chain restaurant is offering famous authors to write the (extremely) short stories that appear on Chipotle cups and bags. Our readers delivered a few theories, and at least two plausible numbers.
Over the weekend, the New York Times highlighted Chipotle’s recent decision to print (very) short stories by famous writers on its paper cups and take-out bags. Called “Cultivating Thought,” the campaign is the brainchild of Brooklyn novelist Jonathan Safran Foer, who approached the fast-casual Mexican grill chain after visiting one of its establishments earlier this year. Toni Morrison and Malcolm Gladwell have signed on. So let’s ask what New York’s literary milieu have wondered about: How much is Chipotle paying?
If you've ever thought to yourself, while eating a burrito, "Hey, I'd love to read a story by a famous author on my cup of Diet Coke," great news: Starting today, Chipotle's cups will feature original stories by Toni Morrison, George Saunders, Malcolm Gladwell, Michael Lewis, and Jonathan Safran Foer.
Here is the latest trailer for Stephen Daldry's Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, and it is one damp mess. Based on Jonathan Safran Foer's 2005 novel, it's got all the requisite benchmarks of a sobfest-out-on-Christmas day movie. Behold, the Holy Trifecta: the wondrous and precociously wise child; the underlying "family is the true meaning of Christmas" message; and the most crucial nail in the Christmas film coffin: Tom Hanks.
Here's a trailer for the upcoming holiday weepy Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, a movie about 9/11 based on the same-titled literary gewgaw by Jonathan Safran Foer. It's about a magical little boy doing magical things.
A new USDA survey finds that less than 1% of US farms are organic—meaning that the carnivore locavore yuppie fantasy that it's okay to eat meat as long as it comes from one of the few "good" farms is an unsustainable argument, in the Kantian sense. There will never be enough "good" farms to fulfill the demand for meat, so only forsaking meat altogether is a viable, ethical, environmental stance, in accord with the categorical imperative (universalization formulation). Which, not for nothing, is exactly what Jonathan Safran Foer says in his new book, so, we know he's a precious twee Brooklyn writer and all, but give up some props, along with that ham sandwich. Everyone knows you got to stay off that pork.
• The week in reviews: Sam Sifton of the Times pronounces Madangsui the best Korean BBQ in Manhattan and gives it one star; the Post's Steve Cuozzo isn't all that impressed with Le Caprice; Time Out's Jay Cheshes has mixed feelings about Susur Lee's Shang; GQ's Alan Richman heads over to Ken Friedman and April Bloomfield's Breslin; and Gael Greene checks in on Café Boulud.
• It's looking likely that Scott Conant will take over the Table 8 space. [Eater]
• A peek inside the Guggenheim Museum's new restaurant, Wright. [NYT]|
• Nightlife: A new club on West 29th Street called Amnesia debuts tomorrow; and Mike Satsky's meatpacking club Provocateur should open shortly.
• More on the Tavern on the Green auction scheduled for next month. [NYT]
• Time Out lists off the 100 best things to eat and drink in New York. [TONY]
• The Flatiron Indian eatery Tamarind is opening a branch in Tribeca. [Zagat]
• Frank Bruni and Jonathan Safran Foer debated meat last night. [TONY]
• If your kid refuses to eat at McDonald's, watches Iron Chef religiously, and studies up on varieties of cheese, you probably have a "gastrokid." [NYP]
• The critics: Sam Sifton of the Times heads to Flushing for Cantonese and bestows a star on Imperial Palace; Jay Cheshes of Time Out gives four stars to A Voce; New York's R&P rave about Steve Hanson's new Bill's Bar & Burger; GQ's Alan Richman very much disagrees; and the Post's cranky Steve Cuozzo finds that Agua Dulce only came through when they knew he was there.
• A look around Anthony and Tom Martignetti's Brinkley's in Nolita. [GS, Eater]
• Publicity hound Nello Balan is being sued for, like, the 78th time. [NYP]
• Meanwhile Table 8's co-owner is facing a messy criminal matter. [Eater, GS]
• Eric Ripert does not think it's okay that Roberto Cavalli has a habit of ordering food from one restaurant (Mañana) while he's sitting in another (Serafina). Not that anyone has ever tried to pull that at Le Bernardin. [GS]
• Jonathan Safran Foer turned poor Natalie Portman into a vegan. [HP]
• Pickles are having their moment in the sun. At last! [Zagat]
Ivana Trump turns 60 today. Anderson Cooper's mother, heiress Gloria Vanderbilt, is 85. Cindy Crawford is 43. Sidney Poitier turns 82. Coach president Reed Krakoff is 45. Grace Hightower De Niro is turning 56. Knicks guard Stephon Marbury is 32. Patty Hearst is turning 55. Architect Deborah Berke is turning 55. Charles Barkley is 46. Senator Mitch McConnell is turning 67. Actress Lauren Ambrose is 31. And poor Rihanna turns 21 today. Weekend birthdays after the jump!
Far be it from us to make you dread the year before it's properly begun, but if you assumed that the blood pressure-raising murderousness you once felt toward Brooklyn boy-wonder novelist Jonathan Safran Foer was a once-in-a-lifetime thing, during 2009 his brother Joshua Foer will sadly prove you wrong. Foer the younger is about to launch a travel website (featuring "all the curious, wondrous and bizarre places that are just below the radar of more conventional travel guides") and this fall will see the launch of Moonwalking with Einstein, his book on memory that, since it cost Penguin $1.2 million to acquire, will probably be promoted until we beg for mercy. [New Statesman]
A renovation of a grand Fifth Avenue apartment by a very creative architectual designer, Eric Clough, resulted in a scavenger-hunt puzzle being built into the place. The apartment—for a young family—was secretly outfitted by the designer with coded messages, scrolls, and and an original mystery book that gave clues. It was a magical game for the kids to solve—and the parents didn't even know it was being built into their house! Who was asked to be involved? And who turned it down? Why, Brooklyn novelist Jonathan Safran Foer.
...according to a tipster who says this shocking fact was "revealed in an email to the writing class he's teaching at yale." Also: "heard he's very grumpy and said this week's essays had better make life worth living." Anyone else have more details? Is this our fault? Did we give him the shingles with our psychic ill-will?
In response to Vanity Fair's earlier item about the play by an old friend of novelist Jonathan Safran Foer, about how novelist Jonathan Safran Foer suddenly got very rich and famous while his old friend did not, Foer says, "his play is hilarious and great. I hope it's bigger than The Lion King." [VF, Earlier]