By Lynn Adams Smith

Pictured: At the Moulin Rouge: The Clowness Cha-U-Kao, by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, 1895

The woman in this portrait was one of Lautrec’s favorite models. She was a dancer, contortionist, and clown, deriving her stage name from the chahut, an acrobatic dance similar to the cancan. Crowds often became chaotic and roared in applause when she performed on stage. Her Japanese-sounding stage name was undoubtedly due to the infl uence of Japonism, the movement inspired by Japanese wood-block prints which was admired by many French Impressionist painters. more

By Linda Arntzenius

It’s been said that individuals only come of age with the demise of their parents. The same might be said of institutions. With the recent death of literary lion Peter Matthiessen (1927-2014) and that of legendary journalist George Plimpton (1927-2003), the institution that is The Paris Review has surely come of age.

Founded in 1952 by Matthiessen and Harold L. Humes along with Donald Hall and Thomas Guinzburg, The Paris Review’s first issue appeared in the spring of 1953, with Plimpton replacing Humes as editor. TIME Magazine has called it “the biggest ‘little magazine’ in history” and who could disagree. more

Interview by Lynn Adams Smith

Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman will be retiring from Princeton University in 2015 to join the faculty of the Graduate Center, City University of New York, as professor in the Ph.D. Program in Economics, where he will become a Distinguished Scholar at the Graduate Center’s Luxembourg Income Study Center (LIS). He will continue writing his column and blog for The New York Timesmore

By Ellen Gilbert

* Suggested accompaniment while you read: log on You Tube and play “Autumn In New York–Eddie Higgins

Descriptions of the bittersweet lyrics and music of Vernon Duke’s jazz standard “Autumn in New York” invariably reference the melancholy elegance of this much-recorded song. “There is something so improbably consoling about the sadness at the heart of the best Vernon Duke melodies,” observes writer Barry Singer, who rates “Autumn in New York” as one Duke’s three most enduring songs (“April in Paris”, and “I Can’t Get Started” are the other two). “It’s not that the songs are even inherently unhappy,” he adds. “They inhabit an emotional realm uncommon in the American popular song canon, that of dry-eyed ballads of unusual poignancy. The melancholy induced by these songs, while hauntingly seductive, is never glum.” more

By Ilene Dube // Photography by Scott Lynch

If I had been asked, before visiting the 9/11 Memorial Museum, if I was personally affected by the September 11 attacks on our country, I might have answered no. After viewing the eight-acre site honoring the 2,983 people who were killed in the horrific attacks, I would have to say we are all personally affected.

When you enter the glass trapezoidal entry pavilion, you immediately develop a somber mindset. An enormous photograph depicting a peaceful scene of the Brooklyn Bridge and East River at 8:30 that morning gets you thinking about what you were doing when the planes hit. more

By Taylor Smith

At the end of their child’s eighth grade school year, parents are faced with the quandary of where to send their teen to high school. In New York the options are plentiful. Private day school is an attractive option to most since it combines academic rigor with the creature comforts of home. Enrolling as a day student at a local boarding school is also an option. The Millbrook School, Trinity-Pawling School, the Emma Willard School and the Hackley School are four examples. more

By Ellen Gilbert

It’s just a few years since MOOCs (massive open online courses) appeared on the scene. In 2011, Google research director Peter Norvig and computer scientist Sebastian Thrun taught the first MOOC (/mu:k/), a class on artificial intelligence, under the auspices of Stanford University. More than 160,000 students enrolled. Thus was born what Uncharted authors Erez Aiden and Jean-Baptiste Michel describe as “a revolution in higher education.” more

By Stuart Mitchner

Every time the “back to school” theme comes up, I think of The Catcher in the Rye, New York City, and the year I went to McBurney School on 63rd Street off Central Park West. I was 16 when I read Holden Caulfield’s story for the first of many times, not knowing that J.D. Salinger had been at McBurney decades before me and that some of Holden’s school experiences and relationships were drawn from his two years there.  more

By Taylor Smith

The Brandywine River Valley encompasses sections of Southeastern Pennsylvania and Northern Delaware. This is horse country, rich in farmland, rolling hills, and history. The area is dotted with 19th century grist mills and Civil War sites. In autumn, the foliage is alive with color and the many bed and breakfast lodgings open their doors to weekend travellers. It’s no wonder that the famously talented Wyeth clan made the Brandywine their primary home when they weren’t in Maine. Located only a few hours from Philadelphia and Manhattan, the Brandywine makes for a relaxing long weekend. Visitors will soon come to understand why it is often referred to as the “England of Pennsylvania.”  more

Avon Old Farms ( is a celebrated boys’ boarding school in Avon, CT. Their magnificent campus, with its distinctive Cotswold architecture, emphasizes the New England charm of the school’s setting. As well-known for their sports teams as their academic programs, Avon is fully anchored in the liberal arts.

Miss Hall’s School ( is an all-girls’ boarding school in Pittsfield, MA. The campus is situated on over 80 acres in the picturesque Berkshire Mountains. Founded in 1898 by Mira Hall, Miss Hall’s School is also the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

Dwight-Englewood School ( is an independent coeducational college preparatory day school for students in grades PreK through 12. Located in Englewood, NJ, the school has a long tradition of academic excellence. Dwight-Englewood prides itself on being the most ethnically diverse school in Bergen County with students who represent over 80 communities in NJ and NY. more

By Ellen Gilbert

A new show at the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art is reintroducing a master of 20th-century fashion whose name (until now, at any rate) may be unfamiliar to many: Charles James. Cristóbal Balenciaga, the Basque designer and founder of the eponymous couture house in Paris, is reported to have observed, “James is not America’s greatest couturier. He is simply the world’s best.” Christian Dior credited James’s work as the inspiration for his romantic “New Look” designs after World War II.  more