Best Of The Web
“Perhaps because I’m writing this as I sit in a vibrant, quirky coffee shop in Washington Heights, its walls decorated with graffiti-inspired art and fake ivy, it strikes me that whenever I arrive in a new city, I make a beeline for the nearest independent coffee house. But it wasn’t until I read Shachar Pinsker’s new book, “A Rich Brew: How the Café Created Modern Jewish Culture” (NYU Press), that I learned that Jews and coffee shops have been connected for at least a century; Jews, especially Jewish writers, he argues, have made the café their primary gathering place and, in many cases, their collective muse.
Pinsker, who teaches Hebrew literature at the University of Michigan, chronicles the history of cafés in six cities (Odessa, Warsaw, Vienna, Berlin, New York and Tel Aviv), showing that major Jewish journalists, novelists, poets and playwrights, from Sholem Aleichem to Isaac Bashevis Singer, were not just inspired by coffee shops but frequently used them as the settings for their work.
Jews have a long history with coffee. While coffee houses first sprang up in Constantinople, Cairo and other Middle Eastern cities during the mid-sixteenth century, it was a Jewish entrepreneur who brought the coffee house to Europe, opening one in Livorno in 1632. The first café in England was opened in 1651 in Oxford by one “Jacob the Jew,” who was an immigrant from Lebanon.”
JJ Best Of The Web
"...after five months of canceled meetings and muted statements of dissatisfaction by both countries, experts say there is no sign of progress toward the Singapore goal of so-called "denuclearization" of the North."
"The presidential news conferences have become frustrating to watch and, doubtless, are frustrating for President Trump to engage in. While we have freedom of the press in our country, we should not tolerate unprofessionalism."
"It's highly unlikely that Israel's center-left parties will form a coalition to run together in the 2019 election, but they should not abandon efforts to find common ground to fight for."
"Cam has the brilliant audacity to argue that the internet isn’t about connecting people. Netflix’s slick, saucy new horror noir understands the existential terror of losing your carefully curated fictional internet persona."
"Wealthy nations have strong currencies. A strong dollar allows Americans to buy goods, services and resources from other countries at low prices."
"China’s leaders like the internet they have created. And now, they want to direct the nation’s talent and tech acumen toward an even loftier end: building an innovation-driven economy, one that produces world-leading companies."
"At an inaugural desert festival of yogis and spirit guides like Russell Brand, an exclusive industry grapples with consumerism, addiction, and the actual meaning of wellness."
"The confusing thing about Franzen is that even people who hate him admit that he is a great novelist, and even people who love him admit that his essays are often a little on the insufferable..."
"“And just like that” or “in the blink of an eye” are familiar captions on parenting milestone photos. But for me, while the days were long, not even one year flew by."
"How the Silicon Valley set fell in love with sourdough and decided to disrupt the 6,000-year-old craft of making bread, one crumbshot at a time."
"...everyone can — and should — learn quantum mechanics. It’s not rocket science — it’s a fundamental part of how our world works, and not as complex as you might fear."
"New Hebrew University initiative brings international students to Yoga studio run by Breslov Hasidim for course on 'Judaism and the Body.'"