Sneaker Fashion: Street Scenes in NYC

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In print too small to read, Bill Cunningham of the New York Times writes:

ON THE RIGHT FOOT: Elaborately decorated sneakers are playing a starring role. A trend not unlike the highly embellished women’s handbags at the turn of this century, it is definitely a men’s thing, although women are showing variations. This winter, Saks Fifth Avenue devoted five prime windows just to sneakers. Some with wings echo Mercury, and others are decorated with chains or bones, and then there are sneakers with contrasting laces.”

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/27/fashion/bill-cunningham-on-mens-sneakers.html?_r=0

The (Almost) Secret 100-Mile Marathon

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Of the 800 ultra-runners who have attempted the Barkley Marathon, only 12 have finished.  That’s the same number of people as have walked on the moon. There is no prize for this “test of all limits” just the feat of finishing.  The first person to do so in 1995 had a time of 59 hours and 28 minutes.

The Barkley Marathon is known as the world’s toughest and most secretive trail race. (Nevertheless, the NYT does report that it takes place in the Cumberland Mountains of eastern Tennessee.)

“All the other big races are set up for you to succeed. The Barkley is set up for you to fail,” said Gary Cantrell, the race’s director and creator.

This race is quirky.  The entry fee is $1.60. Entrants are selected and must answer bizarre questions such as “What is the most important vegetable group?” Cantrell collects license plates from first-timers.  All participants walk for the first part of the race. They only begin to run after rounding a bend where Cantrell can no longer see them.  He hides books (with dark, oppressive titles) at various points along the race course; the runners must rip out the page that matches their race number. 

Other marathons pale in its wake.

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/28/sports/the-barkley-marathons-few-know-how-to-enter-fewer-finish.html?_r=0

Walking the Tightrope Metaphor

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“Peter Brook: The Tightrope” is a documentary film of actors pretending to walk a tightrope. Simon Brook, son of Peter Brook, directed this film which is as much about actor-training as it is about exposing a metaphor.

In fact, the ‘tightrope’ was a rolled-up Persian carpet on which the actors had to maintain balance but were permitted to perform tricks or stunts. Most importantly, they had to convey that they were genuinely suspended in the air, their feet hugging a thin cord.

Peter Brook, a theater director who is nearly 90 years old, coached the actors using both simple and abstract instructions. The participants soon understood the tightrope as a metaphor for the risks we take in life and the risks inherent in every serious acting role.

A.O. Scott, the New York Times film reviewer extended this metaphorical understanding: “At some point, though, perhaps many years after the encounter recorded here, they will peek down at the chasm under their feet and find themselves possessed of the agility and imagination to keep going.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/31/movies/peter-brook-the-tightrope-follows-the-theater-director.html?_r=0