Consumed week of 27 August and 3 September

Above, Jon Bunning’s short documentary, The Tables, which takes a look at “the powerful connection between a pair of outdoor ping pong tables in the heart of New York City and the unlikely group of people they’ve brought together, from homeless people to investment bankers to gangbangers.”

From Bloomberg comes the article, Ten Things I Never Knew About Las Vegas Until I Ran a High-Roller Suite , documenting the behaviour of sin city’s high rollers and VVIPS, and featuring a “misbehaving sugar glider (aka a flying squirrel) with severe separation anxiety,” and, “nocturnal snakes that required dozens of blackout shades might be the highest-maintenance.”

The Guardian reviewed Christopher Howse’s book, Soho in the Eighties, which I might have to put on the list. I didn’t get to London until the late 90s, but you could still see the patina of glamour and filth the 80s had left behind thank to its inhabitants’ “existential commitment to the ruination of chronic drinking,” while now of course, “… Shiny developments on Archer Street and around the new Crossrail station at Tottenham Court Road seem to me to be silvery spikes hammered into Soho’s vampiric heart.”

The NY Times published an article by Joyce Maynard this week, with the title Was She J.D. Salinger’s Predator or His Prey?. A question which shouldn’t really have to be asked.

“My crime — which earned me the dubious distinction of being, in the opinion of one prominent critic, the author of possibly “the worst book ever written” — lay in my decision, after 25 years of silence, to write a memoir in which I told the story of my relationship with a powerful older man.”

Also in the NY Times this week, someone I used to know from the London tech scene, the brilliant LJ Rich, featured in the article You Know What London Looks Like. But Have You Really Heard It? in which LJ dons a pair of high heels and tours London with the musician Dessa for an auditory tour of the capital.

In a tour-guide voice, LJ announced, “The acoustically interesting spaces of London!” Despite the jokey tone, she made an interesting point: It’s remarkable how few sonic experiences we seek while traveling. We lean into our adventures with wide eyes and open mouths, hunting for photographic vistas and authentic local meals. It’s a rare story that leads with another sense.

Below, Roger Deakins’ handwritten list of 10 greatest films ever made .

And, talking of films, I watched Ocean’s Eight this week and came away disappointed. Seemed to lack some of the storytelling zip and style of the original (but not 12, definitely not 12). Although Cate Blanchett just dominated very scene she was in.

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