Jazz, Pokémon Go, Binge Watching, Eating Bugs

Best of 2016: Culture

December 29, 2016 Culture By

365 days is a lot of time to seek out stories on adventure, gear, and everything in between. Here’s a look back at the best stories our culture writers tackled over the course of 2016 — from abstract art to jazz to Pokémon Go.

Quote of the Year

From “A ‘Million’ Used Records, $2 a Pop, in No Order at All”

“Taped to the dirty walls at The Thing record store in Greenpoint, Brooklyn are several signs with handwritten scrawls that warn of falling records. There’s the straightforward, penned-in-sharpie one that’s titled “Diggin for Dummies/Hipsters/Newbies/Tourists” (“Excessive weights on hollow crates are a safety hazard. They sway, tip, and fall.”). There’s the pleading one, also in sharpie, taped to a monstrous stack, crates encased in crates encased in crates so deep you could enclose a victim among them Cask of Amontillado-style: “Please don’t move these, you already had a chance at them but we need more space.” There’s the subtle one: little pieces of record shards scattered on the basement’s dirty concrete floor like so many sharp-edged leaves, their music forever sent to the Big Concert in the Sky by dummies/hipsters/newbies/tourists.”

– Chris Wright

The Stories

The best in the arts, music, TV, film, video games and more

The Future of Jazz Is Here

A status update on America’s signature musical art, from jazz legends to artists tangentially related to the genre. – John Zientek

Lessons in Art with One of the World’s Great Abstract Sculptors

Inside the mind of Kan Yasuda, who at 71 is Japan’s greatest living sculptor. – Chris Wright

Why Pokémon Go Is a Fad

Told you so. – J. Travis Smith

Who Is the Greatest Fictional American Badass? We Discuss.

We challenged the GP crew: give us the baddest of American badasses, and explain why they’d be the one left standing after shit hit the fan. – GP Staff

HBO’s ‘Silicon Valley’ Is a Goldmine of Craft Beer and Bong Easter Eggs

Why craft beer snobs and ganja aficionados should be watching Silicon Valley.
– Michael Finn

How to Listen to Classical Music

A little patience and a few tips from an expert open up this esoteric world. – John Zientek

A New Podcast That Challenges You to Listen Smarter

Why do explosions sound the way they do? Where did ice cream truck music come from? What makes a beat drop so good? Pop on a good pair of headphones and find out. – Nick Milanes

What Does It Take to Binge Watch for 94 Hours? Ask This Man

Alejandro “AJ” Fragoso was at work on Wednesday. This is notable only because the morning before, at 5 a.m. EST, under the strict surveillance of an official from Guinness World Records, he passed the 94-hour mark of a television binge-watching session that had begun the previous Friday. – J. Travis Smith

The Modern Museum’s Unlikely Champion

Sebastien Montabonel, an art consultant, warns that the museum world is unprepared for the 21st century. – Chris Wright

Should We Be Eating Bugs?

Two filmmakers delve into the world hunger problem through a many-legged lens.
– J. Travis Smith

The Editor Will Show Himself Out

Quality time and a round of golf — for money — with David Granger, the Editor in Chief of Esquire for 19 years and winner of 17 National Magazine awards. – Jeremy Berger

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