Arts and Culture

Mark on own personal "Walden Pond" in Animal Crossing

Game developer Tracy Fullerton tells us why Henry David Thoreau would play her new game. It’s called “Walden.”More

Mark and Anne in front of Mark's home in "Animal Crossing"

Mark just built a new house. In fact, he built a whole town. And it's the one place we can actually visit, because it’s inside a game. He’s been taking refuge from the grim reality of a global pandemic...in Animal Crossing.More

Cheryl Strayed

Cheryl Strayed’s "Wild" is one of the most famous wilderness memoirs of our time. She especially appreciates writers who combine honesty with emotional intensity — writers who reveal themselves unflinchingly on the page. She recommends a memoir by the writer Poe Ballantine.More

a view of the Manhattan skyline from the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge in Queens.

One of the greatest walkers of our time, William Helmreich — known for exploring every street in New York City — was an early casualty of COVID-19. But composer David Rothenberg got to walk with him one last time, around wetlands in Queens.More

Pamuk

The Turkish writer and Nobel laureate says his favorite novel — the 800-plus-page Russian novel bursting with characters living the life of imperial Russian society — is a complex miracle of a book.More

A still from "Fantastic Fungi." (Moving Art)

Fungi contain vast, untapped potential, says Louie Schwartzberg — to remediate pollution, reverse climate change, even address chronic disease and mental disorder — something he argues in his film "Fantastic Fungi."More

J woodson

The author of "Another Brooklyn" recommends a James Baldwin novel she says belongs on everyone's bookshelf.More

Vijay Iyer

Celebrated jazz pianist Vijay Iyer talks improv and basketball with Steve backstage before a show.More

Nicole Paris

Father-daughter beatboxers Nicole Paris and Ed Cage take vocal percussion from the cradle to the stage.More

Bobby McFerrin

Famous for his smash hit "Don’t Worry Be Happy," Bobby McFerrin is way more than that song. McFerrin talks to Steve about an eight-year project called "Vocabularies."More

Värttinä

Here’s a very short taste of the power of music. It’s the Finnish acapella group Värttinä.More

Lisa Bielawa

With "Broadcast From Home," New York City composer and musician Lisa Bielawa hopes to set the thoughts and emotions of quarantine to music, in the voices of anyone willing to contribute a performance. More

Brandy Clark

One of Charles’ favorite musician interviews is with country music star Brandy Clark. Brandy and Charles have a similar upbringing and he had a strong connection with her album “Big Day in a Small Town.”More

Famed novelist Kazuo Ishiguro recommends “Prayers for the Stolen,” by Jennifer Clement —a harrowing tale about young children who are abducted in the midst of Mexican drug wars.More

Products for skin

Living through a global pandemic is giving us all a whole new awareness of skin. Producer Angelo Bautista has been thinking a lot about his own skin — how to claim it, care for it, and all the ways he lives in it.More

Alissa Waters in her shop.

In Madison, Wisconsin, there’s a place a lot of women with scars go. It’s a studio run by a tattoo artist — Alissa Waters — who specializes in the scars left from breast cancer surgery. Her tattoos help women reclaim their bodies.More

ruth ozeki

For her own book, author Ruth Ozeki drew from “Kamikaze Diaries,” a collection of writings left behind by the young soldiers who died on suicide missions. They represent a generation of brilliant, highly educated young students who were conscripted into the army and ordered not just to kill but to die.More

Norwegian novelist Karl Ove Knausgaard has published six volumes of intensely personal descriptions of his daily life. But his “honesty” cost him some of his closest relationships, including his marriage.More

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