Today my associate “RH” and I attempted what only one New York Times reporter has managed to do in the past month: circumnavigate Manhattan on foot. We made it eight miles before a hot borscht/apple pie meal was in order and after that, walking did not seem a wise way to move.
We did, however, make a friend before we were debilitated by sustenance — Jan Karski, the WWII resistance hero immortalized in metal outside the Polish Consulate at Madison and 37th. He is so great, and here is why: At the beginning of WWII, using the pseudonym “Witold Kucharski,” Karski traveled through the mountains from Poland to France to deliver secret reports for the Polish Government-in-Exile; on his way back he memorized a complex military resistance plan and then delivered it exactly as it was written. When captured and tortured by the Slovakian Gestapo on a separate mission, he slashed his wrists so not to be forced to reveal secrets. Later, he sneaked into a Jewish transit camp dressed as an Estonian guard to gather a firsthand account of what, exactly, was going on. Called upon by Roosevelt in 1943 to testify about the camps, the president did not believe what Karski told him — until the Warsaw Uprising the next year.
Like any good Polish resistance fighter, Karski settled into a life of academia at Georgetown. He died in 2000, but still managed to enjoy some energy drinks and a game of chess with RH:
See you soon Jan! We WILL be back!
I very much dig Scott Sherman’s Marcus Brauchli profile in CJR for two reasons. For one, this!
Brauchli did not allow me to examine the postcards and personal items pinned above his desk. He also discouraged me from looking at the books on his shelf, although I did see a copy of T. S. Eliot’s Selected Poems, which someone recently sent to him. He had scribbled some notes on a legal pad, and he began to explain to me why the Post is “in a good position to succeed.”
For two, RUSTY TODD:
“He seemed like a really fine breed of hunting dog who was on the hunt,” says Rusty Todd, who edited Brauchli in Hong Kong. “I don’t want to blow too much smoke up his ass, but he seemed really eager to learn.”
And this, as a bonus:
Along with some friends, [Brauchli] launched a nightclub in Shanghai called Park 97 that, in his words, “became very trendy, especially so after I left China and stopped loitering around the back tables in the lounge.”
Extra Dessert Delights: Available in Mint Chocolate Chip, Key Lime Pie or Strawberry Shortcake flavor.
Who knew that dessert — or rather, dessert flavor — could be so artfully and scientifically condensed into a stick of gum (and just in time for Fashion Week!). I sampled the Mint Chocolate Chip and Key Lime Pie varietals in lieu of one of my four daily dessert-meals. The MCC, strangely fresh, has flat notes of cocoa and a subtle, smooth finish. Delightfully weird to the end. The KLP is a more high-octane flavor; tangy and cloying but disturbingly accurate. B/B+