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Kate Silver

KATE SILVER is a writer, editor, and proud Midwesterner. She lives in Chicago.


When New York experienced its first snowfall of the season, there was nowhere to go but in. The temps may not have dipped dramatically, but with the radiator hissing and comfort in the air it was hard to leave the house.

This Place is Driving You Insane

Wanting to live in New York and actually doing it are two separate beasts. First there’s the tableau: drinking coffee from one of those Greek-motif cups the Law & Order cops are always holding; reading the Post and Observer; riding the subway. But this has little to do with the actual living part of living in New York—the competition, the paralyzing stress, and a plummeting job market. I haven’t bought a copy of the Post in two years.


What we talk about when we talk about love: the ’75 World Series, Anna Karenina, Annie Hall, David Foster Wallace, Star Wars, Sex and the City, the Big Bang. It’s all pop music, basically, and pop is what we talk about when we talk about metaphor.

Endless Summer

Coney Island is beautiful in winter. Really. The boardwalk is well populated by elderly Russians pickling in the sun, surly teenagers, and tourists anxious for an off-season taste of Nathan’s Famous (no lines!).

The Girls Can't Help It

It’s appropriate that the song to open a collection of female-featured bands should be “The Boy from Ipanema,” a gender-subversion of the casually leering bossa nova chestnut.

Driving Lonely, Across the State

The night doesn’t have to end, even if it’s 4 a.m. and all roads lead to breakfast. New York nightlife has kept spots like Veselka in the East Village, or the late Empire Diner in Chelsea, hopping at all hours.

Anarchist Voices

It’s one thing to pioneer and propel a sound, and another to give it to the people. In a 30-year career, the Ex has remained dedicated to social causes and worldly influences and maintained a devoted, pan-cultural fan base.

Beyond Comparison: Vivian Girls and Crystal Stilts

The more things change, goes the old saying, the more they stay the same. Twenty-five years after the Ronettes spoke for lousily lovesick teens everywhere, the Boom Children spiked their Sex Pistol riffs with Phil Spector melodies and proclaimed their post-pubescent angst with distortion pedals.

Everything but the Girl

There should be a plaque in front of the old Illinois State Capitol in Springfield that reads: “Give me your scorned, your confused, your sad young men.” More likely we’d get a memorial at the Burpee Museum of Natural History in Rockford: “I Want You to Want Me.”


The Brooklyn Rail

SEPT 2023

All Issues