New York Times Perspective

It was raining when I left church this morning, so I decided to pick up the Sunday Times while I was getting groceries at Foods of All Nations on my way home.

Then I spent half the afternoon reading the paper on the porch while William played nearby. It's been quite some time since I'd read the NYT, we've been getting a subscription to the WSJ for the past few years (since we figured out we could get it using airline miles. . .).

I had mixed feelings when reading the Times again. First off, I quickly recognized the distinctive writing style they cultivate in their reporters. It's pretty much a hipper-than-thou tone throughout. Overall, it's clear the writers are well-educated, the articles will include allusions and pithy phrases, but what I find slightly off-putting is that many writers date themselves. Meaning that it's obvious in many articles that the writers are in their 20s, or in their 30s. I prefer the articles where I can't tell how old the author is. But I suppose that's a personal-preference thing.

The editorial tone is vastly different than the Wall Street Journal, as were the letters to the editor. I'm fine reading about both points of view.

What I was surprised to discover that I had really missed while not reading the Times were the ads and fashion coverage. I'm not exactly that into fashion, but I guess I do miss at least knowing what the current trends are. Fashion doesn't really exist here in Central Virginia, as long as I've lived here. No one keeps up with it, you just buy what the stores are selling, and presume that that is what the fashion is. Which is fine, it's certainly easy, but I do miss the way the "look" changes every season in NYC.

And the ads for clothes in the NYT are way better than the ads in the WSJ. Mostly because the WSJ readership is probably overwhelmingly male, the ads are all for suits and ladies jewelry. But the NYT has ads for beautiful women's clothes. I saw a coat that was drop-dead gorgeous, and I immediately wanted it. It was expensive, but not outrageously so (well, not outrageously so for NYC, I suspect my friends here would pale at the price). But it was nothing that would ever be available in Virginia. The cut was way too intricate and non-traditional. I should cut out that ad, so I could use it as a guide to sew my own.

But reading the paper didn't make me long for a subscription. It would torment me too much-- reviews for plays I couldn't attend, happenings I'd miss, movies that will never open in Cville, clothes I can't buy, etc. But I can see myself picking up a copy of the paper every now and then, like I did today. I guess it's sort of for old-time's sake, reliving the days of spending rainy weekends in the apartment drinking coffee and reading the paper.

Down here, there is no local daily paper I can stand to read. There's not enough news to fill a daily paper, so they're all stuffed with AP wire articles written at a 3rd-grade reading level. It hurts me to read that sort of thing, so I learned long ago to never look at a local daily, and I really don't think I've missed much. I will pick up the local weeklies from time-to-time, but only if the cover article looks interesting (about once a month, I'd estimate), or I'm looking for some event to go to that week, since the weeklies have all the event listings. The Crozet Gazette is a monthly paper, there is so little news here. But at least it's got the right idea, I'd rather read actual local news once a month, than get filler every week.