We ignore the powerless at our own peril, says LBJ biographer Robert Caro.

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Robert Caro doesn’t want to renew his lease. He tells me this on a cold day in mid-October, as we stand in an elevator bay on the 22nd floor of the Fisk Building on West 57th Street. He has worked in this same office, every day, for the last 26 years. He likes his routine — he dresses to write (this day he was wearing a periwinkle v-neck sweater and a pair of pressed khakis; an informal choice for a man who usually puts on a tie…


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Sure, 2015 was “great” for women. But only if 2015 marks the last year in which things can be so very bad.

Because this is 2015, we open on an Instagram. My favorite of the year. I didn’t take this particular photograph, but I did screengrab it, meditate on it, make it my phone background. It was a picture of an Excel spreadsheet.


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This was the first message I sent into the void in 2015, and I don’t remember being particularly happy when I wrote it. I was heading back to Brooklyn from one of those New Year’s Eve parties in a Manhattan apartment that is pleasant and has the right bowls of snacks out but also makes you wish you never dared leave the house; on New Year’s eve the party juice is never really worth the squeeze unless you have a designated face to smash your face into and enough petty cash saved up to cover surge pricing. The moment midnight…


Don’t forget to also read my seven-part essay “Selfie.”

For the last six months, I have been collecting faces. People send them to me in all different ways: email, DMs, texts, at-replies, late night Gchats. These selfies and the stories behind them have flooded my feeds and my inboxes, and yet I always find myself wanting more. And the words that come with these pictures continue to surprise me: there is so much more going on underneath the surface of a selfie than most of us ever guess. I have found myself heartbroken, buoyed, and haunted by these narratives, and I have an appetite for so many more.

That…


Whether you liked it or not, whether you wanted to or not, you’ve spent a lot of 2014 thinking about Kim Kardashian.

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By Rachel Syme
Illustrations by Victor Kerlow

Rachel Syme

Writer/adventuress/reporter about town.

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