Learning the art lingo: the people, periods and -isms

When she first starts working as a security guard at the Guggenheim Museum in New York, Bianca Bosker is so bored that she prays someone will touch the art. ‘Do it, I urged silently from my spot by the wall. Do it so I can tell you not to.’ She’s to stand for hours on end, staring into space, reporting anything that could pose a threat. On the first day she radios her supervisors to alert them to a stray leaf: ‘Not exactly a suspicious package, but I needed something to interrupt the tedium.’ Wheedling your way into a self-contained world about which you know next to nothing is no

The pleasures – and perils – of getting on your bike

Jody Rosen lives and cycles in Brooklyn, which makes him what the Mexican essayist Julio Torri calls ‘a suicide apprentice’. He has been ‘rear-ended’ and ‘doored’ several times. He quotes an unnamed cyclist who likens the click of a car door being opened to the sound of a gun being cocked. ‘Get a bicycle,’ said Mark Twain. `You will not regret it, if you live.’ This rangy, digressive book contains just about the right amount of bicycle history and mechanics for the unobsessed. Rosen is not a bicycle fetishist. He can ‘barely patch an inner tube’, though he does enjoy the ticking-clock simplicity of the shiny contraptions which carry the

Superbly convincing: Unorthodox reviewed

When I lived briefly in Stamford Hill I was mesmerised by the huge fur hats (shtreimel) worn by the local Hasidic Jews, and the wigs worn by their wives, and the almost tubercular pallor of their children. I often wondered how such a remote, aloof and archaic sect could possibly relate to 21st-century London. The answer, of course, was that they didn’t: they were like ghosts from another age, walking the same streets but not of this world. I wished I could get a glimpse of their private lives — and now, thanks to Unorthodox (Netflix), we all can. Loosely based on a memoir by Deborah Feldman, it tells the