How Restaurants Got So Loud

Fashionable minimalism replaced plush opulence. That’s a recipe for commotion.
‘”Old king Coal” and the Fog Demon’, a cartoon featured in Punch, November 1880, the year in which Hay’s novella was published (1880).

Bad Air in William Delisle Hay’s 'The Doom of the Great City' (1880)

Deadly fogs, moralistic diatribes, debunked medical theory in what is considered to be the first modern tale of urban apocalypse.
Martin Cate preparing a flaming rum drink at his Smuggler's Cove bar in San Francisco (2010).

A New Golden Age for the Tiki Bar

Half a century after the tropical craze of the 1960s, the modern age of escapism is taking cues from the past.
Shelves of zines at the Denver Zine Library.

How Zine Libraries Are Highlighting Marginalized Voices

The librarians who are setting out to make sure the histories of marginalized communities aren't forgotten.
Jean Toomer's passport.

A Century Later, a Novel by an Enigma of the Harlem Renaissance Is Still Relevant

The enduring influence of Jean Toomer’s “Cane,” written in bursts of poetry and prose.
Fiction shelves at a book store.

New Life for Old Classics, as Their Copyrights Run Out

Works by Proust, Cather, Lawrence, and Frost are among those entering the public domain on Jan. 1.
James Brown.

1968: Soul Music and the Year of Black Power

The summer's hit songs offered a glimpse into the changing views of Black America.
Several varieties of Heinz brand ketchup, along with some smaller brands (2016).

The Ketchup Conundrum

Mustard now comes in dozens of varieties. Why has ketchup stayed the same?
Girls at the Aguilar Branch of the New York Public Library looking at

How Did YA Become YA?

Why is it called YA anyway? And who decided what was YA and what wasn’t?
Christmas carolers (2011).

Baby, Christmas Songs Have Always Been Controversial

Long before “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” holiday songs played a part in the War on Christmas.
The cover art by Burton Silverman for the 1971 album 'Aqualung' by the artist Jethro Tull.

My Dad Painted the Cover for Jethro Tull's 'Aqualung,' and It's Haunted Him Ever Since

His quest to receive proper compensation illuminates the struggle for artists’ rights.
A vintage Christian Dior perfume advertisement (1954).

Our Pungent History: Sweat, Perfume, and the Scent of Death

Throughout the long and pungent history of humanity, smelling healthy has been as delightful as it has disgusting.