hallie cantor

In Shouts & Murmurs, Hallie Cantor shares a recipe: “Couple’s First Dinner Party, Serves Six”:

In a small kitchen, mix together the half of the guests who have arrived on time despite the fact that no one is sure whether “7:30” means “arrive at 7:30” or “arrive an hour late,” like it did in college. Let stand for one hour, until guests are very hungry and slightly irritable.

Slowly incorporate the remainder of the guests, pausing after the addition of each one for the same grating conversation about how easy or hard it was to find the host’s apartment from the subway and what an up-and-coming neighborhood this is. Gently fold the host’s new boyfriend into a discussion about people whom everyone else in attendance used to work with and whom he’s never met.

Illustration by Luci Gutiérrez


Save the Date - Thursday, January 15 at 7pm

for the next Real Characters Humor Reading and Storytelling, featuring:

Nicole C. Kear (author of Now I See You, The New York Times)
Bob Powers (The New Yorker, author of Happy Cruelty Day)
Faye Lane (The Moth, Beauty Shop Stories)
Hallie Cantor (The New Yorker, College Humor)

hosted by Andy Ross

January 15 at 7pm
McNally Jackson Books
52 Prince Street, SoHo

My Brain: The All-Hands Meeting

ME: Hey, everyone, thanks for coming. This meeting is just to check in, get updated about what everybody’s been working on in the first quarter of the day, and see how we’re feeling about the future. Coffee, wanna kick us off?

COFFEE: Sure, thanks. So, my team’s been pretty active in Q1. We started out with our regular one cup, and, you know, we weren’t seeing immediate results. We’re attributing that to a number of factors. Our target is developing a tolerance owing to her unemployment, plus we all know there’ve been some hiccups in the new sleep schedule—

(Sleep snorts. Coffee pauses.)

COFFEE: —but we’re hoping to hit the ground running in Q2 with the second-cup initiative, and build on the foundation that Antidepressants set up.

More from the meeting in Hallie Cantor’s brain, in Shouts & Murmurs.

Illustration by Chi Birmingham


Everyone hates the out-of-towner who doesn’t know how to act in NYC. Here are 5 tips that will help you blend in and avoid looking like an ignorant tourist.

1. Eat Smelly Food on the Subway ONLY

REAL New Yawkahs hate nothing more than smelling your food out on the street, so make sure you save your MOST aromatic meals (Indian takeout, vat of kimchee, etc.) for the subway, so the scent is contained! That’s basic NYC Living 101: Be considerate.

2. Walk as Slowly as Possible

During your time in the Big Apple, you’ll need to slow your roll through NY’s groovy grid-iron. That’s because you may be stopped by a canvasser or a comedy show promoter, and it’s considered INCREDIBLY rude not to listen to their pitch in full. Also, always walk slowly on the left and pass people on the right, since oncoming cars can more easily avoid hitting the slow and elderly. It just makes sense if you think about it! Use your brains, guys.

Click to see 3 more: 5 NYC Etiquette Tips That Every REAL New Yorker Already Knows

Find a rhythm in your breath, in and out, that will fuel the extreme vacillations in your mood during your practice. On the inhale, fill yourself with hope and possibility: You can hook up with literally anyone you want now. You can stop wearing eyeliner to bed. You don’t have to clean up that loser’s gross beard shavings from the sink ever again.
—  Hallie Cantor imagines a yoga class for the recently brokenhearted (subscription required): http://nyr.kr/1ippD4L

Hallie Cantor on the Oscar red carpet:

It’s fun to see stars behave imperfectly, and the hope for these kinds of moments is largely why we tune in to these types of television events at all (and then refresh our Twitter feeds every four seconds). Perhaps we’re just bored by the wax-figurine parade. This year’s red carpet was unrolled during a public demand for reporters to #AskHerMore: to consider the actresses’ craft with the same attention paid to their gowns and their jewelry. The reporters on ABC were accordingly wary, doling out “Who are you wearing?” sparingly in favor of more questions about the roles for which both male and female actors were nominated. But the frenetic pace and A.D.H.D. nature of the red-carpet broadcast doesn’t exactly lend itself to in-depth, substantive discussions of artistry. 

Hallie Cantor drafts a humorous message to her haters: http://nyr.kr/1oEo18v

“I mean, I’m not about to let haters drag me down to the level of comparing myself to them. It’s just that it can be helpful to have peers to sort of use as a benchmark to see how you’re doing. Especially when you’ve got haters talking trash about shit they don’t know anything about. Haters who have no idea where I’m from.

(I’m speaking figuratively, of course. Literally, most of you do happen to know that I’m from a small suburb of New York City.)”

Illustration by Luci Gutiérrez