I'm Alexander C. Kaufman, New York-based journalist. Most people call me Alex.
Here, I write about things that interest me. Expect everything from international affairs and media business to 1990s hip-hop and tech house tracks to personal rants.
I've written about retail and global economics for International Business Times, served as an editor for Mediabistro's FishbowlNY site and as a media reporter at TheWrap in Los Angeles. Before that, I wrote about crime and current affairs at The Boston Globe. You may have seen my name on Business Insider, Reuters, the Chicago Tribune, the San Francisco Chronicle and -- once -- the New York Times website.
I studied political communication and journalism at Emerson College. I also used to edit its newspaper, The Berkeley Beacon.
I was born on Long Island, New York. I studied in Boston. Then, impulsively, I moved to Los Angeles. The traffic and sun fried me. Now I'm back in New York.
I still have my black studded belts from high school.
Reach me at alexanderckaufman [at] gmail [dot] com | 917-725-0203 | Skype: alexander_kaufman
1. We both like to keep it to basics with clothes. Dorsey wears a white buttoned-up Dior shirt, jeans and a black blazer like a Steve Jobs-esque uniform.
2. We both left college early. He bounced out of NYU a semester shy of graduation, I left Emerson a year ahead of it to take my first salaried job. Both of us, too, left for jobs in California, though I went to LA and he to San Fran.
3. We both read The Economist. And love it. In a March Q&A with Harper’s Bazaar editor Laura Brown, he said:
”The one that I learn the most from in terms of great product design is The Economist. You look at the cover and you can instantly see what is the most import thing happening in the work right now. And it’s snarky…It just unfolds in a very beautiful way…I just think it’s so well packaged. There are no bylines, no authorship. The design of it is stunning — black, red and white, beautiful typography. I’ve learned a lot from it.”
My girlfriend would probably add that he, like, me, takes excessive selfies, though I just send them to her and he posts them all over Vine and Twitter. So, meh.
Tip Tap Room on Boston’s Beacon Hill sports an impressive array of gin concoctions. It is spacious and accommodating (I dined there on Friday night with a party that doubled to eight with no notice). The mashed potato sampler is the perfect appetizer to pare with strong, pre-dinner cocktails.
But more importantly: They served me kangaroo meat and an antelope filet.
An opportunistic carnivore, I step out from my usual pescatarian diet to either:
Try a meat I’ve never tried before, satisfying a cultural or a culinary curiosity.
Taste a dish homemade for me by a friend or host.
I was in Boston for work this past weekend, and met some college friends for dinner at the Cambridge Street eatery on Friday night, my buddy Eric Twardzik, who writes for Urban Daddy Boston, made reservations.
When I saw the three specials on the menu, I knew I had to try two of them: filets du kangaroo and antelope.
I got the antelope, my friend Chris got Australia’s famous hopping marsupial. Mine was similar to venison. The kangaroo was lean and soft and shredded easily, like stewed beef.
Before righteous indignation overtakes you and you start posting gifs of Winnie the Pooh’s Kanga and Roo, consider these three reasons why you should eat the stuff:
1. There’s A Surplus Of Dead ‘Roos
Farmers are already shooting and killing the hoppy little buggers, and leaving their bodies to rot.
2. It’s Way More Environmentally Friendly Than Beef.
Forget that methane-producing cattle ranches that are destroying our ozone.
3. It’s Way Better For You Than Beef
According to BuyExoticMeats.com, kangaroo meat is both high in protein and low in cholesterol and has less than 2 percent fat.
When I was 16, my aunt bought me a subscription to The Economist for my birthday. I had previously dubbed myself a “socialist” — imagine, an upper middle class half-WASP/half-Jewish kid from Long Island — and disavowed anything that didn’t make me sound like a proper student of George Orwell’s brand of Trotskyism.
What I found in the glossy pages of the weekly “newspaper” completely changed my worldview. I became pragmatic, I learned to appreciate business, and I finally learned that trade, and not a passing interest in neighboring peoples, was what drove the “cultural diffusion” my AP World History teacher was always talking about. I understood the meaning and importance of money.
But it took me ages to understand what made The Economist so great. Unlike the New York Times or the Associated Press or other high-bar journalism my high school newspaper coach exposed me to, The Economist was stylized, opinionated, and far from transparent. While I learned in class to attribute my sources down to the style of interview — “…said in an email,” “…said in an telephone interview” — The Economist never really made anything clear other than the city from which the story was filed.
Nevertheless, it became my political bible. As I finally gave up passing out copies of “The Communist Manifesto” to my delightfully amused teachers, I was left in a political vacuum. What do I believe? My mother was a bleeding-heart Democrat. My father was politically apathetic, but, if he voted at all, voted Republican, admittedly because he hated paying higher taxes.
The Economist confused me. How could they be such adamant supporters of human rights? That was something the teenage me found to be “liberal” (bear with me). Yet, it also was so pro-business, constantly on the stump for privatizing industries across the U.S., Europe and elsewhere.
But now, the so-called newspaper has co-opted its “Economist Explains" blog — something as yet used for easy, SEO-friendly explainers on curious topics — to explain itself.
The four most recent entries shed light on the editorial process and politics of a publication that still forgoes bylines. And now we can finally know why the glossy newsweekly calls itself a newspaper.
So lanky Mark Zuckerberg kid gets the babe after her asshole boyfriend ditches her at the beach. They sup on juicy mangos and find a can of what is assumed to be weed washed up on the beach. What’s not to love?