Take Corey Kilgannon's (@coreykilgannon) piece on alligators in New York City sewers. A full page, with photos, attractively laid out.
The same piece online is the same store, but there are waaay more photos, and the one of the boys from the Bronx holding the alligator they lassoed from a storm drain then clobbered to death with their snow shovels proves alligator can be found in the sewers. Just not often. (Why that photo is not in the print edition I can only think is because it either a shows a dead animal as a trophy, or because a rival paper, The Daily News has more fun with the story than the NYT.)
And why not? The digital version of the paper is in color, attractively laid out, and easy to access. When I was going into the city last week one morning on the LIRR at a commuter time (I'm retired) I may have been the only person in the entire car (approximately 80% full) that was reading a print paper. I will say the person next to me looked like he was reading the news on his tablet, but I couldn't tell whose news it was.
Other than cherry pick some sections of Sunday's paper, (which I don't get, other than advance sections delivered Saturday) I don't rely on the digital version of the paper for my news. As a home delivery subscriber, the paper has wisely included access to their daily digital version, as well as some other offerings.
Thus, I wouldn't have sought out Lindsay Crouse's story about her ex-boyfriend if it wasn't Tweeted about by some people at the paper I follow.
There, as an Opinion piece, is a revelation that the fellow seen wearing Lady Gaga on his arm was her ex-boyfriend, and not just someone who she dated a few times, but someone who she was apparently in a relationship with for many years, starting in college.
That story would be worth nothing if there wasn't a photo of her ex and Lady Gaga on their way to their VIP Super Bowl boxes.
To Ms. Crouse's credit she doesn't get vengeful about her ex, contemplate revenge porn, or anything like that. She's very classy about it and doesn't even give his name. The photo of him and Lady G. above is worth a thousand words.
Even a guy has got to admit, Lindsay was going out with a hunk, someone who to me looks a lot like an early George Clooney from his E.R. days. A GQ guy.And Lady Gaga, Stefani Joanne Angelina Germonotta? As always, her name as well as her look, is performance art. Her hair is multi-colored, her tattoos visible due to the outfit, and her eyes, her eyes are a version of wearing one of those masquerade masks that's been to a Fourth of July fireworks show.
Where do these people meet? Where did Tiger Woods and Lindsey Vonn meet? I've never been to anything in my life where I might even see a noted person, let alone ever start a relationship with one.
Lady G's full real name is so New York Italian that I have to believe there are male members in her family that believe, as Connie Francis once told us, that there were only two ways an Italian girl could move out of the house: in a wedding dress, or a coffin. And then there's Lady Gaga.
Ms. Crouse goes on a bit in what I guess is a dating confessional, but is also giving Lady Gaga tremendous credit for her success. I remember the director Peter Bogdanovich in an interview that Cybill Sheperd came back to him after dating Elvis. He felt chuffed that a girlfriend left Elvis for him. How many guys could say that?
Then there's the oft-told story of Gregory Peck's wife, a journalist in Paris, who blew off an interview (she cancelled) with Jean Paul-Sartre to keep a lunch date with Gregory Peck. Peck was always impressed that he was more desirable to be with than talking to Jean-Paul Sartre. He certainly was better looking than Jean-Paul.
Cutely revealed in Lindsay's piece is that her mother doesn't buy magazines but goes to the library and looks at them there. Thus, he mother looked at a 'People' magazine story that featured Gaga and her new male accessory.
One of the Tweets that responded to Ms. Crouse's Tweet about herself was from someone who went to high school with her in Rhode Island. Thus, Mom probably still lives in Rhode Island, and has a library nearby to keep her up to date with the tabloid gossip. It also shows that Mom is probably still in good health because she doesn't rely on the doctor's waiting room for her dose of star gazing. (I do.)
Ms. Crouse also adds a photo from a magazine that shows a cuddle between her ex and Lady G. You have to really like fishnet to see the tattooed appeal of Stef's look.
Lindsay Crouse's byline can appear on the sport page, usually about running or swimming. Her Twitter profile identifies herself as a runner, and she recently filed a piece from the U.S. female marathon Olympic trials.
Because of her attachment to running, and after reading the Mary Cain piece Mary wrote after she fled the Nike training facility led by Alberto Salazar, (now suspended for doping ) I tried to write to Ms. Crouse the old fashioned way, a printed paper letter, actually mailed.
My hope was that she would gain some knowledge of the intensity of the sport of running, not just from Mary Cain's story, an elite athlete, but from what I suspect are still a cohort of girls who are running, at all ages, from running clubs in the Metropolitan area. The cross-country races at Van Cortlandt Park are full of them
The most famous of those girls, who might predate Mr. Crouse's knowledge, were the Lynch sisters, Shola and Nenna. Both were trained by Barry Geisler, and both went onto college track teams. They competed in Fred Thompson's Colgate Games, a showcase for female runners of all ages that had its finals in Madison Square Garden.
Fred Thompson was a lawyer at Colgate and a coach, whose Atoms Track Club in Brooklyn produced some Olympians, notably Diane Dixon, an Olympic gold medal relay winner in 1984. Fred is now deceased, at 85.
Growing up, my oldest daughter Nancy was part of one of those clubs, The Flushing-Bayside track club run by Walter Wisell. Nancy qualified for the Colgate Games and finished second in her age group in the 800m at Madison Square Garden. It was a thrill for all of us.
As a parent there was always that fine line between encouragement and what some would call abuse. We never crossed the line, and eventually Nancy tired of running by the time she got to high school, somewhat because there was no coach. Likewise, her sister could have been on the college swim team at Geneseo but didn't like the coach, so he opted out. No problem.
My letter tells the story of an 8-yea-old who committed suicide, a girl I remember from a race in Flushing Meadow Park.
I never heard if Ms. Crouse got my letter, or even read my recent email asking her if she got the November 2019 letter. Maybe it's not the kind of letter you respond to.
Ms. Lindsay Crouse
The New York Times
620 8th Avenue
New York, NY 10018-1405
Dear Ms. Crouse:
I see you’re on Twitter (as am I, @jdemet) but all attempts to get an email through to you @nytimes.com failed. I tried all combinations, but MAILER-DAEMON said no. Anyway, a letter the old fashioned way, regarding your production of the Mary Cain opinion piece.
At 10, my daughter Nancy was the Regional Junior Olympic cross-country champion. She was second the year before at the same Bryant College course. It was 1988.
The region encompassed seven northeastern states. She went to Reno and finished 25th at altitude. When she was going to high school one of the schools, Sacred Heart in Hempstead, NY, told my wife that if she was going to run she'd have to be weighed. Fuhgetaboutit! weren't the exact words, but you get the meaning.
She went to another high school and basically the coach retired, and the program ended. They were more interested in promoting the boys' hockey team anyway.
Competitive running was over. But hardly life. She's happily married, and she's got two daughters, 12 and 8. She feels bad for Mary. But life for Mary at 23 is hardly over.
Our friends who live in Flushing, NY remember Karen Goucher when she lived nearby. I think they used to exchange Christmas cards with the family Then I think either one, or both of Karen's parents were killed in an automobile accident and Karen moved away.
Life's not over for Karen either.
When I was running in road races in the '80s there was a young girl, something Greenberg, who was very good at an early age. She was winning. One race at the Flushing Fair Grounds I remember the people around her. They were timing her at intervals. I don't remember how long it was after that race that I read a small story that the girl hung herself in her bedroom.
Life for her was over.