Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

43° Evanston, IL
Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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What New Yorkers want: beer-flavored nipples?

Hey, would you like to make a suggestion?”

Otis Kriegel and Michael McDevitt, founders of Illegal Art, a group of artists based in New York working to make art more interactive, asked that very question. Passersby and subway riders all over New York City were asked to make a suggestion about anything, write it down and put it in a suggestion box.

The responses are published in a neat little book titled Suggestion. Each page is a replica of a slip that someone put in the box, so readers can see the varieties of handwritings and styles as they were actually submitted. The responses are sorted by neighborhood and range from the hilarious (“Beer flavored nipples”) to romantic (“Make out like you were in high school”) and the trite but true (“Take breath mints when offered”).

At first glance the book seems silly and frivolous, and although it’s funny it also can be viewed as a snapshot of New Yorkers and what they are thinking and feeling. The juxtaposition of funny, heartwarming, sad and wise leaves the reader with a feeling for the attitudes of New Yorkers. In a collection of one- or two-sentence thoughts, ideas about politics, love, sex, relationships, work, art, music and more come across and one starts to see that although New Yorkers are most definitely a diverse group, many of their desires overlap with each others’ and with our own.

So at a list price of $12.95, is a book that will take you 20 minutes to read worth the purchase? Maybe. It would make a good coffee table book, and a good gift for a New Yorker. For those who would rather save the Borders gift cards they received during the holidays for more serious or less decorative books, at least make a stop in the humor aisle next time you find yourself passing away an afternoon or evening wandering a bookstore. Guaranteed, you will find yourself a laugh and – if you are lucky – some good advice.

– Marnie Soman

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Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881
What New Yorkers want: beer-flavored nipples?