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Articles by Wayne Curtis

Wayne Curtis is a contributing editor at The Atlantic magazine, where he writes a bi-monthly column about cocktail culture, as well as articles on topics such as travel and architecture. He's also a contributing editor at Preservation magazine (published by the National Trust for Historic Preservation), and has written for numerous others, including the New York Times, Smithsonian, American Scholar, Saveur, Men's Journal, Yankee, American Archeology, and This American Life. He's the author of And a Bottle of Rum: A History of the New World in 10 Cocktails (Crown, 2006), and 2002 he was named Lowell Thomas Travel Journalist of the Year. He's lived in New Orleans since 2006.

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Eataly is nice, but there’s still plenty of room left to reinvent the supermarket.Photo: Samantha DeckerThe American supermarket experience hasn’t changed much in a half century. It’s basically a connect-the-dots problem each consumer solves differently: How do you get in, get the things on your list, avoid those annoying people with the slow-moving carts, and get out as swiftly as possible? 

In the process of solving the puzzle, we all get to know the commercial topography of our chief foraging zones very well: dairy, meat, breakfast cereals, canned soups. But then this: We get to the end of our shopping list and discover a solitary item that’s been missed. This phenomenon is known, at least by me, as “The Caper Problem.” (Sometimes the “The Horseradish Problem” or “The Mini-Gherkin Problem.”) This fugitive item forces us to retrace our steps through aisles that suddenly seem unfamiliar, walking and scanning slowly in a slow-motion search.

When I first walked into Eataly New York — the 50,000-square-foot Italian-themed food market and dining experience that opened in midtown Manhattan late last... Read more

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