college tour bingo

by marjorieingall on August 5, 2018

We got back last night from a marathon Midwest tour of prospective colleges for Josie (plus a visit to my inlaws in MKE and plenty of Kopp’s frozen custard, which is so much better than Shake Shack it is LAUGHABLE) and came up with this in the car on the way home. 


magic, snazzy children’s books, seltzer and comedy

by marjorieingall on July 23, 2018

Here’s a visit to the New-York Historical Society’s “Summer of Magic” show. David Copperfield’s hair, in person, was MESMERIZING. 

And check out this 80-year-old Polish children’s book classic, now back in print in an English translation, as well as a look at the nifty immigrant graphic designers who did the spiffy midcentury-mod art. After fleeing the Holocaust for England, Lewitt-Him illustrated a number of picture books and also did a lot of WWII home-front propaganda posters. Please enjoy these examples of their work: 


(It’s not that Diana Ross.)

I got so obsessed with Lewitt-Him I made a Pinterest page.

And last up in me news, I took a tour of NYC’s last remaining old-school seltzer factory. Fizzy!

In non-me news, I am SO EXCITED to see the Shazam movie with my superhero-loving 13-year-old, and SO HORRIFIED by the prospect of the forthcoming Netflix show Insatiable.  And finally, genius comedy writer Merrill Markoe shared a vintage live commercial by genius comedy writers Nichols & May, and it is a must watch. 


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e.l. konigsburg’s deadpan ’90s picture book

by marjorieingall on July 1, 2018

Apparently my beat these days is underappreciated-by-the-youth-of-today classic Jewish-y children’s books. Last installment: The Carp in the Bathtub. This time: Amy Elizabeth Explores Bloomingdale’s. It’s by the author of From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler! It’s funny!

I also reviewed the Stuart Weitzman show at the New-York Historical Society, about the history of women’s footwear. Meh. But really pretty. (And my editor Wayne came up with a SUPERB title.)

Plus in the New York Times Book Review this week, I wrote about three very different short-story collections for kids

In non-writing news, we are bingeing Season 2 of Glow. I love this show. 

Also, in other positive news, here are the badasses of Urban Librarians Unite (“WE WILL NOT BE SHUSHED”) and their Storytime Protests. 







Ooh! The Carp in the Bathtub is back!

by marjorieingall on June 20, 2018

Did you know that The Carp in the Bathtub is back in print? Published in 1972, though set in the 1930s, it is a visual delight and an excellent, quirky, funny story. I wrote about it at Tablet, but ahem my editor elected to illustrate the story with a farshtunkiner STOCK PHOTO OF GEFILTE FISH, so here are some examples of its fab illustrations.





Also in recent days I’ve written about a new documentary that explores the history of Blue Note Records and the evolution of jazz, and I went apeshit for delicate necklaces with tiny farfalle on them

I am in need of escapism like nobody’s business (I am, like many people, having a hard time sleeping of late) so I have been binge-watching Farscape, which is a turn-of-the-millennium sci-fi comedy-adventure space show filmed in Australia with human actors and Labyrinth-type Jim Henson puppets. As you might surmise, it is RELENTLESSLY weird. I like it. 


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God Bless America…

by marjorieingall on June 7, 2018

Hey, there are THREE (3) new children’s picture books about Irving Berlin!

And this children’s book about Harvey Milk is better than the musical about Harvey Milk but probably not as good as Lillian Faderman’s adult book about Harvey Milk. I wish the kidbook had explored his Jewish identity (WHICH HE VERY MUCH HAD) as well as his gay one. Still, I really liked it. 

Didn’t review for Tablet, but Julián is a Mermaid is spectacular and you should buy it. 

Here’s an obit for a Holocaust refugee who opened a beloved lesbian bar in Greenwich Village. 

All reflections of the America I want to live in.


Recent writing

by marjorieingall on May 15, 2018


I wrote about journaling in Real Simple. In my personal life I do not use the word “journaling.”

I loved Gilda Radner. The new documentary about her is thrilling and hilarious and sad. 

Here’s an interview with Joy Press about her new book Stealing the Show: How Women are Revolutionizing Television, along with a question: How come seven of the 12 women profiled are Jews? Statistically, this is meshuggeh.

Here is a review of a new musical about Harvey Milk that should have been so, so much better than it is.

A children’s book about women activists manages to utterly ignore both Jewish and LGBT activism, which gives me a sad. 

Here’s an obit for Judith Leiber, whose glittery handbags used to horrify me, as they did Carrie Bradshaw, and now I see I was an idiot, like Carrie Bradshaw. And fyi, here is my favorite recent Leiber minaudière:

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Leonard Bernstein and more

by marjorieingall on April 24, 2018

In Tablet Magazine this month, I criticized Mark Zuckerberg’s Congressional Apology Festival; wrote a treatment for a romantic comedy about summer camp, female friendship, and presidential attorney Michael Cohen; checked out a modern American opera set against the backdrop of the Triangle Factory Fire and visited the site of the fire itself; and reviewed a new museum exhibit in Philadelphia about Leonard Bernstein’s life, music and activism.

(That’s Lenny and his sister Shirley in the Carnegie Hall green room in 1951.)

I wound up going into a research hole on that story — happens to me a lot — so here are two things I did not include in Tablet.  [click to continue…]


Recent bylines

by marjorieingall on March 23, 2018

If you do not love Bread and Jam for Frances, I do not want to know you. Here, I wrote about Frances’s creators.

I greatly enjoyed a foulmouthed new musical, Old Stock, based on the Canadian immigrant story of Hannah Moscovitch’s great-grandparents. And Admissions, a new play at Lincoln Center Theater, looks at white privilege, entitlement, and liberal piety and hypocrisy. (I think it’s a comedy?)

Here’s the story of an encounter between Israeli Jewish poet Yehudah Amichai and Palestinian-American poet Naomi Shihab Nye.

Finally, Passover in a box! You know, for kids! 




A poem, inspired by Sean Penn, by Sean Penn

by marjorieingall on March 20, 2018

Sean Penn has written a novel! According to BookRiot, “A poem in the novel refers to the “#MeToo” movement, criticizing its reduction to ‘a platform for accusation impunity’ and asking whether due process has ‘lost its sheen.'” 

Is this true? I don’t know! But it inspired my muse! And when the muse strikes you just have to let her hit you, which is a phenomenon the press does not cover enough when it keeps focusing on men hitting women!

A Poem in Sean Penn Quotes

by Sean Penn

(with Marjorie Ingall

providing sheen)

We sit within the quietude of fortified walls

There’s a lot of mediocrity being celebrated. 
I think we all have light and dark inside us 
I am a Justin Timberlake fan

We’ve let the blade of our innocence dull over time,    

it’s only in innocence 
that you find any kind of magic.

I’m a huge Woody Allen fan. 

When I do journalism, I take no payment
I once had a house burn down…and it was so liberating

On a romantic level
if you feel it about somebody and it’s pure, 
it means that they do too.

There is a strength of character 
in the people who have, 
by and large, 
never experienced comfort. 

I don’t consider myself specifically political, you know. 

What is it
removes all doubt from a man’s eyes? 
Is it power? 
Admirable clarity? 
Or soullessness? 

I’m not a breakfast eater


Happy Purim, bubbelehs!

by marjorieingall on March 1, 2018

It’s Purim! Here is an essay about BIBLICAL EXEGESIS. Less fancy-pansedly,  it is about whether Queen Vashti possessed early feminist consciousness or a tail. (Hint: Depends on who you ask. And how they want to view a woman who says “no.”) 

It’s Purim! Please do not eat a pretzel bagel-dog hamentash. However, I do endorse the notion of speculoos hamentashen with sea salt. And of following Cookie Butter on Twitter. (Amusing.) 

Maira Kalman’s Max the Dog books are back in print! (Though alas, not Sayonara Mrs. Kackleman.) I have interviewed Maira Kalman twice now and she is terrifyingly smart and funny. Also kind.

For the 40th anniversary of the first computer bulletin board service, I wrote a reminiscence about my 25th anniversary of going on a computer bulletin board service. The piece is called On Geekery and Misogyny but it’s also about love and fun and beauty. 

Here is something I wrote about hamentashen in 1993? Maybe? I am still good friends with Lori but I no longer use her recipe. That dough can sometimes — but not always; WHYYYY? — be hard to work with. So I’ve been a ‘taschen slut for the last few years, perpetually seeking a really easy recipe with dough that’s reliable and not-too-dry and not in need of pre-roll-out refrigeration. (Next year.) Hit me up if you have one.