The New York Times

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With little work available in smaller cities, hundreds of thousands of Mongolians have left behind the nomadic herding lifestyle in the hope of finding opportunities in its capital, Ulan Bator. These predominantly lower- to middle-income migrant workers have settled in unplanned districts in the north of the city and live in gers, or yurts. To stay warm during winter, when temperatures remain well below freezing for weeks at a time, residents burn coal. Lots of it. In recent years, over a million tons of raw coal per year. The result: #UlanBator has surpassed notoriously polluted megacities like Beijing and New Delhi to become the capital city with the highest recorded levels of air pollution. This January, a station in Ulan Bator recorded a pollution reading that was 133 times what the @who considers safe, and more than 6 times what it considers hazardous. To improve the city’s air quality, Prime Minister Ukhnaagiin Khurelsukh announced in January that the transportation and use of raw coal in Ulan Bator would be banned starting next April. But many are skeptical. @bdentonphoto photographed this trainer exercising several horses in preparation for the traditional horse races that typically begin in March, when daytime temperatures typically start to inch above freezing. Visit the link in our profile to read more.
#NYTOpinion | The special relationship between older Russian women and #VladimirPutin goes back to the very beginning of his years in power. In the 2000 elections, 61% of his votes came from women and just 39% from men. In 2012, 75% of women offered a favorable opinion of Putin, compared with 69% of men. And for the election this Sunday, 69.2% of women said they planned to vote for Putin, while only 57.5% of men did. “Putin is respected by everyone, so men should pay attention to how and what he does,” Anna Veresova, 75, told the photographer Misha Friedman (@indeepborscht ). Last month, he spent a week in St. Petersburg, speaking to older women from different walks of life. All told him they were voting for #Putin . Most said they were doing so in part because they see him as a good man. “Their emotional response to Mr. Putin — the only man their age who is a presence in their lives — seems to speak to both the holes and the scars that Russian men, in their absence, have left,” Misha writes. Here, he photographed Tatiana Mikhailovna, 79, taking an early-morning swim in the Neva River. Her husband died while swimming after drinking, when he was 53. “Russian men shouldn’t drink,” she said. “Then they would live longer.” Swipe left to see more photos, and visit the link in our profile to see the full #NYTOpinion photo essay.
In February, high school students in California’s Central Valley gathered for Danzantes del Valle: High School Show Offs, a gathering for students passionate about #folklórico , the storied dance tradition steeped in the regional cultures of Mexico. The event, organized by a coalition of school dance directors and @arteamericas , is an annual occurrence with prom-like intensity. This year’s edition featured folklórico troupes from 11 high schools, all from the San Joaquin Valley, a vast agricultural region where child poverty rates are high. For the dedicated young dancers who find a community of kindred spirits in folklórico, the political climate in the U.S. has only inspired them to work harder. “There are many people who are hating our culture right now,” said Jenny Cruz, a senior at Central High School in Fresno. “Dancing makes you feel empowered over the hate.” @emilyberl took this photo of dancers rehearsing. Swipe left to see more photos of high school folklórico.
Other Asian cuisines have been part of the American landscape for decades. But only in recent years have Filipino foods started gaining recognition outside immigrant communities, at restaurants like @maharlikanyc in New York; @badsaintdc in Washington, DC; and @lasa_la in Los Angeles. Although Filipino food draws on early encounters with Malay, Chinese and Arab traders as well as centuries of Spanish occupation, its profile is distinct: salty and sour above all, with less of the mitigating sweetness and chile-stoked fire found in the cooking of its Southeast Asian neighbors. A few signature dishes: adobo, a long braise of meat in vinegar and garlic; lechon, whole roasted pig; sinigang, a profoundly sour soup; dinuguan, a pork-blood stew; and kare-kare, a nutty-sweet stew of oxtail, bok choy, string beans and eggplant. @dina_litovsky photographed this feast of Filipino food at a recent gathering of Filipino-American writers, artists and filmmakers at the New York home of the poet @jmaebreeze. Visit the link in our profile to read more.
When Jennifer Trainer Thompson (@jumpupandkissme ) took over as president and chief executive of @hancockshakervillage in January 2017, she wanted to compel visitors to return. She saw the potential to expand the allure of the living history museum where the Shakers, a small Christian sect best known for its celibacy and simplicity, settled in 1790. Since starting the job, Jennifer has begun hosting farm-to-table dinners featuring prominent speakers, and a roots-music series sponsored by a local microbrewery. @hancockshakervillage also hosted goat yoga classes through the summer and an exhibition of contemporary art inspired by Shaker ideals. Attendance in 2017 reached 56,000, the highest level in a dozen years and an almost 10% jump from the prior year. “To survive, you want more visitors, and there needed to be more ways to experience it, and to show the beauty and value of the place,” Jennifer said. @itsmetonyluong photographed her feeding some of the resident sheep at @hancockshakervillage. Visit the link in our profile to read more. #🐑🐑🐑
Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett were an unlikely couple: he a young writer, dashing and ambitious, she a highly lauded poet 6 years his senior and a middle-aged invalid whose father kept her housebound. But after a 20-month courtship, the pair married secretly and ran away from London. They moved to Florence. For nearly 15 years, the Brownings lived under the spell of this elegant Renaissance capital. Inspired by its magnificent architecture and piazzas, embraced by its artistic expatriate community, they produced some of their most famous works — including Browning’s “Men and Women,” and Barrett Browning’s “Aurora Leigh.” There is no doubt that Florence left a mark on the Brownings. But did the Brownings leave their mark on Florence? @annmahnet set out last May to find out. @sw_photo took this photo of the Boboli Gardens, the manicured grounds of the Palazzo Pitti, which the Brownings often visited with their son, Pen. Visit the link in our profile to read more in @nytimestravel.
Brittany Gilbert, pictured here, is a server in Charleston, West Virginia. She told @nytimes that a male customer — after the woman and children he was with went to the bathroom — once grabbed her hand, told her she was beautiful and handed her a piece of paper. It read: “You can call me any evening after 9 p.m. She goes to bed.” “I wanted so bad to go tell his wife,” Brittany said, “but he was the one filling out the credit card slip. I needed the $20 tip.” This balancing act plays out every day in restaurants across America: Servers who rely on tips decide where to draw the line when a customer goes too far. They ignore comments about their bodies, laugh off proposals for dates and deflect behavior that makes them uncomfortable or angry — all in pursuit of the tip that will help buy groceries or pay the rent. Working for tips comes with questions that don’t apply to millions of other workers: How much money will I make, and how much will I tolerate to make it? Swipe left to see more of @leslyedavis ’s portraits of servers and bartenders who spoke to @nytimes : Bethany Albert, Ashley Lewis, Alexandria Lee, Ashley Maina-Lowe and Elisabeth Henry. Then visit the link in our profile to hear restaurant servers describe the harassment they endure from customers and how much they are willing to tolerate for a good tip.
The @metopera ’s new production of Mozart’s “Così Fan Tutte,” set in 1950s Coney Island, uses sideshow and burlesque performers. The opera was originally set in 18th-century Naples, but this production, which runs through April 19, is set in a 1950s-era Coney Island amusement park. It features veterans of burlesque and sideshow presentations at Sideshows by the Seashore on Surf Avenue in Coney Island — a very different setting than the stage at the Met. “They’re both disparate talents,” Sage Sovereign, a fire eater, said of opera singing and sideshow entertaining. “But they’re both ways for people to be transported to another world. We both dedicate our life, our time and our bodies to our art form.” While the opera performers sing, the sideshow cast members perform their specialty acts. @jtaggfoto took these photos. Visit the link in our profile to see more like this.
Centuries ago, Easter Island’s civilization collapsed. But these haunting statues hint at how powerful it must have been. And now, many of the remains of that civilization may be erased, the United Nations warns, by the rising sea levels rapidly eroding Easter Island’s coasts. @caseysalbum , a @nytimes reporter, and @joshhaner , a staff photographer, visited the remote island, 2,200 miles off the coast of mainland Chile. They wanted to find out how the ocean is erasing its monuments. Called moai statues, they’ve made the island famous. Many of the statues and nearly all of the ahu, the platforms that in many cases also serve as tombs for the dead, ring the island. With some climate models predicting that sea levels will rise by 5 to 6 feet by 2100, though, residents and scientists fear that storms and waves now pose a threat like never before. Archeologists worry that rising waves could erase clues to a mystery: Why did ancient Polynesians build the statues on Easter Island? And what caused the collapse of the civilization? Watch our Instagram Story to see more.
She’s been performing for 6 decades and until this month hadn’t released a new album since 2008, but @joancbaez has been picking up momentum. Last year, she was inducted into the @rockhall. Her 1970 version of the Band’s “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” (her only Top 10 single) was recently featured in @threebillboardsmovie. @taylorswift brought her onstage, and @lanadelrey said “Lust for Life,” her most recent album, had “early Joan Baez influences.” But just as the folk music icon and pioneering activist has unlocked a fresh reserve of cultural resonance, she has decided to step back. The 77-year-old singer announced that her new album, “Whistle Down the Wind,” would be her final recording and said that the 8-month-long world tour that kicked off in Sweden earlier this month will mark her farewell to the road. “It’s a big decision, but it feels so right,” she said. “People who know me get that it’s time.” @ryshorosky photographed #JoanBaez in her northern California home, where she’s lived for 50 years. Visit the link in our profile to read more about her next chapter.
Centuries before the Dutch explorer Abel Tasman and Britain’s Captain James Cook arrived in what became New Zealand, there was Kupe, a 10th-century navigator from Tahiti. The first Polynesian to reach the then-uninhabited island, he and his wife, Kuramarotini, are said to have given New Zealand its Maori moniker, Aotearoa, or “land of the long white cloud.” Last month, a group of sailors recreated Kupe’s journey, steering the double-hulled canoes known as waka hourua in New Zealand’s indigenous #Maori language. The waka were billed as the main attraction in the opening night of the New Zealand Festival, a 3-week arts and culture event. Around 20,000 people gathered on Wellington’s waterfront to see the waka hourua arrive, joined by a number of carved wooden paddling canoes, or waka taua. As the last of the waka sailed into the harbor, @mattabbottphoto took this photo of a group performing a haka powhiri, a chant and dance of welcome. Visit the link in our profile to read more.
Vive le croissant! For years, no chef dared to make improvements to the most iconic of French pastries. Now, though, a new generation of bakers is trying. The croissants at @bakerdoe.sf look a bit like a new species startled in the wild. One is striped blue, with a coif of cotton candy in hydrangea hues; another, ringed in deep purple, flaunts a lavender shard of ube (purple yam) like a lone, useless wing. Is this blasphemy or natural evolution? It’s not the first time pastries have undergone mutations in recent history. Remember the Cronut? If the trend continues, the #croissant as we know it may be no more. In its place: overgrown crescents too big to fit in the palm of the hand, spangled and swagged and glutted with fillings. They’re absurd until you try them: salty and sweet and shattering everywhere, leaving behind smears of cream and telltale butter fingerprints. @patriciaheal took this photo, which was styled by @bassett_hyde , while on assignment for @tmagazine. Visit the link in our profile to read more. #🥐🍭
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