Peak Sneaker: Inside Sneaker Con

As a Styles editor, I try to keep up with the latest sneaker drops, but it feels as if I am always playing catch-up.

Sure, trends change in clothing from season to season, but the pace and variety of the sneaker economy is out of the ordinary. And “keeping them fresh” is a large part of keeping up. There seems to be a never-ending barrage of new shoes coming out, and it’s nearly impossible to walk through downtown Manhattan without passing groups of boys lining up to get them.

Yeezy Waverunners! Nike Air Max 97s! OFF-WHITE x Air Jordan 1s! With each drop more pressing than the last, sneaker culture might have hit a peak in 2017.

Sneaker Con, a gathering of shoe fanatics founded by Yu Ming Wu, has been taking place for nine years. This year, the organizers moved it to an expanded space at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center and expected nearly 20,000 people, a huge increase from the 600 people who attended it the first year. My experience with covering events like this is that, although we can add analysis, reporting and insight into the event, most of the “kids” will follow it on Instagram and YouTube, so by Monday morning, it’s old news. I wanted to find a new way to cover it that helped non sneaker heads, like myself, get a grasp on the culture. So I thought of the idea to solicit the experts for their various sneaker tips. I pitched it to my editor, Choire Sicha, on Slack.

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What are the first signs of spring where you live? Are there starting to be changes in nature, the activities people do or the clothes they wear?

What are your favorite things to do in spring? Do you have any family or community holidays or traditions?

What is your favorite season and why?

Tell us in the comments, then view the related photo essay to see what the first day of spring looked like in New York City.

Find many more ways to use our Picture Prompt feature in this lesson plan.

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Hard-Line Supporter of Israel Offers to Pay for U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem

WASHINGTON — Sheldon G. Adelson, one of the most hawkish supporters of Israel among American Jews, has offered to help fund the construction of a new American Embassy in Jerusalem, according to the State Department, which on Friday said it was reviewing whether it could legally accept the donation.

The total price tag to build the new embassy to replace the current one in Tel Aviv is estimated at around $500 million, according to one former State Department official. While private donors have previously paid for renovations to American ambassadors’ overseas residences, Mr. Adelson’s contribution would be likely to far surpass those gifts — and could further strain American diplomacy in the Middle East.

Before the embassy is built, the Trump administration plans to open a temporary one in Jerusalem. On Friday, it said that it was accelerating the projected opening in time to mark the 70th anniversary of the creation of the State of Israel on May 14.

Even some of Mr. Adelson’s allies expressed concern that if the administration accepts his offer for the permanent embassy, it could be seen as a well-heeled financial contributor effectively privatizing — and politicizing — American foreign policy.

When President Trump formally recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, one man who was probably smiling was the Republican mega-donor Sheldon Adelson. Here’s a look at how he became influential within the Trump administration.CreditCredit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

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Want to Keep Your Wine Collection Safe? Store It in a Bomb Shelter

James D. Wallick has thousands of bottles of wine spread over several locations.

He keeps about 400 bottles in his apartment on the Upper West Side of New York. Most are ready to drink, but some are waiting to be transported by climate-controlled van to a storage facility in Jersey City, where they’ll age in a temperature-controlled environment.

The storage facility, Mana Wine Storage, keeps 2,000 to 3,000 of bottles of wines for Mr. Wallick at any one time. These include bottles he stores for the New York chapter of the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, an international food and wine club. He is the chapter’s president.

Mr. Wallick has a third storage spot: a wine cellar in his weekend home in Bridgehampton, on Long Island, that holds 5,000 bottles. It is more or less full, he said.

Why does he spread his wine out in so many places? Logistics, primarily, but also convenience, he said.

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Opinion | A Warning for Democrats

This article is part of the Opinion Today newsletter. You can sign up here to receive the newsletter each weekday.

The latest opinion polls contain a warning for Democrats — a warning relevant to the potential government shutdown.

President Trump and the Republican Congress are still a long way from popular. But they’re more popular than they were just a few weeks ago. Trump’s approval rating is up to 40 percent in FiveThirtyEight’s polling average, from 36 percent in mid-December. It hadn’t been at 40 percent since May, Nate Silver noted.

On the generic-ballot question, which asks people which party they plan to vote for in this year’s congressional elections, the Democrats’ lead is down to eight percentage points. It was 13 points last month.

Legal Boot Camp for New Judges in New York

Each new year, about 100 freshly sworn-in New York State judges get robe fittings, courthouse assignments, chambers and staff members as they prepare to take the bench.

But there is one thing these new jurists lack: judicial experience.

So the state sends them to “Judge School,” a four-day judicial boot camp offered the first week in January to make judges out of lawyers accustomed to using their legal expertise to battle for clients.

“The transition is not something you can prepare for,” said Christopher Robles, 44, one of 84 judges taking the program this week at the New York State Judicial Institute at Pace University’s Law School in White Plains, N.Y.

“You go from advocating for one side, to becoming an impartial party who now has to apply the law equally,” said Judge Robles, a former defense lawyer from Brooklyn newly assigned to Brooklyn Criminal Court.

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What’s on TV Saturday: ‘The Incredible Dr. Pol’ and ‘Everything, Everything’

High-strung emus are among a vet’s patients in “The Incredible Dr. Pol.” And “Say Yes to the Dress” returns for its 16th season.

What’s on TV

THE INCREDIBLE DR. POL 9 p.m. on Nat Geo Wild. Don’t expect your usual cats and dogs; this reality show follows a veterinary clinic in rural Michigan whose patients often include livestock. This premiere of the 12th season includes a horse with teeth troubles, chickens whose clucks have turned to gurgles and some high-strung emus.

EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING (2017) 8 p.m. on HBO. Stella Meghie’s adaptation of Nicola Yoon’s young-adult novel stars Amandla Stenberg as a girl with an immune system disorder that prevents her from leaving her house. She finds a boy outside the bubble, and they strike up an unlikely relationship. The film “scores a direct hit on the teenage-girl market,” Neil Genzlinger wrote in his review for The New York Times. “Others might find it pretty enjoyable as well.”

SAY YES TO THE DRESS 8 p.m. on TLC. After 15 seasons, there’s still something endearing about the format of this wedding reality show, in which brides try on dresses in search of the perfect match. You might find yourself with a renewed appreciation for wedding dresses, and how they can reflect the people inside of them.

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Trump’s Unparalleled War on a Pillar of Society: Law Enforcement

WASHINGTON — In the days before the 2016 election, Donald J. Trump expressed “great respect” for the “courage” of the F.B.I. and Justice Department for reopening the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server. Sixteen months later, he has changed his mind.

The agencies have been “disgraceful” and “should be ashamed,” President Trump declared Friday. Under attack by the president, the deputy F.B.I. director, Andrew G. McCabe, was pushed out in recent days. Mr. Trump has hinted that he may fire the deputy attorney general, Rod J. Rosenstein. And his aides fear that Christopher A. Wray, his F.B.I. director, may resign over the dispute with the bureau, although associates doubt it.

The war between the president and the nation’s law enforcement apparatus is unlike anything America has seen in modern times. With a special counsel investigating whether his campaign collaborated with Russia in 2016 and whether Mr. Trump obstructed justice in 2017, the president has engaged in a scorched-earth assault on the pillars of the criminal justice system in a way that no other occupant of the White House has done.

The president’s focus on a memo drafted by Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee and released on Friday reflected years of conspiracy-minded thinking by Mr. Trump. “Something is going on, folks,” he would warn at his campaign rallies. He has long sought to find the hidden hand at work behind the scenes in government, and he has encouraged supporters’ suspicions of a “deep state” organized to resist the policies of an elected president.

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Opinion | New Year’s Resolutions Versus New Year’s Realities

New Year’s Resolution: Read great literature!

New Year’s Reality: Outmaneuver an elderly woman to nab your bookstore’s last copy of “Fire and Fury.” Continue to use “Middlemarch” as a coaster.

New Year’s Resolution: Remain active in the Resistance!

New Year’s Reality: Call your senator exactly once and hang up when put on hold. Then reward yourself by watching Season 2 of “The Crown” in a single sitting.

New Year’s Resolution: Exercise daily!

New Year’s Reality: Pay well over $150 a month for a luxury gym. Then hunch over your keyboard for 12 hours a day. When you notice your back hurts, sink deeper into your office chair and accept your early-onset arthritis. This is your life now.

New Year’s Resolution: Make healthy dinners with nary a carbohydrate in sight!

New Year’s Reality: Spend two hours poring over old Mark Bittman easy weeknight recipes. Go so far as to draw up a grocery list for a simple salmon dinner. Then log on to Seamless and order chicken fingers with extra honey mustard. Allow yourself an order of onion rings because your period is in two weeks and you’re definitely PMS-ing. When you don’t hit the minimum order amount, throw in three cans of regular Coke. Blame society’s blinkered beauty standards for the fact that your pants no longer zip.

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