Cool Friends: Jennifer Mills   

April 14, 2023

Meet Jennifer, an artist, producer of NPR’s Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me, and fellow Friday newsletter author. You may remember a few weeks ago when we talked about Jennifer’s show at Brick Aux Gallery, Jennifer Mills News. We caught up with Jennifer to hear about her 21-year strong weekly autobiographical newspaper, and the things she loves about New York City.

What led you to start your weekly newspaper about your life 21 years ago?

I started the Jennifer Mills News on a Friday in 2002. I always got to school 20 mins early and killed the time in the computer lab. That morning had been particularly eventful — with small events. A door slammed in my house mysteriously and startled me (it was probably wind) and at breakfast I burnt the heck out of my bagel in the toaster. I guess I was inspired by both my newsworthy morning, and the fact we were allowed to use the printers as much as we wanted at school. Voilà, print media!

How do you choose what to include in the newspaper each week?

Anything that makes me pause and think, "huh" or "ugh" or "yay" is usually a contender for a news story that week. I try to find two stories that feel different, so if one story is about a great deal I got on some canned beans I won't report on spilled soup as well that week. That's just way too much bean news. There are a lot of articles about beans and the bus, so lately I've tried to go easy on those topics. I love to celebrate things in the news, so when I find something little I can celebrate it usually makes it in. New washcloths? News!

What's your favorite part about the New York creative community?

You never stop meeting interesting and really great people and you never will. I love meeting people that are there to support me, and people I get to support. I also love New York's non-creative community. There are so many people here that think very differently than me and that's really inspiring.

What's your favorite place in NYC?

Haircut Hill in Prospect Park. That's a hill my friends and I named near the main entrance of the park. We like hanging out there a lot, and one time my friend had her hair cut there so we named it perfectly. I love the park. I love it so much.

What's inspiring you right now?

Free time and quiet time. I love to have down time where I do nothing, truly nothing. I love to sit in silence and just think. I really really love silence.

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