• Steven Heller

The Magazine That Was New York

There was nothing like it. Sure, the New Yorker was the backbone of periodical literature in New York City and Esquire, though a national magazine, was New York–centric (and both were fantastic). But New York magazine, founded in 1968 by Milton Glaser and Clay Felker (after it originally launched in 1963 as the Sunday-magazine supplement of the New York Herald Tribune newspaper), was not just a competitor to the New Yorker, it had more of a brash, sardonic and sarcastic NYC voice. It was the city incarnate (at least a middle-class part of it). Every week I’d pick up a copy on my way to NYU. Some days I’d skip class to read it through and through. New York taught me how to be a New Yorker. I know it was meant for older baby boomers, but its left-wing ways and sharp Push Pin illustration captured my loyalty every bit as much as the Village Voice or East Village Other.


Finding these saved covers the other day reminded me how eye-catching and groundbreaking it was (thanks to Glaser and Walter Bernard) and how I would have liked working there. The current biweekly New York is one of the best magazines published today, but little holds a candle to the freshness of the original—especially at a time when there were so many other great magazines, too.

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