Wednesday, October 1, 2008

40 Years of New York (Magazine)

New York magazine has published a special 40th Anniversary Issue this week. The magazine was launched with its first issue on April 9, 1968 (although I'm not sure why they waited until now to put out this special issue). The editors have put together an overview of how New York City has evolved over the past 40 years and of the people and things that have made New York City the unique cultural epicenter it always has been. It's an interesting tribute, although I'm sure there will have plenty of critics who will argue about what or who they didn't include. Some of my favorite parts of this issue are:

1. "Who Matters Most," a top-ten list from six different cultural pundits who ranked their own all-time New Yorkers from the past 40 years. Who made the list more than once? 4 hits: current mayor Michael Bloomberg. 3 hits: Woody Allen, Jackie Onassis, and Edward Koch. 2 hits: Rudy Giuliani, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Martin Scorsese, Jerry Seinfeld, George Steinbrenner, Donald Trump, and Andy Warhol. Whether you agree or not, they've all been powerhouses for New York.

2. "Headliners," informing us that Joey Buttafuoco, after being imprisoned for statuary rape from his affair with "Long Island Lolita" Amy Fisher (who subsequently shot his wife Mary Jo in the face, as you may recall), was himself subsequently arrested three more times. He is currently living in L.A. with a Yugoslavian wife and is planning to retire to Buttafuoco Wineries in Milan. (I'm not joking. You can't make this stuff up.)

3. "What Things Cost," with the ever-exciting news that a subway ride over the past 40 years has risen from 20-cents to its current $2 (word is, it may go up again next year).

4. "14,600 Nights Out," with a great photo montage of celebrities partying over the years. Don't miss Cher in a see-through sequin top & suspenders rollerskating (my, what large nipples she has!).

5. "Urban Renewal" has a funny set of shots showing the progression of Donald Trump's hair from 1984 to now.

And finally...

6. "The New York Actor," what I think is perhaps the best part of the issue, a portfolio of photographs by Dan Winters. He has captured them in every way that makes them not L.A. actors, but New York actors. These aren't red-carpet, glamour shots. They show the grit, realism, and vitality that makes New Yorkers beautiful in a completely different way. At the same time, they convey the spirit of Richard Avedon, another New Yorker, with the full-on presentation of their subjects and the use of film information as a frame. My favorites are the photos of Lauren Bacall and S. Epatha Merkerson.

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