Do You Have Love For New York?

Like Peter Suderman, I wasn't exactly blown away by Radar Magazine's hitjob on Adam Moss's New York Magazine. I don't read New York all that much, but then again it isn't written for me - like so many things in Gotham, it's written for Manhattanites and aspiring Manhattanites (whether they live in Brooklyn, Boston, or Topeka), not for Yankee-hating New Englanders transplanted inside the Beltway. It's dedicated, as Peter says, to exploring the lives and lifestyles of the New York elite - and more importantly "the middle and upper-middle class strivers who desperately want to be part of the true elite" - which is why it doesn't do the kind of "rollicking, narrative-driven, first-person journalism" that the Radar piece accuses of it failing to produce. It does "fail," sure, in the same way that Entertainment Weekly and National Review and Good Housekeeping all fail to channel the spirit of Hunter S. Thompson - because it isn't that kind of magazine. Maybe it was once, but no more - and it's pretty good at being what it is now.

Oh, but Radar has Adam Moss's number:

New York takes no chances, climbs out on no limbs, plants no flags. It is the only magazine, with the possible exception of Christianity Today, in which you will find photographs of clothed (!) virgins illustrating an issue purportedly devoted to sex, to cite just one missed opportunity for mixing it up.

Yes, if only there was some brave magazine editor out there daring enough to cross America's Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice and put out a "Sex" issue with some naked people on the cover. There's hardly anything like that in the magazine world these days. And there's certainly none of it at Adam Moss's New York.