« The ARG Poll | Main | Truth and the Blogs »

May 10, 2007

The Problems With New York

Via Ankush, Radar's takedown of New York magazine is pretty brutal. I've always found the publication to be an exceedingly enjoyable guilty pleasure, and quite fun if you remember that all of its editors will be the first against the wall when the revolution comes. Indeed, I'm hard-pressed to think of any single institution that has done more to normalize the gaping inequality in this country, particularly among the media elites and upscale audiences that subscribe. As Radar says:

New York's most egregious sin is that it's aimed at such a narrow sliver of the city. It's become the bible of the ultra-entitled New Yorker, the kind of person who would actually spend $200 on a doorknob described in the magazine as a bargain. The Plate-U coffee table featured in the Strategist a few weeks ago, described with words "thriftiness can be elegant," can be had for $1,800, or the balance of a month's salary after taxes for a family that earns New York's median household income of $43,393. There's nothing wrong, of course, with pitching a magazine at ludicrously wealthy people desperately trying to fill the holes in their lives with grapefruit-and-vodka-pedicures. But New York is, after all, a city and not a colony of hedge-fund managers. A magazine that purports to capture the life of a teeming and mixed-up metropolis ought to at least occasionally acknowledge the fact that very few people who live there are served by a chart detailing the caloric content of a $250 nine-course tasting menu at Per Se.

Unlike self-conscious wealth porn like The Robb Report, New York attempts to normalize its hedonism, suggesting that the lifestyles of the highly-educated and extremely wealthy define the metropolis, rather than merely exist within it. In doing, it repaints extreme wealth and cultural capital as the norm, at least for its readers, and subtly spins poverty and money problems -- at least of the unglamorous sorts experienced by people who aren't artists and professional interns -- as vaguely abnormal, or even contrary to the city's spirit.

May 10, 2007 | Permalink

Comments

A Republican- yes I know too many- said to me (because she's middle class) that this city is either for the very wealthy (because they have the money) or the very poor (because there are better than average services provided by the state when compared to other states). There is a BIG middle class squeeze here.

Posted by: akaison | May 10, 2007 10:29:16 AM

There was an ad for PACE picante sauce running in the South for a long time where cowboys on the trail would be eating dinner around a campfire and the cook would run out of PACE and substitute another brand. One of the cowboys would complain and then read the label. "Why this stuff's made in NEW YORK CITY!!". Then all of the cowboys would repeat in unison in disbelief, "NEW YORK CITY!!??!"
After a couple of seconds of dead silence, you could then hear one say "Get a rope".

The point is that New York City alreadyt appears to many in the South and West as the epitome of snotty rich "Yankeeism" and publications like the New York magazine doesn't help.

Posted by: Fred Jones | May 10, 2007 10:41:12 AM

Nice description of the New York Times you have there.

Posted by: Joe S. | May 10, 2007 10:48:43 AM

There was an ad for PACE picante sauce running in the South for a long time...

Fred, it ran in the north (specifically the NYC metro market) for a long time. The point being that in "New York City" couldn't make authentic southwestern salsa. Also, it should be noted that PACE isn't that great as far as salsa goes. It's marketed to northerners who want to thnk they're getting something authentically southwestern.

You're also missing the point of what makes "New York Magazine" so bad. "The New Yorker" appeals to (those who wish to be) the snotty rich. "New York Magazine" ostensibly exists to mock them but ends up being an unselfconscious commercial enterprise.

My compmlaint about "New York Magazine" has always been that it's banal. It contains articles that you might like to read ("Oooo... the best brunch places on the Upper West Side... that sounds interesting.") without actually saying anything edgy or interesting. Before reading the Radar article, I had no idea its original purpose was to mock a lot of New York culture.

Posted by: Constantine | May 10, 2007 11:04:59 AM

The only snotty attitude I see along this thread is Fred, but that sort of better than you attitude by the right is never discussed for what it is.

Posted by: akaison | May 10, 2007 11:05:33 AM

The only snotty attitude I see along this thread is Fred...

I have made one comment in this thread when this appeared. Perhaps akaison could "enlighten" us all and point out exactly what in that one post was so snotty or he can STFU.

Posted by: Fred Jones | May 10, 2007 11:15:00 AM

The criticisms of NY Mag are all true, but ... RADAR??? Hasn't Radar gone belly-up at least twice?

Posted by: Passing Shot | May 10, 2007 11:46:01 AM

grapefruit-and-vodka-pedicures

Does this mean that you are served grapefruit and vodka in the course of the pedicure, or that grapefruit and vodka are applied to your feet?

Posted by: Neil the Ethical Werewolf | May 10, 2007 11:50:42 AM

The NY Times is far worse, and also assumes everyone has a beach house and servants/nannies and sends their kids to prep schools.

New York mag is dull, and very predictable--all of our media nationwide is for the most part.

Posted by: amberglow | May 10, 2007 12:23:30 PM

But New York is, after all, a city and not a colony of hedge-fund managers.

Give it a little more time. The passing of rent stabilization isn't quite complete, and there's still a few borough neighborhoods that haven't been gentrified out of the reach of ordinary mortals. Thank goodness New York's regional transit is so good; it makes the three hour commute to scrub a hedge fund manager's solid gold toilet that much easier for the otherwise-worthless poor.

And yes, I would agree that these criticisms are better leveled at the New York Times and its insufferable definition of "middle class" as "rents rather than owns a commuter helicopter." New York always looked like just another one of those slick lifestyle magazines for people with hand-stitched ostrich leather SUVs and bottled Himalayan meltwater, so it's not as if they're particularly disappointing.

Posted by: mds | May 10, 2007 2:31:41 PM

Sometimes I think back to those silly Pace salsa ads. They were kinda chuckle-funny when I was 12. I never would have thought someone would quote it as a valid cultural reference. Congratulations, Fred, you have lowered your standing here even more.

Fred doesn't even understand what a "Yankee" is. A Yankee is a New Englander, not a New Yorker (save the baseball team, I suppose). A stereotypical Yankee is modest, frugal, staid and Protestant. That crap peddled by this magazine would be anathema to a Yankee as well as the "real 'murkins" Fred alludes to.

And yes, Pace salsa sucks. Make your own, it's much better.

Posted by: verplanck colvin | May 10, 2007 2:46:32 PM


most of the shit fred peddles here has nothing to do with new yorkers

Posted by: akaison | May 10, 2007 3:59:05 PM

Ditto on the New York Times. It's hard to feel optimistic about what New York will be like in 20 years for the not-rich.

Posted by: cerebrocrat | May 10, 2007 3:59:59 PM

"But New York is, after all, a city and not a colony of hedge-fund managers."

No, actually New York has precisely intentionally defined itself as solely being a financial / corporate HQ center, discarding it's previously substantial base of manufacturing. See Robert Fitch's The Assassination of New York for more details.

Posted by: burritoboy | May 10, 2007 5:03:17 PM

The colony of hedge fund managers is Greenwich, CT, right?

Posted by: Mitch Schindler | May 10, 2007 8:35:00 PM

most of the shit akaison peddles here has nothing to do with reality....as evidenced by my challenge above

Posted by: Fred Jones | May 12, 2007 9:43:53 AM

托盘
托盘
钢托盘
钢制托盘
塑料托盘
木托盘
木制托盘
纸托盘
木塑托盘

托盘
钢托盘
钢制托盘

托盘
钢托盘
钢制托盘
塑料托盘
托盘

托盘
钢托盘
钢制托盘
钢托盘
木托盘
钢制托盘
托盘
塑料托盘

托盘
钢托盘
钢制托盘

托盘
钢托盘
钢制托盘
塑料托盘
木托盘
南京托盘
南京钢托盘
上海托盘

托盘
钢托盘
钢制托盘
塑料托盘
木托盘
南京托盘
南京钢托盘
上海托盘

托盘
钢托盘
钢制托盘
塑料托盘
木托盘
纸托盘
南京托盘
上海托盘
北京托盘
广州托盘
杭州托盘
成都托盘
武汉托盘
长沙托盘
合肥托盘
苏州托盘
无锡托盘
昆山托盘

托盘
钢托盘
钢制托盘
塑料托盘
木托盘
纸托盘
南京托盘
南京钢制托盘
南京钢托盘
上海托盘
北京托盘

托盘
托盘
托盘
托盘
钢托盘
钢制托盘
塑料托盘
塑料托盘
塑料托盘

托盘
塑料托盘
钢托盘
钢制托盘
铁托盘
托盘
钢托盘
铁托盘
钢制托盘
塑料托盘

托盘
钢托盘
铁托盘
钢制托盘
塑料托盘
托盘
钢托盘
铁托盘
钢制托盘
塑料托盘

托盘
托盘
钢托盘
钢托盘
铁托盘
铁托盘
钢制托盘
钢制托盘
塑料托盘
塑料托盘

托盘
钢托盘
铁托盘
钢制托盘
塑料托盘
托盘
钢托盘
铁托盘
钢制托盘
塑料托盘
托盘
钢托盘
铁托盘
钢制托盘
塑料托盘

托盘
钢托盘
铁托盘
钢制托盘
塑料托盘
托盘
托盘
托盘
钢托盘
铁托盘
钢制托盘
塑料托盘

托盘
钢托盘
钢制托盘
铁托盘
塑料托盘
木托盘
木制托盘
纸托盘
木塑托盘
柱式托盘
波纹托盘
镀锌托盘
南京托盘
上海托盘
北京托盘
广州托盘
托盘
钢托盘
钢制托盘
铁托盘
塑料托盘
木托盘
木制托盘
纸托盘
木塑托盘
柱式托盘
波纹板托盘
镀锌托盘
南京托盘
上海托盘
北京托盘
广州托盘

托盘
钢托盘
钢制托盘
铁托盘
塑料托盘
木托盘
木制托盘
纸托盘
木塑托盘
柱式托盘
波纹托盘
镀锌托盘
南京托盘
上海托盘
北京托盘
广州托盘
托盘
钢托盘
钢制托盘
铁托盘
木托盘
塑料托盘
木塑托盘
柱式托盘
波纹板托盘
镀锌托盘
南京托盘
上海托盘
北京托盘
广州托盘

托盘
钢托盘
钢制托盘
铁托盘
塑料托盘
木托盘
木制托盘
纸托盘
木塑托盘
柱式托盘
波纹托盘
镀锌托盘
南京托盘
上海托盘
北京托盘
广州托盘
托盘
钢托盘
钢制托盘
铁托盘
塑料托盘
木托盘
纸托盘
木塑托盘
柱式托盘
波纹板托盘
镀锌托盘
南京托盘
上海托盘
北京托盘
广州托盘


托盘
钢托盘
钢制托盘
托盘
塑料托盘

Posted by: judy | Oct 8, 2007 6:02:07 AM

I do not want to have been killed so I will take some measures to protect myself in the game.

Posted by: cheap 9Dragons gold | Dec 12, 2008 3:56:17 AM

The comments to this entry are closed.