New York: A Great Resource, Regardless of its Grays

Posted: April 4, 2011 in Grade: A, Magazine: Regional
Tags: ,

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New York (www.nymag.com)

Issue reviewed: September 27, 2010, Vol. 43, No. 30

  • Published in New York, N.Y., by New York Media LLC
  • Circulation: 427,000; 7.4 million unique views per month online
  • 110 pages, saddlestitch

Audience

  • median age: 44
  • median HHI: $94,604
  • 36% professional/managerial, 16% top management at their companies
  • 52% women

Editorial

The writing is so good throughout New York. I kept skimming articles so I could get through the magazine a little faster, but they kept drawing me in and I’d end up reading the whole piece. So I didn’t get through it very quickly! New York’s writing is informative, sympathetic, diverse and eclectic. Until you get to the last few pages, which are about what to do and where to do it, New York appeals to readers anywhere in the country who care about politics and entertainment.

Design

The design is good in parts but lacking in others. On The Approval Matrix, the last page of the Sept. 27 issue, it’s a cute idea — separating people, books, songs, shows, etc., into quadrants of interest (highbrow/lowbrow and brilliant/despicable). The content is very good, but the page lacks a focal point or that one great thing that makes you read the page. Good photos, just not draw-you-in use of the photos.

What’s Best

  • Comments: On page 6, New York includes a summary of reader commentary about articles in a previous issue. The comments are written prose style, so you’re actually reading a story about what people thought of the topics. Very smart, very engaging. And who wouldn’t, after reading this section, want to submit their comments to the New York e-mail address?
  • The Neighborhood News: This graphic representation of a few city news briefs is so readable. The blocks of copy are so short and random (“Lady Gaga ordered a pizza to go at the Grimaldi’s takeout counter.”) that you can’t help but read them.
  • Illustrations: New York uses tons of illustrations — including tons of cartoons/comic strips to illustrate celebrity-isms, like in Gossipmonger, and to highlight political issues, like at the beginning of Intelligencer. Original and fun to read.

What’s Worst

  • Comments: Is it ironic that I have the same section in under “worst” as I do “best”? The reason is, I love the content. I really dislike the design. It’s so plain, so textbook, so uninviting. New York, please don’t let readers skip over this great section because they’re not invited to read it!
  • Gray matter: I’m a big fan of words and of using a lot of them. But some of the pages are so full of gray copy that the reader hesitates to jump in. On the pages where the designers got to design, the graphics generally looked great. But on mostly-words pages, it’s apparent the designers lost the battle against space, time and the almighty editorial department.

Overall Opinion

New York is an interesting read, even for a non-New Yorker like me. I would definitely pick up another copy. In some spots, the design looks a little dated, although I assume that’s because New York’s staff is trying to maintain some sense of old-school, the-standard, newsy-type look. I don’t fault them that, but I would enjoy more color and more white space. But for its value as a resource (along with its complementary website) and as a guide to the politics and entertainment its readers enjoy, I give New York an A.

I invite your comments! Check out the magazine or its website and tell me what you think of it.

–Tyler Reed

Editor, The Sidebar Review

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Comments
  1. Interesting review–you’ve made me read magazines with a much more critical eye!

  2. […] magazine that was recently reviewed here, New York, won for a special section, called “Strategist,” that it ran in three issues during […]

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