Culture

Best of NYMag, 2011 edition

Culture

Best of NYMag, 2011 edition

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New York Magazine- The 10 Most Impressive Points of Coverage from 2011:

1. Zooey Deschanel

While we don’t really want to give them too much credit for covering her (or give her anymore attention than she already has) at the center of the September 19th issue‘s cover story lay a valuable point, as yet uncited: the movement of an indie staple to the undisputed mainstream. The fact that the ‘pinup of Williamsburg’ signed on for an (albeit doomed) primetime series says something big–though whether it says something hopeful about television or something damning about the definition of ‘indie’ is still unclear.
2. Porn

It’s on everybody’s mind, so why not center an issue (the February 7th issue) around how it’s ruining everything. Including, but not limited to, porn actors and actresses, fourteen-year-old girls, and semen. Straight semen, at least. Is it a particularly new concern? Not really–but we were fascinated to find out that the online porn empire is one of the most palpable arguments toward why the internet=democracy–and why democracy, these days, seems to be losing people a hell of a lot of money.
3.  Ms. Magazine

Oral histories are usually more silly than informative, but the piece that ran in the November 7th issue documented the history of a movement started (who knew?) in New York Magazine’s very pages. Ms. founders Gloria Steinem and Brenda Feigen, as well as a good portion of the original staff, weighed in on the magazine’s tenuous, exhilarating beginnings, and we lapped up every word of it. Perhaps it’s a testament to progress that, before reading this, we’d forgotten that the classifieds used to be classified by sex: ‘male’ and ‘female’ help-wanted, that is.4. A cure for HIV?

Was there any more eye-opening story than the one that ran in the June 6th issue, documenting the short-lived span of a disease that wasn’t? The story’s coverage of a curious case involving a man in Germany, a stem-cell transplant, and the first case of cured HIV treatment the world has ever seen? Besides the fact that it was almost completely incidental (the transplant was being done to treat the patient’s leukemia) it was unprecedented and undreamed of by some of the leading AIDS expert researchers. Though the article maintains that a true, at least, accessible cure for HIV is still ‘decades’ away, the discussion of the case was one of those things that come along all too rarely, that make one actually glad to be living in the present day.5. Boo-hoo, Generation X

What we didn’t need was another plaintive cry in essay form from Generation Wet Blanket about how no one will hire us and we’ll never pay off our loans. What we got in the cover story of the October 24th issue, was basically that, with an important distinction. The suggestion–floated cautiously–that actually, maybe things are going to turn out okay–the way they always sort of have been? And that maybe–just maybe–it’s time to stop whining. The inclusion of a g-chat conversation was also an inspired stylistic touch.

6. Elder Parents: Yay or Nay?

September 25th’s spine-chilling cover brought one long ‘postponed’ question under the spotlight: When we are talking babies, how late is too late? Despite prolonged academic plans, demanding career goals, the oft-heard green cry on how having a child is the worst environmental choice you can possibly make and even menopause, babies are still hot on the block. In conversation with the ambitious and brave late parents, and comprehensive studies in the field, NYMag asks how having a baby after your 50s is any different from getting a mid-life crisis tattoo, leather jacket and Harley Davidson.

7. Paper Tigers

As so many focus on a generation of successful Asian-Americans taking over the Ivies, and Cupertino, writer Wesley Yang begs to differ. NYMag’s May 8th highlight, Paper Tigers follow the so-called Asian-Americans onto real life, and ask whether an Asian bringing-up that is built up on a model of modesty, kindness and, working hard is good enough to help one survive in the most vicious country in the world, namely, the United States of America.

8. The Secret Behind the Long (and we mean, long) Lives of Ashkenazi Jews

Or how the rest of the world would also like to live into their 100s, really. Scientists are after the oldest men in New York, if only to see whether their long lives are a result of pure genealogical blessing or better lifestyle choices. As we adore each and every Paps in November 6th issue, Jesse Green concludes the subject like no one else does: “Czar Nicholas II and Barack Obama, gaslight and computer glow, grandmothers and grandchildren.”

9. The New York Apartment: A Biography

The issue on April 3rd paid a most deserved homage to the overpopulated city’s (perhaps best) non-human historians: the crammed apartments. We are talking about Chelsea Hotel. We are talking about Sex and the City. We are talking about Annie Hall. Capable of causing equal misery and bliss, apartments indeed have much to tell.

10. A Guide to Placenta Eating

August 21st marked the coverage of a nationwide phenomena: Placenta eating (or how far can one go to skip post-partum depression.) Mothers think it works, scientists say it’s placebo, the public is going wild with controversy. The bottom line is, after all, it’s a free country.