Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

New York Magazine Captures the Look of Post-Sandy New York

To the list of New York institutions that saw their operations disrupted by the Superstorm known as Sandy last week, add New York Magazine.

With offices on Varick and Canal Streets, it is situated right at the borderline between the low-to-the-water “must evacuate” Zone A and what was at that point the “not quite yet” area known as Zone B. In the end, there was no equivocation. For the magazine’s office turned out to be in the “Dark Zone,” or SoPo, as it came be known by some (South of Power, get it?), so there was no reason to go there, anyway, as no work could be done.

Magazines, along with newspapers and TV newscasts, tend to go on in the face to complete disaster, usually after some uncommon effort that usually makes for an interesting backstory. The results produced under these distressed circumstances can often be quite good. Judging by this spectacular cover shot by the Dutch photographer Iwan Baan, this is one of those times.

There was, however, one big complication that got in the way: Computers at the office were at first inaccessible, and so were backup servers in New Jersey. Eventually, office computers were retrieved, and a makeshift magazine office was set up in the conference room of the magazine’s owner, Wasserstein & Co. The rest you’ll be able to read.

Fortunately, New Yorkers love reading about New York — especially after a crisis. So, as things edge tenuously back toward normal, and as power, mass transit, and bagel shops and brunch spots roar back to life and displaced downtown refugees head home, everyone will want a copy of this issue of the magazine, if only have it for the cover photo.

Separately, I can report good news regarding one other important New York institution. While I was writing this story, I received an email saying that power is back on at the Village Vanguard jazz club, and saxophonist Bill McHenry will play there Sunday night. More progress.

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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus