I’ve never read an actual New York magazine. They’re not available on this side of the world. However I managed to fish out this issue of the annual Food & Drink edition from a back issue magazine shop.
Food & Drink is one of New York Magazine’s ‘satellite’ editions from their main fortnight edition (or should I say, bi-weekly for you Americans). Other editions include Health, Gifts and Weddings.
This page is the equivalent to Editor’s Note. The background looks like mashed potatoes.
The magazine is unofficially divided to four parts; things to BUY, MAKE and DRINK. The fourth part is made of advertisements (possibly surpassing the editorial content). There is no imprint page, so who makes up the editorial team is a mystery. After a few ads of a department store, perfume, vodka and a hospital is the table of contents.
BUY shows you the top places to source your groceries. Independent, age-old retailers take the spotlight, and they are all conveniently organised under food type.
Accompanying the directory is a column reserved for chefs to share their favourite products. This one’s a fan of Japanese groceries.
A city so big must have a sizeable niche market. Your questions on where to get salt from El Salvador, snails from Burgundy and mastiha (a kind of gum from Greece, similar to Frankincense) are answered here.
A simple non-conceptual spread does it for this feature on classic foods versus its contemporary counterparts. Styling is minimal and what you see is what you’d get at the shop.
The grocers directory is arranged geographically. While it isn’t the most comprehensive list, it’s a basic guide for those who are starting a culinary exploration in the city.
Into the second section, MAKE, backed by bouncy egg yolks. The reader is served nine dining situations, ranging from a party for 100 to a tree branch-supported dinner for two. The recipes are also included if one wishes to replicate a New York-style occasion at home.
This is a good example of an ‘only in New York’ concept. A three-course dinner in a tree, cooked by a chef in a van.
A multicoloured spread of raw vegetables introduces us to this recipe prepared by Jean-Georges Vongerichten, in celebration of his ninth restaurant opening, ABC V.
The step-by-step photographs shows how much trouble it takes to prepare an unassuming plate of roasted vegetables on a pond of green curry.
The designer made good use of the double page spread for this feature on a dinner party at an Upper East Side townhouse. By turning the page orientation sideways, it brings out the pomp of the party, as if the subjects are walking out of the page.
If I can have it my way, I’d place the recipes alongside the linked article and not separate them, as seen here. I assume the recipes were centralised so that they can squeeze in more space for advertisements.
The third section DRINK focuses on intoxicating liquids and where to find them.
This feature picks out the basic liqueurs and tell you which one to keep, how to mix and the bars that offer the drinks. The illustration of the bottles and glasses were by Ellaphant in the Room.
Due to the shrinking economy, the popularity of Champagne is waning. Therefore the editor is suggesting ten alternatives to the bubbly, all laid out according to the tone of the liquid. I like how the pouring is demonstrated; it shows more information about the product rather than just showing it bottled up.
Beer fans can refer to this directory of locally-made brews, conveniently categorised according to flavour. The illustrator is once more Ellaphant in the Room.
The back pages are not a pretty sight, but it gives you an idea of the kind of products and services a New Yorker might need.
Crossword puzzles are like payphones – they are rare to find nowadays but good to have when needed. They are also a simple way to extend the reader’s attention. It’s the symbolic act of them leaving their mark on a page, marking their presence (when a reader does more than just reading the magazine, the connection between the two is deeper. At least, that’s what I believe).
Readers who are not fans of cooking can cut out this page of caterers and stick it to their SMEG fridges.
The visual elements used throughout the magazines hold no gimmicks. It’s just basic lines from the presets on the InDesign palette, as well as different weights of the default typeface Windsor.
The usage of the footnote space sneaks in more content without much effort.
Increasing ad space is this booklet with sponsored content. It has short interviews with the people behind New York’s nightlife. It’s nothing outstanding, and the detachability is not necessary because it’s not something a reader would peel off and stash it in their bag like a map.
This issue is not exactly a collectible – no ground-breaking design or writing here – but I’m keeping it just because it’s so rare.
Reputations: Chris Dixon via Eye Magazine
Title: New York Food & Drink
Issue: Vol. 47, No. 25
Cover art: Jamie Kimm, photographed by Bobby Doherty
Origin: New York
Cover price: USD6.99