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The Culture Issue – May 2024

The Culture Issue – May 2024

The City is a singular source of endless Inspiration.

There’s something trying about growing up in close proximity to New York City. It forces you to use an incomparable town as the benchmark for all the others. And how do you think that competition nets out? Typically, a forlorn look will come over a native New Yorker’s face: “It’s just not the same as they do it in THE City.” Even the term City has been hijacked by New York for those who know it intimately.

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Yet the idea of what “the” City means is constantly evolving. There are some, like Alice Feiring, interviewed in this issue, who miss their NYC from the late ’80s early ’90s. And don’t even get a native New Yorker started on the vibe in the ’70s. Or, my personal take, the late 2000s when the mixology era of cocktail bars in hot dog stands and bearded, suspender-clad bartenders boomed.

In a city that means so many things to so many people, it’s impossible to pin down exactly why the place persistently inspires great food and drink. The thing I find most stimulating about NYC is its nearly unparalleled kaleidoscope of culture. There’s some form of representation from nearly every ethnicity imaginable. And what do these new cultural implants do with their rich, imported histories? They write love letters to the City, and its dwellers, through food and drink. Join us in a journey through them.

Photography: Paul Aresu,Hair and Makeup: Robert Moulton

For, what would a soup dumpling be without a bracingly acidic Riesling? Or a delightfully greasy slice without Lambrusco? Or a Penicillin served up without suspenders? Because if they make it here—food and drink that is—that doesn’t mean they can make it anywhere. There can only be one New York City.

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