New York Magazine September 27-October 10, 2021

In the Apr. 15–28 issue: Olivia Nuzzi on “wonder boy” Pete Buttigieg. Plus: Art & Design, by Wendy Goodman; the half-billion dollar “Leonardo”; Natasha Lyonne, Annette Bening, and more.

United States
New York Media, LLC
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26 Issues

in this issue

4 min

1 New York’s latest cover story, a collaboration with The Verge, reported on the revolt of delivery workers in “Ride Like Hell,” an account of how 65,000 laborers are fighting back after years of mistreatment (September 13–26). Bloomberg’s Mark Gongloff wrote, “Ultimately this is a story of how marginalized workers we have called heroes for the past 18 months had to band together to fend for themselves against a hostile city and industry.” Journalist Edward Ongweso Jr. tweeted, “Only a handful of pieces bother centering workers this much and this long so that you see the infrastructure they cobble together to survive despite deeply exploitative & unsafe conditions.” BuzzFeed’s Melissa Segura pointed out the story “is as much about delivery workers as it is about police” and noted that “inequality…

10 min
recalculating risk

IN MID-SEPTEMBER, King County, Washington, in which Seattle is located, released an eye-popping slide about vaccine efficacy and breakthrough prevalence: Vaccines had reduced the risk of infection from COVIDsevenfold, county data showed, and reduced the risk of hospitalization and death 41-fold and 42-fold, respectively. These ratios, though bigger than those found in other studies released in recent weeks, are nevertheless in line with an obvious emerging consensus in the data: Vaccines do clearly reduce transmission and dramatically reduce hospitalizations and deaths, making the threat of severe outcomes to the vaccinated much more like the risk associated with other, far more quotidian diseases. But in small type, King County included some other data that paint what seems at first blush like a very different picture: Fully 25 percent of deaths were among…

3 min
the group portrait: p.s. 705’s welcome committee

IN SEPTEMBER, Valerie N. Macey, the principal of P.S. 705 Brooklyn Arts and Science Elementary School, ordered 30-foot red carpets from Amazon. The first day of the 2021–22 academic year was approaching, and Macey—who became principal two months before the lockdown—thought her students should have an entrance as grand as that of the Grammys or the Met Gala. “I wanted the ropes and everything. I wanted white doves,” she said. On September 13, the students at the elementary school strutted down the carpet and into the building. The two educational assistants DJ-ed. “We took a picture of every student. We shouted out their names,” said literacy coach Tatum Boothe. “We said, ‘We see you. Welcome back.’ ” That same day, New York City’s nearly 1 million public-school students returned to the…

7 min
120 minutes with … hasan piker

HASAN PIKER was in a rage. A million tabs were pinched together like sardines at the top of his browser. His jittery cursor bounced between them, summoning network-news chyrons, YouTube rants, viral tweets, and TikTok memes. The day’s trending topic? Piker, who is 30 years old, had purchased a $2.7 million house in West Hollywood. An ordinary Twitch streamer’s housing wouldn’t make headlines, but over the past five years, Piker has become one of the most prominent socialist pundits in America. The controversy about the purchase had made it to Fox News and Breitbart, and Piker was prepared to take on the interlopers who logged on to see the fireworks. (“The only reason my house is expensive is because of the area I live in,” he growled. “Are you guys really that…

5 min
big apples

I KEEP ASKING William Mullan if he’s sure he’s comfortable. “We don’t have to go through with this,” I say. “It’s not too late to reconsider!” But he assures me he’s ready as he unfurls a turquoise rope ladder and removes a long fruit-picking claw from his tote bag. We’re on an elevated footpath that runs parallel to the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway in South Williamsburg on Yom Kippur, which means the neighborhood’s streets are even busier than usual. Below us, cars pummel their way down the sunken highway, their whirring tires and nonstop honking amplified by the BQE’s canyonlike design. Mullan is wearing pearl earrings, a crop top, jean cutoffs, and a pair of Timberlands. “The last time I was here, I stepped in shit, and it smelled so bad I just threw…

18 min
‘i should have quit way before tokyo’

SIMONE BILES HAS a keen air sense, the ability to let muscle memory pilot against the brain’s logical judgment. She can clear her mind and think of absolutely nothing. Catlike in her reflexes, she locates herself in space and lands on her feet every time. This has been the mark of her genius since childhood, the thing that made her different. Watching her is like trying to catch light. You think, Did that just happen? She flies higher and is more nimble than her competition, with more room for failure because what she attempts is that much more difficult. She has beaten the records of her idols—Nastia Liukin, Shawn Johnson, Alicia Sacramone—and they think she’s the undeniable greatest too. She’s what superheroes are made of, except she’s made of bones…