New York Magazine March 15-28, 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.

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3 Min

1 For New York’s latest issue, editor-at-large Stella Bugbee introduced readers to the surging New York–centric style in dress: Zizmorcore (“Thank You, Dr. Zizmor,” March 1–14). Bloomberg’s Pat Regnier responded, “The story that explained to me why, after 48 years of not being a Hat Guy and not really liking baseball, I’ve been wearing a corny Brooklyn Dodgers hat since this summer.” Polly Mosendz wrote, “I’ve bought literally dozens of pieces of New York City local business merch during the pandemic year. I absolutely love this story, which I read while wearing my Gem Spa hat and my dry cleaner’s T-shirt.” Journalist Ben Adler joked, “I was wearing a Yankees hat and T-shirts from Sahadi’s and Roma’s before it was cool.” Some readers pushed back against Bugbee’s trendspotting. @ShanleySmalls countered,…

7 Min
are you ready to be touched?

JUST TO TORTURE MYSELF, I recently clicked through an online slideshow of parties from before the city shut down. A collection of black-and-white photos of people at clubs and bars, on dance floors and dark street corners, their bodies all so close together I instinctively worried they were a new crop of super-spreaders, until I remembered the timeline. Looking at them, I realized I’d forgotten the diversity of ways people can touch people. Did you remember that you could grip the back of someone’s neck so hard your nails could make half-moon indentations in their skin? Or that you could let the pads of your fingers explore the rough terrain of someone’s elbow, or press your knee against a knee, snake a leg around a leg, put your lips to…

2 Min
group portrait: black queer brooklyn is almost reunited

THE LAST PARTY that author Kimberly Drew went to before everything shut down was at Cafe Erzulie, a Haitian American restaurant in Brooklyn. In recent years, the café has become a gathering place for a subset of the borough’s Black queer scene. This was the venue that Cake Robles, a tattoo artist, and Britt Tabor, a community organizer, chose for their wedding reception. This was a spot where emcee Nappy Nina co-hosted Joy Party BK, a monthly day party that featured a rotating cast of well-dressed melanated characters. At the start of quarantine, Joy Party went online. But that soon got exhausting, especially as COVID began to rip through the community. The Black queer scene in Brooklyn is massive and complex. “It feels like a big family, where there’s messiness involved,”…

6 Min

ONE RECENT MORNING, I zipped toward the Bronx in a Lyft outfitted with a murder room’s worth of plastic. My task: to seek the meaning of solitude from an elderly female who has lived alone, more or less, for 15 years. Her name is Happy, and she is an Asian elephant. Happy was captured, along with six others, in the early 1970s, “probably in Thailand,” according to The Atlantic. The calves, named after Disney’s seven dwarves, were sent to the U.S. and dispersed among zoos and circuses. Happy and a companion, Grumpy, ended up at the Bronx Zoo. The facility has had a number of elephants over the years, but they have mostly died off, and today there are just two: Happy and a second Elephas maximus named Patty. Owing to interpersonal…

6 Min
the pin drop: miami’s little manhattan

SOUTH FLORIDA HAS LONG been a seasonal destination for New Yorkers, but in the year of COVID, it began to seem like a one-percenter exodus was taking place. Miami, bristling with starchitected high-rises, islands packed with waterfront mansions, and an art scene that has become world-class in the past 20 years thanks to Art Basel, was eager and prepared to graduate from flashy getaway to permanent home. Palm Beach, roughly the same physical and aesthetic distance from Miami as the Hamptons are from Manhattan, was already the winter home of Wall Street grandees as well as whoever wanted to cozy up at Mar-a-Lago. “December was one of the busiest months of our careers,” says high-end real-estate broker Jill Hertzberg of Coldwell Banker’s Jills Zeder Group. Art galleries opened branches to…

43 Min
abuse and power

JOEL WERTHEIMER took a job in Andrew Cuomo’s administration in February 2017, straight from his position in Barack Obama’s White House. He came on alongside almost 30 other new hires, many of whom had also worked for the outgoing president or on Hillary Clinton’s campaign and were seeking a progressive professional path through the Trump years. Some saw New York State government as a bulwark against what they feared Trumpism would bring. Others hoped it could be a laboratory for ideas that might become a model for federal policy. Early in their employment, a few of these staffers were invited to a party at the governor’s mansion in Albany. Partway through the bash, there was a roast of Cuomo’s top aide, Melissa DeRosa, then the chief of staff but soon to…