A Reason to Read New York Press

It’s been a while since anybody picked up the shrinking alt-alt weekly, but the Sun has news today that the current regime at the New York Press has been replaced by my friend and Ditmas Park neighbor Harry Siegel, an occasional Observer columnist.

The Press, if you’ve read it in the last year or two, has been modeling itself after a demented, occasionally brilliant, Moscow weekly called the eXile; the nihilism didn’t work as well in this somewhat better-functioning democracy, and the paper wound up being totally irrelevant, except when it offended Anthony Weiner.

Given the quotes in today’s story, the new regime seems to be something of a Russ Smith restoration. Siegel, a Brooklyn native and holder of the world’s last, thickest Brooklyn accent, ran the Sun’s editorial page for a while and is the founder of the eccentric, interesting New Partisan Web site. He’s smart and serious, and despite being to the right of most New York political types, knows his way around city politics, being the son and collaborator of Giuliani analyst Fred.

Harry also holds the distinction, as I recall, of forcing the generally anti-regulatory Sun into strict enforcement of the smokefree workplace rules.