Adam Moss’s First (or Second) New York

In this week’s Observer, New York Magazine editor Adam Moss talked to John Koblin about his use of coverlines, telling him, “A piece of music can’t all be big moments. It needs big moments and small moments.”

And sometimes, it even rhymes.

This week’s New York features a cover package called My First New York, that starts with a curtain-raising essay by Adam Sternbergh about his first memories of New York (“murder, mayhem, killer clowns, and subway vampires. I’d never been to New York—I was just a little kid at the time—but that’s how the city existed in my mind…”) and shorter real-life tales of the city from bold-faced names like Jann Wenner and Chloë Sevigny.

In September 2000, The New York Times Magazine, which at the time was edited by Mr. Moss, offered a cover package called “My First Year in New York,” that started with a curtain-raising essay by Kurt Andersen about his first memories of New York (“In retrospect, my childhood in Omaha, a half-mile from a cornfield, looks like a New York 101 distance-learning experiment Every week on TV during the ’60s, I watched a couple of movies from the 1930’s or 40’s, almost all of them glorifications of this city…”) and shorter real-life tales of the city from bold-faced names like Liz Smith and Cecily Brown.

Also of note: both magazines pay tribute to model-turned-basic cable food reality competition hostess Padma Lakshmi, who seems to be a sort of lodestone for the city.

In the current New York, she shares the first person tale of coming to New York at 4-years-old in 1974: “I remember landing, and seeing all the big buildings, and being super-excited about this new adventure…”

In The Times Magazine, Ms. Lakshmi popped up in a profile of Salman Rushdie by former Observer contributor D.T. Max headlined The Concrete Beneath His Feet: “I bring up Padma Lakshmi, the Madras-born model he met last August at the inaugural party for Talk magazine. ‘Things are very good as far as Padma and I are concerned,’ he says. ‘We’re both happy.'”