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40th Anniversary

The (Anniversary Edition) Approval Matrix

Our deliberately oversimplified guide to 40 years in the culture capital of the world.

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So what exactly happened in New York over the last four decades? Let’s see. There was Letterman. And hip-hop. And, you know, books. And pretty much everything else that was important in American culture, except maybe country music and Hollywood. So how do we fit it all in here? Simple: We don’t. This is two pages, not a black hole. We did, however, make room for the most brilliant, despicable, memorable, and iconic. In answer to your next question—But where the hell is [insert favorite influential New York cultural figure here]?—we can only say, “Read it again.” They might be in there somewhere. If not, hey, this is New York City. You try to cram 40 years into four boxes.


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