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The Greatest New York Ever

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Last month, Michael Bloomberg said that he wants to leave office “having a reputation as … maybe the greatest mayor ever.” Better than Fiorello La Guardia? Well, who was New York’s greatest mayor? Or athlete? Or gangster? Or burlesque beauty? True to the spirit of the city, this is an issue of such arguments: about New York’s greatest musical, and New York’s greatest bouncer, and New York’s greatest mistake. About its greatest novel. And rock show. And gossip item. Our arguers include such legendarily milquetoast individuals as Al Sharpton, Frank Rich, Nora Ephron, Robert A.M. Stern, Thurston Moore, and our magazine’s own critics. And you get to play, too, by choosing the single best day ever. Let the shouting begin.
18981898
When the city came together.
19471947
Because it all seemed to work.
19631963
When we never knew what was about to end.
19781978
There was nowhere to go but up.
20112011
Because we never rest.
SidebarThe Greatest Year to …
Go to Coney Island, be a rat, ride the subway, and more.
TVThe Greatest Musical
“I can’t live with West Side Story not being among the finalists.”
MayorThe Greatest Mayor
“How would Dinkins have done, had he come after Giuliani?”
TVThe Greatest TV Show
“There’s no way we can dis Law & Order.”
SportsThe Greatest Athlete
“Is Derek Jeter such a bad defender that he’s a bad player?”
ArchitectureThe Greatest Building
“If I had to pick one tower, it wouldn’t be the Empire State Building.”
NovelThe Greatest Novel
Invisible Man, The Bonfire of the Vanities, or The Age of Innocence?
MoviesThe Greatest Film
Dog Day Afternoon, Sweet Smell of Success, or Working Girl?
SongsThe Greatest Song
“New York State of Mind,” “Across 110th Street,” or “Too Many Creeps”?
ArtThe Greatest Artwork
A Pollock, a Penn, or a Warhol?
TidbitsThe Encyclopedia of Superlatives
Under mobster, see Gallo. Under rock show, ask Thurston.


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