Comments: Week of January 3, 2011

1. Last week was the sixth iteration of our annual “Reasons to Love New York” issue, which lets us count the ways—from pluralism-preaching preachers to Jimmy McMillan to those newfangled bicycle traffic lights—this city keeps its hold on us all (Reasons to Love,” December 20–27). Most responses to the issue echoed novelist Jonathan Lethem’s essay about being possessed by this town, which you often both love and hate. “This issue always makes us remember why we moved to this goddamn burg in the first place,” wrote blog Tony of All Media. “And why we’ve chosen to put up with her.” “Reading about all the nuances that make my city awesome reaffirms my happiness with living in the sometimes hellhole,” agreed tumblelog Go Big or Go Home. And the personal reasons we solicited from readers of had a similarly hard-edged tone: “Living on Second Avenue for the last ten years means I can sleep through a nuclear bomb” … “Wall Street, the greatest block in the free world. God bless capitalism and my bank account” … “The 75 percent chance of going out, hooking up, and not getting herpes” … “Friends from crappy cities visit and say that they couldn’t live in New York. Yeah, we know you couldn’t make it here, that’s why you don’t live here” … “We can claim the crap on this list as reasons why we put up with all this New York bullshit.” A few were sweeter (“At Christmastime, several streets in the city become fresh-smelling corridors of pine trees, boughs, and wreaths”; “The old guy that drives around Williamsburg with his windows down blasting old Sinatra standards and singing at the top of his lungs”) and more in the spirit of the issue’s Reason No. 27: Because Last Summer, 60 Pianos Magically Appeared—about the “Play Me I’m Yours” installation. For the record, the project was created by artist Luke Jerram, whose name was not mentioned in the piece.

2. “The Strategist” brought home the bacon for most readers with its exhaustive roundup of the city’s pig- derived delights (Everything But the Oink,” December 20–27). Adam Platt’s list of the top-35 porcine dishes in town stoked many readers’ appetites for, apparently, more than food. “Not only did [Platt] provide me with a map of my next 27 meals (I have had eight of the items on the list), but his staff added some mouthwatering, boner-inducing pictures,” wrote the blog Meats N Beats. “The photos can be considered NSFW if your office objects to food porn.” “We got pretty drooly flipping through,” wrote blog Midtown Lunch. “Sadly none of them are in midtown—unless your idea of a midtown lunch is splitting the $68 pork chop for two.” Others wondered why their pork favorites didn’t make the cut. “How can you leave the pulled pork from the Dinosaur Bar-B-Que off this list?” asked a commenter. “Don’t forget ham in its purest form, jamón ibérico de bellota at Pata Negra,” added another. “I cannot believe Maloney & Porcelli is not here,” bemoaned a reader. “This is to pork what a steakhouse is to beef. The crackling pork shank has been a staple for years.” “No mention of the Maialino al forno? Hands down the best pork dish in NYC,” opined a commenter.

What Got You Talking

The magazine stories that prompted the most reader comments on in the past year:

1. All Joy and No Fun, Jennifer Senior (Investigation of parental happiness, July 12)

2. Saint Elizabeth and the Ego Monster, John Heilemann and Mark Halperin (John Edwards excerpt from Game Change,January 18)

3. The Most Livable Neighborhoods in New York, Nate Silver (Statistical analysis of the best places to live, April 19)

4. The Revolution Will Be Commercialized, Gabriel Sherman (Sarah Palin’s business strategy as a political symbol, May 3)

5. Dream a Little Dream, David Edelstein (Review of Inception, July 19)

6. Change We Can Believe In, Jerry Saltz (Review of the Whitney Biennial, March 8)

7. Waking Up From the Pill, Vanessa Grigoriadis (Examining the effects of the birth-control pill upon its 50th anniversary, December 6)

8. The Leap, Jesse Green (The aftermath of a Dalton student’s suicide, June 7)

9. What Was the Hipster?, Mark Greif (Anthropological survey of the cooler-than-thou youth subculture, November 1)

10. Rachel Uchitel Is Not a Madam, Lisa Taddeo (Investigating the “half-hooker” nightclub scene, April 12)

Comments: Week of January 3, 2011