For New York’s 16th annual “Reasons to Love New York” issue, the magazine presents a tribute to all the places that have closed this year since the pandemic began. From China Chalet to Clover Delicatessen, Frank’s Cocktail Lounge, Gemspa, Lucky Strike, Snowdays, and more, the package includes send-offs from Allison P. Davis, Emma Straub, Jiayang Fan, Mark Harris, Padma Lakshmi, Rumaan Alam, Wyatt Cenac, and many more, celebrating the places we ate, danced, shopped, got sweaty, and lived our New York City lives.
The cover features illustrations from French visual artist Jeanne Verdoux, who has lived in New York City for 20 years. “It is shocking to see places I went to are disappearing. To me they ARE New York,” says Verdoux. Many of the businesses captured in her drawings are places Verdoux herself is mourning. Places like B Bar, Century 21, Carroll Gardens Diner, and Jeffrey New York, among others. Using an ink brush, Verdoux captured 38 businesses in one week for the purposes of this cover. “I went inside a drawing tunnel with my ink brush and became a drawing machine,” she says of her process. “The drawings are a gestural expression of what I see. Very spontaneous. Little to no edits to the first impression.”
Since it first kicked off in 2005, New York’s “Reasons to Love New York” issue has explored the people, places, and moments that make this city great, with tributes from authors to the New Yorkers who couldn’t live anywhere else, notable New Yorkers on their favorite spots around the city, photographs as love letters. This year’s issue strikes a melanxholychord, coming at the end of a year of loss. But if 15 years of “Reasons to Love” has taught us anything it’s that there will always be new reasons to love this city.