New York’s 18th annual “Reasons to Love New York” issue celebrates the city’s return to spontaneity after years of pandemic-driven loss, with features writer Simon van Zuylen-Wood on how the true story of the bishop who was robbed during his church service is so much wilder than the headlines, senior writer Andrea González-Ramírez on how New York City eagerly welcomes migrants sent from Texas, senior writer Jackson McHenry on Lea Michele bringing a boost to Broadway, senior writer Chris Crowley’s (potentially controversial) take on how the best block of pizza in New York is in Williamsburg, and more.
The cover image features 72 people who embody New York right now, from filmmaker Spike Lee and Senator Chuck Schumer to costume designer and artist Machine Dazzle and actress Sandra Bernhard. They each joined New York on the corner of Little West 12th and Washington Street during a daylong shoot by Pelle Cass, a photographer known for his images composed of multiple exposures. Cass was stationed on the High Line and shot the cover subjects individually as they walked through the intersection — then combined them digitally into one frame. “You never know who you’ll run into crossing the street in this city,” says editor-in-chief David Haskell. “Now that the city is crowded and energetic again, we wanted to create a cover that gave that familiar thrill of ‘Wait, is that … ?’”
New York’s city editor Christopher Bonanos dives into the making of the cover in a behind-the-scenes story, sharing how photo director Jody Quon, her team, and an enormous number of editors and writers from across the magazine wrangled the 72 subjects for a shoot in the middle of city traffic.
Cass, who often shoots portraits with random people, was tasked with ensuring that these high-profile New Yorkers were recognizable for the cover. Readers are invited to participate in this quiz to test their knowledge of the who’s who of New York, and the cover image will be available for purchase as a poster.