November 3, 2012

Some Thoughts on the Powerful New York Magazine "City and the Storm" Cover

NY Mag City and the Storm cover 600

With NY still struggling to get on top of the fallout, this cover more than delivers the sense of arriving there. And a similar point: In the face of powerlessness, the contribution of the photo is to help people place the experience so quickly in perspective. From both standpoints, the photo is a tremendous moral lift.

It’s also a beautiful photograph, all shimmery in the distance. More than that, though, it appeals to our sense of restoration and, yes, hope, the storm clouds parting taking it almost to a Hollywood level.

Embedded in the post-storm photo also, I believe, is the psychic impact of 9/11, Sandy being “that next” disaster to hit New York. If you remember, the New York cover on the tenth anniversary of 9/11 was about also about perspective, and about getting above.

New York Mag 9 11 10th anniversary cover

If it’s actually the Goldman Sachs building lit up in the foreground with the Freedom Tower just beyond it, I don’t think, for inspirational purposes, it makes a difference. Providing an even deeper reassurance to New Yorkers and Americans is the sense, the clouds parting relatively quickly on this latest adversity, that the Trade Center has not only returned but is actually creating its own tower of light.

(photo: Iwan Baan for New York Magazine.)

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Michael Shaw
See other posts by Michael here.

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