So long, 4 Times Square! Today marks Day 1 for The New Yorker staff at its new headquarters, 1 World Trade Center. The magazine leaves behind its roots in Midtown Manhattan (the area it’s called home for all of its 90 years of existence) and joins its fellow Condé Nast brethren downtown. The current issue, titled “Moving Day,” by Bruce McCall, charmingly illustrates the end of an era. Inside the issue, staff writer Nick Paumgarten writes a Comment that takes us on a trip down memory lane:
Before 4 Times Square and the decade or so at 20 West Forty-third Street, the magazine spent more than fifty years at 25 West Forty-third Street. That’s the building with the “Literary Landmark” plaque out front, which, backward-runningly, depicts the place as having been a Luddites’ den: “Characteristic of the magazine was a suspicion of advanced technology.” Brendan Gill, describing the office’s “bureaucratic squalor,” called it “penitentiary-like,” but more beguiling is what went on outside the prison walls, in the old Theatre District haunts: the Algonquin, the Century, the Teheran; Joe Mitchell and A. J. Liebling at the Red Devil, dining on baby squid; all the editors dressed up and out every night for dinner and a show, under the watchful eyes of policemen on horseback. It was acceptable in those days to pass a woman on the street and say, “Great hat.”
Paumgarten also offers poignant thoughts on moving forward in the general sense:
The process felt a little like going through the belongings of a dead loved one, except that the dead loved one was you. What was worth saving? Not as much as you’d anticipated, once you got into the spirit of paperlessness. Pile up those mine carts with fool’s gold. The thing that’s worth keeping is the thing you do next.
Here’s to new views, new neighbors and new routines!