This week's issue of The New York Times Magazine, the special New York issue with a theme of “New York Above 800 Feet,” takes a rather irreverent approach to the magazine’s design. Instead of being viewed in the traditional horizontal orientation, the periodical has been rotated 90 degrees and is meant to be viewed by turning the pages up. The long dimension, which is only 10.875 inches horizontally, becomes 17.875 inches vertically, and according to the magazine’s editor, Jake Silverstein, “‘[It] remains absurdly short for our subject, but it is in keeping with the striving spirit that has given New York City its distinctive skyline: This is as tall as it is possible for our magazine to be."
One of this week’s highlights is the magazine’s cover story, Man on Spire by Taffy Brodesser-Akner, which documents a climb to the upper reaches of One World Trade Center’s spire, conducted by adventure photographer Jimmy Chin and safety liaison Jamison Walsh. On the expedition, the two not only worked out the magazine’s cover image, but were also the featured subjects of aerial photographs by George Steinmetz, and a video that documents the climb in 360 degrees. The latter is available to watch in the NYT VR app (a free download in the Google Play and iOS App Stores). In all, Chin and Walsh spent over six hours on the tower’s spire, one waxing lyrical about the importance of safety, the other contemplating the perfect shot, and how 1,776 feet really doesn’t feel so tall when you’ve also climbed Everest. As the two marveled at their surroundings, and the charged context of World Trade Center site, there was consensus about their rarified vantage, with Brodesser-Akner comparing the two to “harnessed King Kongs” and the two high-fiving over “what giants they were.”