The next time I venture into the Condé cafeteria, I will be sure to pack an architect, a gourmet, and a copyeditor.
re VF's mysterious second bank of elevators:
as an architect of highrises here in the city (employed by a certain large firm involved in a recent competition you may have heard something about), i'm sorry to have to disappoint you about at least one possible conspiracy dimension in the conde nast edifice.
that mysterious second bank of elevators in the VF offices is just an unfortunate (or poorly planned) result of how their offices got distributed in the building. highrises divide their elevator banks by groups of floors—about a third for lowrise floors, a third for midrise, another third for highrise. i.e. not all elevators go to all floors. sounds like VF's offices got caught on the frontier between elevator zones so that you have to switch between lowrise and midrise banks to get up that one additional floor in the other zone...
a simple technical rationale. still, the question remains: who's responsible for allocating the floor space like this....?
btw, one other note: i can't comment on the difference between iceberg and romaine, but i'm pretty sure the gehry partitions in the cafeteria are actual double-curvature glass, not plexiglas, as you spied. a very expensive and much lusted after fetish detail among architects.