After the big show, the winners pose for the photos. One is not surprised that David Remnick and Jim Kelly end up in the middle while VQR's Ted Genoways is foisted to the side. One is surprised, however, that Esquire's David Granger (second from left) went long tie and wing collar, for the fratboy-as-groomsman look.
Is there anything left to say about the slam-bang spectacular extravaganza that was last night's National Magazine Awards? Probably not. But we rarely let that stop us. Here, some photographic odds and ends. Join us after the jump for some misty water-colored memories.
Things started with the 6 p.m. cocktail hour. It was spread through Jazz at Lincoln Center's Allen Room, where the Time 100 dinner was held the night before, and also through the adjacent and much larger lobby, which last night hosted Time's cocktail hour. Even when it's gray and drizzling, the view is pretty awesome. There were lots of passed hors d'oeuvres — only one of which, the smoked-salmon squares, we recognized as a direct repeat from the Time menu — several hors d'oeuvres stations and at least four or five bars. Inexplicably, the bars served only beer, white wine, and Maker's Mark. This was distressing not just to ourselves but, we're sure, to any number of functionally alcoholic magazine types. The signature drink devised for the night was the "Ellietini," which looked a bit like a cosmo and was made, everyone agreed, with bourbon, simple syrup, and something else. We did not try one, largely because it seemed much too gay for us. Ad Age's Nat Ives reported that it was sweet and "definitely drinkable." He also confessed he'll drink caffeinated malt liquor, which calls into question the discernment of his palette.
Soon enough we moved into the ceremony. The room was filled with fake smoke as we entered, and things began with a 7-piece, New Orleans-style jazz parade up one side of the orchestra and back down the other. We presume this was a tribute to the beleaguered city; it might just as well have been a tribute to Nick Lemann. (The Columbia J-School is the copresenter of the event, after all.) The press was packed together — the Observer's Tom Scocca kept climbing over us to call into the office and meet his paper's Tuesday-night deadline — in very back of the orchestra, behind some television cameras that nicely obstructed our views. Keith Kelly, and only Keith Kelly, had a slightly better seat, adjacent to the cameras. That's influence.
A mere 1:45 after the ceremony's start, everyone files out. (The short run time may well have been the evening's highlight.) Winners and press are ushered to the Allan Room — at this point, no one has any idea what this is or where to go — for photos, interviews, champagne, and very tasty cookies. No one won more than two Ellies this year, which, at least, makes the trophies easy to carry.
Lewis Lapham shows off his parting gifts.
In the Allen Room, we climb a few stairs to get a good angle on the photographers shooting the winners. After we take a pic or two, we put down our camera and look around the room. The burly security guy at the bottom of the stairs asks if we're trying to get past. Not quite yet, we say. But it's OK for us to be standing here? "Are you press?" Yes, we are. "Then I'm going to have to ask you to come down." Um, OK. If we weren't press we could stand here? "That's right." From the back of the evening's program: "ASME's mission to bring magazine editors together for networking; ... and to speak out on public policy issues, particularly those pertaining to the First Amendment." Of course.
Proving that there's nothing he can't do, New York editor Adam Moss manages to hold two Ellies in one hand. In foreground, his superspokeswoman, Serena Torrey, shows off her back. We're more than a bit surprised we've yet to receive a crowing press release from Torrey this morning.
After the photos and champagne, winning mags spread out to their after parties. We catch up with a small pocket of Time maggers elsewhere in the Time Warner Cetner, at the Stone Rose. Time4 Media is there, too — and seems about as astonished by Golf's win as everyone else is. Rodale is around the corner, at the Hudson Hotel, where the tab is shut down surprisingly early, and we even make our way to the muted Virginia Quarterly Review celebration, at the New York Sheraton. (Or was it the Sheraton Manhattan? Whichever is on the east side of Seventh.) There, the tab is still going, but the bar closes shockingly early. Time, we've heard, is celebrating at Otto; New York at the Spotted Pig. We decide not to invite ourselves into either, and we call it a night.
Elephant in its natural habitat.