But because we’re Curbed NY, our favorite covers are—of course—the ones that act as love letters to New York City. The most iconic of these is undoubtedly Saul Steinberg’s “A View of the World From Ninth Avenue,” which appeared on a cover in 1976 and depicts the city as New Yorkers see it: the center of the universe, obviously.
Other artists have created New York-centric covers that are among the magazine’s most beloved: Adrian Tomine’s commuters reading the same book on different subway trains; Maira Kalman and Rick Meyerowitz’s “New Yorkistan,” published not long after 9/11; and Jorge Colombo’s “Night Lights,” an impressionistic tribute to the beauty of the city at night.
Now, another cover could be joining their ranks: This week, Luci Gutiérrez created a cover called “Shelf Life” (h/t Gothamist), depicting Manhattan as a bookshelf full of weird and wonderful curios.
“I drew a bookshelf, and the lines made me think of the streets of a map,” Gutiérrez said of her creation, and indeed, each of the “shelves”—the lines of which demarcate different neighborhoods—is a callback to a different New York City neighborhood. There’s a tiny Guggenheim, meant to represent the Upper East Side, with a Puerto Rican flag and maracas standing in for Spanish Harlem above it.
Further south, the West Village is represented by a soup can and an arch; the East Village next to it is alphabet blocks and books by writers like Allen Ginsberg and Patti Smith.
It’s an adorable, and at times poignant, tribute to Manhattan, and one that’s sure to become part of the canon of New Yorker covers about, well, New York.