"How Are New Yorkers Going to Live Now?" Revered Design Editor Wendy Goodman Has a Few Ideas

Olivia Hosken
·3 mins read
Photo credit: Donato Sardella - Getty Images
Photo credit: Donato Sardella - Getty Images

From Town & Country

New York is dead. Long live New York! The media-fueled tug-of-war between the great exodus of New Yorkers and the praise of its resilience is as worrying to locals as it is irritating. Because pondering New York's future isn't really about whether or not the city survives but about how we will all live here going forward after an historic year.

“It is an extraordinary moment for New York City because the city—and how we use it—has completely changed,” says the revered design editor Wendy Goodman. “We are re-thinking not just about the spaces we live in, but the city streets that are now filled with outdoor restaurant seating—do we keep them like that?—and all those newly empty storefronts. We are still in the midst of the pandemic, so we still can't say how any of this will turn out.”

And Goodman knows her city. The born and raised New Yorker has been writing about architecture and design in New York since the 1970s, sometimes in the pages of T&C. Now, she is one of the minds at the helm of Curbed, which re-launched today after it was folded into New York magazine by its parent company Vox Media.

Photo credit: Courtesy New York Magazine
Photo credit: Courtesy New York Magazine

Curbed, an architecture, design, and real estate website, began as a blog in 2006, which at the time was described as “Architectural Digest after a three-martini lunch.” It has evolved in the decade since, becoming an an authority in the trade, particularly in its coverage of city development, and its re-emergence under the New York banner is a timely addition as all New Yorkers reassess many aspects of their daily lives.

Photo credit: BFA / Max Lakner & Griffin Lipson
Photo credit: BFA / Max Lakner & Griffin Lipson

Goodman will continue to lead her home and architecture section, Design Hunting and Curbed editors will helm other the other sections, which span everything from urban planning and real estate listings to furniture recommendations.

For design diehards, the addition of Curbed feels like a return to better days—the architecture and design sections of national publications were hit hard in the aftermath of the 2008 recession and many were cut altogether. A renewed interest in our city structures and homes calls to mind the 1960s and 70s, when amid the backdrop of dramatic social change, Jane Jacobs led a rallying cry to protect the architectural integrity of the West Village.

However, much has changed since Goodman would race to the office to present then-editor-in-chief Ed Kosner with polaroids of a new project she was keen to publish. "I used to spend all day on the subway going different places, now I am on Zoom and FaceTime asking people to walk me through their homes," she recalls. Like everyone else, Goodman is concerned about where (and how often) inspiration might strike: "I worry all the time! It certainly keeps me on my toes. I never have the sense of 'I've done this before' or 'I know where I will find that,' but that is what makes my job exciting."

One thing she isn't worried about? New York's future.

“The city is so elastic,” says Goodman. “It is time again to dig deep and think about our priorities at home—what we need and what we don’t. We hope to be a resource for telling stories about how people live and inspire others.”

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