7 Days: The Voyeur’s New York

Inside: Paloma Picasso's purse, Joel Steinberg's jail cell, Andre Soltner's refrigerator, Phil Simms' locker, Eileen Ford's living room, Helen Gurley Brown's desk drawer, John Lennon's FBI File, Charles Busch's closet, Radu's medicine chest & Sheila Metzner's bedroom, among other places you don't belong


When Adam Moss stepped down as editor of New York magazine last month, it marked the end of an era. Since taking the helm of the august title in 2004, Moss had helped set the industry standard for magazine journalism, documenting the life of the city in all its highbrow, lowbrow, brilliant, and despicable glory. 

Of course, as dedicated media-watchers know, much of the New York‘s DNA was apparent three decades ago, when Moss emerged from Manhattan’s media landscape as the 30-year-old wunderkind behind the much-loved, short-lived 7 Days magazine. Published by then-Voice owner Leonard Stern for two years bridging the ’80s and ’90s, 7 Days was a glorious failure, bleeding money, but minting the reputations for a generation of fledgling journalists

Flipping through the 7 Days archives today is an exercise in delightful discovery. There’s Jeffrey Toobin writing about the Yankees, long before he became the lead legal analyst for the New Yorker; future best-selling author Meg Wolitzer (The Wife) writing the weekly crossword puzzle; a regular magazine-watching column from fellow future best-selling author Walter Kirn (Up in the Air); Peter Schjeldahl covering the arts scene; Joan Acocella on dance. 

Over the next week, we here at the Voice archives will be sharing some of these treasures from the vault. Welcome to seven days of 7 Days.

November 15, 1989

The Insides of Things

Go ahead and admit it, you want to get inside Paloma Picasso’s purse as much as the next person — not to mention Andre Soltner’s refrigerator or Phil Simms’ locker. Problem is, these people employ elaborate security measures — doormen, TV monitors, sometimes even personal bodyguards — to keep snoops and Peeping Toms at bay. But the urge to get inside, to take just one peek, is a strong one. That explains the addiction so many people have for those voyeuristic spreads in design magazines — after all, as the old saying almost goes, the living room is the window to the soul. In that spirit, we unlocked a few private Manhattan spaces. So go ahead, take a look. No one’s watching.