Celebrating 10 Years: The Institutions of New Brooklyn 

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Way back in 2002, brothers Scott and Daniel Stedman returned to the United States after a stint in Paris. They brought back with them an idea, based on a French publication called Pariscope, for a free, digest-sized biweekly listings guide that they hoped would become integral to the lives of young New Yorkers looking for things to do. A small staff was assembled, a name was agreed on—a name, it must be said, that would guarantee constant confusion, even 10 years down the road (Oh, you mean Elle, like, the fashion magazine? Ah, yes, of course… The L Word, HBO’s popular show about lesbians in Los Angeles). A year or so later, on April 3, 2003, the first issue of The L Magazine hit the streets, in pristine orange boxes that would just days later be covered in stickers and graffiti like all the others in the lineup: The Village Voice, The New York Press, uh… The New York Sports Express. It hurt to see them vandalized, but it also felt a little bit like a badge of honor, like we’d officially arrived.

And here we are, still. We’re proud, certainly, to have made it through what is widely considered to be the worst time in all of history for print media. We’re proud of the work we’ve done and of whatever small contribution we’ve made to the place we love so much. But we are also really, really, to a degree that is frankly unheard of in the magazine business, disinclined to indulge in the kind of smugness that tends to be such an integral part of special anniversary issues—that thing where you go back and exaggerate your own importance, even when you were mostly just, say, interviewing cab drivers or whatever. So this is maybe not going to be that easy for us.

Which is why, instead of puffing out our chests and patting one another on the back for the next few weeks as we celebrate our first decade of existence, we’re going to shine a light on the people, events and businesses that have helped make Brooklyn what it is today: the New Institutions of Brooklyn, or, The Institutions of New Brooklyn, if you will.



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