It’s sad that the print edition of Village Voice is going away, sure, but I can’t honestly say I’m devastated. I never pick up a newspaper. Nobody does. But I’ve always liked — hell, cherished — the fact that the Voice is there. If I could guarantee that the print edition would survive by snapping my fingers three times, I would do that. Who wouldn’t? I’m just as sentimental as the next guy.
The newsprint Voice is an atmospheric artifact — a tangible remnant of the Manhattan that I lived and struggled and sometimes barely survived in from late ’77 to mid ’83. When I think of the effort and feeling and discipline that have gone into each Voice issue, even recently, even with me living in West Hollywood, and what its absence will do to downtown culture, etc. Not that anyone under 40 will notice all that much.
I was a New Yorker when the Voice definitely mattered. Reading the new issues of it and the Soho Weekly News at the Village Bowl (a little diner on West 13th near 8th) back then — what an affinity that was. I would take the issues home, leave them at my Sullivan or Bank Street apartments, carry them with me for something to read on the subway.
But I almost never pick up print these days, and when I do it’s only for a fast skim. My reaction would be the same if the L.A. Weekly, which has been printing since ’78, were to turn into an online-only publication. I picked up a copy at Amoeba last week, and that’s saying something. But I’m not saying anything nervy here. The printed Voice launched almost 62 years ago, on 10.26.55. I’m sorry.
Longtime Voice columnist Michael Musto to vanishingnewyork’s Jeremiah Moss: “The Voice has long valued their online presence, so I think it will stay valid. There’s something lost in that the actual paper was historic and there’s something about holding a paper in your hand that was always personal and special. But things are changing, and the focus on the internet venue — while not necessarily as lucrative as the paper used to be — still allows for possibility, surprise, and hopefully relevance.”