What's it like to be a reader of New York magazine? Let's do a thought exercise. Imagine yourself waking up mid-afternoon in the hermetically-sealed sleeping tube that takes up most of the third floor of your luxurious brownstone. Outside the door of your bedroom, your robot maid is preparing a lunch. But today, you want something different. Today, you want to meet with the common people. "Servant!" you call. "Bring me... New York's 2012 'Cheap Eats' list!"

Your robot maid clicks and whirrs and takes the magazine inside your bedroom. "As you know, servant, I have had my hands replaced with solid gold statues of Michael Bloomberg and Jay-Z," you say. "Therefore, since I cannot hold the magazine, I ask that you make a list of four 'cheap eats' that I might eat today."

The robot obliges, and, scanning the magazine's selection of Cheap Eats, chooses four for you:

Brisket taco, Güeros: $4
Tuna sandwich, Mile End Sandwich: $10
Vegetarian ramen, Chuko: $12
Burger, The Toucan and the Lion: $17

You are taken aback — "Seventeen dollars?" you ask. "For a burger? That's so cheap it makes me wonder about the provenance of the meat!" And then your robot maid murders you.

That's what being a New York magazine reader is like.

[NYM, image via AP]