When Phil O’Brien landed on the west side of Manhattan in 2012 from the UK, a Brooklyn-based friend was skeptical about his choice of location.
But Phil likes a challenge. And his friend was so wrong. (OK, not about the subway or the cold. Those things are true.) So the former press photographer and entrepreneur created a love letter to his new home neighborhood.
W42ST was launched in October 2014, a print magazine defiantly making a stand for quality and authenticity in a culture increasingly stuck on a digital hamster wheel of screen time. In January 2015, Ruth Walker was brought in from Edinburgh, Scotland, to guest edit the February issue. She never left.
Since then, the magazine has grown to cover much more than just Hell’s Kitchen, while holding firm to that fierce, pioneering, no-bullshit attitude.
“Why would you live in Hell’s Kitchen? It’s cold in the winter, miles from the subway, and there’s nothing to do!”
What we do
W42ST is an independent lifestyle magazine for, and about, real New Yorkers.
We celebrate the lives and experiences of everyday people who are making shit happen in this inspiring, overwhelming and incredible city.
Who we do it for
Created and conceived of in Hell’s Kitchen, we are read in homes and businesses all over New York by an authentic, colorful, curious family of readers, contributors, and partners.
Why we do it
At a time of digital overload, we recognize people’s need to be more connected in real life - to each other, to their community, and to their authentic self.
How we do it
Along with our flagship print magazine, we also communicate directly with our audience through their inbox, through social media and through a calendar of curated events – all designed to help like-minded people live their best New York life.
W42ST is for and about real New Yorkers. From our home base in Hell’s Kitchen, we celebrate the everyday people, places and issues that shape this city.
Through authentic stories and experiences, we connect people and help them live their best New York life, in real life.
During his career as a press photographer, Phil captured images of The Queen, Princess Diana, Pope John Paul II, Mother Teresa, Nelson Mandela, Freddie Mercury, Ayrton Senna, and more.
At 22, he started his own business, EMPICS, which went on to develop an award-winning technology product and become the world’s largest independently owned sports photography agency. It was acquired by the Press Association in 2004.
Before launching W42ST, his various roles included being a strategic advisor to the Duchess of Rutland and founding a charitable trust for children.
Ruth is a communications visionary and passionate storyteller whose journalistic career spans 30 years, in both digital and print media. A driven entrepreneur with a deep love of fashion and the arts, she’s launched multiple publications and products.
As lifestyle editor of Scotland’s leading Sunday newspaper, she interviewed celebrities including designers Michael Kors and Paul Smith, model David Gandy, actress Katie Holmes, and chef Ferran Adria. She explored the world as a travel writer, attending a Bedouin wedding in Jordan, racing yachts in Antigua, learning tennis in Mauritius, and following the Silk Road in Uzbekistan.
She gave it all up to become co-founder and CEO of Crave, a fashion tech start-up in 2014, before being tempted by the adventure of growing a major media brand in the most exciting city in the world.
Social Media Editor
As well as covering the social media angles for W42ST, Sandra is a proofreader and editor for a wide range of publishers and authors. She began her working life as a local newspaper reporter, spending more than 30 years in the industry in a variety of roles – from sub editor and page designer to travel editor and TV reviewer – for publications both regional and national. She’s a keen crime fiction reader and writes and reviews for CrimeFictionLover.com – where she’s better known as DeathBecomesHer! Away from writing and reading, Sandra loves to sing barbershop.
Lee is a designer with over 20 years industry experience, specialising in print, branding, logo design and advertising. Working with leading publishers and many top brands including the BBC, O2, Fender & Mercedes.
Lee is a massive fan of the latest design trends and a font fanatic. Always looking for ways to engage the audience through creative layouts and new design techniques whether its for a national magazine, a small local business or through the pages of W42ST. When he’s not glued to his desk he can be found spending quality time with his wife and two young children or out DJing on the local club scene.