030308bestofny.jpgLeft cover by Gretel sent to subscribers, right runner-up cover by Wieden + Kennedy.

New York’s Best of New York lifestyle catalog is out, and among the rightful winners, like Best Old School Lobby: The Chrysler Building and Best Dive Bar: Mars Bar, there are some curious ‘bests’ to ponder.

In the New York Classics section, for instance, the sterile, six-month old Music Hall of Williamsburg is hailed for its “unequaled” sound and sightlines. This club had infinitely more character when it was Northsix, and although the overbearing bouncers have finally started letting patrons stand next to the balcony railing, for our money the “Best Rock Club” in New York City is still Bowery Ballroom, or maybe Warsaw.

The Best Pizza by Borough picks are sure to be divisive, with Una Pizza Napoletana taking the Manhattan title. And you'd be naive to think New York’s best roller coaster is on Coney Island; it’s in Bristol Connecticut, built into the side of the mountain. (All due respect to the Cyclone, it does look exhilarating.)

2008_02_rollerjam.jpgThe best of the Best of issue, which tends to read like an in-flight magazine aimed at business class travelers, are the quirky picks, like “Best Free Booze,” which on Monday nights is poured down the throat of any patron of Hank’s Saloon who gets up to sing along with the Brooklyn Country All-Stars. And the best reason to visit Staten Island according to New York Mag? Roller Jam USA (pictured).

The editors commissioned covers from five different designers and are sharing all the results here. The best rejected cover is the Wolff Olins design, which simply shows a phone number [212-471-1555] jotted down on a scrap of paper. (It’s a working number, with a slightly amusing voicemail message.)