If you read only one magazine, it should be the New Yorker. The magzine's event listings and its Talk of the Town Section, which features short, anecdotal pieces, are New York-centric. However, the rest of the magazine has broad appeal for all readers no matter where they live. The New Yorker features an eclectic mix of articles on topics ranging from politics to science to culture. Each issue includes at least one short story, two or three poems, and reviews of current art exhibits, films, books, and TV shows, as well as the New Yorker's famous cartoons.
The New Yorker is a weekly magazine, which a handful of special annual double issues on topics such as fiction, food, travel, and fashion. The $47 fee for a year's subscription works out to a very reasonable dollar per issue. Especially when you consider that an hour with the New Yorker is all you'll need to be prepared to impress your conversation partner at your next cocktail party, date, or job interview.