Arts, iEdit

iEdit: Martino’s Playlist for Dreamers and NYC Wannabes 


Will Martino is no New Yorker, at least not by birth. Quite the opposite, actually: Will hails from the quieter state of New Hampshire.

But after working the NYC streets as a part-time DoorDasher last summer, dodging jaywalking collisions with the likes of Jack Antonoff’s car, and bearing witness to unimaginable subway sights, Will undeniably earned some city stripes.

Will’s iEdit reverberates the dynamic pulse of those urban summer days and nights.

With “Dream Of Mickey Mantle” by Bleachers as the opening track, the editor’s playlist starts the same way his move to New York did—with a dream.

While Antonoff dreamt of New York Yankees’ star Mickey Mantle, Will dreamt of moving to the city and spending his nights at Mickey Spillane’s. Mickey Spillane’s is a Hell’s Kitchen Irish-American pub—a fever dream for many, but it’s a favorite city meetup spot for us.

Next is Taylor Swift’s iconic pop hit “Style.” Notably, Will chose Swift’s original “stolen” version over her re-released (Taylor’s Version).

No, Will doesn’t hate women. He’s just nostalgic for the original production.

But yes, Will, the Canadian tuxedo and captivating confidence you marched through Greenwich Village with will “never go out of style.”

Will exudes a natural, timeless confidence that remains gracious and free from boasting, rooted in a strong sense of self. Personally, I find his poise to be equally as admirable as it is unrelatable.

For us Gen Z-ers, Lorde’s Melodrama album is generationally defining. It’s no different for Will.

“I’m waiting for it, that green light, I want it,” Lorde exclaims with conviction.

Like Lorde, Will is always chasing life’s green lights and opportunities.

From moving to NYC alone at 19, to running multiple marathons, to tackling one of the most demanding Heights positions, Will is fearlessly ambitious and wildly passionate.

The following three tracks unveil a semi-hidden and profoundly ingrained aspect of Will’s character—his sentimentality.

Initially joining The Heights as a resume booster, Will now fiercely believes in its role as a vessel for immortalizing the transient yet profound college moments.

“Long live all the mountains we moved / I had the time of my life fighting dragons with you … One day, we will be remembered,” Swift sings on “Long Live (Taylor’s Version),” the next track.

The lyrics reflect Will’s commitment to this newsroom, spending hours debating punctuation and reviewing e-editions, striving to ensure our stories endure for generations to come.

“One More Weekend” is the fantasy Will yearns for in NYC. Yet, after our last summer night out, I cannot physically endure another escapade in the city that never sleeps.

As The 1975’s otherworldly melody sets in, accompanied by haunting lyrics, I envision Will immersed in “About You” during his commute from Brooklyn to Manhattan, capturing mental snapshots of the fleeting city scenes.

Similarly to his favorite singer-songwriter Maggie Rogers, Will counts his time in dog years.

“Swimming in sevens / Slow dancing in seconds,” Rogers sings.

Just like Rogers, Will treasures quality time. Despite a packed schedule, Will makes meaningful time for his friends. Talking with Will feels like someone is peering directly into your soul, a testament to his genuine presence and depth.

Will’s next song is the chillingly beautiful “Audition (The Fools Who Dream)” from La La Land. Unlike the singer’s aunt mentioned in the introduction to the song, Will’s aunt did not live in Paris. She hailed from Worcester, Mass.

Emma Stone offers up some words to the dreamers, saying, “Here’s to the ones who dream / Foolish as they may seem.”

But I don’t think Will is foolish for dreaming. Yes, he dreams big, but he meets every great dream with an even greater work ethic.

With a gentle departure from the dream-like ambiance, “Days Like This” reconnects us with Will’s roots. Will says the Van Morrison tune is reminiscent of time spent with his family.

Despite his fondness for the city’s energy, I imagine that when Will’s family rented a shore house this summer, he found solace in cherished, simple familial moments.

Closing the playlist with Rent’s “Finale B,” it’s evident that Will cannot escape his Broadway roots. The song reinforces his awareness that “there is no day like today,” resonating with his go-getter mentality.

As a small-town Jersey preteen, I literally and figuratively looked up to everything NYC-related. I’d crane my neck to admire those 900-foot, larger-than-life skyscrapers. And I aimed to embody the same vibrancy as the city dwellers striding through the streets.

Now, I literally and figuratively look up to Will. The 6-foot-2 editor leads his life and this newsroom by example. He is the epitome of ambition, poise, authenticity, and thoughtfulness. And, thankfully, he’s also one of my best friends.

So, what do you say, Will? Meetup at Mickey Spillane’s this summer?


March 22, 2024