I’m so into print magazines these days, it’s weird. You’d think, with a modest disposable income originating from a career where the measurements of success live completely online, I’d just forget about print. And yet.
I still feel a tinge of suckerdom every time I remember subscribing to Giant Robot and Theme right when they were probably shredding their print shop orders and ended up receiving only one issue of GR. That’s one copy of GR, no issues of Theme. It’s as if Print, even after I had repeatedly proclaimed “I don’t believe Print is dying”, rejected my faith and support.
I’ve moved on, though, mostly. It wasn’t me, it was Giant Robot and Theme. I could still be satisfied by magazines, I’d just have to look somewhere else.
Oakland has Issues.
The East Bay has a lot of couples who used to be San Francisco singles, and it also has a lot of under-appreciated institutions that we inhabitants are probably at odds about sharing with the public. If it gets too popular, it’s just going to become another Mission Street Food: over-glorified with unreasonable lines. I’ve lived in Berkeley for five years and I still haven’t blocked out an afternoon for the Cheese Board.
It’s worth breaching the Fight Club stance when there’s a reason to celebrate, though. So happy birthday, Issues! Issues is basically the most digestable section of Barnes & Noble plunked into a cozy cube of retail space: It’s. Just. Magazines.
It’s easy to discover quality stuff there because the staff is friendly, the merchandise is curated, and the range of topics and titles is extensive. It should be no surprise how they got to five years as a small business in an industry that this particular region with its one particular “valley” is so destined to shift.
Go to their birthday party this weekend for mixtapes, chili, local love, and fun stuff to read!
Issues 5-Year Anniversary
Sunday, June 3, 2012
Party! 9:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.
Chili Cook-Off: 1:00-3:00 p.m.
Mixtape Exchange: 1:00-4:00 p.m.
20 Glen Avenue
Oakland, California 94611
I’ve found my somethings else.
Twice a year I go into Issues – in person – to pick up Lula. And through Issues I finally got a chance to leaf through an issue of The Gentlewoman before heading to the counter and then toting it back to my car. I love these biannuals. They’re so avant-garde now. The articles are so long, and there’s no jump to an index on Where to Shop (let alone filled with the fashion equivalent of a hoity toity restaurant menu’s “AQ”). I practically have to exercise to get through pieces that number beyond five paragraphs (I read a lot online, which is sprinting. Some of these pieces are like cross country.), but the better photography and more experimental layouts make it worth it.
As for my recent subscription history (Believe it or not, it costs more to subscribe to Lula and Gentlewoman than it does to pick them up individually at the store.), my mailbox perks me up most with, in order of frequency then preference:
- Lucky Peach
- Cook’s Illustrated (I won’t lie. This is for Bill.)
- Harper’s Bazaar
- Fast Company (My tweet about the latest issue with CeeLo and Mr. Purrfect on the cover was retweeted by Cat Fancy.)
- Vanity Fair