I am so happy to be in New York City. I am no tourist here – we’ve had an apartment for almost 25 years, I went to college here, had my first job over on 3rd Avenue, and feel quite comfortable around town. The Upper West Side has grown with me, and around me.
About 10 years ago a large Barnes & Noble bookstore opened up at Lincoln Center. I know there is much to lament regarding the rise of the large bookchains, but this is their flagship store, and it is wonder to behold. I could spend a weekend in there – thanks in part to the Starbucks on the 4th floor. The store is like a giant public library, but finely tuned to the consumer’s attention span. That’s not meant as a snide derogation. The audience is highly literate in this particular branch. The Upper West Side buys more books than the rest of the country combined. (That’s not a real statistic, I made that up – but it’s a large component for 90% of published books nowadays.)
The store also has a giant magazine section, upstairs next to the Barristas working the expresso machines. They carry pretty much every magazine still in print, probably in excess of 10,000 titles.
And – lo and behold – in a lower rack, somewhere in the back where the light forces you to squint – I found the perfect magazine for me. In the Arts section I found Meatpaper: Your Journal of Meat Culture. It’s a magazine of art that features meat. Not only that, they have a website. And no, it’s not some kind of weird one-of-a-kind meditation on modern culture in a sarcastic wrapper. They’re serious about this. Note their mission statement:
Meatpaper is a print magazine of art and ideas about meat. We like metaphors more than marinating tips. We are your journal of meat culture.
It’s a great magazine. They cover art, the politics of farming and immigration, and even the Slow Food movement. And as if that isn’t enough, there’s a poem to blood sausage – “Ode to Boudin”, by Kevin Young. I will tease you with this opening line:
“You are the chewing gum of God.”
Life is fabulous here in the City! As soon as we’ve packed the last kid off to college, The List Maker and I are moving to New York.