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Sometimes you come across a place or experience that reminds you of why New York is so wonderful and how it’s totally worth putting up with pushy commuters, smelly summer garbage and nonsensical weekend signage on the subway.

This week I found this place in Around the World newsagents, just a tantalizing few blocks from my office and the perfect lunch hour escape.

Around the World specializes in fashion publications. Anything and everything that you can think of, they have it, and probably in dozen different languages. Browsing through the titles is like a poem of mysterious words: Stiletto, Haunted, Vandals, Intermission, Wad, Muse, Bon, Tirade. They have everything from the classic American Vogue, to CR Book to something called Pigeons and Peacocks. And this is just the consumer publications section! The entire back of the store is dedicated to industry pubs: trend forecast books and collection recaps. Plus there are tables of fashion and architecture books–endless piles of inspiration.

While I was there, a whole case of characters came through the doors–the anorexic blonde paging through photography magazines, the campy male designer buying In Trend: Cut and Sew. There were a few lost tourists and, because it’s New York, a crazy woman wearing headphones, singing along to herself while paging through a pub on knitting patterns. You can’t make this stuff up. My favorite was the nice gentleman who was running the shop. He clearly knew his stock, which was so refreshing after the indifference of Barnes and Noble.

I bought a back issue of The Gentlewoman, which at $15 was a bit of an indulgence. But it is so refreshing to read non-mainstream magazines sometimes. The articles are longer, the photography more original, and you really feel the power of the editor, rather than the advertiser. I know they say that print is a dying medium, but in the aisles of Around the World, you can feel the pulse of something that is strong, real and, in the age of the Internets, refreshingly subversive.

I can’t wait to go back!

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Around the World Fashion Magazines and Books
148 W 37th St btw Broadway and 7th Ave

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