Thursday, August 16, 2012

Page-Turner and I

My friend Claire from college was traveling in Turkey last month and we met up here in İstanbul for drinks in Galata. She had asked me if I wanted anything from N.Y. – yes, I did. I wanted a brick of Café Bustelo (my favorite!) and she brought me that and a whole bunch of other things that she knew I wouldn’t find here – salt-water taffy(!), jelly beans (!!), and cherry-lime gum (!!!), but the biggest surprise was four copies of The New Yorker. She put everything in a plastic shopping bag and when she handed it to me, I could feel the magazines.

“I have some other surprises for you,” she said.

“Ah,” I whispered without opening up the bag, “The New Yorker.”

“How did you know?” Claire asked.

“It’s not the first time I’ve felt up The New Yorker – I know what it feels like,” I said and we both laughed.

The truth is I didn’t know how much I missed good writing – in long- and short-form, until I opened one of the magazines when I got home. I started with a short theater review (for the play, “Cock” – no kidding) and then I read half the magazine, completely forgetting that it was late and I was tired.

Since then I have been reading a lot of The New Yorker – both online and off – especially, Page-Turner, because I love short-form pieces (a history of erasers, why everything is fiction and - oh, just go have a look, you’ll like it, I promise.)

I also like New York magazine. I subscribe to their daily emails for fashion and arts and culture. The writing is just as good as The New Yorker (especially in the long form), but there is a lot less national politics and a lot more pop culture (plus they have tons of pretty photos), so it feels lighter and bubblier than The New Yorker, whose own style brings to mind more of a very beautiful schoolteacher in a classic grey suit. Maybe because I have been reading a lot of articles about Alfred Hitchcock, I keep thinking the parallel is someone who looks like Tippi Hedren in Marnie. But maybe that’s just me.

So I have been reading a lot and thinking about writing. And I do realize that I enjoy thinking about writing a whole lot more than I do writing. I’ve also been pretending to write for The New Yorker. Wouldn’t that be lovely? That would be a dream come true. I’d do a lot of gorgeous short-form pieces about all the little things that turn me on about writing – or thinking about writing. Now, I just need to go out and buy a pencil skirt.

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