May 26, 2010

Periodical Heaven: Casa Magazines


Mohammed Ahmed has been running the West Village newspaper and magazine shop Casa Magazines for 15 years at the corner of Eighth Avenue and 12th Street. Casa is a magazine-lover's dream. If what you're looking for is not available, Mohammed will special order it for you. He and his longtime assistant, Syed Khalid-Wasi spoke recently to Walking and Talking and offered a glimpse into the periodical reading habits of West Villagers.

WT: What are your best-selling periodicals?
MA: The New York Times, for newspapers, and for magazines, Vogue, British Vogue, Paris Vogue and Fantastic Man.
WT: What are the most unusual or obscure periodical requests you have fielded?
MA: Zeek (a Jewish journal on thought and culture). I had to special order this. Also Memoir (a bi-annual journal of “memoir and prose, poetry, essay, graphics, lies and more”) and October (an intellectual journal of art, theory, criticism and politics from MIT Press).In order of popular subject matter, it’s fashion first, then design and decorating,, computer and cars, skateboarding, then health and fitness.
WT: What is your bestselling non-periodical item?
SKW: Natural American Spirit tobacco (organically grown in Santa Fe, NM by independent small farmers.)
WT: What do you yourself read in the store?
SKW: Only Time Out New York. I love my work. I have beautiful customers. They treat me like family. I have a good time here.
WT: What music do you play in the store?
MA: Always WQXR (105.9, all-classical music)!