Before it was Instagram famous and got write-ups by The New York Times, Vogue, and the BBC for its efforts to survive the pandemic, Casa Magazines was a place you happened upon. Perched on the corner of Eighth Avenue and Twelfth Street in New York’s West Village, Casa is among the last magazine shops in the city—a shrine to print, a place that is truly analog.
It’s tiny, maybe 400 square feet, and smells delightfully of fresh paper thanks to the thousands of magazines lining the walls and piling up on the floor. There is every title you can imagine and many you can’t, like August, a beautiful, coffee-table-sized travel magazine about places like . . . New Jersey.
The owner, Mohammed Ahmed, and manager, Syed Wasim, aka Ali (pictured here), know exactly where to find each one. They also know the locals who stop by frequently, including boldfaced names like Julianne Moore and Sarah Jessica Parker. To stay in business in the depths of the pandemic, Casa started an Instagram account that quickly gained attention among New York media types, leading to collaborations with Vans, Valentino, and Wes Anderson. Today it is a destination.
Whether you stumble in from out of town or uptown, you will most certainly leave with an armful of magazines. Bring your kids and they will leave with a free candy bar courtesy of the proprietors. And if you’re in search of an N. Y. C. souvenir, nothing beats a Casa T-shirt.
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