Phooey on magazines |

Phooey on magazines

The young man I call my sixth son, Rick, and my oldest son, Don Jr., both have sent Doug (another son) and me subscriptions to different magazines.

Each Christmas we are informed that we’ll be receiving the “Philadelphia Magazine” and one that’s titled “The Week.” Both are nice presents and both informative.

While “The Week” magazine seems to lean in a liberal direction, it gives an inordinate amount of information about happenings all over the world. It includes a column called “It wasn’t all bad” that exemplifies what is good about people. I especially enjoy this feature. It has a dozen or more other tiny sections by assorted reporters that include “Only in America,” which is about odd happenings and behavior.

Now to my favorite –—OK ladies, so I like this — gossip. The whole publication keeps me busy reading for hours and informed. I really like this Christmas gift. Then there’s the other magazine, “Philadelphia.” I sometimes cringe at what it contains. The publisher has at times, an introduction he calls “Off the cuff,” but it doesn’t always contain information just about Philly. He sometimes talks about national issues, and it’s this section that I enjoy.

Believe it or not, in the mostly liberal Philly, he’s an outspoken conservative.

We can go for months with little information in the Philadelphia issue. When this happens, I turn the pages one by one looking for something that I find even a little interesting. What always — and I mean always — gets me laughing is when they do a special page showing what they call the latest in “finds” in the fashion industry.

I’m a girl who had to dress “in the nines’ for years when working in an office, and I shopped in department stores like Penney’s. Hey, I lived and worked for years in Carson City, and I also shopped at Walmart, K-Mart and other discount stores for that much needed clothing. Then I checked the prices on those advertised in the Philadelphia magazine and I laughed out loud.

They displayed an ordinary pair of chinos for $265, leather sneakers $200, an ordinary wristwatch — what that had to do with clothing, I don’t know — for $299, men’s shorts made of chambray for $69 and a leather jacket for $275. Wow what a bargain. I’m still laughing. Just imagine what any of us could do with all of that money buying the exact same articles at a discount or good department store.

The magazine’s executive editor wrote an editorial in one issue, about the filthy streets of their city. I wanted to cry. I remember what it was like in Philly in my day, and I wouldn’t find a lot of trash in the streets. What’s happened since I worked at an advertising concern close to America’s Independence Hall, warehouses and other buildings towered over that beautiful building?

Then, Mayor Dilworth came along and cleared away the mess and made what is now a beautiful space, so people could see from blocks away the birthplace of our nation, our own Independence Hall. Then there’s an entire magazine section that contains information about those considered the best lawyers in town. At least that’s what the advertisements tells readers. Another section is devoted to where people can buy a beautiful home alone the Atlantic coast.

However, unless one is a multi-millionaire, I forget about it. I smiled at this section, which showed homes in places I haven’t thought about in years, like Wildwood where my cousin Eleanor lives. She and her husband own a restaurant on the boardwalk. Talk about memories.

Today’s been “magazine” day, as I clear away the clutter on the cocktail table, and the container where we keep old issues in behind the sofa.

Let’s not forget those special spots by both of the “thrones” in the bathrooms. Now, I’ll continue with the latest Philadelphia magazines restaurant specialties.

When I read this publication, I cannot understand how that city can have any houses or other businesses. It is simply filled with dozens of restaurants, the good, the bad and obviously the ugly.

Walk two feet from any one spot on Market Street, to Chestnut Street, pass a couple of specialty shoe stores, or if you’re lucky a great Philly cheese steak sandwich shop –and you’ll find another of the many gourmet restaurants. Here what one restaurant review eloquently states: “But bright notes abound with Sherry and orange braised squid that perks up squid-ink spaghetti cloaked in squash cream and chorizo. Yuk!

Edna Van Leuven is a Churchill County writer and columnist. She may be reached at