Casa Magazines Is the Last of Its Kind

being there

Esquire

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.

Michael Sebastian was named editor-in-chief of Esquire in June 2019 where he oversees print and digital content, strategy and operations.    Sebastian had been digital director of Esquire since 2017 where, during his tenure, he expanded Esquire’s digital content to include more in-depth feature reporting and writing, exclusive interviews, ambitious political coverage and a new fashion vertical. He spearheaded the launch of the “Politics With Charles P. Pierce” membership program, an expansion of Charles Pierce’s unique combination of reporting and powerful opinion writing designed for political junkies, Esquire readers and Pierce’s existing fan base. In March 2019, Esquire.com had more than 20 million unique visitors, a year-over-year increase of 156 percent.    Sebastian joined Hearst Magazines in 2015 to run the digital newsroom. During his tenure, he led Hearst Magazines’ digital media coverage of the 2016 presidential election and launched and oversaw a news department in the U.K. Under his lead, traffic to the newsroom content grew from less than 1 million to more than 15 million monthly unique visitors.  Both Fortune and Advertising Age named him to its annual “40 Under 40” list, which recognizes the people shaping the media, marketing and agency industries, in 2019.    He graduated with honors from The University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and began his career as a newspaper reporter in Chicago. Before coming to Hearst, Sebastian was a media reporter for Advertising Age, covering the profound changes affecting the industry.    Sebastian currently lives in New Jersey. 

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