Eventually there comes a time in your 20s where something clicks and you realize that every issue of Cosmopolitan is literally the same magazine with the same articles and all that changes are the colors and titles. (Seriously, how many times do you have to read "50 Ways to Please a Man" before you realize that you're not learning anything new? Yawn.)
Fortunately, being in such close proximately to Brooklyn kind of makes me an expert on hipster things. (I promise, that was the most sarcastic sentence in this article.)
Moving on into my 30s, I now would rather shell out more money for high quality, artistically-made magazines rather than read one more article entitled "Is My Vagina Normal?" (Yes, it is, just ask WebMD) or hear one more anything about the Kardashians. Each of the magazines below were not recommended to me; I actually discovered each of these by accident and all of them are beautifully made, picture-heavy, and very inspiring.
Additionally, the stories and artwork really have no expiration date in their relevance, so I highly encourage you buy a copy or two to leave on your coffee table for guests to read. In the past few years, these have become my favorite and I will definitely be a repeat buyer - although based on the prices, it may not be every time. Most of the time there is a theme they adhere to, so you can pick and choose which subjects resonate with your interests. Enjoy!
I thought of Lucia as the lesser-known cousin of Darling Magazine; in fact I went to Whole Foods with the intention of finding a copy of Darling but couldn't locate it, so I bought a copy of Lucia instead. Needless to say, it did not disappoint! I read the whole magazine in about an hour, but each article was very creatively done and very inspiring. Lucia's creator, Laura Lowery, describes here magazine as "Authentic, heartfelt, and curated to spark creativity" and I would have to agree with that assessment. The magazine's mission is to "inspire and enlighten the world by giving
voice to the heart and celebrating true beauty." The stories are from real women all over the country who are very relatable because they are not celebrities; they are ordinary women doing extraordinary things. My favorite article was about human senses, and that the 6th sense is something that was really noted in artwork from medieval times - we can sense with our heart.
The name "Lucia" is special to the magazine because it means "light." Lucia is the patron saint of sight and she was a real person who lived in Sicily back in the 3rd Century. She was so holy that she radiated light, but out of fear for her light, her eyes were cut out. Miraculously, she was still able to see without eyes. As the founder said, "Lucia shines light on what we are blind to. She calls us to support each other, to inspire, listen, cheer on and hold up light when someone loses the way...She is us. We are Lucia."
Are you foodie and a traveler? This is the best read for fans of both! So far this is the first edition of Ambrosia but I sure hope there will be more to come. This first issue explores the Baja Peninsula of Mexico from Tijuana all the way to Cabo San Lucas, stopping at towns along the way to talk with local chefs about their unique styles of cooking, the flavors they use, how they decided to become a chef and what life is like in their hometown. For each stop on the journey, Ambrosia provides 2-3 recipes that are favorites of the chefs they interview and have significance in the towns where they originate. I had no idea the Baja Peninsula was such a lush place - frankly I thought it
was all desert! I learned that Mexico has a fantastic wine country with cuisines using mostly fish, fruits and vegetables. I can't wait to try some of the recipes going forward!
This magazine really hits home with me because when I travel I adhere to the same philosophy: "Sharing food is intimate. The best way to get to know a place and its people is to come hungry and eat as the locals do. But getting a taste of local flavor shouldn't come at the expense of eating well. Ambrosia explores the lighter side of a region’s cuisine. Through interviews, photo essays, and step-by-step recipes from its great chefs, Ambrosia eats its way through a region, from roadside stands to Michelin-starred restaurants, and pinpoints what sets the region’s cuisine apart and helps you prepare its healthier dishes at home." I am really excited to see where they travel next.
This was another magazine I discovered completely by accident, and what a happy accident it was! Drift not only focuses on travel, but one of the biggest staples in the entire world: coffee. Each issue highlights a different city, but primarily "Drift is about coffee, the people who drink it, and the cities they inhabit. [Their] collection of writers and photographers, alongside coffee shop owners, baristas, street-cart vendors, and patrons, capture a glimpse of what it’s like to drink coffee in a city at the time the magazine is printed." I was disappointed to have missed the first issue, which features
New York City, but the second issue showcases another one of my favorite cities: Tokyo, Japan. It's hard to believe, but Japan ranks #3 in global coffee consumption - behind the U.S. and Germany. I was really happy to see that magazine cover one of the coolest aspects of Japan - their obsession with bizarre vending machines - and just how many unique coffee drinks you can order hot and ready to go. Competition between cafes in Tokyo is huge too, with some of the newest and most interesting catering to cosplay fans and late-night gamers. The most current issue is in such high demand I have had a hard time finding it: Issue #3 is focused in Havana, Cuba. Another perk (no pun intended) is that the photographers for each issue sell prints of their best photographs on Drift's website.
I can safely say that this is the one that started my general obsession with "hipster" magazines. Kinfolk is all about "slow living" or much more deliberate living. The magazine itself explores way for its readers to simplify their lives, cultivate community and focus less on material things but instead devote their time to family and friends. This magazine is published quarterly, and they also have international editions in Japan, China, Korea, and Russia. The contributor base is also astounding because there is not one corner of the world that is left unaccounted. Kinfolk really resonates with me because since I left Vermont I have been stressed out and feeling sluggish since I'm not surrounded by nature and a locally-focused community. These
stories from all over the world help to rekindle that since of belonging to a small community, yet the breath of communities is so vast. Each issue focuses on a different topic rather than a region, the most recent issue discusses "Design," others have subjects like "Essentials," "Saltwater," "Imperfection," "Aged," and "Family." All very ambiguous topics will a lot of wiggle-room for the direction of stories. As with the other magazines, each issue features beautiful photo essays, which make them great coffee table books, too. In the beginning, Kinfolk was ad-free - and it is worth noting that all of the aforementioned magazines contain no advertisements whatsoever - but I was disappointed to discover that this most recent issue of Kinfolk was loaded with advertisements, albeit they were tastefully done and definitely adhere to the broader aesthetic. If you're looking for a place to start with your "hipster" magazine journey, I recommend starting here.