No matter how “cool” people think an app that lets them post their iPhone selfies is, or how great it is to be able to devour overwhelming amounts of online content, the magazine stand appears to be a part of Los Angeles culture that is here to stay.
The magazine stands were (and still are) great community social centers. People would grab a cup of coffee and swing by the stand to check out the latest headlines and enjoy some conversation with the shopkeeper or another customer. No one walked by them without pausing to check out the headlines.
Most are open 24 hours and open directly out onto the street with racks of newspapers and magazines stretching along the sidewalk. While they can be found in other cities, somehow the sidewalk magazine stand seems deeply ingrained in Los Angeles culture.
I remember many a late night driving down to one to pick up the latest copy of a British or European fashion magazine to get a copy of my latest fashion shoot for my portfolio. And while I was there I would flip through many of the other magazines from around the world to keep my fingers (literally) on the latest trends. Ones that particularly caught my attention I purchased.
The availability of free online content has taken a toll on the stands but there are still close to 20 of them in the city. And recently recently Angelenos rallied together to show just how much the magazine stand still means to us. When Whole Foods ordered the owner of a magazine stand to vacate at the end of their least this year, more than 900 customers signed a petition to keep the stand there.
Whole Foods, which is now owned by the tech giant Amazon, has not been very sympathetic to the cause to keep the stand there. It’s a choice they may come to regret. The petition signers have indicated they come for both the grocer and the magazine stand. Without the stand they have no incentive to patronize that particular store. However it plays out, it is clear the magazine stand isn’t going to completely vanish from the Los Angeles scene anytime too soon!
The stand pictured in this post is right off of the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1652 Cahuenga Blvd. Do yourself a favor and take this in while you are checking out the rest of the tourist attractions on Hollywood Blvd. The Magazine Stand is a vital part of the Los Angeles culture and you can’t really say you have taken in the Los Angeles experience without checking it out.