SAVE CASA MAGAZINES NYC, SAVE PRINT!
by Happy David on behalf of Mohammed Ahmed and Ali Wasim
SAVE CASA MAGAZINES NYC, SAVE PRINT!....WITH YOUR HELP, WE CAN GET THROUGH THIS.
CASA MAGAZINES on 12th Street and 8th Avenue was established in 1994, Immigrant Mohammed Ahmed from Hyderabad, India came on board in 1995. Open 6AM - 12MN almost 365 days a year, CASA MAGAZINES' and the guys have become a cornerstone of the village.
I first discovered Casa in 2010 while I was working in the West Village for a shop on Hudson Street. I was looking for magazines to send my sister back home in Manila and was excited to finally end my search for all these titles she asked for. Soon Casa became a regular stop on my way to the train home even if it was just a wave or tap on the glass window. I didn’t have much then to spend and they let me lightly browse and sit on the stacks, but most especially appreciated the time they took to chat and ask how I was. "How is mummy/daddy, how's husband/wife, how's baby/kids, how's job/love life?". For a new immigrant to the US, halfway around the world away from family and friends in the throes of a nerve-wracking visa application process alone--- having a place where they knew your name already (even if I probably wasn’t a big spending customer) really meant a lot.
I have known them for about 10 years now, gone through countless, jobs, apartments in different boroughs---but nothing compares to the community camaraderie I’ve experienced in this village corner and inside it’s 3 walls. All kinds of people from all walks of life, famous, nondescript, anybody, everybody are welcomed here (unless you’re causing trouble) and treated equally. I’ve met so many wonderful people here and have had the best conversations and watched countless scenes play out in this tiny space--- Customers meeting other interesting like-minded customers, sharing magazine recommendations, anything and everything. Collaborations shaping up. So many life stories exchanged. From confessions/announcements shared in confidence to either Mohammed/Ali by the cash register---they’ve met someone, or are getting married, or having a baby, going through a break-up or a separation, moving out of the neighborhood, or that they’ve been diagnosed with cancer…to random simple favors like holding on to their apartment keys to pass on to someone while they’re at work or just to banter and have a laugh with Ali after a long day at work. Editors, writers, photographers, models, stylists, designers seeing their work/ byline, name on the masthead, independent magazine publishers seeing their magazines on the stacks/windows for the first time. Never gets old.
CASA and the guys have been there for the neighborhood through so many moments from joy to sorrow. I hope this time we are able to return the favor and be here for them, support the store in any way to continue to preserve the community and synergy they’ve created.
Print sales have already been declining even before the pandemic hit. The store was able to get a exception during the official shutdown of non-essential businesses but ultimately the team has decided to temporarily close for their safety, for their families & the community's. Mohammed himself is a high risk individual, and Ali goes home to a household that includes his elderly mother, after losing his father this past year, the risk is high for him.
Incoming stocks of magazine/newspaper deliveries have also been disrupted. Taking it day by day, they've only been able to open the store sporadically to process time sensitive work.
It's been more than a month now since the shutdown and it looks like we will be impacted for a few more months. Rent in the West Village isn't cheap (it's almost 10K/month for a prime corner space like ours). Your critical support at this important time is much, much needed to keep this legendary institution in New York City.
100% of the funds raised here will go directly to employee relief (lost income) and store operations overhead (rent, utilities etc).
We miss you all and hope to see you again very soon. In the meantime, we also encourage you to share your memories of Casa here, we'd love to hear and see them especially during these challenging times.
THANK YOU, THANK YOU for all your support!
On behalf of Mohammed Ahmed, Ali Wasim
CASA MAGAZINES NYC
PLEASE SUPPORT OUR COMMUNITY, the WEST VILLAGE <3
NY TIMES The Last King Of Print
by Maya Lau/ October 26, 2012
“It’s the magazine Mecca,” said James Reginato, who was browsing in Ahmed’s store Tuesday, and who happens to write for Vanity Fair. Reginato called Ahmed “the king of the Village.”
Ahmed has run the store since 1995. He admitted that he was scared about the changes in the print-magazine industry. It was four or five years ago, he said, that business started to decline.
To my surprise (and mild disappointment), Ahmed told me that the most desired elusive publications he gets requests for are not from some outlandish or salacious subculture in magazine form — often they are medical journals, many of which do not sell to newsstands. When I asked if he would stock even the most peculiar pornographic magazine if it were likely to have but one buyer, he said yes. He will provide any publication that will sell to a newsstand, he said. “Even if only one person wants it, I can put it on the shelf, and people will see it and buy it.”
NEW YORK MAGAZINE THE CUT Did You Actually Buy a September Issue
by Emilia Petrarca
August 24, 2018
For some, Casa Magazines is still a neighborhood treasure, but for others it’s merely a nostalgic backdrop. Mohammed laments that fashion bloggers will come into the store, pick up a magazine to snap a few photos for their Instagram accounts, and leave without buying anything. (Just look at their tagged photos for evidence.) To discourage this kind of behavior, he hung up very-polite signs in prime locations that read: “No photos of the content.”
It was an exciting summer. But despite these current strides, and the buzz they generated online, Mohammed says print is still in danger.
Too bad this quote is from the online VOGUE....
WHO ARE THE PEOPLE IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD? THESE ARE OURS <3
Mohammed with Mark from La Bonbonniere two doors down and Luis hands down our favorite MTA Bus Driver whose stop for the M12 is right in front of the store. So lucky to see him everyday.
When our @CasaMagazinesNYC Instagram got featured in a Japanese Magazine
Khalym and John of Billy Magazine during their launch party for BILLY Magazine. They had Mexican Iced Shavings cart on 12th street, so fun.
Mohammed with West Villager, Kevin Harry of KH magazine
West Village regulars <3
The day and exact moment we started really working on the Instagram account. West Villager/Writer, Malcolm Gladwell, Mohammed, Umais & Happy talking about the rise of digital and impacts on print.
Always glad to support independent magazines! Seen here is LinYee Yuan with her baby, MOLD Magazine: Designing the Future of Food and pregnant with another baby.
Mohammed with West Villager, Terry <3
Umais with Luis and bestselling FantasticMan
Everybody gets to know everybody here at CASA. M12 MTA bus driver, Karate Black Belter, Comedian Luis Shodan who never fails to brighten our day with ESOPUS Founding Editor and Executive Director, TOD LIPPY.
Ali with regulars from Art + Commerce