Tehrangeles! | Brownbook – Issue #41

07-B-Tehrangeles Brownbook sharbat sekanjabin persian blog

Well. It was nice to take a blogging break and as I like to say, laziness is its own reward. However: I missed y’all and it’s good to be back! There are some fun recipes in the works down the pipeline, but first, I’m excited to share the news that a few months ago I got the chance to work with the wonderful team (editor and art director) of Brownbook (a cool online & print lifestyle guide to the Middle East) to write & photograph an article for the Tehrangeles-themed issue #41 of their magazine.

Tehrangeles is a hybrid (Tehran + Los Angeles) nickname that’s a wink-wink nod to the fact that more Iranians live in Los Angeles than anywhere else in the world outside of Iran — an interesting statistic that is the direct outcome of the exodus of 1979. (Why did so many self-exiling Iranians pick the city of angels as a landing pad? I don’t know and I do wonder about that. We almost ended up there as well except that my mother vetoed the move but that’s another story entirely.)

The striking cover image — “Hybrid Girl 1” — is a work by the artist Shirin Aliabadi. Someone on Facebook questioned the aptness of the choice – making a valid point that Iranian women in Los Angeles (or anywhere outside of Iran for that matter) do not cover up with hijab. But: poetic license and all that. Personally, I love it! It’s odd and bold. Eye-candy, in the best sense of the word.

The magazine was published in early September but available for purchase here in the U.S., this past week. Finally!

CAPTION

This is Mr. Ali, the kindly proprietor of the Williamsburg shop who helped me track down copies of Brownbook’s Tehrangeles issue and who indulged my photo-op requests.

CAPTION

A really really nice guy, Mr. Ali continued to humor my tomfoolery by also posing with the magazine opened to my article’s page.  Pages 174-178, baby!

My contribution to the issue was to photograph and write about the Persian beverage sharbat ‘e sekanjabin: a classic, delicious type of sharbat, unique in that it can also be served as a dip with fresh crispy romaine lettuce leaves — praised by Ibn Sina; coveted and copied by the ancient Romans; imbibed by wise Iranians in the hot months of summer — made with honey and vinegar and sprigs of fresh mint.

Of note, Davar Ardalan (NPR senior producer and creator of The Persian Square) and Alex Shams (editor-in-chief of Ajam Media Collective) were kind enough to contribute quotes to the article.

Here are a couple of outtakes:

1-Tehrangeles Brownbook sharbat sekanjabin persian blog

CAPTION

Sharbat ‘eh sekanjabin, flanked by cherries, figs, blooms. Makes me nostalgic for summer!

The issue is jam-packed with interesting features and images. I loved it all, specially the Kish Island feature; the bit about Mashti Malone’s Persian ice cream parlor; the interview with Arash Davari, editor of Bitaarof magazine; and the intro essay by Porochista Khakpour. But I have to say that I was most intrigued by the profile on (and as a result am currently borderline obsessed with) Ana Lily Aminpour, a filmmaker who’s created the first Iranian Vampire Western! (WHAT!) I can’t wait to see it and I want to watch all of her short films as well, including Pashmaloo, which means “hairy” in Persian and is a word that does not cease to delight me.

    This would be me.  Captured on a cloudy day captivated by the magazine.

This would be me. Captured on a cloudy day captivated by the magazine.

This was my first print publication and I’m tickled pink to be included in this terrific issue and in such good company. A meaningful personal milestone that I thank you for letting me share.

In conclusion, as someone more articulate than moi put it:  “Pick up a copy and help keep print alive!”

Below is a partial listing of vendors in various international cities. For inquiries re global distribution and vendor-location listing, please contact either: lubna@brownbook.me, or, dir@exportpress.com

New York / Brooklyn
There are a bunch of vendors for NY but as of now, I know for sure that it’s available at:
Bedford Exotics Magazines| 195 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn (718.302.5005) [This is Mr. Ali’s store.]
Park Slop Smoke Shop | 65 5TH AVE, Brooklyn (718 857 9559)
Subways Newstand | 1250 6 Ave & 49 ST, Manhattan

London
Albam Shop
Artwords Bookshop
Design Museum
Donlon Books
Magma Books
The Photographers Gallery

Los Angeles
Mohawk General Store
Ooga Booga
Vivier and Bentley

Paris
Colette
French Trotters
Yvon Lambert Gallery

Toronto
Book City #07
This Ain’t the Roadside Library

Vancouver
Inventory
Old Faithful Shop

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37 thoughts on “Tehrangeles! | Brownbook – Issue #41

  1. Oh Azita, that’s so incredibly exciting! Congratulations on your beautiful, first print publication – something to be hugely proud of. I’ll be trying to track down a copy here in Australia through the emails you’ve listed! I hope you’re out celebrating this weekend with some bubbles (or a glass of Sharbat?) 🙂

    • thank you Margot jan! I will admit to having fully & happily geek’d out over this. I love your idea of bubbly or sharba to celebratet! Have secret stashes of both, ha ha

  2. Congratulations on the article, it looks great, the photographs are beautiful. I have to try to find the magazine, thanks for letting us know whare to pick up a copy. The cover is very interesting, platinum blonde hair, whats up with the tape on the bridge of the nose, plastic surgery? I think it shows the fusion of old and new, I actually like it.

    • Thank you Suzanne! 🙂 That’s where that bounty of your garden’s fresh mint went to, which I know helped make that batch of sharbat a knockout. The tape on the nose is a mischievously funny nod to the trend of nose jobs, heh heh! I’d love for you to check out the issue! The Park Slope branch is the nearest I think. xo!

  3. Congratulations Azita!!!! It is indeed exciting to be published – that turns writer into author! I’m really impressed that you had the opportunity to both write AND photograph for your article. I’m intrigued with your mention of honey, vinegar and mint in the sharbat and I’m going to have to try that sometime. Applause and cheers for your accomplishment!

  4. Congratulations and a big hurrah for you! I hadn’t realized the stat on number of Iranians living in LA, which explains the huge (and clearly thriving) Persian grocery store I visited while there recently…

    • Thank you! You were there recently? Interesting! I wonder what goodies (if any) you bought there. I’m keen on going to back LA to see all for myself with my blogging spectacles on.

      • The store was Wholesome Choice in Orange County, and was a Middle Eastern version of Whole Foods. Worth visiting just for the prepared foods! I brought back dried lemons, borage, hibiscus and sour grape powder — not that I know what to do with them…

      • Interesting! Dried lemons are somewhat versatile – you can use them for a few Persian khoresh but also, you can add one to a soup and it’ll give it a nice nutty tangy flavor (just puncture it with a fork before dropping it in the soup.) Borage all I know is that some people make a medicinal tea out of it. Have no idea re hibiscus and ooh, sour grape powder is very good and is used in a few good recipes …Thank you for humoring me and sharing your purchases. It’s fun to know!

    • Thank you and that’ll be awesome! Fresh crop of mint (envy yours girlfriend!) will make such a difference. You’ll love this I think.

    • Thank you dear Fae! I do hope it won’t be the last one. We’ll see! You are entirely too sweet to me and thank you, thank you! ❤ xo a

  5. Ohhh congratulations! So excited Azita!! I need to find out whether that magazine will be sold in Australia. Definitely want to get myself a copy 🙂 I’m glad that you had a wonderful break from blogging… looking forward to seeing all of the inspiration that’s captured you in recent days! xxx

    • Oh thank you and hope you can find a copy! As for the future blog posts, the inspiration is back Laura joon, but oh Lord, the time it takes to put it all together. A challenge as you are well aware. Thank you for visiting – your comments are always a ray of sunshine!

  6. Not shocked to learn you have been discovered. Your family picture is precious. Your focus is paying off. Thank you for sharing. Can’t wait to find the magazine to share with my boyfriend’s family.

    • What a truly nice thing to say Tina. I appreciate it greatly. Thank you! Hope you’ll find a copy and hope your Persian cooking is coming along swimmingly 😉

  7. Brava, Azita!!! Exciting news and a great, great come back!!! Congratulations!!! 🙂 The publication looks amazing and the pictures are lovely. 🙂 If I happen to be in the city, I’ll try to get a copy for sure!!!
    Way to go, girl!!! 🙂

  8. Pingback: Brooklyn, Biking, Adas Polo | A Perfect NY day with a Persian twist | Fig & Quince

  9. Pingback: Kahoo va Sharbat ‘e Sekanjabin | Persian honey vinegar mint cooler. It’s also a lettuce dip! Avicenna’s recipe! | Fig & Quince

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