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!
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:
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 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: firstname.lastname@example.org, or, email@example.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
The Photographers Gallery
Mohawk General Store
Vivier and Bentley
Yvon Lambert Gallery
Book City #07
This Ain’t the Roadside Library
Old Faithful Shop