First & Pike News carries publications from Arabic to Yiddish — plus gum for the nearby gum wall, souvenirs, magnets, postcards and stamps for tourists.
Print is not dead.Not at the corner of First and Pike, where the city’s most prominent newsstand has been since 1979. First & Pike News carries publications from Arabic to Yiddish — from Middle East lifestyle magazine Sayidaty, printed in Dubai, to the New York City newspaper Yiddish Daily Forward. Celebrities carry the day as the rich, beautiful and famous gaze, well-lit, well-coiffed and well-styled from long racks of publications. Oprah fills the cover of her own magazine. Brad Pitt looks good, very good. Samuel L. Jackson looks cool. Donald Trump looks angry. Founder and owner Lee Lauckhart says the newsstand carries “around 2,000 magazines, give or take.” Newspapers there are down from 180 to a couple of dozen largely because of transportation costs. But the stand carries the Nome Nugget, a weekly from Alaska at the end point of the Iditerod. The most expensive magazine is about $85, with runway fashion photos from Europe. “Not too many copies sell,” Lauckhart says. The stand’s logo of a street newspaper hawker calling “read all about it” was developed by Lauckhart and his 6-year-old daughter. About the printed page, staff member William Ward says, “welcome to the real world,” not the virtual world. He hates “reading off the computer screen.” Adapting to changing needs, the stand carries gum for the nearby gum wall, souvenirs, magnets, postcards and stamps for tourists. Lauckhart says “radio was going to kill newspapers. TV was going to kill radio. The Internet was going to kill it all.” There are more magazines now than ever, he says. “In the world of print media, the buck starts here.”