Read All About It: Fog City News

This month's hot picks for magazines about California and the West

San Francisco's Fog City News has been open on Market Street since 1999.
San Francisco’s Fog City News has been open on Market Street since 1999.

Fog City News is a San Francisco institution. Founded at the height of the dot-com era, this news stand has borne witness to the ebbs and flows of the downtown neighborhood it calls home. Fog City offers lovers of the printed word a steady and calming presence amidst sidewalks crowded by the likes of Salesforce, LinkedIn and Twitter workers. We checked in with Adam Smith, owner of Fog City News, for this month’s recommendations:

Wired magazine


On the eve of the new millennium, “The Industry Standard” magazine was the bible of the Internet economy. Customers called me frantically every week to see if the new issue had hit the newsstands yet. But before “The Standard” (as it was known then), the hip tech insiders were already devotees of “Wired” magazine. It had launched in 1993 and still has its editorial offices in San Francisco. I do not pretend to be a tech hipster, far from it, but I do enjoy this magazine for always giving me a taste of the near future, and the fringes of mainstream culture. I love their “Jargon Watch” column (know what Snapchat Dysmorphia is?) The November issue reports on Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin venture, how low-fi (read: paper) is the “new megatrend in voting,” and the rising popularity of “swatting” crimes.

The Surfer's Journal magazine


It may be a poser move to read a surfing magazine if one doesn’t surf. Truth is, I moved from the East Coast to attend UC Santa Cruz and immediately fell in love with the graceful athleticism of surf riders on Steamer Lane. Take one glance at “The Surfer’s Journal” and you’ll agree that this is a surf magazine which could be right at home on your coffee table. It stands up against even the most elegant of interior design magazines. Published bimonthly in San Clemente, the photography and essays are top-notch, and make you yearn to travel the world, chasing the best waves. The October/November issue brings you drone photographs of breaks in Indonesia (take me away!), cracking “the code” in the Eastern Atlantic (namely, West Africa), and reports on performance-enhancing drugs and what that says about the mind versus the body in this sport.

The Hollywood Reporter magazine


Since the daily print edition of “Variety” magazine stopped publishing in 2013, and their weekly edition is no longer distributed to Northern California, I count on “The Hollywood Reporter” for my entertainment industry news. But THR is more than that, it’s really a glimpse into the lives of those who work in Tinseltown. The “About Town” section visits the prior week’s benefits and galas, notes who was hitched, hatched, or hired, and always has good dish from the Rambling Reporter. A recent October issue profiled Alec Baldwin (still outspoken, but a little more measured now), reveals what Jamie Gertz (remember her?) is up to behind the scenes with the Atlanta Hawks, and asks “When Hollywood gets political, do voters actually listen?”

AFAR magazine


Soon after their first issue in 2009 (initially sharing offices with Dwell magazine), we hosted a launch party for Afar magazine. (Here’s a picture from the event.) I love this title’s tag line: “Where Travel Can Take You” because I’ve always believed there’s a difference between a tourist and a traveler. (Both kinds of visitors walk through my door every week.) The October/November issue reveals how female travelers are “on the go as never before” (and how outfits like REI Adventures create trips catered to them), surveys visionaries who harness the power of travel to make a difference, and, of course, as always, makes you drool over destinations like Umbria, Normandy and a cruise in Southeast Asia.

In addition to a wide variety of magazines, Fog City News is known for its large selection of chocolate bars.
In addition to a wide variety of magazines, Fog City News is known for its large selection of chocolate bars.


  • 455 Market St., San Francisco

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