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Part One: The Women Phillip D. Johnson

I am not a big fan of Christmas. It's grossly overrated and if you are alone, you feel like a loser. The same goes for Thanksgiving Day. I don't like turkey and long-passed family dramas seem overly emphasized when all your distant relatives come to your home with their empty stomachs and their long-held family vendettas and conflicts. Who needs to hear for the millionth time how Cousin Jerry got drunk and threw up all over the wedding gifts at Cousin Susan's wedding? Easter is a yawn. Memorial Day, Labor Day, Fourth of July, Columbus Day? I would rather be alone with the best company I know: myself. On all those holidays, I like to brew myself some coffee, stay in bed reading The New York Times, turning off the phone and having Chinese takeout for dinner.

So what gets me excited, you ask? Magazines. I love magazines. I love the printed word. I love how the pages feel in my hands. I get a thrill from just getting ready to explore the new and fabulous that is within their covers. I am a big believer in print magazines. You can keep your Kindle, your iPad, your iPhone, your iTouch and your magazine apps. I want to feel the real thing. I want to give it an initial read, put it away and be able to come back again while still feeling that sense of excitement and of new things to come. I have been known, in my impatience to wait for my subscriptions, to take the Metro-North train from Connecticut to

Here's my assessment of the good, the bad, and the downright ugly

Grand Central Station, get off the train, buy my magazines at Hudson News– because they are always on the newsstands first in New York City- and get back on the next train going back to Connecticut. It's crazy, I know but it also speaks to my love of reading and of fashion, beauty, and lifestyle and it's better than having a gambling or drug addiction.

I especially love August when the big, fat, juicy September issues are on the newsstand. I prowl the internet and my source websites for advance news or leaks from Conde Nast or Hearst Publications on who's going to be their cover subjects. I keep an eye out for “leaked” photos from photo shoots in the upcoming issues. I get especially teed off during this time because, for some reason, my subscription issues are always late. This year, Harper's Bazaar was on the newsstand for a whole two weeks before I got my issue in the mail. At the time of this article, I am still waiting for my September issue of Esquire. Luckily for me, it has been on the newsstand at my local CVS Pharmacy since the second week of the month. So, was it worth the wait this year? Mostly yes. There were very few disappointments. Everyone did well in bringing their A game. Here's my assessment of the good, the bad, and the downright ugly.

Fashion Maniac issue 2  

Grading the Fashion magazines