Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Magazine Review: dandyhorse

So, I am in a local magazine shop looking for the new Lucky Peach, and I see dandyhorse still on the racks.  That reminds me that I have not reviewed the food issue that I picked up this summer.  I am going to rectify this oversight right this minute.

dandyhorse is a magazine about bicycle culture in Toronto subtitled, Toronto on two wheels.  I have always been a secret wannabe cyclist wanting to recapture the joy of cycling down the hill like a kid.  I bought a bike two summers ago and have only ridden it about a dozen times but so badly I want to get to the point where I am at least riding weekly.  Finally, I had an excuse to pick it the magazine after noticing the covers for some time. They have always been interesting, and colourful like candy and youth.  This issue was about food and I could fool myself that I was buying it for the Bob Blumer guest editor thing, even though I was secretly trying on the whole bike culture thing.

I have followed Bob Blumer since his Surreal Gourmet days.  I was a little afraid that this issue would be overly spandexed and all hyper granola, embracing nutrition and the engagement of scientific foodism.   Of course, coffee and calories do factor in but there was more than I expected.

Sandwiched amongst those articles was an  article about food delivery around the world and in Toronto.  Tiffins and beer are being delivered here and the pictures of the delivery vehicles were cool.  But more importantly, the tone wasn't one of pedantic pedallers or eco-nuttiness but rather a worldly tone of how other places in the world do things and, gosh, wouldn't it be nice if we could too.

Most articles were short with just a few points to pique interest.  Sometimes it felt as if someone had taken a Powerpoint presentation and turned it into a magazine.  In this way, it reminded me of older 'zines that were edited by one person who wrote about stuff they liked to varying degrees of success.  Recipes from Cava and Parts and Labour were served with a side of fashion spreads and pictures of people and their bikes.  Sometimes the logic was loose and more about interest.

The marriage of food and bikes seemed a little fanciful and forced like when my five year old takes his favourite stuffy to school and describes all the things that his stuffy did that day.  Much like I enjoy the whimsy of my child in these moments, I kind of enjoyed this zine in the same way.  It doesn't hold enough attention for me as a non-cyclist but when I finally get on my dandyhorse and pretend that I am looking through the ears of a pretend stallion, then maybe I will give this magazine another chance.  If you like serious fancy then maybe you'll like this.  If you are right now baking your own granola and figuring out your calorie requirements for tomorrow while determining your optimal sleep patterns then give this a pass.

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