Cars lined the road leading to the Ashfield Lake House last night as rain drizzled down. Inside, the place was packed, and big stacks of magazines were piled up for all to enjoy. It was the launch party for a new magazine published by a man well-known in Northampton, Michael Kusek, and his big smile expressed how happy he must have been to have all of these people there to celebrate the debut of Take magazine.
As I signed up for a year’s subscription, I thought about the many magazines that come to my mailbox for free, using airline miles or other means…but this one was different. By signing up, I was investing in Michael Kusek and his vision of a magazine that’s been hatched after more than a year’s labor. I was investing in local writers, artists, and actors who would be covered in its pages. It wasn’t a subscription, it was a commitment to support people working in publishing, and to affirm that there is a place for a new print magazine that truly covers New England’s rich art world.
In a corner of the Lake House, in a baseball cap, news star Rachel Maddow huddled with her many local friends and fans. At the crowded bar, Lakehouse owner Dre Rawlings did a good job helping her bartenders keep up with the throng. I found a seat next to architect Tristram Metcalfe and his wife Judy. They told me that many of the old timers who used to frequent this bar now go elsewhere. But they were both pleased with the changes that Dre has brought and the fact that all of these folks from ‘down south’ had made the trek up here is testament to the coolness factor that Dre’s given the place.
Soon Maureen Sullivan, from Holyoke, took a seat across from me, and a gigantic platter of nachos appeared on our table. We did our best to share them with those around us as the crowd full of people who had never set foot in this funky lakeside bar enjoyed some great music from Home Body. This duo lit the place ablaze with funky grooves and a great woman singer. A brilliant accompaniment to the night’s merriment.
Take Magazine is already off to a rollicking start, the first issue was printed with three different covers. Take a look at Take, and join me in supporting Michael’s vision by becoming a subscriber.
View more photos from the party from Chattman photos.