You've heard hipster friends on Bedford Avenue call the discount mega-store by this quasi-Gallic moniker, right? Tar-ge, as though there were an accent aigue over the "e," as though this nickname conferred on the speaker both pride and self-consciousness in her patronage.

I too found my first visit to Target, at a strip mall outside of Baltimore, transcendent, and I too bought $15 plether Isaac Mizrahi pumps that fell apart in three weeks. I agree the store exceeds Kmart in style and Walmart in integrity. But the latest issue of the New Yorker gives me pause.

Is Target too hip to be square with us that what it calls an artistic "project" spanning numerous pages is just one long ad? And for what, I ask? Don't be fooled, right: coming to an abandoned Gristedes near you, I'm sure. But the absence of actual ad content made the spread more insidious.

Put it another way: I don't like to feel that the supposedly intelligent magazine I'm reading is something I could have picked up along with the weekly circular in one of those metal bins at the front of the store.

And I was going to post about Anthony Lane and how I'd weathered being sick of his literary cuteness and reverted back to savoring his bitsy metaphors and sharing his nostalgia for the 1930s--speaking of the hunky but thin-voiced love object of a new flick he writes, "Where have all the vocal coaches gone?"--when instead I was distracted by the sense what I had in my hands wasn't a magazine at all but a Target mailer.