Necessary Luxury: Gloria Steinem

James Wojcik

The political activist and author, most recently of My Life on the Road (Random House), reveals the items she can't live without.

1. A yellow pad (Cambridge, lined, and big). From speech notes to to-do lists and sudden ideas, I feel writing by hand is still personal and irreplaceable. As Alice Walker once put it, “Poems travel down my arm.”

2. Almonds. The best-tasting, most portable protein.

3. Concho belts. Changing belts is my version of changing clothes.

4. Kohl eyeliner. I got hooked on it in India.

5. My iPhone. When you’re on the road, the ability to stay in touch with friends, check e-mails, and find the people you’re meeting is crucial. Before the iPhone, there was a portable phone, and before that, a pocketful of quarters for pay phones. The need doesn’t change, only the technology.

6. Artificial tears. Airplane air can turn my eyes into sandpaper.

7. Clinique moisturizer. Soap is everywhere, but moisturizer is not.

8. My passport. It’s with me even when traveling domestically, because I don’t have a driver’s license.