Culture & Music

Bluestockings Bookstore: A Collectively-Owned Radical Business

April 7, 2017 | BTSNYC
Culture Music Bluestockings Bookstore Gender Outlaw

We’re old School: we love (physical) books and inspiring face-to-face talks! That said, we adore Bluestockings bookstore, café and activist center, in the Lower East Side neighborhood.

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The Lower East Side is one of the neighborhoods in Manhattan that we’re most fond of! It’s overflowing with amazing spots, creative minds, outstanding stories…and people creating a better world and future!

We have to agree that we do love this new digital world we are living in. After all, that’s how we were born! But, we are also pretty old school when it comes to book.

What we mean?

Well, we love reading actual books, highlighting the best parts and having the book rest on our nightstand. Nothing against Kindles and iBooks, but we enjoy the fun of owning a book.

Kathryn Welsh founded the place in 1999 when she was only. It was initially named Bluestockings Women’s Bookstore, but after a few ups and downs, Kathryn decided to start an MBA. She sold the business to Brooke Lehman. Brooke reorganized the space and made it a collective, managed by a group of 6 passionate individuals.

Today, they stand strong and explain in more depth what they do:

Bluestockings is a volunteer-powered and collectively-owned radical bookstore, fair trade cafe, and activist center. They are located in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. They carry over 6,000 titles on topics such as feminism, queer and gender studies, global capitalism, climate & environment, political theory, police and prisons, race and black studies, radical education, plus many more!

You can also find some good ‘ole smutty fiction, sci-fi, and poetry. They also also carry magazines, zines, journals, alternative menstrual products and other oddly hard-to-find good things.

Plus, they also host fantastic readings, workshops, performances, discussions and films almost every night. So, go take a look at their website to see their upcoming calendar!

We’re sure you will find some amazing events to attend!

Here are some of their upcoming events in April, that you might want to check out:

  • Off the Binary (8th): ‘Come and meet people who are just as confused as you are about public restrooms and getting dressed in the morning!’
  • Ukulele for Social Change (9th): ‘We will teach folks how to play songs from different historic cultural and social movements.’
  • Reading from Soviet Daughter: A Graphic Revolution (14th): ‘Soviet Daughter provides a window into the life of a rebellious, independent woman coming of age in the USSR. And, the impact of her story and spirit on her American great-granddaughter.’
  • Feminist Discussion of Masculinity (16th): ‘A safe space to discuss the gendered expectations placed on men and boys in a patriarchal society. And how these have affected, and continue to affect, all of us.’
  • Queer & Trans Artists of Color, Volume 2 Launch Party (18th): ‘A night of readings by queer and trans artists of color.’
  • Women’s / Trans’ Poetry Jam & Open Mike (20th): ‘Hosted by Vittoria Repetto—the hardest working guinea butch dyke poet on the Lower East Side.’
  • Pimps Down Ho’s Up: A Night of Stories on Sex Work, Trafficking and the Divide Between (21st): ‘Pimps Down Ho’s Up is a multi city venture addressing issues related to sex work, trafficking and notions of “choice.’
  • “Those Crazy 20-somethings” Audio Documentar(28th): ‘A 24-year-old radio producer sets out to find out how other 20-somethings are learning to become adults.’

Enjoy mingling with interesting minded people that actually have something important and relevant to share!

We’re huge fans and definitely recommend the visit!

Location: 172 Allen Street

Photo Credit and Text Excerpts: Courtesy of Bluestockings
*Last Update on Feb, 2020.*

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