‘Bluestockings’ Celebrates 20 Years on the Lower East Side
This month, the venerable Bluestockings celebrates a momentous milestone. Twenty years selling books from a storefront on Allen Street.
Bluestockings – named for the 18th century intellectual women in the Blue Stockings Society – opened at 172 Allen in 1999. Its current model as a collectively-run, worker-owned bookstore and activist center followed a brief closure in 2001. Since then, the establishment has been pushing left-leaning literature on topics such as feminism, queer and gender studies, global capitalism, climate & environment, police and prisons, and radical education ever since. In fact, Bluestockings is reportedly designated one of only 13 remaining feminist-identified bookstores in North America.
But this road hasn’t been without its challenges. Indeed, four years ago, the business was on the edge. Ownership signed a five-year lease in 2015 at a much higher renewal rate, and needed some extra juice to stay afloat; remodeling the space was also in the cards. The subsequent crowdfunding campaign was successful in raising enough capital – more than $37,000 – for the renovation project.
To mark the occasion, Bluestockings is celebrating with a party at the end of the month (May 31). Poets, performers, and writers are slated to participate, including Jeremiah Moss from Vanishing New York.
Hey, it's our 20th birthday! Bluestockings is so proud to be celebrating 20 years as a radical hub on the LES. Join us on May 31st from 7 PM to 12:30 AM to ring in Pride ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜, celebrate 20 years, and build the groundwork for 20 more years of radical futures! #Bstox20 pic.twitter.com/H0pbCaLmcE
— bluestockings (@bluestockings) May 1, 2019