Place yourself in this photo and you're walking toward the checkout/cafe counter of Bluestockings, the only women's bookstore in New York City. In truth, it has expanded from its 1999 beginning as a place for women's books to its current incarnation as a "radical bookstore, fair trade cafe, and activist center" on the lower east side.
Various publications can be found at Bluestockings. I was particularly interested in browsing their zines. Get ready...click on Microcosm Publishing for a dunk into a world mostly known to people under, uh, 30--maybe 20. While we elders sleep, there's a throbbing universe of DIY folks who put together under $5.00, limited edition publications to express ideas--personal and/or political. Above are two zines I especially like. The front and one inside page of (of course) "Hen Party" and "the war at home: New Orleans after Katrina" with text plus black and white photos. The tan one with knit worms on its cover was the free handout for "This Dirt Museum: the ladies' room," my 2001 composting installation 2001. Perhaps, a zine?
Because I am about to co-produce a zine, my frequent Google searches have led to a new development: ZineWiki. Go read it; maybe you'll create one yourself.
Also on my list for Bluestockings was the recent anthology, "We Don't Need Another Wave" The subtitle is, "Dispatches from the next generation of feminists," the editor Melody Berger. Also found the latest copy of Bitch Magazine, "a feminist response to pop culture." I am going to subscribe to this one; it's too hard to find uptown. Also not comfortable to ask the mostly Middle Eastern news sellers if they have a copy of Bitch.
What a pleasure to be in a space where I can linger, sample publications from all over, touch paper, turn pages, think about coming back another time to see what's new. Bluestockings--sun streaming into its large front windows, cafe tables nearby--feels like a mini-version of Powell's Books in Portland, Oregon.* Also brought home a copy Herizons, a women's quarterly from Canada. Thorough and scary article about North American cosmetics, another on Tajikistan, a country in Central Asia unknown to me.
Oh, yes, about the zine in my own life. "Knit A Condom Amulet," an online zine with designs and how-tos from other knitters is in the planning stage.
*In Other Words in Portland, Oregon, is the only non-profit women's bookstore in the U.S.