In the last post I talked about being so proud to see Invisible City at The St. Marks Bookstore. I just heard about them on the radio today. They are struggling to stay alive. The piece can be streamed below or read here.
The news/radio piece talks about their role in the neighborhood and how it is a mecca for the artists that frequent it. Even about how it was the “go to” place for the iconic beat poet and fellow Twelvetrees Press photobook alum Allen Ginsburg when he was alive. (As a neighbor, it wasn’t hard to bump into him in all manner of places in the neighborhood back then.) One of the ironies is that their landlord, Cooper Union (my Alma Matter) is one of the oldest cultural institutions in the neighborhood (probably in the whole of NYC, in fact). Cooper uses rent money it collects to subsidize the tuition of students and is the only college that gives every student who has the privilege to study there a full tuition scholarship. I find it symptomatic of the times we live in now that these institutions must weigh their needs against each other, rather than both contributing to the rich cultural fabric of a diverse neighborhood. And it is also a reflection of the cultural status of the book. A petition for signatures can be found here.