Bluestockings Radical Bookstore, Fair Trade Cafe and Activist Center

by deborah on May 17, 2013 · 59 comments

in Books, Culture, Living Green

Bluestockings Radical Bookstore, Fair Trade Cafe and Activist Center

You’ll often find folks reading on the blue bench out front or browsing $1.00 books. for sale at Bluestockings.

One evening, I headed down First Avenue, crossed Houston Street and joined the sea of groovy downtown dwellers, diners, hawkers, gawkers and creatively-frocked folk. l crave the radical vibe of the Lower East Side especially after dark. The streets are teeming with feistiness, grit, creativity and a quirky, counter-culture energy!

First stop: BlueStockings

I can’t resist it. Bluestockings‘ funky, literary bohemian aura always draws me into its bosom. It’s my kind of place.

Bluestockings Radical Bookstore, Fair Trade Cafe and Activist Center

A view through window reveals one of their regularly-scheduled readings.

Bluestockings describes itself as…

“…a radical bookstore, fair trade cafe and activist center

in the Lower East Side of Manhattan.

Through words, art, food activism, education, and community,

we strive to create a space that welcomes and empowers all people.

We seek to make our space and resources available

to movements for meetings, events, and research.

 We also offer educational programming that promotes centered, strategic,

and visionary thinking, towards the realization of a society that is

infinitely creative, truly democratic, equitable, ecological, and free.” 


At Bluestockings, you are more than likely to find many independently-published titles that you won’t find in most mainstream bookstores, so I love to spend hours browsing their shelves and reading snippets of books that interest me while sipping a cup of tea. A casual atmosphere, friendly staff and an a sprinkling of tables, chairs and benches, beckons you to hang out as long as you want.

Tonight a small but fervent crowd gathered for a reading and lively discussion of “Future Primal: How Our Wilderness Origins Show Us the Way Forward” by author, Louis G. Herman.

Bluestockings Radical Bookstore, Fair Trade Cafe and Activist Center

Future Primal by Louise G. Herman

Herman, whose book asks the question–”How should we respond to the converging crises of violent conflict, political corruption, and global ecological devastation?”– was born in an orthodox Jewish community in apartheid South Africa, studied medicine at Cambridge University, and is now a professor of political science at the University of Hawaii-West O’ahu.

Bluestockings Radical Bookstore, Fair Trade Cafe and Activist Center

Author Louis G. Herman reads from his book and addresses guests.

In his book, Louis G. Herman offers the compelling argument that:

“…for us to create a sustainable, fulfilling future, we need to first look back

into our deepest past to recover our core humanity…we draw

from the experience of earth-based cultures

and weave their wisdom together with the scientific story

of an evolving universe to help create something

radically new–an earth-centered, planetary politics

with the personal truth at its heart.”


Upcoming events include:


Bluestockings Radical Bookstore, Fair Trade Cafe and Activist Center

Upcoming readings and events are always posted in front of the store.

If you visit Bluestockings once, you will definitely come back for more. It’s the kind of small, old-fashioned bookstore you’ll want to make your home.

To stay connected to their regularly-scheduled lineup of readings and special events, go to their website and join their email list.


The Essentials


172 Allen Street

New York, N.Y. 10003





Do you have a favorite bookstore that you love to frequent? Where is it? What do you like about it? Share your thoughts and comments with us.

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