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Across from Maria Hernandez park in Bushwick, there's a pro-intersectional feminist bookstore and sex shop called Troll Hole tucked inside the Mermaid Laundromat. A few days before Halloween, I was sitting on the purple astroturf inside the shop, a modest five-by-seven-foot cubicle, drinking white wine and eating not-gluten-free chocolate brownies made by Monica Yi, a co-founder. Monica's dog Francis was there (named after a Jesuit), and so were Justin Shock and Hayley Blatte, the other...
It’s chess night at Molasses Books, and customers are crowded around boards, plotting their next move. Some spill out onto the sidewalk to have a smoke, and owner Matt Winn seems to know them all. The space is small, with tables in alcoves butting up against windows. The walls are lined with bookshelves, and overflow spills out onto a table display in the middle of the shop. A sign hangs over the bar reading “no...
Booksellers Vina Castillo, Natalie Noboa, and Holly Nikodem first met while working at the Forest Hill Barnes and Noble. They met again when the store was closing—the three women had planned to return at the end of 2015 to say goodbye to the location and reminisce with fellow coworkers. What they hadn't planned on was opening a new bookstore, but that was before the three realized that without the Forest Hills B&N, Queens—a borough with a population...
Tucked away on a narrow block of Front Street in DUMBO, a short red stoop leads to one of Brooklyn’s unlikeliest bookstores, Berl’s Brooklyn Poetry Shop. Inside it’s an open, spare space—kind of like the fashionably empty boutiques in SoHo that only have three dresses hanging on a single rack. It’s a conscious decision by owners and poets Jared White and Farrah Field, who describe on Berl’s website a desire to present “not a...

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