Word Up! Pop-Up bookstore 1 Year Anniversary

Wow. It’s been a year since the renegade Word Up! bookstore popped up in an empty pharmacy in Washington Heights. And Eric was drumming alongside Seth Tobocman that night, just like he will be tomorrow evening

June 15, 2012 | 7-9pm | $10 | RSVP on Facebook
World War 3 Illustrated hosts a night of art and politics, featuring Seth Tobocman, Rebecca Migdal, Sandy Jimenez, Isabella Bannerman, Ethan Heitner, and Hilary Allison, with special musical guests Andy Laties and Eric Blitz. Multimedia presentations of WW3’s latest comic book work will be projected live with music. World War 3 Illustrated is an American comics anthology magazine founded in 1980 by New York comic book artists Peter Kuper and Seth Tobocman, and subsequently produced by a collective with a rotating editorship. WW3 Illustrated isn’t about an actual war that may happen; it is about all the ongoing wars our so-called leaders have been waging all our lives around the world and on our very own doorsteps. WW3 also illuminates the war we wage on each other and sometimes the conflicts taking place in our own brains. worldwar3illustrated.org

This seems to be one of many fundraising events slated for the week. Initially Word Up! was supposed to exist for a month, a cross between a bookstore and an art project, on Broadway between 175th and 176th (coincidentally a block from where I used to sublet a room on the top floor of a six story walk up.) It was stocked with a lot of the socio-political books one might find in Bluestocking downtown, but also offered an opportunity for local writers to stock their work. There was a schedule of workshops, readings, and performances in both Spanish and English, and activities for children and teens as well. Then that month long project got extended…and extended…and extended…and here we are, a year later. 🙂

So there you have it. Local, independent bookstores centered around community, serving the interests of community, and including the artists of said community. What’s not to love? I’m also curious to check out another bookstore newcomer uptown, La Casa Azul in Spanish Harlem. And seeing as to how Sunday we’ll be in El Barrio both for the Silent March against creepy Stop & Frisk policies, and because it’s Father’s Day, that’s probably gonna happen.

This went in the guestbook.

Eric with Sandy Jimenez, and Sandy’s artwork in the window, from the opening party for Word Up!


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